R.I.W: Top 60 Best Luchadores

I have been a fan of Pro Wrestling for as long as I can remember, and alongside Horror Movies, Video Games, Rock Music and Comic Books, it’s still something that I enjoy to this very day…sure WWE’s product has been lacking on the creative front for decades with only hints of great booking in stories like The Fiend and the heel turn of Roman Reigns. Over the years I have seen many wrestling events live from companies like WWE, WCW, ECW, Rockstar Pro and many indie federations. I grew up not only watching the above mentioned on TV but also GWF, AWA, NWA, GCW, Impact, ROH, WCCW, AAA, CMLL, FMW, New Japan, All Japan, XPW and so many more thanks to broadcast as well as home media formats. Who remembers the VHS Wrestling Tape Trades that allowed fans to see matches and wrestlers from all over the world? One style of wrestling that has been my favorite from the first time I saw it is Lucha Libre as the fast paced moves and amazing grapplers with superhero style looks and characters has always been my go to for wrestling. For this update I am going to countdown my personal picks for the top 60 Luchadors aka my personal favorites!

While working on Rotten Ink, I started to think about ways to bring in other subjects that I love as well as fun themed updates that I can bust out from time to time stuff to join the likes of Horror Host Icon, SOV Flashback Classics, Sports Mascots Countdown, Talk Back and a few more. So I decided to create R.I.W. that stands for Rotten Ink Illustrated and is a play off of Pro Wrestling Illustrated (P.W.I) that was my favorite wrestling magazine growing up. And with these R.I.W updates, I am thinking that I will not only be doing Top 60 Countdowns but might also talk about PPV events and break them down and who knows maybe even will cover some live events…as I am not sure really just yet what I want to do for these themed updates.

Keep in mind this list is just my opinion and these rankings are just how I am feeling now. Ask me in a year or two and I am sure it could and would change! The rankings for this are based on me seeing matches of these Luchadors and their character and look.  I am ruling out two icons El Santo and Blue Demon as they are the kings of the ring and while I have seen very little of their matches, I grew up watching their films on Commander USA’s Groovie Movies. Oh and by saying “seen matches” I mean watching on TV, Seen Live, Online Matches and old Tape Trade VHS. So if you are ready, let’s head to Rotten Ink Arena and let’s talk Luchadors…and yeah I added one extra for the fun of it!

# 61

Mr. Iguana
Started: 2009      Companies: AAA      Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

The super popular Mr. Iguana has made a big name for himself in AAA and is hands down one of the most popular wrestlers with kids in the promotion! Mr. Iguana started in the indies, and after an injury set him back, he quickly made a name for himself upon his return to the ring and got the attention of AAA and was signed to compete in the company. While he is not a main eventer and is a Mid-Card lucha, he is very entertaining to watch in the ring. Mr. Iguana is one that I have seen thanks to AAA’s social media that has allowed me and other US fans to see these guys wrestle. While he is not one of my favorite current Luchadors, I will say he is one that I am going to keep my eye on as I think he could become a very interesting wrestler if given the right feuds and matches.

# 60

El Mosco
Started: 1995      Companies: AAA & WWE     Active: Yes      Seen Live: No

El Mosco, who is now known as X-Fly, was a Luchador I first saw on WWE TV as he was part of their short-lived team up with AAA to help kick off their Lightweight division. He was a big deal in Mexico and ran a faction called “Los Rudos De La Galaxia” up until he left the promotion and his then-name Mosco De La Merced was given to another wrestler. During this time is when the El Mosco character was born, and he went on to work not only for Indie Federations but also at WWE, WCW and ECW many of times wrestling under different names and this started in 1997 and he still takes bookings to this day! And in 2010 he returned to AAA until 2012 and was a part of a major storyline that had him teaming with Halloween and Damian 666. He’s a very skilled Luchador, who I mostly knew from his short WWE run and was one I found myself cheering for. And man, he has had a ton of other in ring names that include Winners II, Pierroth Jr., Johnny and Juan El Mosco to name a few.

# 59

Super Calo
Started: 1990      Companies: AAA & WCW      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Super Calo was a Luchador that I first saw on WCW as part of the Mexican superstars that were showing up to help push the cruiserweight division, and while a super skilled wrestler, he failed to capture my attention like many of the others brought in, but keep in mind that I still enjoyed watching him in matches. Super Calo started his in ring career in 1990 working some indie federations before landing at AAA in 1992 where he became a very popular wrestler and a draw with his rapper gimmick.  His run lasted until around 1995 as by 1996 he had been signed to WCW and helped showcase Lucha Libre to American fans. Super Calo would be used as enhancement talent and would stick around WCW for a few years before heading back to Mexico to work for the Indies. In 2007, he returned to AAA for another brief run and would then go back to the Indies as well as opening his own promotion called FSW.  While Super Calo might not have been a main eventer here in America, he is a well respected Lucha in Mexico.

# 58

Sin Cara
Started: 2011     Companies: WWE & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Ok, I know what you readers are saying: why is Sin Cara this high on your list as everyone knows that he was considered a failure in WWE and even had two wrestlers under the mask during his run.  But let me explain.  While he had some very botch filled matches while in WWE and even never really captured a Main Event Spot and was barely a Mid-Carder by the end, he helped paved the way for other masked Luchadors to be signed to WWE and be able to keep their masks on! And I am not going to talk about the history of Mistico or Hunico the two who played the gimmick and will more just talk about Sin Cara in general. In 2011 the WWE held a press conference to talk about the signing of Sin Cara as he was built up to be the next Rey Mysterio Jr. for the company and so much hype and push was placed on him as he was slated to be a main eventer even having him team with the company’s top star John Cena…but sadly his star quickly started to fade as injuries, bad attitude and botches made him fall down the card and with his title wins coming along side fellow Luchador Kalisto when, as the Lucha Dragons, they won the NXT Tag Team belts once. He was let go from the WWE in 2019 and has since made an appearance in AAA and now is going under a new name. While he might not be the best of the WWE Luchadors, he is one I enjoyed seeing on TV and at Live Events.

# 57

Tigre Uno
Started: 1998     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes  Seen Live: No

This Luchador started his career like so many working the Indies and making a name for himself.  He did so at California’s WWA (World Wrestling Association) promotion and during this time as well he became more of a Hardcore Wrestler using chairs, tables and ladders in his matches. In 2006, he got the call and joined AAA and climbed his way up the card winning not only some championships but also tournaments. And during this time Impact Wrestling ended up signing Tigre Uno in 2013 where he would become an attraction in the X-Division a belt that he would end up winning in 2015! Tigre Uno would stay with Impact until 2016 and after this he once more went to the Indies and has been there since entertaining fans worldwide. Tigre Uno is one of those wrestlers I have seen a little of his Impact matches and would like to see more of his work as well as see him live in person. Over the years Tigre Uno has also wrestled under the names Tyger Mask, Extreme Tiger, Ultimate Tiger and Xtreme Tiger.

