Author Archives: Leo Craven

Leo Craven On… Barbarella

Barbarella

Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.

My wife once asked me what in the world happened in my childhood that lead to my ‘unique’ imagination, and I simply responded “Barbarella.” I didn’t grow up with the internet available to me, but bless my parents, they saw the PG rating on the movie box for Barbarella and decided that I could watch it with them one magical night in the early 1980s. It didn’t take long for them to hit the ‘stop’ button on the good ol’ Betamax, but by then it was too late; I was hooked. A couple of years later, my parents gave up fighting me on it, and allowed me to watch the version that one of their friends had recorded off cable. Best…Day…Ever!

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Scene Stealers: Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson“I have had it with these motherfu**ing snakes on this motherfu**ing plane!” – Snakes on a Plane

Samuel L. Jackson epitomizes what a ‘scene stealer’ is all about. Regardless of the scope of his role or the length of time he’s on screen, you cannot ignore Jackson’s presence in any film. He’s battled racism, dinosaurs, sharks, terrorists, snakes, aliens…and while he’s burned through more ‘movie lives’ than The Flash has shoes, he keeps on giving audiences and fans what they want = one bad*ss motha’ fu*ka!

Check out Jacksons’s top five “Scene Stealing” performances, after the jump.

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Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Fantasy Knives and Swords

fant1

During my lifetime, I have found that there is one gift for my fellow male gender that almost always hits the mark… weapons!  My fascination with weaponry got started when I was about 13 years old.  My father had returned from a business trip to the Philippines and had brought home a butterfly knife for both me and my younger brother.  We grew up on a ranch with strict rules about weapons so we understood that these knives were not toys, but rather symbols of our coming of age as men.  Over the years I’ve added several more knives and a few swords to my collection, my wife being the catalyst for most of those acquisitions.

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Biff Bam Pop’s Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Zenescope’s Wonderland Series

In 2007, Zenescope Entertainment launched the “Wonderland” Series, a spin-off from the horror graphic novel series Grimm Fairy Tales.  The first major release for the series is titled “Return to Wonderland” and, to put it lightly, it’s ‘twisted’ (as is the entire series).  Author Raven Gregory re-introduces the reader to the now grown-up Alice Liddle, the heroine of Alice in Wonderland, and her teenage daughter, Calie (an anagram of ‘Alice’).  Only, in the Wonderland series, Alice is mentally disturbed and suicidal, her daughter is a promiscuous, self-absorbed teenager, and the traditional Wonderland characters have all been drawn in ‘bat-sh*t crazy nightmare’ mode.

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Scene Stealers: Fall TV Edition

Caitlin Snow on Flash“Yeah, he’s so hot. Uh, I mean, genetically speaking. Because I’m a geneticist, of course. Oh, my God, do I sound like Felicity?” – Caitlin Snow, The Flash

The Fall TV season is well under way with most series having aired several episodes by now. “Gotham” has been enjoying fantastic ratings, although I’d still rank it behind my favs: “Grimm” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (how is this show still struggling in the ratings department; it’s gotten SO GOOD!).

In reverse order, here are my top five “Scene Stealing” performances of the Fall TV Season (so far).

 

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Scene Stealers: The Fearsome Five

Stephen King's It“Swear to me swear to me that if it isn’t dead you’ll all come back.” – Stephen King, It

Halloween is almost here – Hooray! I remember as a kid walking through the video store and as soon as my parents were distracted, I’d head for the horror aisle. I wasn’t allowed to watch them, but just looking at the boxes gave me plenty of nightmares.

Here’s to the horror genre that many of us are supporting this month and to the five scariest “Scene Stealing” stars of them all.

 

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31 Days of Horror 2014 – Underworld (2003)

Underworld Movie“I am a Death Dealer.” – Selene

Even though I’m a fan of pretty much all of the genres that exist within the Horror category, the ‘monster movie’ will forever be my favorite. I use the term ‘monster’ to define anything that’s non-human.

It started in my childhood with classics like “Gremlins” and “Ghostbusters”, and continues to this day with what has developed into one of the most entertaining ‘monster’ franchises, “Underworld”.

 

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31 Days of Horror 2014 – Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist Movie“They’re here…” – Carol Anne

You’ve got to love the early 80’s. At the time of Poltergeist’s release, there was no PG-13 rating so instead this film received a rating of PG (along with other childhood nightmare-inducing releases of the time including “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Gremlins”).

Was I immediately scarred for life after viewing this at the age of 7? Sure…but I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything; even if it means to this day that I still check under the bed at night!

 

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31 Days of Horror 2014 – Frailty (2001)

Frailty Movie“We don’t kill people, we destroy demons.” – Dad

I miss video stores. My first job was as a video store clerk, and I loved roaming the rows of VHS boxes & DVD cases representing countless stories that I hadn’t had the time to indulge in (or that weren’t released) at the theater.

Sure, there’s streaming services today like Netflix (limited) and Amazon (expensive), but it’s not the same. One of my favorite “finds” back in the day was the movie “Frailty”. The budget was modest, but the acting was fantastic and the story is one of my favorites among the thriller / horror genre.

 

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Scene Stealers: In Memory of 2014

Robin Williams“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” – Williams Shakespeare

It seems like 2014 has already seen more than its fair share of talented entertainers leave us. I had the privilege of watching several of them create magical moments in both movies and television, and there are a few, in particular, that stand out for me.

The following list is comprised of five iconic actors who have greatly influenced my love of film and the “Scene Stealing” roles that will forever define them in my mind.

 

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