Archive for Welcome

In the not too distant past… Last Tuesday, A.D.

MST3K Revival Kickstarter Poster by Steve Vance

My wife and I had the privilege of seeing the pilot episode (“Experiment 1101″) of Mystery Science Theater 3000 Season 11 at the “Red Carpet Backer Screening” in New York City last week. It was the capper to a truly awesome Valentine’s Day spent with the love of my life and my soul mate. I am a fortunate man, indeed.

Before we get to the event itself, I do want to take a moment to commend the West End Bar & Grill in Hell’s Kitchen. Not only did they not balk at two weirdos in costume waltzing in for an early romantic dinner, they presented us with great service and the best food and drink of the trip. Definitely check them out the next time you’re in midtown Manhattan. I know they’re on our shortlist of places to revisit in NYC.

Regarding Experiment 1101… Well, not much I can say, really, without violating the NDA we signed. Dude, it was rad! In all seriousness, I think everyone involved did an amazing job and the new season looks to retain everything that made MST3K one of my favorite things.

Ray and Jess with Jonah Ray, Crow, and Tom Servo at the MST3K New York Screening afterparty

Ray and Jess with Jonah Ray, Crow, and Tom Servo at the MST3K New York Screening afterparty.
(Check out that embroidered “Heston” on Jonah’s shirt. Didn’t notice that before today.)

Admittedly, I was unfamiliar with Jonah Ray when he was announced as the new host of MST3K (“Jonah Heston”), but an endorsement from Joel Hodgson carries a lot of weight. His name came up again while doing some research and planning to attend Fantastic Fest 2016 in Austin, TX. There, I made it a point to check out The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, the stand-up showcase Jonah Ray and Kumail Nanjiani hosted out of the back of Meltdown Comics in L.A. transplanted to the Highball in the Austin South Lamar Alamo Drafthouse. It was a blast (as was the whole festival, really), and I was officially excited about Jonah Ray joining the MST3K family.

I typically seize up at words like “afterparty” or “mixer.” My hearing isn’t the greatest under the best of circumstances, and in events like this, I tend to get overwhelmed and withdrawn. Even when people do engage me in conversation, it can be difficult for me to keep up. That being said, we had a great time meeting Joel, Jonah Ray, and Baron Vaughn (the new voice of Tom Servo) as well as our fellow MSTies. Everyone was warm, friendly, and excited about the upcoming season.

I’m hoping we’ll get the chance to see Jonah Ray at Fantastic Fest again this year. While The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail may be no more (it ended its final season in November, 2016), there’s still the possibility of a stand-up event or maybe even a film screening of some sort with Jonah and/or Kumail. Fantastic Fest is full of surprises, so who knows?

No trip to the Big Apple is complete without a little danger. Imagine our surprise when, upon returning to Penn Station a little bit inebriated and a whole lot exhausted at around 1:40 a.m., we discovered the next train to New Jersey wouldn’t be departing until 4:17 a.m. Happy Valentine’s Day, honey!

Now, two people in MST3K costumes were unsurprisingly not the strangest looking folks in Penn Station at that time of the morning. I think there may have been someone with a sweet Torgo costume, but I wasn’t going to approach to confirm. I also apparently missed a “pants-off dance off” by being unobservant, but I don’t know if “missed” is the right term. Maybe “narrowly avoided” is more accurate.

Anyways, we’re back, and I hope you’ll come back and join us when next we have “Movie sign!” Until then, fare thee well!

Four More Years! Four More Years!

"Happy Birthday to Me"

Melissa Sue Anderson and the “Top Ten” in Happy Birthday to Me

Sure, posts have been pretty scarce these past few years, but “That is not dead which can eternal lie.”

“My totem is an electric sheep.”

"My totem is an electric sheep." - An image mash-up by RayRay & Brushmistress

Happy Birthday, WeirdFlix!

John Amplas and Carrie Nye in "Creepshow" (1982)

John Amplas and Carrie Nye in “Creepshow” (1982)

Hard to believe it’s been one year since we started this shindig.

And, yes, I know it’s technically a Father’s Day cake. Just shut up and eat it.

The Peter Cushing Centennial Blogathon

Peter Cushing from "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)

The Peter Cushing Centennial Blogathon begins today, and WeirdFlix is proud to participate in honoring one of the most cherished actors of the 20th century.

Initiated by Frankensteinia (your one stop for all things Frankenstein), the Blogathon will celebrate the life and career of Peter Cushing with profiles, art, reviews, and anecdotes all around the blogosphere. Here at WeirdFlix, we’ll take a comprehensive look at Mr. Cushing’s career in film tomorrow on his birthday. We don’t want to leave you empty-handed on Day One, however, so we’ve got a little curiosity item for you below.

