Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Geektarded HQ, deep in the bowels of Omaha

Well, it's been a bastard of a couple of weeks. Hectic and Hot and Not a whole lot of fun to be had. As you can see, the Geektarded HQ has suffered random dinosaur attacks, poorly domesticated zombie interns and my droid thinks it's Roddy McDowall. But I look dapper in my "Formal Friday" attire

My one respite, aside from bathing in unicorn placenta, has been this little gem: Midway Arcade Treasures 2 for the Gamecube (the Nintendo Wii will play it too)

Why's it so great, you ask? Aside from have a load of kick-ass arcade games on the disc like Mortal Kombat 2 &3, Primal Rage, Pit Fighter, Arch Rivals, Xybots, and Total Carnage, it has 2 of my all-time favorites: NARC and Xenophobe.

Both hold special places in my monkey-heart, since they were long time fixtures at my local comic shop Cosmic Comics. I loved Xenophobe so much that in college I bought one. Unfortunately it was a monster pain in the ass to move, so it was sold a few years later.

To christen the game, I grabbed a bottle of the limited edition Mountain Dew "Game Fuel" extreme Halo 3 beverage. It was actually pretty decent. I haven't drank a Dew in like 17 years, so I wasn't sure what to expect. But, it tasted exactly like Master Chief, and was orange colored so it felt Halloweeny. If I could compare it to anything, it reminded me of an old drink called "Tahitian Treat" that as far as I could tell was only sold in an out-of-the-way pop machine at my high school in the early 90s. If it didn't have like 300 calories in bottle, I'd buy it again.

And the arcade compilation was flawless and they're exactly like I remember them. Woooo!

From the Geektarded Galleries...

Series of 5 Monster portraits by Matt Haney, Acrylic and Ink on 6"X6" illustration board, 2006

Dr. Geektarded's 31 days of Halloween begins tomorrow!

That's right kids! Oct. 1st. Monster month. The 31 Days of Halloween starts tomorrow.

The movie marathon list will appear on the right side. I'm going to try and watch every movie listed and I'll run a tally on Oct 31st. For those playing along at home, I'm going to post 8 titles at a time so folks can dig out videos or rent them. There'll be random posts and movie reviews on some of the movies throughout the run.

-DR. G

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Night Flight Movie Review: JASON GOES TO HELL (Friday the 13th Pt 9)

Friday the 13th. I love the series. Love it. So, with the start of the Halloween party here at Geektarded, it seems like a pretty good movie review choice.
. A rare publicity still with the cast of "Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday" (1993)

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday is probably my least favorite Jason movie of the series. But I ran across it at ShopKo this morning and decided to round out the collection. I don't think I'd seen the movie since it came out in '93 (seen at the legendary Orchard 4 from an earlier post).

One of Jason's early, pre-drowning films, "License to Drive"

We open with the Feds finally figuring out that they should look into the 5,000 killings over the last 13 years or so. Jason is killed and revealed to be an evil spirit in the form of America's darling, the HELL-WORM, taste the excitement! Body hopping and killings ensue. There are some fun inside jokes too. You see the Necronomicon from Evil Dead, The crate from Creepshow, the Myers place is mentioned from Halloween. And Jason is dragged to hell by Freddy, or at least someone wearing his glove. Plus the movie has the lovely Erin Gray from Silver Spoons and Buck Rogers. Rarrrrrr!

Ice Cube (left) and Jason Voorhees (right) react to some fine-ass booty in the popular "Friday" series.

Overall, it's a fairly lackluster outing. Not enough Jason and I hate it when things are explained away, to make sense of Jason. Why can't he just be an unstoppable, semi-retarded zombie goalie and we leave it at that. I can buy that. The body hopping Hell-Worm idea ripped off from "The Hidden", no thanks.

Only recommended for the Friday completest. Otherwise, buy Pt 4 or 6; a couple of classics.

-Dr. G

HALOWEEN: Jones Soda "Black Cat Licorice"

While picking up a crate of new lab coats at Target, I ran across Jones Soda's new for 2007 flavor, "Black Cat Licorice". Licorice is usually one of those love it or hate it candies. Me, I'm kinda middle of the road. I don't actively seek it out, but if a piece is handed to me, I don't punch someone in the throat either.

