Friday, December 31, 2010

PlaidStallions 2nd Annual Retro Awards

Plaidstallions retro awards
As another year passes, it's time to pay tribute that things that were so full of "Retro Win" that they need an imaginary award from an anonymous blogger in Canada. Yes, it's the 2nd annual Retro Awards and it's been an exciting year  as competition was fierce for my allowance these past twelve months.

Best Movies-
I was completely blown away this year by Black Dynamite a sharp as nails parody of the 1970s blaxploitation craze. Like all great parody, the film actually retains the feel of the subject matter, no mugging to the camera, no tired Britney Spears jokes. It makes stuff like "Epic Movie" look like the thrown together crap it really is. This film should have had a wider release as it is the best comedy I saw last year. If you haven't seen it, correct that mistake right now! You will be quoting it the next day.

Sandy Collera's Hunter Prey is on here because not only is this a solid science fiction film but it somehow invokes that "70s Vibe" so damned well. Shot on a shoestring, the movie looks better than a lot of big budget features. I've missed movies of this ilk, Hunter Prey sits proudly on my shelf next to stuff like "Planet of the Apes" and "Alien". I noticed fun little nods to properties like "The Micronauts" comic books in the script, which Sandy himself confirmed were intentional.  You can't not love stuff like this.

Best Toys- 2010 seemed to be all about 70s Mego love, which I'm perfectly fine with, while this year was one for the books in terms of me wanting to buy modern toys, three things really stuck out.

Firstly, BifBangPow! just unleashed so much toy love onto the world with their many wonderful toy lines like Twilight Zone and the awesome Venture Brothers. If I had to pick a favourite (and it's not easy), I'd have to say it was their Flash Gordon line of 8" figures. I waited a long time for these things and I wish I could send these back to my ten year old self, they are truly beautiful. Not to say that I don't love the hell out of my Brock Samson doll (I do!) but there is just something about waiting 30 years for a toy.

Speaking of waiting 30 years for something, the good folks at Super 7 had a "why didn't someone think of this sooner moment" when they married the goodness of Star Wars with the fun of Jumbo Machinders and pure awesome just came pouring out as a result. Seriously, the Super Shogun Storm Trooper brings tears to my eyes with it's brilliance. For added fun check out this cool series of retro Christmas images that was featured on Wired, if only this was real.

Speaking of beautiful, EMCE Toys and Diamond Select knocked the Universal Monsters line out of the park with their first two figures. I have more monster dolls than I need but these two figures were something I coudln't mince around with I needed these figures and I needed them now. As a bit of trivia, Sean Sansom sculptor of the upcoming Brick Mantooth figure also sculpted the Frankenstein, so they're sort of related/kinda...

Best DVD-

The hands down winner this year is the Time Life Six Million Dollar Man set. Time Life could have released this bare bones and I'd have bought it but no, they loaded it with extras and interviews and wrapped it in the coolest nerdiest packaging I've ever seen. Upon reciept of this fine set I went on a "bionic binge" that I am not proud of.

In the "never thought I'd see the day" department is the Warner Brothers Archives release of "Legends of the Superheroes" the ultra campy attempt to marry the Superfriends to the antics of the 1966 Batman TV series. This thing was the talk of the playground when I was a wee lad so it kind of made me misty to see it available in non bootleg fashion. Now if only they would release those forgotten 70s Archie tv pilots and perhaps ship to Canada...

Best Books-

I was elated to get a copy of Rich Handley's "Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes" which is a real treat for fans of the film, TV, book, and comic adventures on Pierre Boulle's Monkey Planet. Seriously this book is just exploding with facts on one of my favourite subjects and I heartily recommend it for casual fans and the hardcore ones who know what General Urko's wife's name is.

OK, it's kind of cheating seeing as I had some input on this book but seeing as likely I accounted for 0.001% of what makes Star Trek 365 so great, I feel safe. It's just a great big, beautiful, fun book about Star Trek at a terrific price. I'd also like the say the good folks at Abrams publishing were a total joy to work, unlike my other contribution deal this year which I won't get into. *Shakes Fist at Superman*

And that's my wrap up for a (very expensive) 2010, hope you enjoyed it. As we progress into 2011 I am truly excited at the new opportunities that abound for PS and hopefully I'll some fun announcements to make in the coming weeks.

Until then, thanks everyone for reading, contributing and most of all  making me laugh. It's been a joy and I wish you all a swinging new year in stereo.

Peace- Brian


Richard said...

There are a few things here I'll check out on your recommendation -- for one, Hunter Prey just got added to my DVD queue.

I wanted to add that Black Dynamite is available here in the States via the "Watch Instantly" feature on Netflix, so anyone with a Netflix membership shouldn't even wait for the DVD to arrive. (Although the DVD includes several fun extras and is well worth acquiring.) But yeah, that is a masterpiece. You might have to love the original source material as much as the creators did to fully appreciate what they accomplished...but for those of us who do, it's really something.

Wings1295 said...

Cool list!

Wings1295 said...

And SO jealous of the Six-Million Dollar Man box set!!! Enjoy it for me, too!

Plaidstallions said...

Oh I will sir, trust me on that.

REX said...

Black Dynamite has given me "wooo!" on several occasions now.

rassmguy said...

Thanks very much for the Retro Award! Now all those who said I'd never make it can go stuff themselves. I've arrived, baby!


Rich Handley
Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes

P.S. I've added a link to your excellent blog to the links page at Hopefully, the few people who actually visit my site will see the link and check out your work.

Drive-In Mike said...

I didn't know Legends of the Super Heroes is available on DVD! I saw it when it first aired on broadcast TV, and it blew my mind. The Huntress looked awesome!

SFF said...

A whole lot of great stuff covered here. I couldn't agree more on that Six Million set. They did pack that mother. Wonderful box of goodies.

I definitely plan on getting a copy of the Handley book and the Star Trek book in the near future. Funds have been diverted to too many items of late including that Six Million set.

But sincerely, you really piqued my interest with your assessment of Hunter Prey. I will be adding it to the queue.

I LOVE the Micronauts, but your review of that film is enough to put it on my radar.

I don't write often, but I always enjoy Plaid Stallions. It would seem I may have grown up down the road from you. The stuff covered here is scary good!


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