Watching weird movies and blogging about them are just two of my hobbies. If only I could add time travel to the list, I’d have enough time for all of them. I guess watching Doctor Who is about as close as I’ll get.

Here’s a short video of Peter Cushing enjoying one of his own hobbies:

Sadly, the end of the video is cut. Per British Pathé, it should say “…proving, if we needed proof, that playing soldiers is one game that we’ll never grow tired of.”

Much has been made of H.G. Wells’ full title, “Little Wars: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys’ games and books”. I would contend that Wells didn’t mean for the “more intelligent” quip to be taken any more seriously than the notion that two 150-year-old men would crawl around on the floor playing his game. Indeed, the notion that a girl would even WANT to play a traditionally boys’ game is quite modern, and Wells even suggesting the possibility is pretty progressive for 1913.

I still engage in the occasional tabletop battle, but I’m not terribly skilled at painting the little buggers. I leave that to my lovely wife, who has made quite a career out of it. She does manage to “drag” me to Gen Con every year, and the very thought that I might have pushed my little army against that of Grand Moff Tarkin does indeed warm the heart.

Badge for the Peter Cushing Centennial Blogathon (May 25 - 31, 2013)

Click on the badge above for more of
the Peter Cushing Centennial Blogathon

As of this writing, Peter Cushing is one of the most referenced actors on this humble site, as represented by the big honking tag in the list to the right. If you’re reading this after May, 2013, that might have changed, but I have a gut feeling that with over a hundred screen credits to his name, many within the horror or science fiction genres, Mr. Cushing will be a frequent topic of discussion here.

We first mentioned Cushing as part of our drinking game for At the Earth’s Core (1976), a fun if loose little adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. Kevin Connor had previously directed Cushing for Amicus Productions in the portmanteau horror film From Beyond the Grave (1973). Core is noteworthy for Cushing’s portrayal of the quintessential absent-minded professor, a role that is more whimsical than his usual intense scientists, vampire hunters, and detectives.

Another literary adaptation we previously examined is the Hammer Films treatment of She (1965). Peter plays the narrator of H. Rider Haggard’s novel, the Cambridge professor and amateur archaeologist, Horace Holly. Holly is a focused explorer and, as a former soldier, a man of action, so he’s a far cry from the absent-minded or bumbling professor archetypes. The film, as a whole, is a fun little adventure romp, and Cushing gets to play against his favorite foil and best friend, Christopher Lee as the devious high priest, Billali.

Earlier, I hinted at my long held affection for Doctor Who, both old and new. In our tribute to Dalek creator Terry Nation, we discussed the pair of Doctor Who feature films with Peter Cushing in a version of the title role. I say version, because this character isn’t the Time Lord seen in other versions, but a human professor whose surname is actually Who.

There is a lot of hand-wringing among science fiction fans about what constitutes “canon”. Lucas Licensing even maintains a continuity database, ranking various elements of the Star Wars Expanded Universe in different levels of canon. It strikes me as particularly absurd, then, that in a series that revolves around travel through space, time, and dimensions (the S, T, and D of TARDIS, respectively), that anyone would take a hard stance on Cushing’s Doctor not being “real”.

As writer Alan Moore so poignantly stated in his introduction to the Superman story, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”…

This is an IMAGINARY STORY… Aren’t they all?”

Please come back tomorrow when we’ll celebrate Mr. Cushing’s birthday by looking at his long and storied career in film. Thanks for visiting, and we hope to see you again soon!

Welcome to WeirdFlix!

Welcome to WeirdFlix! I’m RayRay, and I’ll be your tour guide through the wonderful world of strange cinema.

For as long as I can recall being aware of film as a medium, I can also remember my tastes skewing towards the strange and bizarre. I was rarely content watching the mundane, workmanlike movies that everyone else felt obligated to see. I wanted to see the movies people talked about in hushed whispers, the ones children dared each other to watch.

With the advent of home video, I sought out a rental membership card at every little mom-and-pop video store around town. I pushed the envelope of age restrictions as lots of foreign films and independent gems were unrated at the time, meaning I could get my grubby little paws on quite a bit of twisted fare, provided it was screened behind the backs of my parents.

As an adult, I’ve grown to appreciate classic achievements in filmmaking, but my thirst for the more adventurous side of celluloid has never wavered. Here, I’ll share my thoughts and ruminations on the weird flix I’ve seen, those yet unseen, and those I wish I’d never seen. I hope you’ll join me.

Feel free to contact me via e-mail ( with any questions, comments, or concerns. I will try to respond as quickly as my crazy schedule permits. Thanks again and always for giving us a look! Enjoy!