Tarzan Revisited (2017)

One from the to watch pile…

Tarzan Revisited (2017)

Film: In addition to horror films I have always been a fan of the heroic figure, and I mean properly heroes, not the dark, brooding murderous ‘super heroes’ of today. My heroes were always the ones a bit more honest: yeah, I lean towards the Superman rather than the Batman camp and I’ll take #teamcap over #teamironman any day of the week.

One of my first non-comic experiences with this type of hero was with the pulp styled heroes. Saturday afternoon television, when I was young, consisted of Tarzan movies or TV shows, Godzilla movies and Universal horror and comedy pics, and Tarzan really spoke to the boy who craved adventure in me, which I guess was the reason the character became popular in the first place.

This of course led me to read the novels and stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs, where I really enjoyed both the tales of Tarzan and those of John Carter of Mars too. By extension I drifted into Conan stories, and the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne’s, and then after I saw the film Re-animator, H. P. Lovecraft as well…. I guess I circled around and drifted back to horror pulps in the end.

For those who don’t know, Tarzan is the story of the son of John Clayton II and his wife, Alice, the Lord and Lady of Greystoke, who are shipwrecked in Africa in around 1888, and is born whilst they are lost. When Tarzan is one year old, Alice dies and his father is murdered by the King of the Apes, Kerchak.

The baby is adopted by the gentle female ape Kala, and Tarzan, whose name means ‘white skin’ in Ape-speak, quickly becomes a member of the ape family. He does eventually happen upon his human parent’s cabin and realises there is a reason why he is so different from his adopted family. He kills Kerchak, who is jealous of his skills, and goes on a series of adventures across many novels, meeting the lovely Jane Porter and many other characters both friend and foe and this documentary celebrates the books to a small scale, and how clever Edgar Rice Burroughs was at marketing him, but really explores the cinematic history of the character.

It’s information is always fascinating and it interviews not just directors like David Yates and Hugh Hudson, actors like Casper Van Dien, Christopher Lambert, and Wolf Larson, (and Ron Ely and Johnny Weissmuller in archival interviews) who are all identified by what ‘number’ Tarzan they are, Mike Richardson from Dark Horse Comics, but also several Tarzan, film and social historians to add context to the character.

There is a couple of glaring holes in this documentary though. The animated Tarzan film from Disney doesn’t get looked at which I originally thought was because maybe Disney didn’t wish to be involved in the film, but footage from Disney’s John Carter film is mentioned and seen.

Another important section of his history was the Filmation animated series from the 70s, which started as Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle and evolved into The Batman/ Tarzan Adventure Hour and then Tarzan and the Super 7. In addition to Ron Eli’s TV series this cartoon was another important step into my affection for the character.

The final one I thought was an obvious absence was the comic series’s from both Marvel and DC Comics, not to mention from Dark Horse, Dynamite, Dell and several other comics companies. Yes, they do show a few covers but they are revealed more as a product like a toy, rather than a storytelling device. This is made particularly obvious by the fact the documentary does extensively discuss Tarzan in art, and the newspaper comic strip made by comics legends Hal Foster and Burne Hogarth.

Whilst not a complete look at the character, which would probably be in a much longer documentary, this is a really nice overview of Tarzan’s importance to cinematic history, …. I don’t think any other character can claim to have a new film out every 14 months between 1917 and 1970! It’s really a shame that he’s not a relevant anymore, which is probably due to how small the world has gotten, and how the deepest darkest Congo maybe doesn’t have the mysteries it may have once contained.

Score: ****

Format: The film was reviewed on the Umbrella Entertainment, multi-region DVD which runs for approximately 76 minutes. Due to it containing a lot of archival movie footage, the 1.77:1 image is of various degrees of quality, and the spect ration changes at times, though generally a border in placed on either side of the screen. The audio is presented in a clear Dolby 2.0 track.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: None at all.

Score: 0

WISIA: Being a Tarzan fan, I have only had this a week and have already watched it several times. It’s fascinating.


New YouTube Video: Ash from Evil Dead 2!

I haven’t done a new YouTube video for a while, so I thought I’d better rectify that! Here’s my unboxing of the Sideshow Toys Ash Williams figure and a little look at the ultra cool Mattel Maxx FX Freddy figure from years ago:

Silver Bullet (1985)

One from the re watch pile…

Silver Bullet (1985)

Film: I am an unadulterated fan of Stephen King films, but not of his books. It’s a strange quirk, I know, but I really like King’s ideas, but don’t like his actual writing style. I know that’s not a popular opinion, but I’d rather read writers like Shaun Hutson or Frank Herbert or Richard Laymon.

