Revisiting Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four (1994)

   Today we are celebrating the return of the Fantastic Four in Marvel Comics, with a viewing of the first Fantastic Four film! This is my favorite FF flick. I hope that Marvel Studios does re-acquire the rights to the property so we can have an MCU movie, soon.

Fantastic Four Corman


Comics impresario Stan Lee, center, poses with Lou Ferrigno, right, and Eric Kramer who portray ?The Incredible Hulk? and Thor, respectively, in a special movie for NBC, ?The Incredible Hulk Returns,? May 9, 1988, Los Angeles, Calif. Lee says the secret of successfully transferring comic book characters to television is to avoid making it a carbon copy. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
The Incredible Hulk Returns, 1988

Here at the Quantum Multiverse Secret Headquarters, we are screening the 1994 film by Roger Corman. Fantastic Four. It’s a movie that wasn’t meant to be seen by the general public. Marvel, supposedly, bought the film out and tried to erase it from history. This was after that horrible attempt at Thor in the Hulk TV movie, The Incredible Hulk Returns and the poor showing of the first Captain America movie. 

   You see, comic book movies filled with self-loathing superheroes just suck. If you have to change a property so much that you can’t recognize it from the source material then you may as well come up with something original. Well, perhaps that is far too much to be asking. If those who produce a film have nothing but disdain for its origins then how can anybody possibly enjoy the outcome. Not everybody has gotten the memo yet… It’s the age of the Geek and Geeks HAVE inherited the earth.


char_6550   Mr. Corman’s movie doesn’t take itself to seriously and it has a very comic book feel to it. It is like a fan film love letter addressed to all fans, everywhere. I first was exposed to this film via Wizard Magazine, waaaay back when. It seemed like a great idea. I was a bit hung up on the outfits and the Thing. You see, my true fandom for the first family of Marvel comics was in the 6th grade (1981 – 1982) during John Byrne’s run as the artist and writer of the title. It was incredible. I used to watch the cartoon with the Human Torch replacement robot, H.E.R.B.I.E. As a kid, it was ok. I didn’t see the old Fantastic Four cartoon from the 60’s until later in my 6th grade year and I really liked that as well. I found out that many of the episodes had their origins in Jack Kirby & Stan Lee stories.

bengrimm0802   I digress. Where were we? Ah, yes… Fantastic 1994. Well, it wasn’t until 1998 or 1999 when, at a Comic Book Convention in Sacramento (CA), I purchased my first bootleg copy of this movie on VHS. The quality wasn’t all that great and the effects were very unpolished. I had the snooty fan-boy blinders on and made my mind up that it was a crappy film. It embarasses me to think about how shallow I was. Instead of celebrating something, that I never thought would be live action, for its high points.

   This brings me to today. Here, in my livingroom… err, I mean HEADQUATERS, watching this movie again for the fourth or fifth time. It really is the most faithful live-action adaptation of the material. Mr. Corman walks the fine line between presenting his vision and staying true to the spirit of the comics.

ff-torch-corman   If you have not seen this film yet, I would recommend it. Don’t just dismiss it outright because of the images, rumors or what some angry nerd told you at the comic book shop, once. Sure, The effects are not really the best, Johnny doesn’t go full Torch until the end (and when he does… well… it isn’t that bad for 1994), Ben is in a rubber suit that utilised TMNT tech to animate the face, and Ben does turn back into his flesh and blood form when Alicia Masters professes her love for him. Get over all of that, and whatever else. Victor Von Doom is right out of the comics and there are so many other awesome things that this film has to offer.


Best Live Action Doctor Doom EVER. Nuff Said.
Best Live Action Doctor Doom EVER. Nuff Said.


Star Wars Mini Retrospective: Clone Wars (2003)


   Once upon a time, way back in 2003, a great adventure took place. It was a dark time in Star Wars. No, not for the lack of Star Wars content like we had in the late 80’s and early 90’s. This was far, far worse. It was the time of the prequels. OK, they were not all that bad. There were some cringeworthy moments for us all. As an adult who was seven in 1977, I’ve since made peace with the prequels, for the most part. Some things from that era are better than others. One such nugget of geek goodness is the original animated Clone Wars.

Clone Wars - Awesome designs and serious action
Wikipedia’s entry contains all the dry facts.