# 56

Kalisto
Started: 2006      Companies: AAA & WWE      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Kalisto is a wrestler who I was happy to see in NXT and WWE as he was a masked Luchador that they allowed for the most part to wrestling in that style…well that was up until his call up to the main roster. Kalisto started his wrestling career working the Indies by the name of Samuray and making a name for himself that ended up leading him to a job with AAA and going from Samuray to Octagon Jr. as he became the student of one of his biggest inspiration Octagon himself! He was in AAA from 2011 and left in 2013 as he became a very in demand wrestler in the Indie scene all over the world and during this time he returned to the Samuray name and worked for companies like CZW, Dragon Gate and AAW! But later in 2013, WWE came calling and hired him to be part of their NXT brand. This would lead to a move up to the main roster in 2015, and during this time he became the United States Champion as well as the Cruiserweight Champion and has been part of the Tag Team “The Lucha Dragons” with Sin Cara and “The Lucha House Party” with Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado and remained a fun draw for American fans who enjoy the Lucha Libre style of wrestling. He also went under the names Bello Greco Jr., The Son Of Superzan, Jordy Stone and Love Warrior. He was let go from the WWE in 2021.

# 55

Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Started: 1994     Companies: WCW & WWE     Active: Yes   Seen Live: Yes

Chavo was born into one of Mexico’s royal families of wrestling, the Guerrero’s! He started wrestling in the indies and even landed himself matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling mastering his craft and building a name for himself. He would be brought into WCW in 1996 as part of the wave of Luchadors being brought in to build the cruiserweight division and he would be a contender off and on throughout the years for the belt even winning it twice and even capturing WCW Tag Team Gold once with partner Lash LeRoux! He would also have a gimmick in WCW that would see him go crazy and carry a stick horse around he called Pepe.  He would leave WCW in 2001 after the company was closed down and would start working for WWE and was part of The Alliance story angle.  During his WWE run, he was mostly used as a Mid-Carder with his biggest run coming when teaming with his uncle Eddie to win the WWE Tag Team Titles twice! He would also win the ECW Championship once as well as the WWE Cruiserweight Championship four times…he would also have one of the worst gimmicks ever while in the WWE when he changed his name to Kerwin White and denounced his Mexican heritage. Chavo would leave WWE in 2011 and would start working for the Indies like WWC before landing at Impact Wrestling in 2012 and would slink around there until 2013 and would make another appearance for them in 2019. After Impact and still taking Indie bookings, he also worked for Lucha Underground as well as the very short lived Nacion Lucha Libre, a federation he co-created with Alberto Del Rio in 2019 (they closed in 2020). While Chavo is still wrestling, he also has gone on to do other media releases like Acting, Comic Books and Podcasting. While Chavo is a still worker, he just never fully captured my attention and never truly lived up to the Guerrero name. He is currently working for AEW.

# 54

Texano Jr.
Started: 1999     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes    Seen Live: No

The bull rope carrying Texano Jr. started his in ring career in the indies under the name Kempo Kid, and it was during his time in the indies during a “bet matches” that Kempo Kid had to unmask and became Texano Jr. as he was the son of Luchador legend El Taxano! Very quickly after unmasking Texano Jr. would go to CMLL.  He started in 2003 and was placed in many big stories as well as feuds and would even have factions like “Perros Del Mal”! But things came to an end for his CMLL run in 2011 when he decided to leave and join Perros del Mal Producciones, an indie promotion created by the iconic Perro Aguayo Jr. and he would leave them the same year and join AAA, where he still is to this day. Texano Jr. has a great look as he reminds me of the cowboy wrestlers of the 80’s and 90’s like Stan Hansen and Outlaw Ron Bass, not to mention he is very skilled in the ring and one I enjoy watching on AAA events.

# 53

Bestia 666
Started: 2009     Companies: AAA & WWA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Bestia 666 is the son of Damien 666 and started his career not only in the indies but also in Perros del Mal Producciones.  This would lead to a small run in AAA that allowed him to team with his father as well as his long tome friend Halloween as a stable, all the while he was still working for Perros del Mal Producciones.  In 2012 he quit them and decided to start his journey of working the indies in Mexico as well as America that would lead him to work such federations as MLW, Lucha Underground, GFW, UWF and EWF and would allow him to get a tryout match in the WWE (he would get two) but sadly he was not signed. Bestia 666 has a great look and is super skilled in the ring, and I for one enjoy watching his matches on YouTube and would like to see more matches as well as would like to see him get signed to one of America’s top four federations WWE, AEW, Impact or ROH. Over his career he has also went under the ring names Leo and Bestia.

# 52

Bengala
Started: 1995     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Not to be confused with the CMLL Luchador named Bengala, I am talking about the one who is working for AAA and has the white tiger look that I discovered thanks to YouTube and AAA’s social media as well as Lucha Underground that has allowed me to see his matches and become a fan! Bengala started like every other wrestler making his mark on the indies and building a name for himself and once his dues were paid, he was signed to CMLL in 1998 and would become a lower card Luchador who would rise to being a popular mid-carder up until he left them in 2003. Because of CMLL he got to work many matches in Japan for Toryumon Japan promotion and even held the NWA World Welterweight Title.  He would wrestle in Japan off and on for many years even when he became signed to Pro Wrestling Noah in 2003 and stayed until 2015 as a featured star for the promotion. He would then come back to Mexico off and on working for AAA from 2007-2008 and again from 2013-2017, and during this time with AAA the Bengala character was born! Starting in 2016 Bengala was played by another Luchador until 2019 when he as well left the company and as of now ended Bengela’s run. While not a household name when coming to Lucha Libre stars, he was an entertaining one that I enjoyed seeing in the matches I watched.

# 51

Abismo Negro
Started: 1987     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: No

First thing I want to say is R.I.P Abismo Negro, who sadly passed away in 2009 as the world of Lucha Libre lost an amazing talent. Like all wrestlers Abismo Negro began his career in the indie scene and in 1991 he was signed to CMLL and only stayed there until 1992 as he left to join the new promotion AAA and this would be his federation that he would stick with for his career, and during this time he would have name changes landing on Abismo Negro in 1997.  He was part of many factions, held many titles and even represented AAA in a tournament that was being held by Impact Wrestling. Abismo Negro was an amazing Luchador and was an amazing Rudo who would use fire in his entrance and captured the attention of every fan who seen him. Sadly I have only been able to watch his matches online and have not got to see many, as I am sure if I was able to have seen him live or even more matches Abismo Negro would have easily made his way into my Top 10 on this list! Over his career he had also went by the names The Winner, Pequeno Samurai, Furor and Alex Dinamo.

# 50

Espiritu Maya
Started: 2017     Companies: Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

In my opinion one of the best Luchadors going in the indies here in America is Espiritu Maya, who has been building a name for himself at many promotions and has been growing his fan base and reputation as a Lucha star. Espiritu Maya has captured titles at many of the promotions he has worked for and has even had some matches with wrestlers from Impact as well as legends at these events. Espiritu Maya is an up and coming Luchador that is one that you should all keep an eye on as he could get the call up to NXT or AEW in the future. Espiritu Maya is also a main stay at Rockstar Pro Wrestling the local Dayton, Ohio federation that I work for, and I have had the privilege of watching him wrestle many times.

