Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Terminator (aka T-101, Cyberdyne Systems Model 101, 800 series, Cyberdyne Systems Series 800 Model 100 Version 2.4): The robot assassin coated in living skin is on a search and destroy mission after Sarah Conner by Skynet (James Cameron's 1984 The Terminator). Or a search and protect mission for John Conner by John Conner (1991 Terminator 2: Judgement Day) or by his wife (2003 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). Alternatively, he goes on a just destroy all human mission again by Skynet (2009 Terminator Salvation). The Terminator (not to be mixed-up with other terminators like the T-1000, or T-X) is based off the body of Chief Master Sergeant William Candy, who has a strikingly similar look to one of California's former governors. It can only be assumed Sergeant Candy did not survive Judgement Day just as his southern accent did not survive voice developing for the Terminator.

(Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Violet Healing Rays

Give it up for the Violet Healing Rays!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dwayne's Rockin' 'n' Rollin' Robots,

I'm sure there is nothing as satisfying as having 10,000 people sing your song to you. So, here is Radiohead performing Paranoid Android live. Rock on Garth!


This is a headline from the Minneapolis Star Tribune from last week.

Teeny Tenney says ta-ta; residents vote 2-1 to dissolve town

When did the Strib become a cartoon newspaper?

35-Pound Bags of Vomit

I think I saw 35-Pound Bags of Vomit open for the Sex Pistols -- you know -- back in the day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Vicki the Robot: (aka V.I.C.I. - Voice Input Child Identicant, Victoria "Vicki" Ann Smith-Lawson)  She appeared in the TV series Small Wonder from 1985-1989.  Vicki (played by Tiffany Brissette) was the creation of the father of the Lawson family (played by Dick Christie)  Because of her robot abilities and the fact that her family kept her robot-ness a secret, hijinks ensue.

Binary Flirtation

Give it up for Binary Flirtation!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Tin Man (aka Tin Woodman, Tin Woodsman) in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz the Tin Man desires a heart to make him whole. The Wizard of Oz being the great charlatan that he is gives the Tin Man a heart-shaped watch for all the Tin Man's troubles in helping free Oz from the terror of the Wicked Witch of the West. At least Dorothy received a pair of ruby slippers for dropping a house on her sister the Wicked Witch of the East in a blatant case of home-icide.

(Image courtesy of the Internet Movie Database)

Zombie Dinosaurs

Admit it. You'd go see the Zombie Dinosaurs...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jack Horner on TED.

Could a killer cyborg dinosaur be far behind? Well, killer cyborg "chickenasaurus" anyway.

(Dyslexics of America untie! Hat tip to io9)

Bikini Pyrotechnics

You'll never forget a show by Bikini Pyrotechnics.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Around the Campfire Comment of the Day.

As you may know, I run another blog called Around the Campfire.  It has been around a while, so it regularly gets comment spam.  Right now, it is getting a rash of 1000+ word comments, but it are ones like this that stand out for me:

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Goo of Death

Dave Barry claims to have seen Goo of Death open for Metallica...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Godzilla vs. Megalon -- Full review.

This is one of those campy Godzilla movies that hits all of the right chords with me. The more I watch it, the more I like it. It is by no means a fine piece of Cinema D'Arte. No one going in should think that a couple of guys in monster suits would be capable of starring in any type of fine film. This is particularly true with the googly-eyed Godzilla featured in this film.

Monster movies have a difficult line to follow. Just about everyone is there to see the giant monster destroy things. Because of this, the destroying giant monster is the villain of the movie. After all, you cannot have good guys creating havoc in major metropolitan areas without repercussions. Nonetheless, we have a rooting interest in the monster. So, our protagonist must be more likable than the monster. Otherwise, when the monster is eventually destroyed, you feel bad (see Cloverfield).

One way around this situation is to have a couple of monsters fight each other. You get a good guy monster vs. a bad guy monster. (Or a couple for each as in Godzilla vs. Megalon.) In this way, you do not necessarily have to root for the human protagonist.  You root for your favorite monsters.

In this movie, the kid is a bit precocious -- read annoying. Our group of human protagonists is an odd group to put together. There is the kid and his brother the scientist. The pair are a good deal different in ages. If you did not know that they were brothers, you would assume they were father and son. It would make a bit more sense, but then you have questions about how a guy who builds a robot for fun would find time for women.

