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Happy Friday the 13th: Let's Talk About Jason

Happy Friday the 13th: Let's Talk About Jason 0

It's been a while since we all have chatted. Let's get all the pleasantries out of the way. Happy belated birthday, congratulations, I'm sorry to hear that, if you need anything let me know, you have the cutest baby in the world, that should cover everything I've missed. All right, now that is out of the way let us get down to business.

I am elated that October is finally here. My favorite time of year. It signifies the changing of the season, hoodie and bonfire weather and pumpkins. Not pumpkin spice, but actual pumpkins! This is the month when all of the things we fear, stalk the earth and torment the living on Halloween. But most importantly of all, I can buy candy in bulk at discounted prices.

But this October is doubly special! Not only do we have Halloween we also have a Friday the 13th. The perfect marriage, Friday the 13th and Halloween all in the same month. If you grew up in the 1980's or 1990's I guarantee at one point you donned a hockey mask and plastic machete and went trick or treating as Jason Voorhees.

 When you think of Jason Voorhees what comes to mind? Probably kick ass slasher flicks. But what else do we think of? What is one thing that is universally recognized as belonging to Jason? His hockey mask! So for fun lets take a retro trip down memory lane and check out the many faces (masks) of everybody's favorite serial killing mamma's boy. 

 

Friday the 13th (1980)

First on our list is the original classic that started it all. As you will recall Jason does not make his grand appearance until the end of the film scaring the ever loving hell out of Alice. Get that kid some water wings will ya!! That's not safe!

 

Courtesy Paramount Pictures

 

 

 

Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

The body count continues to rise in this sequel. This entry gives us the beginning of Jason Voorhees running around and slaughtering unsuspecting people. Now I won't bore you with the details of these films because like me, you have probably seen these countless times. If you haven't seen them, what the hell are you waiting for?!?Immediately sit down and watch every single one back to back. Also if you haven't seen them I do not want to give spoilers, that's kind of a crappy thing to do. Anyway, Jason goes the whole film without his signature hockey mask. In this entry Jason appears with a bag over his head with one eye hole cut out for his vision. I like to refer to this incarnation of Jason as "Ole Bag Head" 

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Now fun fact campers. We actually get to see Jason unmasked in this film. When his face is finally revealed you get the horrible disfigured face of the monster. Every time I watch it though I get a little sad. When I see him it reminds me of my ex-wife.

 

 

 

 

Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982)

Now we are starting to get into the good stuff. In this installment we finally get the signature hockey mask. After killing prankster Shelly, Jason takes the mask giving him his trademark look that we all know and love. The mask also had the signature red marks on the forehead and cheeks. And frankly it is way better than his Ole Bag Head look! In this film we also see Jason unmasked with his face only a (dead) mother could love.

Courtesy Paramount Pictures

 

 

 

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter began what we now know as the Tommy Jarvis trilogy. In this installment Jason matches wits with a young Tommy played by none other than Corey Feldman. Jason somehow has recovered from his mortal wounds in the previous chapter and takes up the machete again to continue his rampage.According to legend this entry was supposed to be the last and would kill off Jason for good. But horror fiends you know you can't keep a dead guy down. This mask as you can see in the picture is more worn and scuffed, the bloodstained wound around the head and the red triangle on the forehead is half gone.Courtesy Paramount Pictures

 

 

 

Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)

This entry in the series seems to be universally panned by most Friday fans. It's whatever I guess. I've seen it, it's not bad but it's not great. If nothing else is on, go ahead and watch it. In this entry we shall refer to the killer as Not Jason, because it's not. The hockey mask in this film was different. This one has the same general look but instead of the red markings we are used to, the mask now has.....blue markings on the cheeks.....for some reason.