# 49

Heavy Metal
Started: 1988     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

I first saw Heavy Metal in WWE as he was one that took part of the AAA team up that lasted a short time in the 1990’s as he even had a match at the 1995 Royal Rumble! With a brief run in some Mexican indie federations, he truly started in CMLL and would stay there until 1992 when he jumped ship and started to work for the newly formed AAA.  He would became a mainstay and big draw for them even being apart of a talent exchange between AAA and WWE and later Impact. During this time with AAA, he would win many titles like The Mexican National Welterweight Championship two times and AAA Campeon de Campeones Championship once not to even talk about all the Bet Matches he was apart of. Heavy Metal would leave AAA in 2004 and by 2005 he was breifly working for IWRG (International Wrestling Revolution Group) and then went back to CMLL from 2005 to 2010 and was once more a big name for the promotion. But AAA came calling again, and by 2010 he was back with them and would stay around for many more years, until going and working indie shows. While Heavy Metal is not the major star he once was, he is still an icon and legend in Lucha Libre, and still to this day I have his AAA figure from 1994! Over his career he also went by the name Canelo Casas.

# 48

Humberto Carrillo
Started: 2012     Companies: WWE & Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Humberto Carrillo started his in ring career in the Indies and he is apart of the Garza Family Tree and proved that he was just as skilled as the rest of his family as he became a main attraction at events and even won many belts and tournaments and would compete for federations like Chilanga Mask, The Crash Lucha Libre, Casanova Pro and Lucha Libre Azteca. Humberto would float around the indies from 2012 through 2018, and in 2018 he got his big break by being signed by WWE and wrestling for NXT until being brought up to the main roaster as apart of the 205 Live brand in 2019 and by the end of 2019 he was brought up to be featured on Raw during a draft and this started his push to become a main star on the roster.  Well that was until the out of touch Vince McMahon lost interest in the superstar and moved onto the next wrestler he could push and crush in a short time. Humberto is a great Mid-Carder who puts on top notch matches in WWE and if given the chance, he could easily becomes a mega star just like Rey Mysterio Jr.! Other names Humberto has used in his career is Ultimo Ninja and Humberto Pidorasio, and I should note that when WWE House Shows and Live Events returns to the Dayton area I hope to see Humberto in action.

# 47

Pagano
Started: 2008     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Mexico has many wrestling clown Luchadors and one of the biggest and most popular is Pagano, who started his career in 2008 and was a hardcore wrestler who would wrestle in Mexico and America in the indies that included feds like WWA4, FULL and IWRG before getting signed to AAA in 2016 and being flung into a main event spot and being in the group “La Familiar Fonteriza” alongside Damian 666, Halloween and Psychosis that would last for awhile and as well allowed him to get into feuds with Psycho Clown and Pentagon Jr. and o this date Pagano is one of AAA’s big stars featured in many high profile matches. While working for AAA, he has also been featured on Impact Wrestling as well has fought and won a MMA match…and has won many belts and tournaments for AAA that including the AAA World Tag Team Championship with partner El Mesias. Super entertaining to watch and a Lucha that puts on great matches both in skill and in brawls Pagano is surly going to be a legend in Lucha Libre when he retires. Pagano has also wrestled under a mask before settling on his classic face paint look. I have mostly seen his work in AAA thanks to their social media and YouTube.

# 46

Andrade
Started: 2003     Companies: WWE & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

One of the biggest recent wasted talents in WWE is Andrade, who is a super skilled Luchador who went from being a Main Event prospect all the way to being a Mid-Carder that was then barely thought about thanks to Vince.  It was a shame as he has all the makings of being a great world champion who could play the rudo role. Andrade started his career in 2003 working for many of the indie promotions in Mexico and started when he was just a teenager and built up his skills as well as impressed those who watched him in action. By 2007 he was signed to the big leagues in Mexico as he got a contract with CMLL and quickly rose up the ranks and became a main eventer and would be placed in many main featured matches and would capture many belts, win bet matches as well as tournament wins! During his run with CMLL he would also have a small run in New Japan Pro Wrestling and during this time is when he caught the eye of WWE. Andrade would leave both CMLL and New Japan in 2015 as he signed with WWE and would make his debut on NXT and would make it to the main roster on 2018.  In his WWE career, he captured the NXT Championship once and the WWE United States Championship only once until he left the company in 2021.  He now wrestles for AEW.  During his career this far he has also wrestled under such names as Brillante Jr., La Sombra, Rey Azteca and Guerrero Azteca to name a few.

# 45

El Dandy
Started: 1981     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

El Dandy is known in America for his run in WCW as part of their Cruiserweight division as well as a member of the stable L.W.O., but for many he is also known for that classic Bret Hart promo that had Bret saying “Who are you to doubt El Dandy?” when he selected him for a match.  I saw El Dandy take on Scott Norton on a WCW Saturday Night taping live here in Dayton, Ohio and a fan behind us was all about cheering El Dandy on during the match. El Dandy, like all pro wrestlers, started his wrestling career in the indie scene starting in 1981 and was quickly respected by fans and fellow workers for his hard work in and out of the ring, and by 1981 he got his big break being signed to CMLL where he was a big star and a numerous champion holding several titles including the CMLL World Middleweight Championship a total of three times! He would be involved with many bet matches as well as was able to take indie bookings as well as work for WWA out of California. But when WCW needed wrestlers for their cruiserweight division El Dandy was called up in 1997 and would be used as an enhancement talent his whole time their losing almost all of his matches with many being squash matches. By 2000 El Dandy was released from WCW along with many of the other Luchadors, and this allowed him to wrestler for not only indies but also a short run in AAA as well as IWRG and he would retire from wrestling in 2014. While he was one of Mexico’s top wrestlers during his run, he sadly never caught on in America and was used as a jobber. El Dandy is awesome and I for one am glad I was able to see him wrestle live a few times before he retired.

# 44

Angel Garza
Started: 2008     Companies: WWE & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Another member of the Garza family and another that shows that Lucha Libre is alive and well in America when allowed to shine in one of the main companies! Starting out in the Indies, Angel Garza got the attention of many federations including Impact and AAA with the latter signing him to a contract in 2015. He would make his mark on the company by putting on great matches as well as being involved in some high profile ones, but by 2017 Angel had left AAA and started working for the Indies again as well as worked with Impact Wrestling and during this time is stock was rising even more as he was able to get the attention of WWE who signed him to a contract in 2019 and placed him on NXT and then 205 Live before making his main roster debut in 2020 when they placed him into a short tag team with Andrade, managed by Zelina Vega. After the team broke up, he has been used on the mid-card with teases of breaking into the main event soon. So far in WWE, he is a one time NXT Cruiserweight Champion. With tons of skill and a legacy family name Angel Garza could become a big star if given the chance. Over his career he has gone by the names El Hijo del Ninja, Garza Jr. and Humberto Garza.

