Thursday, 31 January 2008



The diehard geek in me screamed ‘NOOOOOO’ yesterday, when it came to light that the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET franchise is to be rebooted. Why can’t Hollywood think of anything new? Apparently New Line Cinema, who started the franchise off in the first place with 1984’s Wes Craven helmed masterpiece, are talking to the shoddy remake factory known as Platinum Dunes about relaunching the series. Okay, can I just say this: DON’T DO IT NEW LINE!!! Recent years have shown that remakes/relaunches aren’t that great, and don’t have much in the way of longevity. They don’t hang around in cinemas for very long, and rapidly become bargain DVDs within a matter of a couple of months. STOP TARNISHING GOOD FRANCHISES!

The only two remakes that have approached the quality of the originals in this era of quick-lets-remake-it-while-people-still-recognize-the-title have been the first HILLS HAVE EYES and the first TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, both of which remained essentially faithful to the originals while adding elements that would have been difficult if not impossible to achieve when they were made the first time around.

What worries me is, with remakes of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, FRIDAY THE 13TH and even CHILD’S PLAY in the works, these once great examples of the celluloid horror genre are becoming increasingly ridiculous lampoons of themselves. These films are iconic, and remakes tend to come across as amateur dramatics productions with shinier bells and whistles on them. More gore, more flesh, more violence, a big soundtrack, all of which attempt to take the viewer away from the story, and it is the story that should be central to the movie.

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET gave us Freddy Krueger, one of the most well known horror characters since the advent of the moving image. Over the course of six ELM STREET movies, WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE and FREDDY VS JASON (not forgetting the ELM STREET TV series), Robert Englund has provided viewers with scares and thrills for over two decades. Englund’s portrayal of the child killer who burned to death at the hands of his victim’s parents, only to return and stalk them in their dreams, is so much a part of modern culture that to restart the series with a new cast would be nothing short of insane.

Look at the first film. Go on. Watch it tonight, and revel in it. Wes Craven created a film stuffed with atmosphere and genuine tension. You barely see Freddy’s face other than in shadow, he rarely throws out the cheesy one-liners that the sequels became stuffed with, and it remains powerful to this day. Plus it is of historical interest to movie nerds, being Johnny Depp’s break on the big screen.

It may turn out to be fantastic though. I do hope so. Hopefully they will still cast Robert Englund as Freddy. I mean, Jason Voorhees has been played onscreen by many people, but Robert Englund is the only person that audiences will believe as Freddy Krueger. Its in the voice, the movements, the expressions, the little nuances that he brings to the part. Granted, Emglund is now spending a great of time directing movies rather than starring in them, but hopefully New Line will persuade him to don the glove and the battered Fedora once again. The remake is apparently going to deal partly with his life before he became the dream demon we all know and love. This is a dangerous area to cover, people. The man kidnapped children, took them to a boiler room and butchered them. This is something we really don’t need evidence of onscreen. Leave it be. Leave the mystery in there. It is much more effective and scary that way.

I thought that WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (the 7th film in the series) was the perfect way of recreating the Freddy Krueger character. Putting him into the real world and having him play havoc with the stars of the original film was a genius move and if that film had been blessed with current effects technology it would be incredible. There, there’s what New Line should do. Go back to the original NOES movie, clean up the print, tweak the effects a little, beef up the soundtrack a bit, add a few scenes here and there, and you would have a brilliant new edition of the movie to release without having to make the thing from scratch and risk ridicule and derision from a fanbase that has already fluctuated in recent times.

The 18 inch New Nightmare Freddy figure from NECA is a great piece, featuring him as he appeared with his long coat, redesigned makeup and glove, and has been popular ever since it was released. You see? He looks cool as hell, and still looks like Freddy.


There is hope though. Get the right person to script it, the right person to direct, and a cast that isn’t just along for the money, and you could create something very special indeed. How about instead of a relaunch, Freddy passes the mantle of dream demon onto a distant young relative or something similar? Maybe his demonic self could sense the awakening of a new psychopath with his family blood and offer him/her the powers to slaughter everyone, not just those confined to the Elm Street bloodline?

There are many ways this could go. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be a bad dream...

Sorry, I couldn’t help that.

Friday, 25 January 2008

The what now?

So then, the title of the new James Bond movie has been revealed- Quantum of Solace. Huh? Granted it is the title of an early Ian Fleming short story featuring Bond, but he's barely in the original tale. Plus, as titles go, it doesn't really inspire much awe. Sadly, I think it will confuse a portion of the potential audience. Me? I find it rather indifferent.

Thankfully it does look as though we're in for a treat with the movie. They started shooting it last month, and the initial rushes that were shown at the press junket really didn't show much apart from a bit of snow and Judi Dench scowling, so we'll have to wait to get more more about it. The title's a bit odd though.

On the upside, it stars former model Olga Kurylenko as a Bond Girl, which can only be a good thing as she is gorgeous. Okay okay, I'll go and have a cold shower now.

Hammer movies are back, albeit not in the form we knew and loved from long ago. A new movie has been shot in around a dozen episodes, which is to be released online bit by bit and later on DVD in a recut form. BEYOND THE RAVE is the title as far as I know, and surrounds chaos at a vampire nightclub. So then, instead of going for something iconic, they're making a cross between VAMP and FROM DUSK TIL DAWN? Whatever happened to innovation? The jury's still out on this project, but I'm really pleased that Hammer are back in business, and I hope they get a proper movie underway soon...