 

Courtesy Paramount Pictures

 

 

 

Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986)

Thank the good Lord Jason Voorhees is back. This film is the conclusion of the Tommy Jarvis trilogy. After the events of the previous film, Tommy is still a total basket case and decides he must go cremate Jason's body to stop his hallucinations. Because digging up an undead psychopathic killing machine is a great way to spend your free time. As he digs up Jason's body impales him with a metal fence post. Lightning that has never been this perfect since Back to the Future hits the metal post and resurrects Jason. With Jason reanimated he then proceeds to slash and hack his way through the rest of the film. His mask in this film is a return to what we are used to. The red markings are back but only on the forehead area, not the cheeks. But I am willing to overlook that because the grandfather of shock rock Alice Cooper contributed a song to the soundtrack.

Courtesy Paramount Pictures

 

 

 

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

I personally loved this entry. I don't know if I love it so much or that it holds a special place in my black heart since it was one of the first Friday films I watched as a young impressionable youth. I also like this film because it gave us the only person who should ever play Jason, Kane Hodder. In this film Jason comes back from the dead after being freed from his watery grave by a young woman with psychic powers. The formula is the same, Jason comes back, Jason kills people, the end. This film also gave us the rotting and gross Jason look as he had been submerged in water for what I assume was a long time. I feel like you would be able to tell when he was near because the overpowering smell of old bus seats or a hot turtle tank would assault you senses. The mask in this film has the signature red markings on the forehead but it appears to have seen better days, which it has. It is scuffed, slashed and beaten to hell with a piece missing on bottom left side giving a glimpse of his grotesque appearance. Courtesy Paramount Pictures

 

 

 

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)

In this entry everyone's favorite deformed, undead mamma's boy is back and this time he is taking on New York. A more fitting title for this one I believe would have been something along the lines of Jason Takes a Cruise. The majority of this film takes place on a boat. Jason hitches a ride as a stowaway and begins slaughtering high school kids who some of them appear to be in their 30's. The ship finally makes it to New York and Jason takes to the streets of the Big Apple stalking his prey. What is the most hilarious part of this movie is that nobody seems to notice Jason. But in all fairness they are in New York and have probably seen weirder things. Jason's mask in this film is back to the old tried and true formula. The signature red markings are back, this time they are on the forehead and cheeks. The machete wound in the forehead is still there, but unlike the last film it appears to be newer and in better shape. Jason must know a guy who fixed it for him.

Courtesy Paramount Pictures

 

 

 

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

In what I assume was an attempt to cash in on the success of Freddy's Dead, we were told this was the last Jason film. He was going to get a grand send off and the series was over. What we got was a confusing mess of Jason inhabiting other people's bodies and he could hide among the populace undetected, or something like that, I don't its been a while since I've seen it. We do get to see our favorite slasher in his Jason attire in this film before he gets blown to pieces by an FBI SWAT team. The mask in this one has a whole different look about it. The mask appears to be jagged and cutting into Jason's face. Also the red markings appear on the just the forehead in this one. And depending what light he is in, it appears metallic.

Courtesy New Line Cinema

 

 

 

Jason X (2001)

Let's put Jason in space! I wish I could have sat in on that pitch meeting. I would have immediately hit the one who suggested it with a chair. Don't get me wrong, Jason X is an okay film if you want to turn your brain off and not think about anything for 90 minutes. In this film we get 2 masks. The hockey mask in this one appears to be in better shape then when we left it in the previous film. Somehow Jason escaped hell and is now being held as a prisoner by the government. He is also less deformed and mangled when we see him. He gets frozen and then is found by a salvage group in the future. They take him aboard the ship and all hell breaks loose. Jason is then reborn as Uber Jason, a futuristic and updated look from what we know and love. 

 

Courtesy New Line Cinema

Courtesy New Line Cinema

 

 

 

Freddy Vs. Jason (2003)

All great titans of cinema battle it out at some point. King Kong versus Godzilla, Dracula versus Frankenstein and of course Freddy Vs. Jason. In this film we find America's favorite horror heavyweights battling it out while unfortunately the residents of Springwood, Ohio find themselves caught in the middle. Jason in this film goes back to the signature hockey mask and not as grotesque in appearance as we saw toward the end of the later films. 