Jones Soda is know for their wonky limited edition drinks like "Turkey and Gravy", "Corn on the Cob, "Wet Ham" and "Smuggled Heroin". Usually they're flavors that humans aren't prepared to drink more than once. The "Black Cat Licorice", or BCL, is no exception.

It's pretty horrible. It's not carbonated at all and tastes sort of like a combo of flat Dr. Pepper and licorice that has been stirred for 30 minutes with Rosie O'Donnell's wang. If you can down the bottle in one shot, it's drinkable. I managed a big slug, but couldn't muster more than another sip after that.

But, they have fun packaging and the remaining 3 will be tested on friends. BCL and the re-release of last years "Monster Mojito" are on Target shelves now. $3.99 for 4 12oz bottles. Not worth it, but it is Halloween and they should go over well at parties.

-Dr. G

Dr. Geektarded's 46 days of Halloween BEGINS!

Halloween. How I Love Thee! I want to date you, marry you and have goofy Jack-o-lantern babies with you.

The seasonable weather is starting to kick in. Store shelves are chockfulla neat stuff and you can force friends to watch horror movies (if they don't like horror movies, call them souless Man-Scrooges that hate happiness and baby puppies).

So, without further what-not, let
"Dr. Geektarded's 46 days of Halloween" begin!

Monday, September 10, 2007

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia NEW SEASON!

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Easily THE BEST comedy show in the last few years. The season 1 and 2 boxset came out last week. It's perfection in bucket. And, with no real warning, season 3 starts this Thursday Sept 13, at 9pm (central) on FX. 2 back to back new episodes.
I'll be honest, I'm a little hard.
-Dr. G

Flea Market Finds for Sep 8-9th

Fun weekend. Usually don't find this many cheap, cool items.

Smaller Wendy glass $2

Larger Casper glass $4

60s Gold Key Hanna Barbera comics in really nice shape. $10 for all 10

Pac Man lunchbox with Thermos. $5

Gobots Ro-Gun (not to be confused with Seth Rogan of "Knocked Up" fame). $2

Slimer! $1 (been wanting one of these for years.)

Lost Cinema

I'm a movie nut. A nut for movies and the theater-going experience. Old theaters, drive-ins, I love 'em. But with the rise of the googleplexes, most of my childhood theaters have disappeared over the last 10-12 years. Gone are the "4"s and the "Twins". Some are torn down, others have been repurposed as banks or retailers and some just stand empty.

The Orchard 4 was one of my favorites. There was nothing really special about the design, it was more it's proximity to our house. So, it was usually the first place we'd go for a movie.

The theater was opened by United Artists in 1982, around the same time that Mr. Geektarded (my father) moved family operations to Omaha. In 1995, it was bought by Carmike Cinemas and finally closed shop in 2000 shortly after changing to a second-run $1 theater. The cause of death was the move towards larger 20 screen mulit-plexes.


Fun fact, the Orchard 4's seating was refurbished seats taken from downtown Omaha's old Astro movie house that closed in the early 80s.

The first 2 movies I can remember seeing were Jaws 3 and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (oddly both were in 3D). I don't know if we just went to a lot of genre films or if the Orchard just got a lot of SciFi and Horror, but that's a lot of the types of movies we went to.

Movies I distinctly remember seeing at the Orchard 4:
Halloween 4 and 5, Critters 1 & 2, Child's Play 2 & 3, The Running Man, Commando, Total Recall, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Ghostbusters 2, Jason Goes to Hell, Nightmare on Elm St. 4, 5, & 6, Secret of the Sword, Transformers the Movie, Gremlins, The Wizard, Short Circuit, Silver Bullet, and many, many others.

I'm shocked that the place is still pretty much intact after 7 years of vacancy. It was an early 80s movie theater, and the design reflects that. Lots of burnt oranges and browns. The interior still has the ticket counter and windows, the snack bar, some light fixtures and the great plains murals (just in case you forgot you were in Nebraska). In the top photo, you see the lobby, snack bar and the archway on the left side leads to the 4 movie screens. Bottom shows 2 of the 3 murals and the bathrooms as you exit the theater. The carpets gone. Arcade games stood in the lobby space near the restrooms.

