Raging Nerdgasm Movie review – Monster Brawl

I’ve already admitted to being a 80s and 90s wrestling nerd, I loved the outlandish characters and entertaining stories. I also admitted to being a huge dork when it comes to the classic monsters so when I heard rumblings of a movie from a few years ago that mixed those two elements together I thought, “Sounds pretty groovy, I’m down for it.” Luckily my curiosity was quenched with my subscription to NetFlix and it was showtime….Monster Brawl.

 (Monsters plus wrestling? What could go wrong?)

Monster Brawl starts off looking like something just this side of a junior college film project. The shots are a little more revealing than they should be and the close ups are not clean, think SyFy channel movies from 2 years ago or more. The concept is a supernatural wrestling promotion that pits legendary monsters against each other for the bragging rights of heavy weight champion of whatever the fuck they made up. Surprisingly the star power isn’t too shabby with Dave Foley, Art Hindle and Lance Hendrickson (well, in voice only but they must have paid him well for his Mortal Kombat-esque commentary). There’s also a handful of wrestlers in the movie like Kevin Nash, Robert Maillet, Jimmy Hart and Herb Dean (OK, he’s MMA famous but still) but I don’t officially commit to calling them star acting power. According to IMDB the budget was a conservative 200K in Canadian dollars so it looks like they really spent every penny on discount Halloween props and Red Bull energy drinks.

(This is what I got the displeasure of seeing.)

The premise is 8 classic monsters face off in a battle to the death to establish who is the number one biggest badass in the supernatural world. And they do so in a wrestling ring, ala’ WWF style. I’m fond of Asylum Entertainment’s movies (like Sharktopus or Ghost Shark or Sharknado) but this sounds like the crap I would come up with as a little kid playing with my action figures when I decided I was bored using Macho Man to fight Hulk Hogan. The explanation isn’t rushed, it’s partially missing. For lack of better terms, Dave Foley trips through the exposition like a one legged man playing hopscotch in a mine field. I don’t think it was his fault though, he probably couldn’t do much with what script there was if it wasn’t fully ad-lib to begin with.

(Once you see the amateur effects, you can’t unsee the zippers and cosmetics.)

Each monster gets a rather rushed backstory and the “fights” are really slow moving. This is a premise that would have done better turned into a webisode series. The only redeeming part of any of the fights is Lance Hendrickson’s commentary during the fights as an unseen entity. Think the voice in Mortal Kombat that would laugh or say “superb” or “excellent”. Many of the monsters have special powers they never really explained, they mention the powers just moments before the character uses it. Did you know the Cyclops has an energy beam he shoots from his eye? Well neither did I until seconds before he blew away some hideous hag cleverly named Witch Bitch.

(I expected so much just based on the concept and these promotional posters.)

And then there’s the monsters. Cyclops, Frankenstein, Zombie Man, Witch Bitch, Swamp Gut, Werewolf, Lady Vampire and the Mummy. All of those monsters I was moderately OK with until they mentioned Swamp Gut. What’s a Swamp Gut? Well, take the Sasquatch and mix in Creature from the Black Lagoon and Swamp Thing. Then crap it out and look at the abomination that’s been born. Needless to say I think it’s a weak character that could have been easily replaced with another pseudo knock off monster. And I’m not sure who’s costume was worse, Swamp Gut or Cyclops. Both characters you can see parts of the guy in the costume under the bad special effects make-up. Like I said, the movie spent the budget at a Spirit Halloween store on November 1st.

(What I was hoping for versus what I got.)

If you have 89 minutes to waste and a few beers to kill, I suggest either watching this movie or maybe doing something to better yourself. Click the link below to see a list of worthwhile movies that also last 89 minutes or less. The top one is Zombieland, which is an enjoyable Halloween-y film if that’s your style.