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Speaking of those Khan figures...

They're awesome. The 25th anniversary Wrath of Khan series 1 figures are here after what seems like an eternity, and they've been worth the wait. There's a Kirk, a Khan, a 'Double Cross' Kirk (you can tell he means business as he has a scowl and a lapel open- is that the movies' equivalent of his frequent torn shirts in TOS? heh) and Captain Terrel. All of them come with the appropriate accesories and look pretty cool. the only problem is, Art Asylum are still intent on packaging figures in blisters that are impossible to store other than on a hook! It's a small quibble really, as these figures a great.

New Comic Day

Thursdays are great things, kiddies. That's when the lovely truck arrives full of lovely brown boxes full of shiny things. It's hard to get bored when you have boxes of comics and new figures to open. Today we got the Stargate Atlantis figures, Wrath of Khaaaaaaaaaan figures (sorry, force of habit), Battlestar Galactica figures (Can I have a lifesize Number Six please?) and restocks of the game version of Cloud from Final Fantasy. There's a cool feature on the Play Arts Final Fantasy figure range on the way from our very own clone of Cloud, Mr Rich Thorp, so keep an eye out for that.

The one thing that poses a problem on New Comic Day is the issue of finding appropriate places for things, hence us swapping the shop around so much. Whoever said comic geeks didn't like doping anything physical?

Wednesday, 23 January 2008


Hey there folks, I hope your collective 2008s are going swimmingly thus far. Following the annual Christmas insanity, we’ve been working on improving the store layout for you guys. Over the festive period we identified a number of areas in the store that would benefit from being rearranged and reworked, so that’s exactly what we’ve done! The store is now split into two ‘halves’, namely a merchandise side and a printed material side. Check out the work so far:



It’s far from finished, but we’re working hard to ensure the place is easy to get around and its easier to find the cool stuff you want.

2 0 0 8

So what do we have to look forward to in 2008? There’s going to be a ton more to check out from us online for a start, but I’ll leave you in suspense for now on that score. What I will tell you is that as of now, there are a bunch of cool features being worked on by our infamous/illustrious staff that you’ll be able to check out soon.

There’s a mass of movies and TV to look forward to despite the writers strike (But hey, there’s an actor’s guild strike planned too). Personally, I’m looking forward to two movies in particular, even more than Iron Man and the new Indiana Jones (both of which, incidentally, have me stoked). Those films are JJ Abram’s apocalyptic CLOVERFIELD and the long, LONG awaited final part of Dario Argento’s ‘Tears’ trilogy, namely MOTHER OF TEARS. I’m so excited about the prospect of Cloverfield. I just wish we didn’t have to wait until the start of February to see it!

Speaking of JJ Abrams, have you seen the teaser for his STAR TREK reboot? It shows mercifully little, and for once we have a teaser that actually TEASES the audience. I do love the ‘Under Construction text at the end. I think his version of Star Trek is going to kick all kinds of ass, even if the diehards are still arguing about the cast and the plot. Come on, FIRST CONTACT was a time travel story, and that was incredible. THE VOYAGE HOME was too! I can’t wait to get hold of a model of the new version of the Enterprise.

Then there’s the whole Doctor Who universe continuing to take over out TV screens, with the new DW series on the way as well as the now-playing second series of TORCHWOOD, which is shaping up to be even better than the first!

Stuff on the way

Other goodies I’m looking forward to getting in? let’s see… Just in time for the new RAMBO movie, Sideshow are bringing the original FIRST BLOOD 12” doll back out, and about time too. The premium format Rambo figures always looked awesome, even if the holographic packages were so…hypnotic. The Sideshow guys and gals have also unveiled something pretty damn spectacular in the shape of the STAR WARS: DUEL OF THE FATES Diorama, taken from the final moments of The Phantom Menace. Now, I Know all about the feelings towards that film, but you can’t deny that the last 20 minutes were incredible. Featuring Obi Wan, Qui-Gon and Darth maul locked in their saber duel, this diorama is going to be stunning.

While on the subject of Star Wars, there’s a cool 12” of Luke from Ep4 - Luke Skywalker - Episode IV on the way too, just as he appears in the iconic ‘Twin Suns’ shot at the start of the movie. Another Marvel Premium format figure has been unveiled too, namely the Red Skull, who, as we all now know, was the one behind Captain America’s death (God I’m worried about Bucky taking on Cap’s title- that’s gonna be really hard for Marvel to pull off well).

I suppose the other big thing right now would be Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem. Now, it is no secret that I am, lets say, not a fan of this crossover franchise, but a bunch of my colleagues are, and the Sideshow diorama depicting the Predalien Hybrid diving at the Predator looks like a superb piece of work indeed. Also check out the Predalien Maquette Now, if only they would hire a writer for the next one. You know, someone who can provide an actual script? At least the movie LOOKS cool. I’m with the crowd wanting an actual AVP movie with no humans in it, and no dialogue. A lack of dialogue (just alien screams etc) would be much more believable than the cookie cutter schlock Hollywood are content to churn out over and over.

Anyway, I’m gonna go dribble about Cloverfield in a corner for a while.

Expect a much more active presence here from now on!

Peace and starcharts