This movie is based on Stephen King’s novella The Cycle of the Werewolf which was originally published in 1983 with some beautiful illustrations by comic legend Bernie Wrightson, and King adds his skill to the script here but it has a massive amount of problems, insomuch that there’s a fair collection of lame jokes, cliche metaphors and just flat out clunky dialogue, most of which sounds like a 14 year old trying to impress a 6 year old, which is a shame because the story of a town under attack by some creature is a solid one.

This film was directed by Dan Attias, who has had a prolific career but mainly in TV and he has pretty much well worked on every big name series since the mid eighties.

Silver Bullet is narrated by Jane Coslaw (Megan Follows) whose paraplegic brother Marty (Corey Haim) believes that some mysterious murders that have taken place in the town are committed by a werewolf… but who IS the werewolf? After an encounter on a bridge, and a bit of Scooby Doo styled investigation, the kids, along with their Uncle Ned (Gary Busey) realise the werewolf is coming for them next and start to make preparations…

The movie is filmed a little like an after school TV show, and with the aforementioned hammy script, it comes across that way, but what salvages it is the appearance of some genre favourites like Terry O’Quinn, Everett McGill and Lawrence Tierney and then throw in some surprisingly low-budget gore and it turns into something a little better than that.

Speaking of low budget gore, the werewolf outfit is lacking in any kind of fear factor, and looks like Rupert the Bear with a tan, after six months at the gym. The de-transformation scene is pretty good, even though it seems like it’s just An American Werewolf in London’s amazing transformation scene… you know the one…. played in reverse.

It’s not that this is a completely BAD film, it’s just that if I am going to watch a werewolf film I have seen before, I am probably going to go for The Howling or American Werewolf instead. Sorry Silver Bullet.

Score: **1/2

Format: This film was reviewed with the Umbrella Picture, region B Bluray from Umbrella Entertainment which is presented in a decent 2.35:1 image with a clear and crisp 2.0 DTS-HD audio.

Score: ***

Extras: Soooooo many extras on this disc:

First we have a commentary with Director Daniel Attias hosted by Michael Felsher from Red Shirt Pictures, in which we celebrate the film and Attias’s career.

Dino’s Angel Takes On Lycanthropy: Martha De Laurentiis remembers Silver Bullet sees De Laurentiis reminisce on her experiences in Hollywood and on this film. She is delightful and has a great recollection of the time spent on her film career.

Isolated Score selections and audio interview with composer Jay Chattaway for a soundtrack fan is a pretty exciting way to watch the film. Like a director’s commentary, this feature brings the score to the forefront of the sound and has an associated commentary with Chattaway, hosted again by Michael Felsher. It’s an interesting look both at Chattaway’s career and choices made on this film.

The Wold Within: an Interview with Everett McGill sees McGill revisit his acting choices for the role he played in the film. Can I just say that some people get cooler with age, and McGill is one of those.

Full Moon Fever – interviews with special effects artists Michael McCracken Jr and Matthew Mungle looks at the effects and make-up for the film. They discuss their careers and then look at what they did for this film.

We then have a trailer, a tv spot, a radio spot and a… ugh…. image gallery. The image gallery is at least a 70-odd image, slideshow type with Chattaway’s score over the top.

Score: *****

WISIA: As I said in the main body of this review, there’s other werewolf films I’d rather watch, so probably not again.

Orca (1977)

One from the to watch pile…

Orca (1977)

Film: I just love cinema, I really do, and one of the things I love is when something becomes popular, or a blockbuster, smaller, not as well funded productions gear up to challenge whatever was the ‘hit’.

After 1975’s Jaws, killer sea life was all the rage: several Jaws sequels, Piranha, Humanoids from the Deep, The Deep, Mako, and this film, Orca (which, ironically, was the name of Quint’s ship in Jaws: the orca being a creature that can kill a great white shark). Orca was directed by Michael Anderson, legendary director of things like The Dambusters, Logan’s Run and Doc Savage, from a script by Luciano Vincenzoni, the writer responsible for The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Policewoman and Raw Deal.

I honestly don’t remember if I have ever seen this film before, but if I have it would have been on TV rather than any of the multiple forms of home video, as I don’t have any recollection of ever hiring the film, and I certainly have never owned it before.