# 43

Laredo Kid
Started: 2003      Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Laredo Kid is a super popular Luchador who is one of AAA’s top main eventers that puts butts in the seats. Laredo Kid started his career in 2003 and worked the indies until 2005 where he signed with AAA and rose his way to the top of the card with fast paced and impressive matches! During his time in AAA, he was also allowed to make appearances in Impact and AEW as well as even had a tryout match in the WWE! He is the winner of many AAA titles as well as tournaments and bet matches and will surely become one of the company’s futures Hall Of Famers if he stays the path to greatness as he is now. I have mostly seen his matches in AAA as well as a few of his Impact matches thanks to YouTube and I look forward to seeing more of his work in the coming years as he is one to truly watch.

# 42

Taurus
Started: 2005     Companies: AAA & Impact       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Taurus is a Luchador that I first discovered on Facebook and quickly watched many of his matches on YouTube and then have seen him on AAA and Impact events via TV and social media. Taurus started out working indies in Mexico before being signed to AAA in 2012 and would work as Machine Rocker as part of the group Los Inferno Rockers and would work as this character until 2015 when he was repackaged as Taurus, but by 2016 he left AAA and worked for Lucha Libre Elite as well as other indie federations, that was until he once more signed with AAA in 2018 and this has also allowed him to work matches in Impact, MLW and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as has made appearances in many American indies. While he is not considered a main eventer in AAA and has not captured any belts yet, with his cool look, skills in the ring and great rudo attitude, it’s only a matter of time before he climbs the card. I also think that if Taurus was around in 1996 he would have been brought into WCW and would have been a great addition to the Cruiserweight division. Over the years Taurus has also went by the names Machine Rocker, Semental, Black Taurus and Black Tauro.

# 41

Lizmark Jr.
Started: 1991     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: Yes      Seen Live: Yes

WCW strikes again as his stint in the company is how I became a fan of Lizmark Jr. as well as was able to see him live during a taping of WCW Saturday Night! Lizmark Jr. started his career in 1991 and worked for a few indie promotions in Mexico as well as had a short AAA run before going to WCW in 1997 as apart of their big boom of Luchador talent being signed in order to build their Cruiserweight division. He would stick around in WCW for a while and sadly was mostly used on the lower card and enhancement talent and never won a WCW title. In 2000, he was let go from WCW and Lizmark would return to Mexico and start working for CMLL and would end up turning Rudo and would lose his mask in a bet match in 2007 after being pinned by Blue Panther. Lizmark Jr. would go onto to capture his first belt in a major federation when he won the CMLL World G1 Heavyweight Championship. Lizmark also started working for Lucha Libre USA on MTV2 in 2010 and would capture the LLUSA Heavyweight Championship from them as well! In 2011 he would go back to AAA and have a small run and is now working on the indies all over Mexico and from time to time the USA. I think Lizmark Jr. is a talent that sometimes gets over looked here in America as his run in WCW was less then stellar, but do yourself a favor and watch some of his matches and you will see why I am a fan.

# 40

Chessman
Started: 1996      Companies: AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

One of the greatest rudo’s in modern Lucha Libre hands down is Chessman and only a few other names come to mind in AAA that can match him in his ruthless behavior! Chessman started his time in the ring in the indies in 1996 and became a Luchador to watch as he was making a major splash with his style and appearance he adopted in 2000 known as Chessman. And with the name and appearance change AAA came calling and signed him in 2001 and his long and awesome career as one of Lucha Libre’s top Luchadors started and would have him see many title wins, many bet matches and have him mix it up with wrestlers from Impact. He would be in many stables and groups like Los Hell Brothers, La Secta and The Black Family to name a few. He has been loyal to AAA over all these years just like The Undertaker has been to WWE and Sting was to WCW showing that Chessman is surely a AAA Hall Of Famer when he retires from in ring action. Like many of the AAA Luchadors, I have seen so many of his matches thanks to the company’s social media accounts. He’s a true amazing Luchador to watch in action and one that deserves his position in the company. Before being Chessman he also wrestled in the indies under the names M-357, Magnum and Quinto Elemento.

# 39

Octagon
Started: 1981      Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Octagon is a true legend in the world of Lucha Libre and is a Luchador that I can remember buying grey market Best of VHS tapes of as well as seeing him in the pages of wrestling magazines all through my youth. Octagon started his wrestling career in 1981 and was able to blend his martial arts background into his Lucha Libre style and took the indies by storm.  By 1982 he was working for CMLL, and by 1989 he was a super popular and top star for the promotion being in several high profile matches as well as captured the fans’ attention. When AAA started in 1992, one of the Luchadors to leave CMLL for the new promotion was Octagon who was a major star for the company for many years and was one of the companies main attractions, but by 2014 his place on the card was falling slightly and this caused Octagon to leave AAA and sadly caused a major rift between them over the rights to the name, look and back pay! He would then go onto wrestle for CMLL as well as other Indie feds over the years. While his in ring career has slowed down, he still is active from time to time. He truly is a legend in Lucha Libre, and I wish he and AAA could bury the hatchet and patch things up so that he can have a proper retirement match when he is ready to hang the boots up. Over the years he has also gone under the names Dragon Dorado and La Amenaza Elegante.

# 38

Aero Boy
Started: 2003      Companies: Indies & CZW     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Aero Boy is one of the best unsigned Luchadors in the indies going as he can wrestling the classic Lucha Libre style as well as work hardcore matches! He is a true journeyman wrestler as he has wrestled all over the world and has made a name for himself in every nation he has performed in, and he as well as captured many of the belts including the Intergalactic World Championship from Rockstar Pro Wrestling. Aero Boy is a Luchador I have had the pleasure of seeing live many times and if he comes to your town, make sure to see him in action as you will not be sorry! Over his career thus far as well he has faced many names in the business and it’s crazy that he has not been signed to Impact, CMLL or AAA as they don’t know what they are missing with his guy!

# 37

Drago
Started: 1998     Companies: AAA & Impact     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Drago is a Luchador who has one of the coolest looks in the business as his mask is fantastic! Drago is one I discovered while watching AAA videos on YouTube and reading their Facebook page, and he quickly became one of my favorites! Like all before him, he started his career on the Indies and would quickly be signed by AAA the same year in 1998 and would be saddled with other masks and names like Jimmy Boy, Alan and Gato Eveready and while they had a following and fans it was in 2011 when he became Drago that his career in AAA really took off and he got the main event push he had been fighting for his whole time with them! And because of this new look, name and push it lead to him representing AAA in federations like Lucha Underground, Impact, Global Force Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and getting more eyes on him across the world. At one point a rumor was going around that even WWE was interesting in signing him to NXT! Drago in AAA has won many belts, bet matches and tournaments and still is a very popular Luchador for them.

