Category Archives: TV and Film

Wales Comiccon

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Wales Comiccon first launched in 2008 and has remained one of the main places I go to to meet what I class as 80s legends. It has grown from strength to strength over the years and is now celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Comiccons, they are a complex thing to try to explain – They are an event where people can dress up like their favourite fictional characters, but where you can also meet real people who have been on TV and in films. There are usually stalls where you can buy replica geeky things, but also it is a place to meet like-minded friends. It is a mishmash of everything that I like.

The main reason I go to Comiccons is to meet people who were part of my childhood. People who were in the TV programmes I watched, and who were in 80s films. The talented actors who played characters

Previous guests at Wales Comiccon have included:

Dave Prowse – Darth Vader himself, Dave Prowse, has attended Wales Comiccon a couple of times over the last 10 years. I bought a copy of his autobiography from Dave himself, which he was happy to sign and which I was elated he signed.

John Challis – Boycie from Only Fools and Horses. John has been at a few Wales Comiccons and is always happy to sign copies of his book, which he sells there ridiculously cheaply. I hope he didn’t get his stock from Del Boy!

Kiran Shah – Kiran was in The Dark Crystal. He played the Jen, the Gelfling, in all the shots where you see the full sized non-puppetry Jen.

Frank Bruno – Frank was an 80s boxing legend. Frank appeared at Wales Comiccon in April 2018 and was one of the most friendly people I’ve ever chatted to.

George Wendt – George played Norm from Cheers. I mean, how can you NOT want to talk to Norm from Cheers?!?

Justin Lee Collins – Justin is maybe the biggest fan of the 80s I’ve ever chatted to. I interviewed him for 80sNos a few years ago and met him in person a few months after at Wales Comiccon. He presented a series on TV called “Bring Back…” on which he reunited the stars of The A Team, the children from Grange Hill and members of Fame.

Anthony Head – Anthony was a big name in the 90s, playing Gyles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but he also featured in a few 80s shows too. Howards Way, Lady Chatterleys Lover, The Comic Strip Presents, but he also starred in the 80s TV adverts for Gold Blend. Mmmmm, coffee…..

Lou Ferrigno – The original 1970s HULK was at Wales Comiccon last year! This was a dream come true for a 70s and 80s TV fan like me. Luckily I didn’t anger him too much, he didn’t start breaking walls down and the other visitors remained safe.

They say “Never meet your heroes” as if something will put you off them but in my experience , if you are a fan of 80s TV, meeting them is always a brilliant experience and Comiccons are the best places to do it.

Wales Comiccon is on December 1st and December 2nd 2018 at Glyndwr University, Wrexham, North Wales.

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Forgotten Filmcast Episode 118: Battleground

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.


On the new episode of the Forgotten Filmcast, Todd is joined by Jessica Pickens from Comet Over Hollywood to look at a film that though somewhat forgotten today was actually a Best Picture nominee…1949’s Battleground.

Download the Show:
Your Listen

Show Notes:
Comet Over Hollywood
Jessica at Twitter

Movies Discussed:
The War Against Mrs. Hadley
Mike Fright

“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Go to Source – Forgotten Films

For The Love Of Sci-Fi

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The weekend of December 1st & 2nd sees a HUGE Sci-Fi event descend into Manchester.

For The Love Of Sci-Fi, from Monopoly Events, is bringing Film legends and TV stars to Manchester. If you remember 80s film classics like ET, Predator, Rocky and Red Sonja then you will love meeting the guests at this event. As well as films, there are guests from TV and music – Stars from Stranger Things will be there, along with Ray Parker Jnr, writer and performer of the Ghostbusters theme song.

If you want to get tickets right now, (and you should!) click here –

For a full list of attendees, and details of the additional attractions, read on…

UK FIRST EXCLUSIVE – Stranger Things – Dustin & Lucas
Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin and an opportunity to have a photo on Will’s couch!
Stranger Things is an excellent Netflix series set in Indiana in the year 1983.

When a young boy goes missing the rest of his family and friends must come together to find out what is happening in their town. Things get stranger when a shaven-headed young girl appears.

