Friday, September 30, 2011

The witching season

Fall is here, and tomorrow the first day of October. As a kid, I wasn't a big fan of the fall season. It meant that summer vacation was over and it was time to go back to school. It would feel like such a long time between the start of class and Christmas vacation. What I looked forward to most was October, because that meant Halloween. Not because of the candy -- we never really went door-to-door except for people my parents knew, and usually only to the candy giveaway at the mall (where Radio Shack would give out batteries).
What was really fun about Halloween to me was on TV -- Halloween specials like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and monster movies. It also wasn't just one night, or a week. I remember Halloween-themed shows throughout the month. Back at the time when there were only three or four networks, a few local stations and a handful of cable channels, October was a time when many stations would roll out more monster films than usual and have them on earlier than the normal late night time slots. It was a chance to see nearly-forgotten classics or new (to you) favorites.
It's great to have the near-instantaneous access to a particular film we enjoy today -- and I wouldn't want to give that up -- but there was also something very special about having to wait until a movie was shown on your local UHF station at 1 in the morning on a school night because "you might not ever see it again". Back then, it was an event, the magic of light and shadow on a flickering TV screen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Out-of-print DVDs through the Warner Archive

One of the new releases from the Warner Archive made-on-demand DVD program last week was the Hammer "space western", Moon Zero Two. In addition to having another Hammer film available, this is also significant because it had been previously released on DVD several years ago, on a Warner Sci-Fi Double Feature disc along with the Hammer prehistoric epic When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. This DVD went out-of-print quickly, presumably because of an incorrect rating.

The set of new releases for this week include several more Warner Brothers titles that had been previously released on DVD, including more from the Warner Sci-Fi collection. A few weeks back Akira Kurosawa's Dreams went up on the Archive.

It appears that WB is moving toward using the Archive as a way to re-release catalog DVD titles that have gone out-of-print. With any luck, that means we'll see Dinosaurs... on disc again. It's too bad that they aren't being given a regular DVD release, but the made-on-demand discs are so much better than not being available at all.

Thursday, September 08, 2011


September is shaping up to be more busy than I had expected. Updates will be sporadic for the short term at least.
On today's date in 1966 Star Trek first premiered on NBC. The 45th anniversary is deserving of its own posting here at some point.
The teaser photo from last Friday was for Criterion's as-yet-unannounced disc of Gojira, a Holy Grail for kaiju film fans. A 35mm fine-grain print of the U.S. version (Godzilla, King of the Monsters) has been located so it appears that the U.S. Godzilla will be included. More details can be found at August Ragone's blog here and here.

Friday, September 02, 2011


Because this is the start of the holiday weekend, I'll just leave this photo here as a teaser. I plan to write more about this and some other news next week.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A call to post about your geeky hobbies

The start of the semester has kept us hopping here at the Kaiju Lair, so I haven't been able to post at all this week. Even so, I wanted to point out this call for bloggers from author and game designer Monica Valentinelli. In reaction to some negative perceptions of gamers recently, she's suggesting that bloggers write passionately and positively about the hobbies they love during one week in September. From her site:
Here’s what I propose:
Sometime during the week of Monday, September 12th to Friday, September 16th post about what geeky hobby you love. Then, tell us why we should try it, too. Leave your fears (and edition wars) at the door. Forget about your latest rant. Tap into that well of positive energy and share in the excitement of all things geek.
Let us invite those who would stereotype us to sit at our table and share our interests.
Should be easy for the gaming blog community. Originally this was proposed just for girl geeks, but it was suggested that it be more inclusive. Let everyone raise their geek flag high!