Apr 192012
 
Here's one of my periodic lists of B-movies and cult films that I still want on DVD (or even Manufactured-On-Demand DVD-R) for my video collection. Most of these are favorites from my days haunting mom & pop video stores in the Eighties.

As far as I know (and I hope someone will let me know if I'm mistaken), none of these titles are currently available on authorized, Region 1, DVDs or Blu-ray. (Don't talk to me about R2 or other foreign editions. I know it's difficult to believe, movie buff that I am, but I don't own a region-free player and couldn't afford import discs even if I did).

This was originally a list of ten movies, but I just found out that the 1984 Tom Selleck film Lassiter is due out on DVD later this month. 

Arena (1989)
Avenging Force (1986)
Eliminators (1986)
Force: Five (1981)
Godzilla (1985)
I, The Jury (1982)
Ninja III - The Domination (1984)
PeaceMaker (1990)
The Soldier (1982)
I have about half of these titles on VHS, but aside from the fact that they're all pan & scan versions, they're all so old that the tapes are starting to demagnetize (is that a word?) and the image quality is significantly degraded....
Mar 062012
 
Thanks to some recent freelance income, we were able to catch up on our overdue medical and veterinary bills, and even had a little left over. I've used some of that small surplus to fill in holes in my various pop culture collections. Specifically, I've bought the handful of seasons of the WB/DC Animated series Batman Beyond (seasons 2 & 3) and Teen Titans (seasons 3-5) that we were missing. I'm a big fan of both programs, and I'm grateful that I now have the complete runs of those shows on my shelves, especially since I missed the last couple years of both shows when we chose not to get cable TV here.

I also ordered the last Mickey Spillane/Max Allan Collins "Mike Hammer" novel, Kiss Her Goodbye. It came out last year, but I was unable to purchase it when it was released. Now I'm nearly caught up with my Collins collection... just in time to look forward to the next Spillane/Collins collaboration, Lady, Go Die! - which is due out in May.

Since I stopped buying comics on a regular basis several years ago, I have still tried to follow a couple of ongoing titles in trade paperback form. One of these is The Walking Dead, the other is Dark Horse' Conan. Unfortunately, money's been so tight the last couple of years, that I've fallen behind on both of them. I'm still behind (I think they're up to Volume 11 or 12... or maybe even beyond), but I was able to find volumes 7 and 8 of Conan on sale online at a very reasonable price, so I'm closing the gap slightly.

The two books arrived today, and I'm really eager to read them.

Hammer Time!

 Crime Shows, Spillane  Comments Off
Feb 262012
 
I finally received the Darren McGavin Mike Hammer series DVDs that I ordered from Amazon a couple weeks ago, on Saturday. I watched the first disc last night. The picture quality on the DVDs is excellent (much better than the M Squad transfers). A&E did a great job on these discs. 

The first three or four episodes were fairly pedestrian (though still entertaining), but then things really picked up with a handful of fairly tough stories from Evan "Ed McBain" Hunter (as "Curt Cannon") and pulpster Frank Kane. I always enjoyed Kane's "Johnny Liddell" private eye novels, and his Hammer scripts are a lot of fun.

I think I'll alternate episodes of Mike Hammer and M Squad for the next couple of weeks, possibly a with a few Peter Gunns tossed in for variety....
Feb 182012
 
I was over at Amazon on Thursday night, checking the tracking info on an order I placed a week or so ago, when the site helpfully informed me that one of the items that I'd had on my "Wish List" since last Fall - the A&E Home Video DVD collection of the 1956-57 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer television series - was currently on sale, at more than 50% off its suggested retail price.

So, I did what I usually do in such situations: I whined to Brandi until she couldn't take it anymore and told me I could order it, just to shut me up.

What can I say? It works.

Anyway, I've placed the order, and I can't wait to get my hands on this set. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I'm a huge fan of actor Darren McGavin, and ever since I found out back in the 80s that he had played Hammer on TV, I've wanted to see the show. According to the customer reviews over on Amazon, the audio and video quality of this DVD set is excellent. I'm especially glad that A&E released all 78 episodes in one set (even if I couldn't afford it until it went on sale); frankly, I'm still disappointed/annoyed that they never finished releasing Peter Gunn on DVD.

Now if only someone would release the 80s Stacy Keach Mike Hammer series - and the 1981 version of I, The Jury - on disc, I'd be one very happy Spillane fan.

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