UK FIRST EXCLUSIVE – Rocky & Predator
Carl Weathers aka Apollo Creed and Brigitte Nielsen aka Ludmilla Vobet Drago. The Rocky Franchise was a series of movies directed, written and starred in by Sylvester Stallone as the title character Rocky Balboa. It’s a rag to riches tale of a boxer who fights through the troubles of life to fight the Heavyweight Champion Of The World.

Henry Thomas (Elliot), Dee Wallace (Mary), Robert MacNaughton (Michael) and Matthew De Meritt reunite and talk about making this iconic film that touched so many peoples hearts in the early 1980s.
The cast of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial reunite after 36 years.

Jesse Ventura is an American Professional Wrestler turned actor, turned Governor of Minnesota. He has done it all.

Jesse Ventura has appeared in many films such as Predator and Running Man alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abraxas, Guardian Of The Universe, No Holds Barred and Thunderground

Standing at a striking 6’1″ it’s no surprise Brigitte Nielsen began her career as a model before transitioning into acting. In 1985 she appeared in the fantasy film Red Sonja alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. That same year she married Sylvester Stallone; the couple acted in two films together (Rocky IV and Cobra) before divorcing in 1987.

In 1987, Nielsen played Karla Fry in the film Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), alongside Eddie Murphy. Subsequently, she starred in 976-Evil II, The Double 0 Kid (1992), Chained Heat II (1993), Galaxis (1995), and Snowboard Academy (1996). She starred as the villainess of the Italian TV fantasy film Fantaghirò 2 and its sequels (1992–1996).

Bill Duke also was known as William Henry Duke, Jr. is an American actor, director, producer, and writer of film and television. Known for his physically imposing frame, Duke’s work frequently dwells within the action and crime drama genres but also appears in comedy. Frequently a character actor, he has starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando and Predator, and has appeared in films like American Gigolo, No Man’s Land, Bird on a Wire, Menace II Society, Payback, and X-Men: The Last Stand; often plays characters related to law enforcement

UK FIRST EXCLUSIVE – Ghostbusters writer and performer of the Ghostbusters original song – FIRST EVER UK APPEARANCE
Ray Parker Jr is an American Singer-songwriter and guitarist, record producer, and actor, best known for writing and performing the theme song to the 1984 movie Ghostbusters, for his solo music, and for performing with his band, Raydio, and with Barry White.

Parker also made acting appearances on the 1980s sitcom Gimme a Break, 1984 CBS Saturday morning kids’ show Pryor’s Place (for which Parker appeared in the opening title sequence singing the theme song), Disorderlies (1987), Enemy Territory (1987), Charlie Barnett’s Terms of Enrollment (1986) aka Terms of Enrollment (USA: short title), two episodes of Berrenger’s (1985), and Uptown Saturday Night (1974). He was also a production assistant for the film Fly by Night (1993).

Summary of all guests:-

Gaten Matarazzo – Stranger Things
Caleb McLaughlin – Stranger Things
Carl Weathers – Predator, Rocky, Happy Gilmore
Bill Duke – Predator & Commando
Jesse Ventura – Predator, Running Man
Brigitte Nielsen – Rocky, Red Sonja
Henry Thomas – ET
Dee Wallace – ET
Robert MacNaughton – ET
Matthew De Meritt – the original ET
Lou Ferrigno – The Incredible Hulk
Ray Parker Jr – Original writer and artist of the Ghostbusters theme song.
Spencer Wilding – Star Wars – Rogue One
Nick Maley & Yoda – Starwars Creature Effects
Mike Quinn – Starwars – animator – Nien Numb
Paul Blake – Starwars – Greedo

PREDATOR – Carl Weathers, Bill Duke and Jesse Ventura
STRANGER THINGS – Gaten Matarazzo and Celeb McLaughlin
ROCKY – Carl weathers & Brigitte Nielsen
ET – Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton and Matthew De Meritt
All guests will be doing Single photos shoots too.


Live Q&As
Full-scale movie prop and set recreations including a 41ft X-Wing, ET forest shoot, Stranger Things set builds and more
The Piccadilly Symphony Orchestra playing all your favourite sci-fi themes live conducted by an animatronic Yoda
Cosplay competitions
Trading village
Live art
Miniature model displays
The world famous Cantina Space Bar & more 🚀

FRIDAY 30TH NOVEMBER – Opening Concert featuring Ray Parker Junior, Gaten Matarazzo with his band ‘Work in Progress, The Synth Lords and Blues Harvest.