# 36

Perro Aguayo
Started: 1968     Companies: AAA & UWA     Active: No    Seen Live: No

One of the biggest draws in Lucha Libre history in Mexico is the rudo everyone loved Perro Aguayo! This Luchador was like none other as he had such a presence in the ring and was such a brawler that set him apart from everyone working in Mexico at the time! Perro is one that I discovered thanks to the grey market VHS tapes that I would see him on as well as later YouTube and DVDs from HighSpots Video. Perro reminds me of a very early version of a Hardcore wrestler who would bleed and brawl all over the ring and would have the fans on the edge of their seats doing so. Perro Aguayo started his career in 1968 working for the indies before being one of the top Rudos in UWA the place he would make the name for himself and would even feud with the likes of El Santo! The crazy thing being while he was a rudo, he was a draw as fans would often cheer him over the tecnico he was facing. He was such a draw that UWA would spotlight him and have him in all types of high profile matches against the companies top stars. During this time as well he would work matches for CMLL and was a major headliner. In 1992 he would leave UWA and help build AAA and would be a big star for them as well and during his time in AAA he would also work for WWE in 1997 as part of the talent trade the companies made. In 2000 he would leave AAA and sign with CMLL and would stay around for awhile and was a draw for them as well, he would loose a retirement match and would remain gone for a while until returning to team with his son for a time before heading back into retirement in 2001. During his time in the ring he would be a main-eventer, a respected rudo, win many belts in AAA, CMLL, UWA and even was the first ever WWE Light Heavyweight Champion (even if WWE does not have it on the records now). Not to even mention he is in the AAA Hall Of Fame and took part in so many Bet Matches. Sadly Perro Aguayo passed away in 2019 at the age of 73 from an infection. While gone his legacy is still very much alive in Mexico and his popularity and drawing power is still stuff of legend.

# 35

El Pantera
Started: 1985      Companies: WWE & CMLL      Active: Yes      Seen Live: No

One of the best things for me during the WWE Attitude Era was the Lightweight division that was sadly overshadowed by Jerry Lawler screaming Puppies and the never ending feud between Stone Cold and Vince McMahon that ate up so much airtime. And what made it so cool was not only seeing the cruiserweights get some time to shine, but was also cool to see some Luchadors on TV again in WWE! One of my favorites was El Pantera who was played as a rudo and always put on great matches. El Pantera started working the indies in Mexico in 1985 and by 1992 he was working fulltime for CMLL and would win a few belts and become a solid Mid-Carder who had his fair share of fans and even had a few high profile matches that helped build his name in Lucha Libre, but by 1996 he left CMLL and after leaving he started to work some dates in Japan as well as for IWRG and this is also when he had a short run for WWE that lasted from 1997 and ended in 1999. While still working for IWRG he would also be sent back to CMLL as the companies had a talent exchange and he would stick around for a short time and even win a title, before setting his sites on only working for IWRG, while not as active as he once was El Pantera is still working the indies from time to time as well as for IWRG. Over the years El Pantera has also gone by other names like El Manaya, Pantera II, America, Triyon and Tanaka.

# 34

Guerrero Maya Jr.
Started: 2005     Companies: CMLL & Indies     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Guerrero Maya Jr. is a Luchador that I have had the pleasure of not only seeing live at a Rockstar Pro Wrestling event, but is also one that I was lucky enough to chat with before and after the event. His match against Zachary Wentz was the best on the card as it was highflying and high impact! Guerrero Maya Jr. started working the indies for a short time in 2005 and by 2007 he was working for CMLL and was wresting under the names Samba and Multifacetico and it was in 2009 that he got the name Guerrero Maya Jr. and that is also when his popularity and position on the card was on the rise. He even was part of the Crocket Cup in 2019 as he represented CMLL alongside Stuka Jr. and sadly they lost. Guerrero Maya Jr. would go on to win titles in CMLL like the Mexican Trios Championship a total of three times with Delta and Atlantis. To me it’s crazy that AEW, Impact nor WWE have not signed Guerrero Maya Jr. yet as he is a great talent and one of my favorite Luchadors I have seen live over the years!

# 33

Hector Garza
Started: 1992     Companies: WCW & AAA     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Hector Garza is another member of the Garza Family and is one that I first saw in action thanks to WCW when they brought in many Luchadors for their Cruiserweight division as well as mid-carders. I was lucky to have seen Hector Garza in action at a WCW Saturday Night taping in Dayton, Ohio and he showcased why the Luchadors was why I was a big fan of WCW during that time! Sadly Hector passed away in 2013 and it’s a shame as the world of wrestling lost a super talented Luchador. Hector started working the indies in 1992 and would spend sometime in FILL and his in ring rudo style got the attention of CMLL who signed him in 1994 and this would only last until 1996 when he left and signed with AAA that lead to him also being able to work a few WWE events as part of their talent exchange and even was showcased at the 1995 Royal Rumble and even got a win on T.L Hopper on an episode of Superstars, but in 1997 his time with AAA and WWE came to an end when WCW came calling and he joined them from 1997 to 1999 and while in WCW he became a member of the L.W.O as well as got a clean pin fall victory over Scott Hall in a short lived storyline. Once let go from WCW in 1999 he returned to AAA and worked their as well as a few dates for Impact and had a big feud with Heavy Metal, Latin Lover and Perro Aguayo Jr. for many years. But he once more left AAA to this time return to CMLL in 2005 that allowed him to have his star keep rising in Mexico and also let him wrestle in New Japan! And always a Luchador on the move in 2011 he left CMLL and started working for Perros del Mal Producciones the federation he would stay with until 2012 when he was forced into retirement due to being diagnosed with lung cancer. After his death Hector Garza was inducted into the AAA Hall Of Fame and has left a massive legacy in the world of wrestling. In his time in wrestling he had won multiple titles in many companies like AAA, CMLL, Luca Libre Azteca, Perros del Mal Producciones and many more.

# 32

Villano V
Started: 1976      Companies: WCW & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

WCW strikes again as they are how I first saw Villano V as well as his brother and partner Villano IV, and while they both were skilled workers it was Villano V that was my favorite of the team! Before he was named Villano V he was Rokambole and worked the indies as well as being trained by his father and brothers who where known as The Villano’s and he had to earn his number in the family. And by 1983 he had earned the name Villano V and along with his brothers worked for many promotions like CMLL, AAA, UWA and IWRG before he and his brother Villano IV landed jobs with WCW in 1996 were they were used not only in the growing cruiserweight division but as well as the tag team division as they were perfect rudos, but sadly they were used as enhancement talent their whole run.  When Villano IV was injured and out for a time Villano V was used as a jobber but would become a member of the L.W.O! Villano V would leave WCW in 2000 after being let go and would return to Mexico and would work for the likes of CMLL and would even have a retirement event in “2013” that was not truly a retirement match as shortly after the event he was taking bookings and still does to this day. Over his long career he has won many bet matches, belts and tournaments and is one of the best rudos as he is so unlikable and wrestles dirty. While he lacks the flash of so many other Luchadors on this list his pure rudo ways is what made him one of my favorites to watch.