So, the weakness of this movie is the human cast. They are just there to fill in the plot points. The rest of the movie is men in monster suits smashing things and wrestling with each other. They make it work. It isn't intellectually challenging. It is just fun. You do not have the pro-environment message that Godzilla movies are prone to. It is simply an entertaining movie for the entire family -- read for kids (probably just boys).

This is one of the monster movies where the formula fits together and works. They got most of it right. The right mix of plot and destruction. In fact, you have to wait for quite a while for Godzilla to show up. It starts with the bad guys destroying things. Then Jet Jaguar comes along and swings it to the good guy direction. With that, the bad guys call in a hired giant monster cyborg (Gigan). Two on one until Godzilla shows up. The fight action goes back and forth.  Swinging from one side to the other -- just like in wrestling.

In my adultness, I ignore the poor plotting. The Seatopian's motivation seems reasonable, yet they are cast as the villains. We were using atomic weapons and killing them. They should retaliate. If they were just bent on retaking the surface world, without provocation that would be better.

It is still one of my favorites despite its flaws. I look forward to the new release! If I can have one extra it would be from this:

The film got its U.S. premiere in 1977 in a drastically-cut version on prime-time television, which included a bumper segment featuring John Belushi in a Godzilla suit!

(From the New York Times)

Friday Iguana

Today's Iguana photo courtesy of me!  As some of you know, I have a pet Iguana named Hank.  He just turned 18!  Here is a recent picture of him.

Vampire Babysitter

I'm sure the tweens would love Vampire Babysitter!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Godzilla vs. Megalon minor rant.

I was fortunate to purchase the MST3k volume 10 before it was "recalled". So, I own a copy of their version of Godzilla vs. Megalon on DVD. One of the bad situations about Godzilla in the US is that not one company has the distribution rights to the movies.

Classic Media, Inc. did a very nice thing for us Godzilla fans. They released their particular collection of movies in the best way possible. They included the original Japanese version with subtitles and the American release. Further they were presented in Toho Scope, that is, they were in widescreen.

Unfortunately, Godzilla vs. Megalon was not one of the movies in their catalog. There has never been a widescreen release of the movie in the US. Both the old VHS and the DVD were in pan and scan format. The MST3k version is in pan and scan.

Because of this situation, Godzilla DVD collectors cannot have a consistent group of DVD's. In fact, some movies have never been available on DVD in the US. Although, to be honest, Godzilla vs Biolante doesn't need to be released on DVD or any other format -- ever!

Nonetheless, in honor of Jet Jaguar week, the current owners of Godzilla vs. Megalon had an announcement -- on Tuesday. Media Blasters is planning a DVD and Blu-ray edition of Godzilla vs. Megalon and Destroy All Monsters. Both films will feature exciting extras! No release date yet, but there you go Jet Jaguar fans -- JJ and the big G on Blu-ray -- to get all those pithy nuances.

Flamethrower Trombone

I think I saw Flamethrower Trombone open for Mama Digdown's Brass Band.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Godzilla vs. Megalon on MST3k.

In my youth, Godzilla vs. Megalon was my favorite. I remember watching it often because in those days they played old movies instead of infomercials. It seemed like it was on a lot.

There is a bunch to like about it too. Naturally there is the cool robot Jet Jaguar. In addition, it has a sort of tag-team wrestling thing going on. It is framed just like a WWE wrestling match with your good guys vs. bad guys. It flows back and forth between them.

Also, it has its share of silly science. The whole sand from deep in the ocean. The Easter Island heads. I realize now their time frame is way off, but I didn't notice that when I was a kid.

What more could you want than a kid who drives a minibike? He is a bit annoying, but he was a kid who hung around his science nerd brother. Who didn't want to do that.

It is all around campy fun. At the time, I couldn't imagine it getting any better. Then along came the MST3k version and brought us this:

Oh how I love Rex Dart: Eskimo Spy! While it is Jet Jaguar Week, Rex Dart: Eskimo Spy could probably carry a week as well.

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Jet Jaguar (aka  Jetto Jagā): In 1973's Godzilla vs. Megalon some Atlantean knock-offs called Seatopians get upset because the world has been testing nukes and destroying their underwater civilization. You cannot really blame the surface-dwellers because they did not know there was a race of aquatic humans hiding under the ocean. Anyhow, Seatopia decides to release their monster/god Megalon to deal with the world, but first they have to take out Godzilla. Therefore, they hijack a robot named Jet Jaguar to help give them edge over G. Ah, but Jet Jaguar's creator, Goro Ibuki regains control of the robot from a Seatopian who looks like a Japanese Oscar Wilde. Goro then instructs Jet Jaguar to help Godzilla. Jet Jaguar now becomes self-aware and then does the most remarkable thing ever… he programs himself larger. After a little Megalon smack-down, Jet Jaguar decides he preferred being a small mindless slave to Goro so he reprograms himself smaller and begins following the orders of his master.