For more info, visit

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Forgotten Filmcast Episode 117: Curtains

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.


It’s time for the Halloween episode of the Forgotten Filmcast.  This time, Todd is joined by Zoe Rose Smith from Zobo with a Shotgun to discuss the 1982 Canadian slasher film Curtains.

Download the Show:
Your Listen

Show Notes:
Zobo with a Shotgun
Zoe on Twitter

Films Discussed:
The Unholy

“Protofunk” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Go to Source – Forgotten Films

American Gothic

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

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This past summer I spent a week back in Chicago; the land of my childhood. While there, my family and I decided to visit the Art Institute of Chicago, which I had never really been to as a kid. There are many very famous works of art on display there, including the Grant Wood painting American Gothic. In the back of my mind, I had remembered a horror movie that borrowed that name. It had a very brief theatrical run and a minuscule home video release before all but vanishing from almost everyone’s memories. I had totally forgotten about it, as well, until I spotted a rare DVD copy at one my local used disc shops. So, get ready for some creepy country folk in 1987’s American Gothic.

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The story centers on a group of friends in Seattle who hop into a small plane to go camping out in the wilderness. The organizer of the trip, and owner of the plane, is Jeff (Mark Erickson), whose wife, Cynthia (Sarah Torgov) was just released from a mental institution. Seems she was riddled with guilt after the death of her infant daughter, who she left unattended in the bathtub. Jeff thinks the trip will be good for Cynthia, but the group soon runs into trouble. The plane experiences engine problems and they are forced to land on a small island.

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The island seems uninhabited, at first, but they soon find a house owned by a strange family. Ma (Yvonne De Carlo) and Pa (Rod Steiger) seem to be stuck several decades in the past. They don’t even have electricity. The house is also home to their three “children,” Fanny (Janet Wright), Woody (Michael J. Pollard) and Teddy (William Hootkins), all of whom are actually full-grown adults that act like kids. Well, they act like kids except for the fact that they like to kill people in their spare time. Gradually they begin to pick off the unwanted visitors, at times using playthings like a swing and a jump rope as weapons.

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American Gothic is, for the most part, a fairly standard piece of hicksploitation horror. It’s got a strange family who are a bit behind the times knocking off a group of unwelcome city folk one by one. Most of the film has a somewhat light-hearted tone. That is, except for a few elements that are brought into the story that take things to some very dark and disturbing places. It was quite jarring to be watching this slightly silly little horror film and then be hit with something that made me go, “whoa, where did THAT come from!?” These shock moments will be quite off putting for many viewers, but the film does offer some pleasant surprises, as well.  The best is a wonderful twist on the concept of the final girl. It’s something wholly original and it would be a crime to give it away here. I will say, though, that what makes this final girl twist work is a lovably bizarre performance from Sarah Torgov as Cynthia.

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All around, the film is bolstered by a unique cast delivering far better performances than a backwoods slasher film like this ever deserved. Going in I kind of assumed that this film would just be a paycheck for Rod Steiger and Yvonne De Carlo. Sure, both of them were still working regularly at this point, but let’s be honest, both were also a bit past their prime. You wouldn’t know it here as both deliver wonderful performances. De Carlo especially sells it as a seemingly sweet old woman with an evil streak that creeps out every now and then. Steiger’s permanent scowl is also a perfect fit for the patriarch of this twisted family. I loved the scene where he staunchly refuses to allow his male and female guests to share the same bedroom because they ain’t “hitched.”

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As much as I enjoyed Steiger and De Carlo, the real standouts here are their “kids.” Janet Wright gets the most screen time as Fanny, a fifty-something year-old woman who thinks she’s about to turn twelve and plays with a doll that is, well, about as far from a Cabbage Patch Kid as you can get. She spends the whole movie in a red dress that could’ve been borrowed from the set of Small Wonder (weird 80’s TV reference for the win), and turns in the creepiest performance of the film. That’s quite an achievement when one of your co-stars is Michael J. Pollard, who could make playing Boggle unsettling (weird 70’s board game reference for bonus points). Also wonderfully crazy is William Hootkins (yup, Porkins from Star Wars) who dons an Indian headdress and shoots suction cup arrows at two potential victims in one scene.