# 31

Ciclope/Halloween
Started: 1990     Companies: WWE & AAA       Active: Yes      Seen Live: Yes

Ok let’s get this out of the way now, Ciclope was the renamed Halloween for when he came to WCW during the Cruiserweight boom of the late 90’s, and his in ring skill and his spooky Horror themed character is what made me a fan…plus seeing him live also helped make me a fan. Halloween started his career in 1990 and worked for the Indies up until 1996 when he was hired by WCW to grow their Cruiserweight division and was called Ciclope and was used on the undercard and booked against the bigger names in the division to help get them over and his lackluster run came to an end in 1999. Working the indies after his WCW run, he would lose his Ciclope mask in a bet match and would quickly go back to his Halloween character and would then lose Halloween mask in a bet match causing him to paint his face like a Jack-O-Lantern. While working the indies for many years and having matches for companies like FCW, XPW and USA Pro Wrestling before landing at CMLL in 2002 teaming with Damian 666, Rey Misterio Sr., Nicho el Millonario and valet Lady Victoria as “La Familia de Tijuana” to become one of the biggest rudo stables at the time and would be off and on with CMLL until around 2009. And by 2010 he was working with AAA and would be apart of a few big matches and by 2012 he left and would end up in IWRG, but Halloween would still do matches for AAA and would stick around for awhile before just going back to the indies. Halloween while not as well known around the world like so many Luchadors before and after him, he is a true icon of the ring and a good worker who should get more respect. Halloween also cannot only work the Lucha Libre style but can also work the Hardcore style. Over the years of wrestling besides the name Ciclope he has went by Rocky Boy, Cyclope and Elvis Gonzalez.

# 30

Dr. Wagner Jr.
Started: 1985     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Dr. Wagner Jr. is a true legend in Lucha Libre and has had so many great feuds and matches over the years with one of my favorites being the one he had with Blue Demon Jr. in 2019 that even lead to Dr. Wagner Jr. losing his mask! I first saw Dr. Wagner Jr. matches on grey market VHS Tapes I would buy off Ebay and at conventions and also over the years have watched his matches in AAA and man I must say he is super entertaining and I would even say at one time he was Lucha Libres best rudo going! Like everyone, after training to become a Luchador he worked the indies in 1985 going under the name El Invasor for a short amount of time before taking the name Dr. Wagner Jr. in 1986 as his father was of course Dr. Wagner! After a terrible accident that left his father in a wheelchair, Dr. Wagner Jr. signed with UWA (Universal Wrestling Association) in 1987 and would be one of their top stars until they had to partner with CMLL in 1993 and this allowed Wagner Jr. to work their and captured belts and even more attention from the fans. Dr. Wagner Jr. was so popular that when facing tecnico’s the fans would cheer him as he was a rudo! This would also lead him to have matches in Japan with New Japan Pro Wrestling and helped build his legacy is wrestling. But in 2009 CMLL and Wagner Jr. split ways and he would end up at their rival AAA and he would become a major player for them until 2013 when he left to travel the Indies for a short time and then would go on to have matches in CMLL and they back on and off with AAA up until 2020 were he retuned to the indies. And who knows when Dr. Wagner Jr. will show back up in CMLL or AAA, but one thing is for sure wherever he goes he will be one of the biggest Luchadors in the federation.

# 29

Atlantis
Started: 1983      Companies: CMLL & New Japan     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

One of CMLL’s biggest and most iconic Luchadors in modern time is Atlantis who has spent almost his whole career with them as one of their top draws and most respected stars. In 1983, he started working for many indie feds in Mexico, but by 1994 he was signed to CMLL and quickly rose through the roster to became one of the company’s main draws who was placed in many big matches, won so many belts including the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship twice as well as a number of tournaments and bet matches. He would also travel for CMLL and have matches in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Michinoku Pro Wrestling! While spending almost his whole career as a Tecnico, he has turned Rudo before adding more layers to his legacy, and giving fans more passion to see what Atlantis was up to. Like all classic Tecnico Luchadors, Atlantis has also been the main characters in films as well as had action figures made of him, in fact one of his figures is in my living room right now! While his in ring career will be winding down soon, you cannot deny that Atlantis is truly one of Mexico’s most legendary Luchadors of the ring.

# 28

El Solar
Started: 1975     Companies: UWA & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

One of the greatest Luchadors who was a great mat wrestler as well as a submission artist is the legendary El Solar who is still wowing fans in his 60’s. El Solar is an amazing Luchador who I have had the honor of watching live in the ring as well as chatting with at a Rockstar Pro Wrestling event, and it was such a great moment for me as well as my friend Jason Young. El Solar started in 1975 and worked the indies as well as for UWA where he would stay up until the promotion closed even winning many titles as well as being apart of groups and high profile matches. In the dying days of UWA, El Solar would also go and work for AAA and oddly they would change his character to El Mariachi and this was a very silly move.  When he left AAA, he would join CMLL and as well become El Solar again and would be a star for them up until around 2000 when he would once more head back to the Indies of Mexico as well as America from time to time and even wrestled for the very short lived MTV2 and Hulu wrestling federation called “Lucha Libre USA” and would be joined by the likes of Lizmark Jr. and Super Crazy. While El Solar is working the indies still to this day he still makes some appearances for AAA and IWRG and locking his place in Lucha Libre history. El Solar is a master of his art and his art in classic Lucha Libre mat wrestling with skillful submission moves. A True legend and one that I feel you should go and see if he is in your city before he retires.

# 27

Silver King
Started: 1985     Companies: WCW & CMLL     Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Silver King was another of the Luchadors that I was introduced to thanks to WCW and was also able to see live in action because of them and he was pretty damn great in the ring! And when in 2019 I heard of his passing, it was a sad day as he was such a great wrestler and one I also enjoyed watching. Silver King started his career in 1985 working the indies as El Invasor for a short time before becoming Silver King who originally wore a mask and landed working for UWA and during this time he mostly worked the undercard but did have a bet match against El Hijo del Santo where Silver King lost his mask! Once unmasked, the fans got to see that he was in fact one of Dr. Wagner’s sons and that means Dr. Wagner Jr. is in fact his brother! But becoming unmasked helped him rise up the card and with a stable he called Los Cowboys and along with tag partner El Texano they won the UWA Tag Team Champions and well as Tag Champs for WWA and these wins let them be part of the NWA World Tag Team Championship Tag Team tournament that was held at WCW’s Clash Of The Champions XIX, they lost in the first round to the Free Birds. In 1994 he left UWA and ended up working for CMLL as well as had matches in IWA in Japan, but when WCW came calling in 1997 Silver King signed on to help try and build the growing Cruiserweight division, but sadly like many of his fellow Luchadors, he was used at enhancement talent and would stay on the mid-card level with his big claim to fame being a member of the L.W.O. He was let go by WCW in late 2000. Once leaving WCW he would go back to CMLL and would also work New Japan Pro Wrestling under the Black Tiger character he would stay with them until 2006 as by 2007 he quickly had a run in All Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2008 he would go to AAA and have a very big run and would win the AAA World Tag Team Championship once and would find himself in many high profile matches. In 2018 Silver King would leave AAA and start working the indies up until his death in 2019. I also want to alert you readers that Silver King also played Ramses in the 2005 film Nacho Libre that stared Jack Black. During his time as a wrestler Silver King also went by the names Silver King 1, El Bronco, Silver Cain, Dr. Wagner Jr. and a few more.