(Image courtesy of The Godzilla Wiki)

Fuzzy Mammoths

I don't know if there is an arena big enough for the Fuzzy Mammoths to play.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Live Blog a Viewing of Godzilla vs. Megalon.

These events occurred in 197x?

We're bad!  Go ahead and test nuclear weapons near Monster Island.

Groovy opening theme song.

We meet the Kenny. (Roku?) He is the brother of the inventor. They're only 30 years apart.

Wow! That crazy dolphin water thing doesn't go fast enough in an emergency.

Flashy blinky water.

Way to go! It was a perfect shot with the tow rope. Kenny is saved!

Lake drains. Where is the water going?

Empty lake visual effect, but you really couldn't tell.

Interrupt groovy 70's tune for radio report about earthquakes that drain lakes, but the music does continue.

Let's tell the story about the lost city -- like Atlantis but not.

Our heroes must be lovers because they sure aren't fighters.

Dune-buggy away!

Our first glimpse at Jet Jaguar and he doesn't have a head.

Button and sand -- smells like plot points.

Transition to lab work. Well done!

How many vehicles do these people have?

Easter Island references. Are we trying to develop some sort of plot?

Jet Jaguar is alive!

Uh oh! the Kenny is in trouble -- like we didn't see that coming when he got on that minibike.

Gas gun -- those Seatopians...

This Easter Island dance thing is not usually there. It was probably cut from the US version because it is filled with rather poor American actors.

They are dubbing the actor from English into Japanese. The subtitles match the lip movements.

Calling cockroach monster! You'd think the Seatopians would have a monster that was sea related...

Special effect.

The Kenny is into bondage -- er -- tied up.

Hey professor, you could not tell it was metal by looking at it? You had to test it?

Jet Jaguar theme of funk

The best characters in the movie, the dumb truck drivers. Well done men.

3,000,000 years ago Seatopia sank? Perhaps they aren't Atlanteans -- since they predate Homo Sapiens, language, rock 'n' roll...

Steal a robot to make an army because it is too difficult to develop your own.

Hey the professor's friend learned to fight.

Look! torture works.

Way to not prevent him from contacting his cohorts.

70's chase Japanese style. Bullitt it ain't.

Anticlimactic chase ends with slapstick

Oh no! Jet Jaguar is bringing Megalon to Tokyo

All right! Playboys in the truck! I knew I liked those guys for a reason.

Stock military footage.

Okay you guys, just dump that bad guy anywhere.

Now, unleash the models!

While you're at it, just dump that cargo container anywhere. Into the damn? Why not!

Now the truck drivers are car thieves. Good thing our heroes have an entire garage of vehicles at their disposal or they would be pissed.

Oh yeah. They'd survive being tossed about in the container like that.

Come on Megalon -- let's see some real destruction.

Deus ex machina! Jet Jaguar is free from its evil spell.

Battle number one! Those trees are taking a beating. Here's an idea aim those weapons at the giant monster!

Why doesn't Megalon fly? It's pretty silly to hop around like that.

Get Gigan on the phone. Megalon needs some help.

Pull up you're going in too low!

I think those models were just destroyed by Megalon. I mean...

You looked for the model shop keeper, that's good enough, just take one.

Hey! Jet Jaguar speaks Godzillan.

Big G is on the way, but the city is taking a beating.

I smell an overly complicated plan to get the bad Seatopian out of the lab. It didn't work as well as they'd hoped.

Let's just let the bad guy go. The script writers will figure a way to get rid of him. And, he's dead.

Suddenly splodie!

How is that tiny robot going to help Godzilla? I'm thinking another deus ex machina.

Clearly he programmed himself to break the laws of physics.

Another vehicle...

Robots can get dizzy.

The Jag knows karate!

Megalon using all his tricks. I don't know if I would call speed burrowing a power.

Gigan shows up and makes it two against one. Good thing the monsters speak the same language so they can coordinate.

Jet Jaguar needs his tag team partner to show up ASAP.

Is Godzilla skipping? He must be giddy about the upcoming fight.