Captain Nolan (Richard Harris) and his crew, Novak (Kennan Wynn), Paul (Peter Hooten) and Annie (Bo Derek, in her first released film… she had filmed one prior but it wasn’t released until after this) hunt sharks to sell, but when they witness a killer whale kill a great white they decide, against the wishes of marine biologist, Rachel Bedford (Charlotte Rampling), turn turn their attention to capturing one of those instead.

So they make their merry way to sea and try to catch a male killer whale, but instead accidentally snag a female, who at first attempts to kill herself to avoid capture by pushing herself against the prop of the boat, but fails, and once slung up, we find that she was also pregnant and she spontaneously aborts the foetus. Her mate spends the whole time in the water freaking out and commits Nolan’s face to memory…

Soon, the boat is attacked by the male and Nolan decides to throw the female overboard, but the male kills Novak and the male pushes the body of his dead mate to shore as a warning to all that he wants his revenge! Even a local Native American, Umilak (Will Sampson) warns Nolan about the memory and capacity for revenge that orcas have.

The small town is attacked by the whale, but will Nolan face up to his responsibilities and clear out of town, leaving it in peace, or will he try to kill the male, and leave the town in pieces?

You have to love a film with an opening action scene that is a clear challenge to Jaws. The destruction, with ease, of the Great White in the beginning is clearly Anderson saying,’ you think Jaws was something, our Killer Whales will make mincemeat out of them!’

The film is made in an exquisite location of Petty Harbour in Canada and every scene makes me want to go their more and more. Upon a bit of research I discovered that ironically two of the tourist locations in this town are whale-watching and their aquarium!

The real winner here is the cast, who do their very best to make do with a story that is preposterous, for example, the orca knowing where to bust a fuel line and what part of the pier it can hit to cause a lot lantern to fall and ignite it: remembering a guy’s face from the water is one thing, but understanding chemistry and physics is something else. It is a horror movie though, so preposterous is to be expected.

Other than the silly idea of a vengeful sea-mammal, the cast don’t really get much of an opportunity to create characters that are sympathetic. The majority of the focus is of Harris’s character and the rest don’t get much of a look in, to the point I reckon that Harris could have performed this as a one-man live stage show! This unfortunately means that whenever something happens to another character, you don’t really care too much, and their deaths seem to be for the purpose of giving Harris some to grieve over and reflect on his character’s stupidity.

I will compliment the special effects crew on the fake orcas: they look amazing in the film and one can’t tell the difference between the real and fake ones except when their situation is out of the ordinary. This is apparently true as well as the trucks delivering the models during the shoot were stopped by anti-whaling protestors!

Orca is a well acted but ultimately silly film that doesn’t seem to have any reason to exist other than as a challenge to Jaws. The cast and the location is really the only reason to watch this film.

Score: ***

Format: This film was reviewed with the Umbrella Entertainment region B Bluray, which runs for approximately 92 minutes is presented in a surprisingly clear 2.35:1and an excellent 5.1 audio track.

Score: ****

Extras: There’s a couple of extras on this disc:

First there is a commentary by film historian Lee Gambin, anthropologists of Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo and Massacred by Mother Nature: Exploring the Natural Horror Film,

Moby Dick ala De Laurentiis: Martha De Laurentiis remembers Orca sees Dino De Laurentiis’s business partner, co-producer of his films and widow discuss briefly the making of Orca.

There is also a trailer for the film.

Score: ***

WISIA: If I felt like watching a movie about sea life gone wild, I’d probably watch any of the Jaws films, any of the Piranha films or Humanoids of the Deep before this one.

Happy Death Day (2017)}

One from the to watch pile…

Happy Death Day (2017)

Film: It is occasionally pretty cool when a film takes inspiration from another source, and extends its ideas out to make it its own. Sure it could be a travesty, it when it works it can be interesting. This film is one of those time-loop styled stories which you can tell immediately from the opening of the film, with Universal’s titles, which suggests it with a not-so-subtle hint of playing over and over a few times.

This film is directed by Christopher Landon who has a smart eye of being able to combine genres as could be told with his Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, here joining horror, time-loop scifi and collegiate-styled, John Hughes-ian teen comedies. His advantage here is a smart script by comic writer, Scott Lobdell, who created the mutant team Generation X, as well as writing other titles such as Alpha Flight, Fantastic Four, Teen Titans and Red Hood and the Outlaws.