 

Courtesy New Line Cinema

 

 

 

Friday the 13th (2009)

Friday the 13th was rebooted with a new film in 2009. I was skeptical at first as I didn't believe it needed to be rebooted. I will say that while the characters in the film could be extremely cringey, I did enjoy Derek Mears portrayal as Jason. In this outing we get to see the return of Ole Bag Head but later in the film Jason gets his signature hockey mask. If you haven't seen this one, it is worth checking out. 

Courtesy New Line Cinema/Platinum DunesCourtesy New Line Cinema/Platinum Dunes

 

So there you have it folks. A complete history of the masks of Jason Voorhees. So on this Friday the 13th, kick back, grab a beer and some food and celebrate this day in style with a Friday the 13th movie marathon!

 

 

Retro Rewind: Remembering Police Academy (1984)

Retro Rewind: Remembering Police Academy (1984) 0

 As a kid growing up in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, there are certain movies you can watch over and over and never get sick of them. Police Academy in my mind, is one of those golden gems. So sit back and relax and get ready to jump on the nostalgia train as we remember this 1984 classic.

            Steve Guttenburg plays the loveable Carey Mahoney. Mahoney is arrested after a mishap at his thankless job parking cars. While he sits in the lobby we are introduced to the immensely talented and man of a thousand voices Larvell Jones played by Michael Winslow. Mahoney is given the ultimatum of going to jail or the police academy by his friend Captain Reed. Mahoney reluctantly agrees to go to the police academy under the condition he can bring Jones with him.

            We learn at the beginning of the film that the city has opened the police academy to all persons regardless of height, weight, sex or education so the pool of new recruits is overflowing with hapless characters.

            Upon arrival at the academy we meet the cast of new recruits. Just to name a few of the highlights we have Eugene Tackleberry, a former Security Officer obsessed with guns and wound tighter than 10 clocks. The beautiful Karen Thompson, who Mahoney instantly takes a liking to who informs him she wants to be a cop because she enjoys dressing like a man. Hightower a former florist who, to quote him directly “you know flowers and shit” is over 6 feet of hulking muscle. Hooks, a small and timid female with a barely audible voice, George Martin a Latin lover who we find out only does the accent to “get the girls” and Douglas Fackler a clueless everyman with an overbearing wife. Like any good institution we have the resident suck ups who take the form of Copeland and Blankes.

 

Image result for police academy tackleberry

                The job of whipping these sorry sacks into police officers falls to the strict disciplinarian Lt. Harris. Upon introducing himself to the class he informs them that he is the meanest instructor at the academy and refers to all cadets as dirtbags. Lt. Harris immediately takes a dislike to Mahoney. The police academy has instituted a policy that the new recruits must quit rather than get thrown out so Harris does everything he can to make life miserable for the new cadets to encourage the quitting.  However, Mahoney is informed that he is a special case and cannot be thrown out or quit, which puts him in a precarious position

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            To thin the herd, Harris gives Copeland and Blankes an assignment to find out where the weekend party is going to be on the cadets’ first weekend off. Through Mahoney, they are told the party is at the Blue Oyster Bar which is, in fact a gay bar and they are forced to dance with grizzly looking biker types.

            After reporting back to the academy, Copeland and Blankes inform Harris that “only dancing” took place at the party. Later, a confrontation between the cadets ensues in the cafeteria and a fight breaks out. Mahoney takes the blame for throwing the first punch to protect the others and is informed he will be thrown out. As he is dressed in his regular clothes and preparing to leave, he hears a call go out for all cadets to report due to riot that has broken out.

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            The film concludes with Mahoney saving the day, Tackleberry missing gun play, Blankes and Copeland being put in their place and Mahoney graduating to a full-fledged police officer. Police Academy is a comedy classic and I do not have enough time or room to discuss all of the hilarious bits from this film.