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Raging Nerdgasm #321 – Jakks Pacific 4ft Michelangelo TMNT

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Disney’s Pixars Toy Story Figures Part 1

Disney’s Toy Story To Infinity And Beyond Spaceship Command Center Play Set https://www.flickr.com/photos/ragingnerdgasm/sets/72157631585315824/

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Disney’s Pixar Toy Story Walmart Exclusive Aqua Adventure https://www.flickr.com/photos/ragingnerdgasm/sets/72157634024436583/

Disney's Pixar Toy Story Walmar Exclusive Aqua Adventure bullseye with scuba gear

Disney's Pixar Toy Story Walmar Exclusive Aqua Adventure Buzz Lighyear with Aqua jet pack

Disney's Pixar Toy Story Walmar Exclusive Aqua Adventure Evil Pirate Porkchop and Pirate Ship

Disney's Pixar Toy Story Walmar Exclusive Aqua Adventure woody with dive gear

Disney's Toy Story Aqua Adventure Rex with Scuba Gear

Pixar’s Toy story Action Figures Space Mission https://www.flickr.com/photos/ragingnerdgasm/sets/72157631125578906/

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Pixar's Toy story Action FiguresSpace Mission_02

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Toy Story Action figuresSpace Mission Zurg's Robot009

Pixar’s Toy Story Figurines – RC Race https://www.flickr.com/photos/ragingnerdgasm/sets/72157631096302118/

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RNG Cartoon Review: “Jem” She’s Truly… WTF!!!

By Ana Bruja-Khayos from Living With A Toy Collector

With the up and coming hype behind the live action Jem movie, I finally broke down and watched the classic animated show.  You might laugh but I really didn’t get to watch Jem as a kid.  1) I lived in a very strict pentecostal home, and 2) I was simply too young to enjoy the show.  When Jem came out back in 1985 I was 4 years old and living in Puerto Rico.  By the time I was 7 years old in 1988 the series was off the TV screens.  However, I did remember catching the theme song here and there in Spanish and all that I have to say is that the singers who dubbed the Spanish version really needed a Prozac or two  to cheer them up as they sang they upbeat song. It was sad to listen too just like many horribly dubbed Spanish shows.

Now In my early 30’s I decided “Why the Hell Not”,  I’ll totally watch Jem to see why so many hard core fans love this show.  Plus is on Netflix so I have nothing to lose. 

The Show:

The first episode in the series opens with the horrible news that Jerrica Benton father has just died and she was in the middle of a legal battle with her father’s partner, Eric Raymond, to retain the rights to manage her inheritance along with a record company called Starlight Music her father left to her.  In the middle of the conflict she meets up with a holographic computer created by her father called Synergy which allows Jerrica to create her rock star alter ego called Jem. Because the fate of her inheritance was riding on a bet surrounding a Battle of the Bands by Eric and Jerrica, Jerrica use her alter ego Jem to create the band called  “Jem and the Holograms” to compete against Eric’s Band the Misfits.  Jem and the Holograms won the bet  and that’s how the story began.

To the left the Misfits (Roxy, Pizzazz,Stormer,and Jetta) and the right Jem and The Holograms(Jem, Raya,Aja,Shanna, and Kimber) as of season 3.

The show has a handful of main cast including;  Jerrica Benton who is the owner of Starlight records and Starlight Home Orphanage; Rio who is Jem and The Holograms manager and Jerrica or Jem’s boy friend.. I think ;  Jem  lead singer of the band and Jerrica’s holographic alter ego;  Senergy who is magical computer in which the band could not be possible if it didn’t exist; Kimber Benton is Jerrica’s youngest sister who plays the keyboard in the bad and writes the songs; and Aja Leigth is the guitarist and Shanna Elmsford is the drummer who are Jerrica’s and Kimbers adopted sisters. Later on the series they added Carmen “Raya” Alonso as the new drummer while Shanna went on to play guitar. All five girls represented the magical marketing word called “diversity” by having a  main cast that is white, black, asian, and hispanic cultures represented in one show.  All tho I have no idea what Rio is supposed to be… maybe Brazilian, Italian, Hispanic, Hawaiian, Native American,… Who Knows????

The Stingers (Rapture, Riot, and Minx) from Season 3

 As a supporting cast they have the bad guys who are Eric Raymond  who is trying to steal the company away from Jerrica, and the Misfits which has Pizzazz as a lead singer and guitarist who is also incredibly rich and is a horrible stereotype of what happens when rich people spoiled their kids and never say no to them, Roxy as the second guitar player who I’m not quite sure why she is in the Misfits because she’s really a good guy in disguise, Stormer plays the  keytar… yes a KEYTAR… Google it up…  and she’s just angry and illiterate, and down the line they added British Saxophonist called Jetta who is  a con artist and a royal piece of work.  As the season expanded into season 3, they added another rival band called the Stingers but to be honest by this point I think most of us lost track of all the crazy drama and it seem they were trying to hard. Oh by the way you also have 3rd rate banana characters that included Dance, Video, Clash, Erics heacham  #1 and #2, and the girls from the orphanage.  These characters appeared randomly and some were allies of Jem and the Holograms but they were not featured in every episode.