Sorority sister Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is, to put it bluntly, an absolute bitch. She wakes up one morning in the bed of Carter (Israel Broussard), on a day which happens to be her birthday, and prepares for the walk of shame back to her sorority house. At the end of the day, whilst walking to a party, she is murdered… and then wakes up back at the beginning of the day, and very quickly realises… well, after living and dying in the same day several times… that the only way to move on to the next day is to solve her own murder.

During the course of her birthday, we are introduced to a bunch of people who could be responsible: The bitter ex-lover, the hateful sorority sister, the friendly sorority sister whom she disrespects, the wife of the professor she’s bonking, her disappointed father and just so many others… but who is it?

That’s the mystery, and can Tree discover who it is before her lives run out?

The film is a pastiche of Groundhog Day, Mean Girls and every slasher film ever made, especially Scream as we see our masked villain is of the human variety, and can be hurt, and not an unstoppable Michael/ Jason type.

Typically with these sorts of ‘groundhog day’ films, everything you see happen and every movement made by various actors is really quite deliberate so it can be easily replicated on each new pass and honestly, the over exaggeration of some of the players is a touch blatant, to the point of distraction, but honestly that’s my only criticism of the film.

Those who love a bloody, gory slasher may be disappointed as this film isn’t one of those at all. The kills aren’t inventive, though they are sometimes surprising, but this film is more about the victim than the blood.

I have to give a specific shout out to Jessica Rothe who plays her role brilliantly, and wasn’t afraid of her character going from total glamourpuss to horrendously dishevelled victim. The character gets weaker every time she is killed so her appearance suffers.

Derivative with its idea but innovative with its execution, Happy Death Day is a thrilling, intriguing and funny version of a cinematic trope that has a nice bunch of twist and turns, and even pays direct tribute to the film that obviously inspired it, Groundhog Day.

Score: ****1/2

Format: Happy Death Day was reviewed with the Australian multi-region Bluray which runs for approximately 96 minutes. As one would expect from a modern film, both the 2.40:1 image and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Score: *****

Extras: The disc opens with previews for Pacific Rim Uprising and Pitch Perfect 3 before hitting the menu screen. The other extras are:

Alternate Ending is just what the title would suggest it is and it’s an amusing alternative, but they definitively went with the right one.

Deleted Scenes, as usual, are an interesting distraction but the film ultimately benefits without them.

Worst Birthday Ever looks at the aspects of the ‘time-loop’ movie.

Behind the Mask: The Suspects looks at all the potential perpetrators of the crime, and the design of the killer’s mask.

The Many Deaths of Tree isn’t about the destruction of the rainforests, but instead about the various ways in which Tree dies through the film.

Unfortunately none of the extras last very long.

Score: ***

WISIA: This movie was great and I can’t wait to watch it again.

The Skeleton Key (2005)

One from the re watch pile…

The Skeleton Key (2005)

Film: Every now and again, big budget Hollywood make an attempt at trying something new at the movies, and they will find a team of actors who are a mix of up-and-coming A-listers, and stars from years ago to deliver a movie that is inoffensive and never… NEVER… will be referred to as a horror movie. It happens so frequently even Fangoria once had a section called ‘It’s Not A Horror Movie’ so these films could be celebrated.

In this case, the attempt was made using Hackers director, Iain Softley from a script by Ehren Kruger, who adapted the J-horror film Ring to an English version, and more recently, wrote the Ghost in the Shell movie. The stars picked from the ‘little bit old’ column were John Hurt and Gina Rowland, and from the new, Kate Hudson and Peter Sarsgaard.

The Skeleton Key takes place in New Orleans and tells of a hospice nurse, Caroline (Hudson) who answers a wanted ad placed by a lawyer, Luke Marshall (Sarsgaard) on behalf of one of his clients, Violet Devereux (Rowlands) to nurse her husband Ben (Hurt) whose health is failing after he has had a severe stroke in the attic of their mansion.

Violet is protective of her crippled husband, as one would suspect, but the longer Caroline stays in the house, the more she thinks that there is MUCH more going on and that perhaps the house contains a secret… a ghostly secret… with its origins steeped in Hoodoo…

This is an interesting film in that it takes itself seriously even though the story is preposterous, and that’s what makes it work. The four leads perform their roles with a great deal of conviction, especially Kate Hudson, which is saying something when you consider she’s mostly known for being the femme foil for lunkheads played by Matthew McConaughey in totally moronic romantic comedies. In this, she is sensitive and as her character evolves, she changes her style of acting. She has an amazing gear shift during the film too and does it convincingly.