            In addition to playing Jones, Michael Winslow also does all of the public service announcements that can be heard throughout the film. The location that acted as the academy for the film was a former lunatic asylum. According to sources, when Steve Guttenburg auditioned for his role he wore an old New York Police Department shirt that belonged to his father. This film is also one of the few to receive zero stars from Roger Ebert, but what does he know?

            Police Academy has spawned a total of seven films and entertained generations of comedy lovers. With a filming schedule that took just 40 days and the only one of the franchise to receive an “R” rating, this film will remain on my permanent comedy film rotation for years to come. I think I will break away and watch it now!

 

 

Robocop Versus Terminator: The Timeless Question Finally Answered

Robocop Versus Terminator: The Timeless Question Finally Answered 1

            Many a great relationships and friendships have been torn to shreds by a simple question. It is a question that has haunted us since the 1980’s. The time to stop arguing is now. We here at Totally Awesome Retro and I, your fearless blogger, have once and for all attempted to answer the question that has kept us up for many a sleepless night. Who would win in a battle of Robocop versus the Terminator?

            All great heroes of time have their nemesis. Dracula has battled Frankenstein, the Predator has battled Aliens, Godzilla has battled King Kong and Fat Kids have battled Gym Class. If Robocop and the Terminator ever did fight, one would be a battle to protect humanity and the other would be the battle to destroy it (depending on which Terminator film you are watching).

            For our analysis, our expert team i.e. me, has compiled years of worthless Robocop and Terminator knowledge in an attempt to make an educated guess what would happen if these 2 titans ever came to blows. So let us go to the tale of the tape for our two robotic gladiators.

            Robocop, formally Detroit Police Officer Alex Murphy was mortally wounded in the line of duty and was reborn as the ultimate crime fighting cyborg. With an outer shell that consists of titanium laminated with Kevlar, according to OCP Vice President Bob Morton, Robocop has the fastest reflexes modern technology has to offer, on board computer assisted memory and a lifetime of on the street law enforcement programming. Robocop has also been programmed with 3 prime directives, they consist of Serve the Public Trust, Protect the Innocent and Uphold the Law.

            The Terminator, manufactured by Cyberdyne Systems, series 800 model 101. The 800 series consists of living human tissue over a metal endoskeleton. The Terminator can copy most human bodily functions such as blood, sweat and bad breath and is used for infiltration missions and to assassinate targets. In the first Terminator film, the Terminator is sent back through time to assassinate the mother of the human resistance. According to Kyle Reese the Terminator will not stop until his mission is complete, which is evident when he drives a police cruiser into the front lobby of the police station and then proceeds to gun down everything in sight.

             It appears, at least to me, in terms of technology both are evenly matched. Both have advanced targeting systems, the ability to punch through walls, the ability to ride motorcycles and horrible robotic voices. I would think though that if Cyderdyne Systems wants the Terminator to be able to pass as a human they would have spent some more money and gave him a normal voice.

            Robocop would come to the fight with his own weapon, his Auto-9. Now according to my advanced research methods (Google), the Auto-9 has a 50-round capacity magazine, shoots 3 rounds at a time and the the ability to shred rapists neither regions apart in an alley. As far as weaponry goes for the Terminator, he must use whatever he can find. In the original Terminator, he goes to a gun store to acquire the weapons he needs to eliminate Sarah Connor. Robocop also comes equipped with a spike his right hand, which he uses for data terminals or dispatching a bad guy with extreme prejudice.

            We have seen Robocop and the Terminator both in gun battles with multiple assailants. Robocop raids a cocaine factory and comes out obviously the winner, and as mentioned above the Terminator annihilates a police station. So as far as weapon wielding ability they are both evenly matched.

            The Terminator can travel through time which is a plus for him. Robocop obviously does not have the ability to time travel, but while this is not a deciding factor, it is pretty freaking cool. If the Terminator was smart he would go it back and buy stock in Microsoft.