What I think of the show

To be honest the show totally took me by surprise.  All these years I thought he show was a very Barbie Bimbo type of show but in reality the show had some very complicated relationships, morbid moments, and dark situations that really keeps you watching. Best way to describe it is “My first Soap Opera”. The main complicated situation is how Jerrica continues to mess with Rio (her long time boyfriend) by constantly cockteasing him with Jem.  Rio was trying to stay loyal to Jerrican but Jem (who is really Jerrica) constantly throws herself at him as her holographic self  Jem and confusing the crap out of the poor guy who doesn’t realize he’s really not cheating because she is really the same girl.  What gets even more screwed up is how Jerrica gets mad at him because she is Jealous of her self as Jem, and doesn’t know if Rio loves her as Jerrica or as Jem.  You follow me yet???? Yea!!! Totally screwed up.  Plus Jerrica/Jem refuses to tell Rio they are both the same person and the complications in their relationship(s) continue to degrade more and more through the series due to Jem secrezy of her true identity and how Jerrica is always too busy to spend time with Rio as herself.

Rio and Jerrica’s/Jem’s Screwed up relationship(s).

The bad guys on this show are as screwed up as the main cast.  I’m convinced that the Misfits are the main reason why guys think all women are crazy. Just within the first few episodes they could legally be charge with destruction of private property, theft, attempted murder, reckless driving just to name a few.  Their manager Eric Benson is no better and can be charged with kidnaping, fraud, and the list of charges goes on and on.  The other band, The Stingers, weren’t any better.  In the entire series I think there was only one episode in which the bad guys were arrested for doing something wrong.  The rest of the series no cops to be found. Go figure.

The show has some inconsistencies that sometimes I had a hard time tracking.  For example on the first episode Jerrica was supposedly a girl in her teens, but with in the first few episodes it seem that was thrown out the window and all of the sudden Jerrica/Jem and the Holograms were treated as if they were in their early 20’s witch to be honest allowed them to get away with more stuff. I already talked about how screwed up Jerrica/Jem situations is towards Rio and Rio swinging back on forth on that.  Jerrica’s young sisters Kimber had several guys she was fooling with and she seem to trade them up like man candy  and switch between them like a pair of dressing shoes until later on in the series.   Then there’s the strange crazy kind of sort of relationship Jem had with the lead singer of the Stingers Riot.  She never liked him but in some episodes she kind of did but in other episode she’s trying to get away from him.  I don’t know… it all makes great school girl TV. 

All in an all the show is very addictive.  Between all the screwed up situations, sad tear jerkers, and all the songs they played per episode this series is A-OK!! I highly recommend re watching it before the movie is released next year.

About the Show:

Jem ran from 1985 to 1988 and it has 3 seasons equaling a total of 65 episodes.  Jem was created by Hasbro and the animation was produced by Sunbow Productions animation studios.  Sunbow Production is also well known for creating other popular animated shows in the 80’s such as the original My Little Pony, G I Joe, Transformers, Jem, Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars, The Tick, just to name a few.  Just like many of our loved cartoon characters, Jem actually had two personalities playing her on the show. Samantha Newak as the voice of Jem/Jerrica and Britta Phillips sang the intro song along with the rest of songs in the series but she also was the voice of Kimber and Aja.  Other casting voices were Cindy McGee as the voice of Shanna, and Linda Dangcil as the voice of Raya.

Each episode feature 3 songs, one which was a full music video.  This included the two variations of the intro song, the music video in the episode and the end credits which was always “Jem- Truly, Truly, Outrageous”.  The show made it a point to make sure the music videos had a look that was easily associated with the rock videos seen on MTV in that time period.  The show did a very good job giving each band a very unique sound to their music.  Jem and The Holograms had more a pop sound to their music, The Misfits had underground punk rock sound, and for the Stingers they had a seductive sexy rock groove to them.