John Hurt needs some recognition too considering he does most of his acting as a semi-comatose stroke victim, but what he can do with a wide eye and a stretch of the neck speaks volumes of fear. Amazing.

The whole design of the movie is quite beautiful. The spooky places look decidedly spooky and the old house the majority of the film takes place in is ominous and doesn’t feel right from the start, which suits the general unsettling feel the majority of the film has.

I really like this film, even though it isn’t really ‘proper’ horror it still resonates and as I said, it’s wholly due to the convincing performances.

Score: ***1/2

Format: This multi-region Bluray copy of The Skeleton Key runs for about 100 minutes, and is presented in a clean and clear 2.35:1 image with a perfect DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack.

Score: ****

Extras: Speaking of skeletons, there is no extras on this disc. That’s a great disappointment too as the DVD release from 11 years ago was packed full of extras!

Score: 0

WISIA: I saw it first in 2005 and haven’t watched it since, so I guess any impact it may have left in zero for me not to bother with it again. That’s not to say it’s bad, there is just stuff I’d rather watch.

The Land That Time Forgot (1975)

One from the to watch pile…

The Land That Time Forgot (1975)

Film: As a kid, I loved movies and TV that had obviously fake giant monsters and miniature related special effects in them. Harryhausen films and Godzilla flicks were of a particular high level of interest, but even stuff that came from Gerry Anderson, like Thunderbirds and Space 1999 were seen as a great time.

Another type of film, and TV show, I loved was the ‘Lost World’ subgenre. I poured over my Island at the Top of the World View Master set (this was pre-home Video, remember) and I always made sure I watched Sid and Marty Kroft’s Land of the Lost.

I’m assuming this addiction came from an early exposure to Gillian’s Island!

I guess most of these films and TV programs got their inspiration from the stories that legendary authors like Jules Verne (The Mysterious Island and Journey to the Centre of the Earth) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (The Lost World) and Edgar Rice Burrough’s The Land That Time Forgot. I imagine at the turn of last century, the idea of both discovering ancient beasts and exploring were things that young men particularly were enamoured by.

This brings us to this film, 1975’s The Land That Time Forgot, produced by Hammer’s rivals Amicus, directed by Kevin Conner, who also directed Motel Hell and Warlords of Atlantis, and was written by Elric creator Michael Moorcock with James Cawthorn and has a star studded cast: Doug McClure (seen in such films as Humanoids of the Deep and Shenandoah), Susan Penhaligon (Patrick) and Anthony Ainley (The Master From Doctor Who in the 80s).

During World War One, Bowen Tyler (McClure), biologist Lisa Clayton (Penhaligon) and a group of British sailors who are lost at sea, manage to find themselves onboard a German submarine of which they manage to take command.

Unfortunately, one of the Germans destroys the communications equipment and so they are stuck and decide to power on until they are lost, have no fuel left and food for only about a week, when they happen upon the mythical land of Caprona.

Caprona seems to be stuck in an ancient time, but has a mixture of creatures from the many ages of Earth and a bizarre secret.

To survive the two groups decide to band together and attempt to find a way to refine the oil they have discovered in Caprona, but with so many external threats… and maybe a few internal ones, will they be able to survive at all…

Whilst this movie tells an interesting story, it’s slow… especially the first 30 minutes which are disastrously slow. It’s a bright and attractive movie, but it has a few moments where it just doesn’t work. Night scenes that clearly take place in the day but in the thick of the woods, dinosaur puppets that are laughable at best (and remember, I LIKE stupid monster movies), and some creatures change in scale from scene to scene.

To its credit, though, some of the submarine miniature stuff is pretty cool, and it does have a surprising dark ending, which of course leads itself nicely to the sequel The People That Time Forgot, again by Amicus and Conner, two years later.

Basically, it’s an interesting scifi concept told in a slow and uninteresting way.

Score: **

Format: This region B Bluray, released by Umbrella Entertainment, runs for approximately 90 minutes, and features a decent (considering its age) 1.85:1 image with a fine mono DTS-HD audio track.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: Sorry, no extras for you!

Score: 0

WISIA: Considering the first half hour feels like 6 days because of how painfully slow it is, if I do watch it again, I’ll be fast forwarding to the dinosaurs!

Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

One from the re watch pile…

Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)

Film: As regular reading of the To Watch Pile may guess, I much prefer a more human villain in my movies than a supernatural one, mainly because I actually don’t believe in ghosts and ghouls and all that sort of stuff. I admit I do like zombie films, but there is a human horror to them with the loss of identity I suppose.