            As much as it pains me, and I know a lot of people will disagree, I must give the edge to Robocop. Robocop has retained his reasoning skills, and I feel that would play to his advantage. Will the Terminator relies on brute strength and violence, Robocop would be able to reason and weigh his options against the Terminator. While it is a small margin for victory, I believe it would pay off in the end.

            So friends, it has been decided. While it was tough, and a lot of scientific research went into it, we have to give the victory to Robocop. If Robocop did not retain his humanity and cognitive skills, the fight would most definitely go to the Terminator. Tell us in the comments whether you agree or disagree. Also check out Totally Awesome Retro and get yourself some Robocop and Terminator goods.

Why Ghostbusters is the Greatest movie ever made.... Period!

Why Ghostbusters is the Greatest movie ever made.... Period! 0

 Who you gonna call? If you did not say Ghostbusters you are probably not a friend of mine nor do I want to know you. Ghostbusters released in 1984 is the greatest film ever made and I am going to tell you why. So, relax and kick back and let us discuss everyone’s favorite paranormal investigators and eliminators.

Directed by Ivan Reitman this film had probably one of the greatest collection of comedic actors before or since. With a cast that includes Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis and a cameo by Ron Jeremy, we are treated to 1 hour and 47 minutes of non-stop laughs and action.

Ghostbusters tells the story of 3 disgraced scientists who decide to go into business for themselves. Ray Stanz, Egon Spengler and Peter Venkman decide after a very close encounter in the New York Public Library with a ghost, to start a paranormal elimination business aptly named Ghostbusters.

The boys eventually take on a fourth Ghostbuster named Winston Zeddemore after the ghost business starts booming. Our hero’s race around NYC in a pimped-out hearse, which is probably one of the coolest custom jobs on a car I have ever seen, well Mad Max’s black Interceptor is a close second, busting all sorts of spooks and specters, battling a 100-foot marshmallow man and saving the beautiful Dana Barrett after she turns into a dog.

Now you may be saying okay Ghostbusters is a great movie, but it’s not the greatest movie ever made, and to you I say shut your mouth. Most of the scenes we love today were not filmed as they were written and according to legend, each scene had at least one or two ad-libbed lines by the actors. Bill Murray’s lines were almost all ad-libbed by himself.

This film also has some of the greatest one liners ever uttered in modern cinema. With classics such as: Let’s show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown, Alice are you menstruating right now? We’re ready to believe you, No job is too big, no fee is too big, Okay who brought the dog?, There is no Dana, only Zuul, I love Jesus’ style, I have seen shit that will turn you white, Dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria.

Ghostbusters spawned a sequel and a remake in 2016. A cartoon spin-off was also created called The Real Ghostbusters and a line of children’s toys were produced off the series. When I was a kid you weren’t cool unless you had all the Ghostbusters action figures, firehouse playset, proton pack, trap and incessantly sang the Ray Parker Jr. Ghostbusters theme. I drove my parent’s crazy with this to the point they threw my Ghostbusters soundtrack away.

Ghostbusters is still a cultural phenomenon today and with the release of the remake we saw a whole slew of new Ghostbusters merchandise. I will save my review of the newest film for a later time, but I was overjoyed with the release of all the new Ghostbusters themed items that were released including the re-release of Ecto Cooler, every 80’s kids favorite drink.

The trivia for Ghostbusters is extensive and fascinating. Some juicy tidbits include that during the scene where our heroes are jailed, the filming location was allegedly haunted. When the dailies for this scene were reviewed they had mysteriously been scratched. John Candy was originally slated to play Louis Tully but his interpretation of the character was not what Ivan Reitman had in mind, the role then went to Rick Moranis.

Eddie Murphy was on tap to play the character of Winston Zeddemore but went on to do the classic Beverly Hills Cop instead. The montage scene where the Ghostbusters are running around NYC were the first scenes to be shot, and were done guerilla style without permits. The film is also the highest grossing film of all time for Columbia Pictures.

When you get bored with your spores, mold and fungus collection, re-visit this classic and you will see that this is the greatest film ever made. I leave you with these words a far more intelligent man than me said…if there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.