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Though American Gothic’s basic premise is nothing new, it still manages to do some unique things. The characters are quirky, the kills are creative, and final twist is a real winner. I could’ve done without some of the story elements that seem to be dropped in just to shock, but overall this is a horror film that has a lot going for it.

Go to Source – Forgotten Films

Daughters of Satan

This article is from Forgotten Films. Click the title to hop over there.

Daughters of Satan 1.png

Everybody knows by now that Tom Selleck is the man who was almost Indiana Jones. What stopped him? Well, he couldn’t manage to do that film and still keep his commitment to his hit TV show, Magnum P.I. Though he’s had a few movie hits, he’s always been thought of as more of a TV star ever since. He did have a few big screen roles before Magnum, though, including this outing battling witches in 1972’s Daughters of Satan.

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Selleck plays James Robertson, a man living in Manilla who buys art for museums. He is called to a small shop to look at some rare tapestries, but while there spots an intriguing painting. It depicts three witches being burned at the stake, along with a big black dog. One of the witches bears an uncanny resemblance to Robertson’s wife, Chris (Barra Grant). Intrigued, he buys the painting. However, when he shows it to his wife, she is repulsed. Well, at first she is, but soon she starts to warm up to the painting.

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Soon, some strange things start to happen. At one point, the Robertsons encounter a large black dog, just like the one in the painting. Strangely, they also notice that the dog no longer appears in the painting. Later, they also hire a housekeeper (Paraluman) who resembles one of the other witches in the painting. At one point, this housekeeper gives Chris a small package, the contents of which cause a strange gas to fill the room when mixed with water…almost suffocating her husband. It seems that Chris, the housekeeper, and another woman (Tani Guthrie) are the witches from the painting reincarnated, and they are out to kill James, who is the descendant of a witch hunter from long ago.

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Daughters of Satan very much has the vibe of a low-grade horror flick, though strangely it was released by a pretty big studio…United Artists. It’s got a fair amount of schlock, but not quite as much as the story seems to warrant. In fact, I think the big problem with this film is that there really isn’t that much that happens. It starts weird enough, with a witch hanging naked over a bunch of spikes as other witches taunt her. After that, though, the film becomes pretty stale, with very few moments that would be considered horrific. There’s an awful lot of the film that seems to be devoted to just staring at the weird painting, and that doesn’t make for a terribly engaging film.

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I will say, though, that Tom Selleck turns in a solid performance. Even with the rest of the cast doing a serviceable job, Selleck, truthfully, acts circles around everyone else. He’s charming and charismatic and makes it quite clear why he’s the one here that went on to a big career. There’s a downside to his performance, though. Simply put, his character is unflappable…and I’d say unflappable to a fault. I mean, it’s supposed to be a horror movie, but Selleck’s character seems completely unfazed by everything that is going on. That moustache of his doesn’t get ruffled for anything. If he’s the one who is supposed to be living through these events, but he’s not freaked out by anything…well, where does that leave us as an audience?

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The film does make a somewhat gallant effort when it comes to creating some weird atmosphere. The little shop where Robertson first finds the painting is appropriately weird. Also weird is Tani Guthrie as one of the other witches. In the middle of one scene with Selleck she suddenly becomes naked, but still Selleck is unfazed. He just sit there next to her chatting like they were havin’ coffee at Denny’s. Sadly, it’s the opening scene of the movie that is the most effective at creating a horror atmosphere, but that feel is never replicated through the rest of the film’s running time.

Though the charismatic screen presence of Tom Selleck was enough to keep my slightlty interested in this film, it’s a pretty weak attempt at a horror movie. It doesn’t help either that the ending of the film is a real head-scratcher that had me mystified as to what supposedly happened. I guess if you’re into seeing major actors slumming it in their early movie roles, though, you could do a lot worse than Daughters of Satan.


Go to Source – Forgotten Films

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