Monday, May 6, 2013

Captain's bLog: 0506.13

Well, I did a slightly better job keeping up with this blog in April than I did in March. Still have a number of long-ish posts/reviews in the works, waiting for a spare hour or two to finish them up....

I've pre-ordered the Battlestar Galactica Blu-ray from Best Buy (at present, it is exclusive to that chain). As soon as I get my hands on it - which should be in just over two weeks, depending on how efficiently Best Buy fulfills their online orders - I'll let you all know how it looks.

I did pick up Shout! Factory's DVD of Kinji Fukasaku's Message From Space last week, and it looks very good, although I think Shout's source print is a little more beat up (more specks and pops) and the transfer a bit darker and less detailed than the Eastern Star import DVD. The Shout disc's English-only mono audio is crisper and clearer than the optional English language track on the Eastern Star disc, however.

Star Kid Tim Snider sent me a note a few days ago to let me know about a forthcoming role playing game from Spectrum Games called Retrostar. Why? Well, because apparently, it's designed to emulate exactly the sort of movies and TV shows this blog was created to celebrate. From the Spectrum website:
While most people associate the 1970s with disco, polyester, feathered hair and eight-track tapes, many of us were far too busy being enthralled by the unprecedented amount of sci-fi programming on television to even notice those things. The television landscape was rife with these shows, from all the primetime series to the Saturday morning kid-vid fare. And that was just fine by us.

Those days may be long gone, but the shows still live on in our hearts and memories -- shows about the doomed human race attempting to escape its robotic oppressors; shows about a time-tossed astronaut making his way in a future world; shows about the occupants of a moonbase on an unwitting journey when the moon itself gets knocked out of Earth's orbit; shows about an individual who was rebuilt into a bionic man to be better... stronger... faster; shows about scientists traveling across the post-apocalyptic wasteland in a futuristic RV to find remnants of civilization and to help rebuild it.

These are the shows that -- despite their campiness, hit-and-miss acting and limited budgets (or perhaps partly because of such factors) -- have stuck with us for decades. With
Retrostar, you'll relive all the magic and excitement of the sci-fi shows of yesteryear, right at your game table. 
I wonder if the folks at Spectrum are fans of this site?

•  Blatant Cross-Promotion: First, I want to remind you all again that my weekly sci-fantasy webcomic, Perils On Planet X, drawn by the talented Gene Gonazles, can be read for free at  This serialized interplanetary swashbuckler has a new page posted every Friday, and chronicles the adventures of modern-day Earth astronaut Donovan Hawke, stranded on the lost planet of Xylos, hundreds of millions of years in the past. The story is packed with monsters, beautiful women and lots of Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers-styled thrills. I hope you'll check it out, bookmark it, and follow the comic each week.

Anyone who enjoys my writing and the reviews on this blog should check out my DVD Late Show site, where I have been reviewing B-movies, cult films and genre television shows on DVD and Blu-ray disc since 2005. Among the over 700 reviews on the site are plenty of Space: 1970-era favorites, like Battle Beyond The Stars, Damnation Alley, Starcrash, The Starlost, the Space: 1999 Blu-rays, and many more.


  1. Re: Retrostar RPG... The folks at Spectrum have kind of developed a neat RPG niche -- they specialize in "genre emulation"so the trappings, tropes, and cliches are kept intact. One of my favorite games they've produced is "Cartoon Action Hour" that emulates the Saturday morning toons from the 80s (He-man, Transformers, GI Joe, Thundarr, etc.) I'll bet playing Retrostar will be just like watching a show you never knew existed from the 70s.

  2. Chris, I'm curious about the artwork at the top of the entry... looks like a lot of the generic post-Star Wars space-themed illustration of the late '70s, but I was wondering if you had a title and artist for it? (Maybe you mentioned it already and I missed... sorry if that's the case!)

    1. That's some Japanese promo art showcasing some of the ships from Message From Space.

    2. Okay, thanks! (I've been trying to place it... it looks a lot like a pin-up print that I got out of a cereal box once... which I threw out at some point and have never been able to track down another one!)