I really wish I could take a look inside. I wonder if the seating is still intact or if it was repurposed at another theater. The entire plaza is now empty and for lease. I'm thinking next time I'm over there, I might get the number and contact the owner. See if there's any Orchard 4 artifacts out there or something.
Bye-bye old friend. I hope you stand a good long while.
-Dr. G

UPDATE: I added a rough sketch of the floorplan for the Orchard 4. Pretty much how it looked for the 18 years it was open.

Early Halloween finds

I had planned to hold these until next week for the official start of "Dr. Geektarded's 46 days of Halloween". But these are too cool to go and get Groovy Goolies blue-balls over.

Found this at Nobbies. A very cool hanging Jason (they had Freddy too). I think they're supposed to go on the front door or something. Most all were missing the machete blade, so be warned if you are buying one. He's petty awesome. The arms are a foam rubber bendy, so you can pose him. I'm thinking that ole' Jason is going to be my year round door decor, swapping out the appropriate seasonal extras. Thanksgiving Jason with pilgrim hat. Christmas Jason with Santa hat. 4th of July Jason with Uncle Sam hat and flag. The possibilities are endless. I'm sure the neighbors will love it! Cost around $12

And speaking of Jason, how many times have you been slamming Crown Royal and wished you were drinking out of a semi-retarded zombie goalie's head? Well, Wallgreens answered that call with Friday the 13th shot glasses. Pretty cool. They also had Freddy and Leatherface for you non-Vorhees fans. $3

Lastly, Walgreens had these cool, heavy glass skull candle holders for $4. Big, solid skully love.

Leggo my Yobo. New retro NES = awsome with sauce

Color me clueless, but I had no idea there were companies making new clones of the old Nintendo and Super Nintendo. Ebay is choked with them. There are NES players by a few different companies and some combo machines that play both NES and SNES. Since I still have my SNES, I opted for a lower priced one by Yobo that just plays the original NES carts.

Overall all it's a pretty incredible little machine. Super lightweight (almost where you think it's junk) and tiny. If you stacked 3 CD jewel cased on top of each other, that's about the size of the Yobo NES. The cartridge is almost bigger than the console. Has AC power, AV cables, and 2 controllers with regular and rapid fire buttons. The controller ports are the same as the original NES, so I'd imagine you can use the old controllers, zapper etc (but I'm not 100% sure on that).

I picked up a few games at the local used game shop and most played flawlessly. The old Tengen carts don't seem to work well, but I got Alien Syndrome to play fine with a little slip of folded paper behind the cartridge to keep it from being loose in the slot. At around $25, it's a quick fix or those favorite oldies that might not be on the Wii virtual console or ever make it.

Omaha skyline

Nothing big, just looking out the window at work and snapped a shot of downtown Omaha. Every once in a while you get a glimpse of the city where it looks kind of big. You can almost imagine Spidey slinging by, though it would be around the same 3-4 blocks.

Underdog figures are out

Underdog figures are out (I think by Mezco). Fantastic stuff. Perfect renditions of the character and you can tell a lot of thought was put into the designs. It seems like a lot of toy makers don't give a crap if the figure can stand up, so I was fearful of these since the characters' designs are so top heavy. But they're perfect. All (except Polly) use a ball jointed waist/legs so they can be adjusted to balance the upper part of the figure. They stand solid and look incredible.
-Dr. G


I'm sure by now, anyone you has given even the most casual of a crap has heard about the Nintendo Wii, or as it is known in France as the "Nintendo Yes" (ha-ha-ha...Wooooo!) I lucked out and found one a month or so ago and it is pretty amazing and loads of fun.

Now, I'm a pretty casual gamer and my favorites are still the older NES and SNES games, quick/fun newer games like Grand Theft Auto, or "group games" like Star Wars Battlefront II, Halo, etc (stuff where you and half a dozen buddies can drink and shoot at each other without having to live in the Ozarks). I haven't bought a new system since the Playstation 1. A buddy did hand-me-down his old PS2 when he upgraded to a new slim model, but otherwise I'm content to play older games or leach off of friends at play at their place.

So I surprised myself when I got a bug up my ass to get the Wii. But it is fantastic. The Wiimote is awesome and the sports games that come with the system are some of the funnest games I've played in years. It's pure genius. That and the fact you can download and store classic games on the Wii, make it awesome. (Picked up Super Paper Mario too and it's fab.)

So, if you got more money than sense or want to give the credit card a big "screw you" buy one if you see it on the shelf. It's perfection.

-Dr. G