# 26

Puma King
Started: 2006     Companies: CMLL & AAA     Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Puma King is a Luchador I have gotten to see live in action at Rockstar Pro Wrestling as well as got to film is promo for the event, and this guy is a great talent! Puma King started his in ring career working the indies as well as for IWRG and got the call from CMLL in 2008 and would team with his older brother Tiger Kid and would mostly be used on the undercard, he would however be involved in many tournaments as well as bet matches. Puma King would leave CMLL in 2018 and would quickly sign with AAA and by doing this he is also able to work for the Indies as well as take matches in such federations as Impact, IWRG, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and MLW to name a few. Thus far in his career he has won some tournament and bet matches and captured gold once in CMLL when he won the Occidente Light Heavyweight Championship! Plus in 2019 he won the Impact World Cup Of Wrestling for Impact Wrestling with his partners Psycho Clown, Aero Star and El Hijo del Vikingo as they defeated the team of Sami Callihan, Fallah Bahh, Eli Drake and Eddie Edwards! Puma King is also the son of Luchador legend El Felino and being only in his early 30’s still has lots of time to climb the ranks of Lucha Libre and capture more gold.

# 25

Lince Dorado
Started: 2007      Companies: WWE & Chikara     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Nowadays the WWE show 205 Live is a shell of what it was, but when it started for me it was must see TV as they had so many great and talented workers on the roster and one of my favorites was Lince Dorado! Like all wrestlers and Luchadors starting out, Lince started his in ring career working the indies and would sign with Chikara in mid 2007 and would work for them as well as many other indie promotions over the years like Dragon Gate USA, IGNITE and even had a tryout for Impact. Lince would work for the indies up until 2016 as that year he would be signed to WWE as part of their Cruiserweight Division and help get their new show 205 Live off the ground to showcase the wrestlers who weighted 205 pounds or under. Lince would get title shots for the Cruiserweight title during this time but was mostly booked on undercard matches and was sadly hardly on TV at times. His big break came in 2018 when he joined Kalisto and Gran Metalik and they became the stable known as The Lucha House Party and they would go from 205 Live to being featured more and more on Raw and later Smackdown putting Lince on the main roaster. While he and Gran Metalik are still teaming and they are used as undercard talent, I for one am always a mark to watch them in action. Thus far in WWE he has only won the 24/7 Championship once, but during his career in the indies he has captured may titles as well as tournament wins. A solid working and a skilled Luchador it’s a shame WWE does not know how to book Lince Dorado right.

# 24

Alberto Del Rio
Started: 2000     Companies: WWE & CMLL      Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Alberto Del Rio was a Luchador that could have been the guy who in the 2010’s that could have brought American mainstream a big star from Mexico and could have been the next Rey Mysterio or Eddie Guerrero if only his backstage attitude did not stink so bad! I was a fan of Alberto’s when he started working in NXT and was brought up to the main roster of WWE as he had a great Million Dollar Man meets JBL gimmick with a Latin flare! Alberto started his Lucha Libre career in 2000 fast track working for AAA and while there he was also making appearances in Japanese promotions all the while gaining in ring skills he worked for the likes of All Japan and Pro Wrestling Zero1 and for all promotions at this time he was going by Dos Caras Jr, but in 2002 he left AAA and in 2004 he left the Japanese promotions. He also in 2003 would try his hand in big time MMA and would have a few fights in Pride, both he would lose. In 2005 he would sign with CMLL and would become a major star for the company and would win the companies World Heavyweight Championship as well would win the 2006 La Copa Junior tournament. But he would leave CMLL in 2009 when he got a contact with WWE who would send him to FCW for matches before also having him wrestle on the main roster shows Raw and Smackdown in Dark Matches and House Shows. And at first they allowed him to wear his mask but quickly they unmasked him and Alberto Del Rio was born who was a rich Mexican aristocrat who would drive expensive cars to the ring and had his own ring announcer for a time named Ricardo Rodriguez and quickly climbed the ladder and became a main eventer and even would win the WWE Champion, the World Heavyweight Championship as well as big matches like the Royal Rumble and the Money In The Bank ladder match. But a bad attitude and a physical altercation with an employee after a bad racist joke lead to his firing. He would then head back to Mexico and sign with AAA in 2014 and would become a main eventer off the bat and even would win the AAA Mega Champion! But AAA was not the only promotion he started working for in 2014/2015 as he also worked for World Wrestling Council, Wrestle-1, Ring Of Honor, World Wrestling League, Lucha Underground and all these federations pushed him as a main star…but all those companies would be left behind in 2015 when he resigned to work for WWE again and on his first night back he would win the United States Championship from John Cena at the Hell In A Cell PPV, and this would also lead to him to be apart of a group called The League Of Nations along with Sheamus, Rusev and Wade Barrett…but this run would end almost as soon as it started as he would quit in 2016. He would end up working for Impact Wrestling in 2017-2018 and was booked as a main event and even won the GFW Global Championship while there, he was fired from Impact when he no showed a big event. And after this Alberto worked the indies up until 2020 when a legal issue halted his in ring career. While Alberto seems like a very terrible person, his in ring work was always something I enjoyed when watching WWE, and that’s all I have to say as his out of wrestling life would give him a negative rating on here. During his time in the ring he also went by some of these names El Patron, El Dorado and El Hijo de Dos Caras to name a few. Again need to stress it sucks that his out of control life is overshadowing his work in the ring.

# 23

Psycho Clown
Started: 2000     Companies: AAA & CMLL     Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

For me the best Luchador having the clown look is Psycho Clown, and I feel also that he is one of the biggest draws for AAA right now as he is super popular with the youngsters as well as the adult Lucha Libre fans. Psycho Clown started his Lucha Libre career working for the Indies up until 2003 when he signed with CMLL and this only lasted a short time as he was used on the lower card and was still very green and needed more training. By 2006 he had left CMLL and by this time as well he had already had two in rings names Brazo de Plata Jr. and Kronos and joined AAA who by 2007 rebranded him Psycho Clown and had him join a new stable they were creating called “Los Psycho Circus” that would over the years have such members as Monster Clown and Murder Clown and this was a big break for Psycho Clown as this stable became a draw and placed him in many big matches! And in 2015 this also allowed Psycho Clown to become a main draw wrestling single and would lead to many bet, tournament and title wins in AAA as well as their partner companies like Impact Wrestling. Hands down Psycho Clown is one of AAA’s most popular Luchadors and it would be great to see him wrestle in AEW or even WWE (as long as they leave his character and mask alone) and he surly will be in AAA’s Hall Of Fame once he retires. Check out his matches as many can be found on YouTube.