Star Wars: Clone Wars is an American animated micro series created by Genndy Tartakovsky, set in the Star Wars universe. Chronologically, the series fills the three-year gap between prequel films Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The show follows the actions of various characters from the Star Wars prequel trilogy; notably Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu, Yoda, and other Jedi Knights during the conflict, leading the clone trooper forces of the Galactic Republic against the battle droid armies of the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Sith.

   Clone Wars was produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with Lucasfilm Ltd., and was aired on Cartoon Network in 25 chapters from 2003 to 2005. The first two seasons, comprising Volume One, were produced in a two- to three-minute “micro” format, while season three was produced as fifteen-minute episodes making up Volume Two. Both volumes were later released on home video edited as feature-length films. Since release, it has received critical acclaim and won multiple awards.

Now for the wet opinions.

This method of serializing the story over two years in three minute (or so) increments was novel and refreshing. It left you wanting more! The series also bridged the gap between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The programing was one of my favorite things on the Cartoon Network and is still fun to watch from time to time. The style of storytelling suites today’s tastes for clipped, short info bursts. When watched all together it makes for an action packed saga. If you have not seen this one then do yourself a favor and check out the video bellow. It runs a bit over two hours and is well worth the watch. You can probably still purchase the DVD on Amazon, but don’t quote me on that.


Quantum Multiverse 2.0

   So my phone died, when I picked up a new one I also opted for a new local number. Why does any of that matter? It doesn’t. I’ve had my wordpress site for roughly five years now, and I took a 6 month break from it. When I went to recover it, I had forgotten that I had a new number, and no access to my old application to verify my identity.

   I am not sure if I want to start from scratch again, but here I am. I had been operating my art/sharing/collecting addiction on social media sites, but with some of the stink about Facebook it might be time to re-relocate to my own platform.

   Until I get this new home warmed up with some content, please connect with me on one, or a few, of the social media sites I have listed in the top menu. I have thousands of photos on Pinterest and Facebook, and some quality posts on Twitter. If you are more interested in vintage toys, head to my Instagram account. I’m here to find kindred spirits.

I have a secret place where I go to contemplate all of my problems. They don’t look so insurmountable from there.


The Omega Man (1971)

   “Two years after much of humankind was destroyed in a global war with biological weapons, Doctor Robert Neville leads a solitary existence in Los Angeles. Those humans that do remain are pigment-less albino creatures that roam the night destroying what remnants that may exist of the previous civilization. Neville, who had worked on an antidote to the virus, is one of their main targets. By day, he searches for their nests while they sleep. He comes across a small band of survivors, mostly children, but which includes two adults. Having injected himself with his experimental serum several years before, Neville in fact may carry the immunities needed to reverse the creatures’ condition. The only question is whether he can survive their constant attacks long enough to prove it.” ~via IMDB


   This is actually my first time watching this classic movie. Being a Charlton Heston fan, I am surprised that I haven’t seen it before this evening. It’s kept my attention throughout the whole film. Like many movies of this era, it seems to have its quirks, and I dig that.

   As I understand it, The Omega Man is a remake of one of my favorite films, The Last Man on Earth. That Vincent Price treasure is a difficult film to top, as far as dystopian nightmare flicks go. I am enjoying the similarities to that film, and the major differences.

  The hero, Mr. Heston, seems pretty one dimensional, but how deep does a man get when he lives a life where his only task left on this planet is to eradicate the mutated remains of humanity. The mutant leader is a bit too chatty, yet aren’t most movie villains / mutant religious fanatics?

   All in all, it’s a good film and one that I should have watched years ago. I need to acknowledge the lads from the Plaid Stallions podcast (Pod Stallions) for turning me onto this one.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)


Nimoy, Sutherland, and Goldblum all contribute to make this movie very memorable.
   So for the first time, last weekend, I watched the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It was pretty entertaining. Nothing too spectacular visually, about what you would expect from a film from the 1950’s. Overall I enjoyed it, and found it to be pretty entertaining.


Kevin McCarthy cameo from the original 1956 film.
   Last night, also for the first time, I watched the remake from 1978. It was marvelous! All except for the dog. If you’ve seen it then you know what I am talking about. This movie had me when they included a wonderful cameo by the lead actor from the first movie in a scene that could have been a continuation of his original role.
   The movie was great, and I have no regrets for never having watched it before, because I got to see it for the first time at an age where I can appreciated it the most. You should watch it if you haven’t already. If you don’t then they will know…

Get the best version of this film from Amazon.

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