About Rex
Name: Rex Stetson
Occupation: Masked Avenger Type
Base of Operations: Washington, DC
E-Mail: rexstetson@yahoo.com
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 Other Blogs of Interest
The Young Curmudgeon
Notes from the Lounge
Reason Hit and Run
The Anal Philosopher
Justice Junction
Perverted Justice
Mr. X
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Monday, September 29, 2003

Support Rex Stetson: Armchair Vigilante!

Many of you loyal readers have been writing in to ask how you can support some of the fine blogging that occurs here at Rex Stetson, Armchair Vigilante. Well, folks, let me tell you: it's expensive to watch all the movies required to make the movie, superhero, and pop-cultural references you so enjoy. Many a time I've been in the middle of a post, and wished to make reference to a particular film or comic book- but haven't felt that I could make as clever a comment, or insightful an analysis, due to lack of familiarity with a particular work.

It seems such a shame. I do my best, and sometimes my fans send me promotional/review copies. ( I don't wish to embarrass any generous folks out there, but you know who you are!)

I struggled long and hard, wondering if I should engage that annoying internet cup-rattling - a PayPal button with the word "Donate".

I decided that when it comes to charity, it sure gives you a great feeling to help your fellow man, especially when he's given you some amusement (such as subway musicians and street performers).

But the trouble is you never know what that cup-rattling beggar is going to spend that money on- booze, drugs, who knows what? Wouldn't it be nice if you knew what that money was going toward? Sure- that's why respectable charities have so much disclosure!

Well, rather than begging with a Paypal account- I've decided to create a special section for my loyal readers who wish to give a little something back to Rex Stetson:Armchair Vigilante!

And the fun part is, you get to pick how, what, and when to contribute! From now on, anyone and everyone who wishes to support what I do here, please feel free to visit the Rex Stetson: Armchair Vigilante Amazon Wishlist.

In return for your contribution, you'll recieve a Limited Edition, individually numbered, Thank You Note Personally Autographed by me, Rex Stetson! These are certain to become Collector's Items and to appreciate in value!

Right now, there are a variety of items available on the list, and I plan on adding more all the time, so be sure to bookmark it, and check back frequently!

Thanks in advance for all your support!

Rex

Posted by Rex @ 4:47 PM

Rex Whines About John Ritter's Death For The Last Time, Segues To Whining About Obscure '80s Cult Films

I know everyone is sick and tired of hearing me whine about John Ritter's death, but I just had one more thing to say about it. As a fan of John Ritter, and of superheroes, I have been recommending the underrated Ritter superhero film Hero At Large (1980) for a while now. Trouble is, the film is fairly hard to find. I did happen to stumble across, however, a site which has several screen captures of this film, including several pictures of John in his "Captain Avenger" costume. I happen to own a copy of the film on VHS which I bought used from Blockbuster years ago- one of those "never-rents" that they unload for a few bucks. The best VHS find since I bought that copy of Superman II for $1 at a GoodWill when it was out of print during the early to mid '90s.

It's amazing what films you can pick up in that manner- rarities (often from the early 1980's) that haven't been put on DVD yet, due to their obscure cult status And the films are packaged in old, worn boxes featuring faded names of faded stars unfamiliar to video rental customers- who mostly want new releases. Usually these were never put on DVD (due to too small a market-or legal battles over the rights of anything with a decent profit potential).Turns out many of the rinky dink studios that made these cult films are unsurprisingly out of business and their catalogues have often been bought and sold so many times that no one knows who owns what anymore.

An ex-girlfriend of mine managed to snatch up the Last Known VHS Copy on Earth of the beloved Canadian independent film Breaking All The Rules (1985). I remember being very jealous, and wondering if she bought it purely to get back at me for ending the relationship. Probably not- she just had excellent taste in crappy pop culture- especially '80s pop culture- and there ain't no way her rotten ex-boyfriend was getting his hands on her find. That's the trouble with rare cult films- and collectibles in general I suppose. They breed camaraderie, but also competition- it's kind of a zero-sum game. It needn't be, if you're willing to settle for an illegal copy (a little degraded, but watchable).

UPDATE: Breaking All The Rules has been found on Region 2 (UK) DVD, thanks to an alert reader! As I have hacked my DVD Player to be "All Region", I will be ordering a copy soon! This is a good thing to do if you find your favorite cult films available on foreign DVD. Plus your friends will not borrow (and fail to return) them. APEX makes the best DVD players in the world- they can be easily hacked, and they are cheap. A friend of mine bought one for $50, shipped.

Anyway, TV-taped copies are sometimes your best option-that's what I did with another cult favorite of mine, Hot Rods To Hell (1967). - bought a copy taped from TCM. It's also unavailable on DVD or even VHS so the only tapes that can be found are recorded from TV. Apparently I am not the only one who likes this film- there's a pretty thorough website available for others devoted to it.

Another '80s film that needs to be on DVD, along with Breaking All the Rules, Megaforce, Hero At Large, and a bunch of others- is another fine Superhero film- Super Fuzz (1981)! I used to have a Super Fuzz fan site a few years back, which died when I left school. I got a surprising number of hits each week, and comments from all sorts of folks who each thought they were the only ones who knew about this movie. It was actually in heavy rotation on HBO in the early '80s. But I saw it in the theatre. I actually own ( but do not display) the original One-Sheet poster. I may frame it and hang it next to my autographed photo of Dick Durock, the Swamp Thing from the 1982 film. At least THAT ONE is on DVD! We met in the mid-to late 80's at a cookout in my neighborhood. His sister was a neighbor, and apparently he just carries these 8x10's around on the chance that someone recognizes him. Come to think of it, I think I remarked on the huge "Swamp thing" poster she had, and then she told me Dick was visiting that weekend. At the time I didn't know that he was also the "Evil Hulk" from the old Incredible Hulk TV show, as well! Which makes him doubly cool, as far as all that 80's cult street cred goes. Dick was also in an original series Star Trek episode, and a regular on "Battlestar Galactica", as if that wasn't enough!

But back to Super Fuzz. Fine film, universally enjoyed by all who see it. What's the problem- where's the damn DVD? Well, there's some sort of legal battle going on. Apparently Anchor Bay Entertainment has a great Special Edition DVD ready to go, but someone is fighting them over the rights.

You know who always loses in these fights? The losers. The guys who have nothing better than to watch crappy movies that were crappy then and worse now. But to be fair, there are a lot of crummy movies coming out now, too. I would put The Core (2003) up against anything Roger Corman or Samuel Z. Arkoff ever made. And the same can be said about Anaconda (1997) (although I think that might have been intentional tribute to '50s schlock horror) or even Armageddon (the "Meteor!"(1979) of its day(1998).

Whatever- I forgot what my point is exactly, If I had one. Oh yeah- these movies were meant to be seen- so come on, studios- figure out how to split up the money, and let's see some DVDs!



Posted by Rex @ 2:05 PM

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