Anyway, cannibal films are are staple of the human horror film, and for me, and probably a lot of other horror film fans, the Hungry Trinity would be Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, and this film, Antonio Margheriti’s Apocalypse Domani, aka Invasion of the Flesh Hunters, aka Virus aka Cannibal Apocalypse. Margheriti, also known as the director of Yor: Hunter from the Future directed this film under his alias Anthony M. Dawson from a script co-written by him and Jimmy Gould aka Dardano Sacchetti, who is probably best known for 1990: The Bronx Warriors.

Cannibal Holocaust tells of Viet Nam vet Hopper (John Saxon) who is contacted by a buddy from the war, Charlie Bukowski (John Morgan aka Giovanni Lombardo Radice) who is suffering quite badly from a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which reminds him of acts of cannibalism he committed in a POW camp.

Charlie has attacked a young lady in a cinema and begs Hopper to get him out of town, but it would appear that Charlie’s acts of cannibalism aren’t a learnt trait, but instead appear to be some kind of transmittable disease which causes others to have a lust for human flesh.

Will Hopper successfully get Charlie out of the city, or will their needs outweigh their survival…

I first saw this movie on VHS in the eighties when I worked at a video shop in Sydney as a kid and fell in love with it. Along with The Never Dead (aka Phantasm), Dawn of the Dead, Re-Animator and The Beyond, it was one of my most regularly watched horror films. I like those other cannibal films I mentioned earlier, but I think because I saw this film first it set a standard that the others don’t reach.

… and it’s got John Saxon and John Morghen in it, for goodness’ sake: how could a Viet Nam vey Cannibal film get any better than that?!?

Score: ****1/2

Format: This Umbrella Entertainment NTSC DVD release of the film runs for approximately 93 minutes and is presented in an average 1.77:1 image with a functional mono audio track.

Score: **

Extras: There’s a mixed bag of extras on this disc.

Apocalypse in the Streets is a revisit of the exterior locations of the film told in a stiles and honestly not very well edited way. It is however interesting to see that some of the locations still look the same so many years later.

There is a European and a Japanese trailer for the film.

Alternate US Opening Sequence is just what the name suggests, but the one intact with the film is far better and uses less stock footage from Viet Nam.

Poster and Stills Gallery is a selection of posters and promotional material material from the film and a bunch of behind the scenes pics.

The Butchering of Cannibal Apocalypse Essay discusses the editing of the film in its various releases throughout the world.

Score: ***

WISIA: It is my favourite Cannibal film so of COURSE it’ll get looked at again and again!

Nerds of Oz: My Top 5 of 2017

My Top 5 of 2017

Happy New Year, everyone!

So it seems that the big thing at the moment is doing your top whatevers for the year 2017. I already did my top 9 liked pics for Instagram and that made me think of what were my favourite purchases of the last 12 months… so here we go… and these are in no particular order.

First, I show off two 1/4 scale statues that I grabbed. The first is The Major from Ghost in the Shell. It’s an amazing piece from Weta Workshop and the packaging even came with an explanation of how the actual sculpt was done. I also grabbed the matching Geisha statue (not pictured).

The next 1/4 scale is one of my favourite character from DC Comics, and it’s now just due to the obvious attributes. My favourite Marvel character is She-Hulk and I find the joy of superheroing that she displays is well and truely present in the character of Power Girl. They did some pretty funny comics with her and Harley Quinn this year, and I happened upon this amazing statue and had to grab it. Sure it came out a few years ago, but I totally am in love with it.

Next is this amazing record collection which celebrates the 50 odd years that Doctor Who has been on TV. It has every title score and a mixture of incidental music and is a real cracker. Not one you can listen to all in one go, due to it have the same song recorded over and over, but it’s interesting to hear how the synthesiser has changed over the years.

Many years ago I used to work in the city of Sydney and my trip to work was about 90 minutes there and back every day, and I used to read a hell of a lot of horror novels… it was during this time I found my love of Shaun Hutson, Richard Laymon and James Herbert… and this book, Paperbacks from Hell, celebrates the garish cover art of those books.

Lastly, it’s this gem: the Nintendo Switch. What an amazing games machine… it just needs more titles as I’ll only be able to play Splatoon 2 for so long before I get bored. It’s a cracker of a system though, and even though I’d rather play something on the Xbox One or the PS4, The portability of this makes it a massive winner.

So that’s it, my favourite stuff that was added to my collection of stuff this year! What did you grab that really stood out in your collection?