Gigan and Megalon have never heard of the atomic elbow?

G climbs into the ring and starts off strong.

Feed Megalon that tree! He needs his roughage.

Rope-a-dope is the oldest trick in the book and Godzilla fell for it!

Way to break out the atomic fire on the fly-boys!

Good thinking bugboy -- taunt Godzilla and Jet Jaguar. They're going to open a can of whoopass on you!

More fire for Gigan.

Our bad guy monsters couldn't pick up a kitty. One has hooks and the other have pointy-drilly things. No wonder they're evil!

Ring of fire!

Dancin' Kaijus WMAGNFARB.

You guys forgot that Jet Jaguar can fly. Sometimes the bad guys are so dumb.

How does that atomic fire work for you Megalon?

JJ for the atomic fire assisted body slam!

With Gigan splitting -- time for the flying drop kick on Megalon.

Bad guys defeated. Seatopians seal their entrance. We'll never be bothered by them again.

A found farewell to Big G.

Happy Jet Jaguar theme! Akira Ifikube is getting his money's worth out of the theme. He has lots of arrangements of it.

And like magic, Jet Jaguar returns to normal.

I'm sure that the rogue actions of the robot were an anomaly, nothing to worry about now.

Jet Jaguar theme with words and we're out.

Beer Stampede

The debut album of Beer Stampede called Computer Glitch is climbing the charts.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Jet Jaguar Week!

By the powers invested in me by America's Original Evil Ninja Cyborg Incorporated, I hereby declare this week to be Jet Jaguar week!

For this week, I plan to live blog a viewing of Godzilla vs. Megalon -- the subtitled unedited Japanese version. It is the movie in which Jet Jaguar appears. Further, I plan to watch an American dubbed version. And I plan to watch the MST3k Version. Perhaps some comparing and contrasting may occur. A full review. Maybe some discussion of Rex Dart Eskimo spy. Who knows. It's going to be lots of Jet Jaguary fun! Join me won't you?

Dwayne's Rockin' 'n' Rollin' Robots

Jet Jaguar is the robot created by one of the characters in the film Godzilla vs. Megalon. Here is his song, helpfully translated into English by those fine folks at Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Airport Clairvoyance Machines

Let's here it for Airport Clairvoyance Machines!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Beware -- Political Rant!

I try to stray from talking about politics here. This is supposed to be fun robot-cyborg related nonsense. However, I thought I would stray from that for a bit to talk about all this voter ID nonsense.

Recently, our governor vetoed a $23 million voter ID bill. This bill would cost $23 million to implement, and probably have quite a bit of continuing cost to get around the 24th Amendment to our US Constitution.


Passed by Congress August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

Section 1.
The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay poll tax or other tax.

Section 2.
The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

You see, in order to require a VoterID, you are constitutionally bound give them away. There is no getting around it. None. Further, I would argue, that you must give them away to everybody. The 24th does not single out poor people. You cannot tax anyone to allow them to vote.

Further, a good lawyer (or even a mediocre one) could argue that time is money. Thus, minimizing the time required to obtain such a photo ID would also be an imperative. The lines at the DMV are prohibitively long now. This would need to be rectified. It could be argued that it would still be a tax.

So, it would cost $23 million + whatever hundreds of millions of dollars to fight it in court just to lose. It is clearly a violation of the 24th Amendment no matter how much you frame it. It is clearly an attempt to abridge the voting rights of a certain segment of the population that do not vote Republican. It is that plain and simple.

These measures have been floating around different states for a while. It will not be long before they are struck down. There is a lot of time and effort going into them. Lots of tax dollars implementing them. There will be lots of upset people when they are all struck down -- at additional taxpayer's expense. Way to be fiscally conservative Republicans!

And all of this time and taxpayer expense solves what problem exactly?

Raging Nymphomaniacs

I don't know if they'd be any good, but I would go see Raging Nymphomaniacs.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dwayne's Wednesday Robot Romper Room

Minoton: In 1977, Ray Harryhausen invents a mechanical Minotaur that he calls a Minoton in Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (not to be confused with the 80's song by Survivor). Zenobia (evil witch and stepmother) who really hates Sinbad created the Minoton in the movie to row her boat and eventually to die as it removed a stone block. Seems like a waste of a totally kick-ass robot.

(Image courtesy of the Ray Harryhausen Creature List)

Dirt-Cheap Aliens

Give it up for Dirt-Cheap Aliens!