While on the air the show averaged around 2.5 million viewers weekly and it aired in countries like US, Australia, Canada, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and France.  The show received several awards and also had it’s own toy line.  Sadly Hasbro’s Jem and the Holograms dolls were competing with Mattel’s Barbie and the Rockers dolls.  Due to poor sales they were sold at a discounted price but they continued production with the show until 1988. If you din’t get your Jem doll back then don’t worry, Hasbro along with Integrity toys decided back in 2011 that they will release a new collectible version of the Jem dolls that retailed on their released date in 2012 at a whopping price of $135 each.  They are truly OUTRAGEOUS but beautiful dolls and an amazing quality that stay true to the original show.


Live action Movie

To be quite honest I don’t’ know much about the live action movie except that they just started production in April of 2014.  I personally don’t recognize any of the movie stars they casted as the Jem and the Holograms but I’m willing to give it a chance.  The movie will be directed by Jon M Chu witch has directed  Step Up 2, Step Up 3D, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and the G I Joe Retaliation movie.  So far the G I Joe movie is the only cool movie listed under his resume. LOL To me so far the poster for the Jem Live Action Movie looks cool so I’m crossing my fingers on this one.

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Raging Nerdgasm #282 – Talking Ed Grimmley doll

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5 more random action figures

Star Trek TNG Antican

The Antican was from the earlier seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Y’know, back when they were still feeling out the direction of the show and before the make up and effects got better. According to the Star Trek wiki the Anticans are a sentient humanoid-canine species from the planet Antica who like to eat their meat still alive and kicking. Think rape-cannibals. Anyways, their prey of choice were the Selay; a reptilian humanoid species resembling cobra people for lack of better terms. The Antican, Selay, Q and the Feringi were tail enders to the failing Galoob Star Trek series and usually command big bucks in good condition. Unless you are a nut and have to have him I would suggest living without him unless you get him for a few bucks, he’s far from being the most interesting toy you don’t own.

Slo Mo from Space Precinct

                           
Oh yeah, that breakout BBC series known as Space Precinct. Right? It played in the US if your market was lucky enough to slip it into a late night/early morning time slot. Those time slots that play just before the channel signs off for the night or they start playing the 700 Club or infomercials isn’t exactly the way to coax people into falling in love with a fairly imaginative hour long tv series. Created and written by Gerry Anderson ( creative mind behind Thunderbirds, Stingray and Captain Scarlet), this live action police drama seemed childish on the surface with silly characters like Slo Mo and brightly designed alien species  (using a lot of great make up techniques and puppetry) but had lots of adult undertones and story lines. Needless to say it lasted a year even though rating highly in Europe, the series capped off with 24 episodes and was Gerry Anderson’s biggest budgeted production.

Slo Mo was more than likely in every episode if memory serves me right. Kind of a comic relief mixture of C3P0 and R2D2 to offset some of the tension I bought Slo Mo just because I thought he’d look cool in the background of a Jawa Sandcrawler or some other scene I dreamed of building but never got around to. Now he just haunts a random bin full of miscellanous toys where I’ll probably throw him next to the Antican if I decide either deserves to be displayed.

Macho Man LJN thumb wrestler

Nothing quite like cornholing a bearded man in pink underwear and making him fight another mostly naked man with a thumb up his ass. While I really like LJN’s WWF figures I’ve always had this strange issue with the thumb wrestlers. That and they are incredibly hard to display.

Imperial Space fighters

Here goes my love/hate for bendy figures. Imperial did a few straight bootlegs of other popular space branded toys and made them bendies. This is a green Star Wars Storm Trooper, let that sink in for a minute.

Harem Xena

I never was a big fan of the Xena series but then again I wasn’t a fan of the Hercules series till it was off the air and I was much older. Even the times I sat down trying to watch the series with an open mind, I lost interest within minutes. You could almost time me; 7 minutes in and I was done, just like clockwork. I bought this figure to eventually customize into a Slave Leia 6 inch figure but I think I got bored one day and shot it with an airsoft gun. They’re making a 6 inch Slave Leia and I probably won’t buy it anyways because I’m just not that into Star Wars anymore.

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