# 22

Super Crazy
Started: 1988      Companies: ECW & WWE       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Any one who grew up watching ECW knows the name Super Crazy and also WWE fans should know him as he was on the roster for years! I am a Super Crazy fan as he can wrestle the Lucha style as well as can do hardcore matches and his matches with Tajiri in ECW were legendary! Super Crazy started his wrestling career at the age of 14 in 1988 and worked for many indie federations like UWA and would sign with AAA in 1996 and was a mid-carder that would also get a few WWE matches per the talent trade the company had, Super Crazy would leave AAA in 1997 and would start working for Promo Azteca and would also still make some appearances on WWE TV as apart of their Light Heavyweight Championship tournament. In 1998 Super Crazy signed with ECW and quickly became a fan favorite and was placed in many great matches with names like Tajiri and Little Guido and became a mainstay and star for them up until 2001 when ECW went out of business. So starting in 2001 Super Crazy floated around the Indies as he would wrestle for companies like CZW, XPW, IWA, ROH, New Japan, Impact and even did a few matches in AAA! Finally in 2005 WWE signed him to a contract and had him appear on their ECW One Night Stand PPV and then placed him in a stable with Psicosis and Juventud Guerrero called The Mexicools and once the team was broken up in 2006 Super Crazy started a singles run on the mid-card. Super Crazy would leave WWE in 2008 and would make his return to the Indies and would became a draw and even would go and have matches again for AAA, Pro Wrestling Noah, All Japan Pro Wrestling and NXL. Super Crazy over the years also performed under the names Histeria, El Locco, Super Virus and Super Loco.

# 21

Espectro Jr.
Started: 1974      Companies: Indies      Active: No     Seen Live: No

Ok this is a hard one as several Luchadors have played the gimmick of Espectro Jr. over the decades as hell there are several working the Indies in Mexico and America going right now! But I could not leave him off my list as over the years I have found myself watching matches of this Luchador from all generations on YouTube. And while AAA owner Antonio Pena played Espectro Jr. it’s Jose Elias Pinceno version that has always got my attention. And this one is super hard to track down his history as its seems at times they all get mixed together so its almost impossible for me to due his write up justice, so what I am going to do here is talk a little about why Espectro Jr. has captured my attention all these years. First off he has a Horror gimmick as he is like a spirit and at times would even come from coffins at the start of his matches, he had a classic Lucha Libre style and when wrestling Rudo he was great as fans hated him. His green and black mask for some reason reminds me of the Halloween season and the masks grinning smile is perfect for this type of character. Espectro Jr. also has a legacy as I have said before so many other wrestlers have taken the name or some sort of variation of it. One part of history I would like to share is that in 2007 Espectro Jr. lost his mask in a bet match to Blue Demon Jr. and that Jose Elias Pinceno is now unmasked, and that he is also the Nephew of the original Espectro. Also look up Espectro Jr. matches on YouTube as they have many of his matches on there from all the Luchadors using the name.

# 20

Pierroth
Started: 1984     Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: No     Seen Live: No

I first learned about Pierroth via WWE when he was an entrant in the 1997 Royal Rumble and for some reason my brother for years always talked about pin fall victories he had over random wrestlers (ones he never did) and would do so in the voice of Gorilla Monsoon. But because of this over the years I have seen many of his matches on grey market VHS tapes as well as now on sites like YouTube. And I have to say Pierroth is a legend in Lucha Libre and one that helped a younger me really become a fan of Luchadors. Like all who start out in the biz Pierroth would work the indies for a short time starting in 1984, but by 1985 and while at the start he was on the lower card and only working from time to time he rose to the top of the card pretty fast and also started his path of capturing titles for the company. By 1995 Pierroth left CMLL and signed with AAA and was a star from the start and of course would capture titles and be put into high card feuds. While working for AAA they had a talent exchange with WWE and this allowed him to wrestle for them on Monday Night Raw as well as make an appearance at the Royal Rumble, but by mid 1997 he would leave AAA and would do a short stint on the Indies before going to IWRG and would be their first Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship and would also start wrestling for WWC in Puerto Rico that was run by Carlos Colon and he would stay working these two federations until 1999. Pierroth would then sign back with CMLL and would stay with them until 2008 and was of course was a main eventer and was in big feuds. Sadly Pierroth suffered a stroke in 2008 and forced him to retire from the ring. It’s shocking that AAA has not placed Pierroth in their Hall Of Fame yet as he deserves it for all the years of hard work he has done in the world of Lucha Libre not to even all the titles he has held. A true legend Pierroth is and one that I owe lots to when it comes to making me a fan of Lucha Libre. During his time in the ring Pierroth also went by the names Pierroth Jr. and Comandante Pierroth.

# 19

Gran Metalik
Started: 2005     Companies: WWE & CMLL       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Gran Metalik is in my opinion one of the best Luchadors under contract to WWE and is a superstar I am looking forward to seeing live at an event when they come around. I first became aware of Gran Metalik when he was part of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic Tournament and quickly became a fan. Gran Metalik started his Lucha career in 2005 and worked very shortly for the indies before becoming apart of CMLL’s roster and quickly made his way up the card and became a main-eventer and was given big profile matches as well as many title belts! Gran Metalik was a mainstay at CMLL and was one of the companies big stars for many years that was until he left them in 2016 to join the WWE as apart of their new rebirth of the Cruiserweight division. But before he was a WWE Superstar while working for CMLL he was also working for New Japan Pro Wrestling off and on for many years and was making a name in Japan for himself as well, he would work for them from 2010-2016. When first in WWE he was pushed as one of the best Cruiserweights and Luchadors in the world and was called “The King of The Ropes” by the announcers, but as time went on he was shown less and less on TV as well as was losing matches to less skilled workers on the roster. Just like Lince Dorado when he became a member of the group Lucha House Party in 2018 he received a short-term push before becoming an undercard member of the roaster once more. WWE bookers have zero clue how to use Luchadors and it’s a shame as they have so many talented workers on their roster that are being misused and not used at all. Gran Metalik thus far has used the following names as well Plata II, Metalik and Mascara Dorada.

# 18

Konnan
Started: 1987      Companies: AAA & WCW       Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

Konnan is another of the Luchadors that I knew about thanks to WCW who showcased him for many years in the company even making him member of such groups as The Dungeon Of Doom and nWo Wolfpack! And one thing you have to give Konnan lots of credit for is the fact he is the one over the years that has gotten his fellow Luchadors work in companies like WCW and ECW. Konnan started his career in 1987 and got his first major indie gig with UWA and quickly he would be in many high profile main event matches that would lead him to working for CMLL as well as a few matches for WCW in 1990 and while also working dates in Japan he got a call from the WWE who wanted to sign him on to play a costumed character called Max Moon, and after a few tryout matches and was apart of the WWE. In 1991 while also still working for CMLL Konnan would loose his mask in a bet match against Perro Aguayo, he would also be the first ever CMLL World Heavyweight Champion as the company was originally called EMLL. In 1992 Konnan left CMLL to join AAA and would also leave WWE as many in the company did not like his bad attitude and when he started no showing events that was the final straw, but his time in AAA was during a big boom in Lucha Libre and he became super popular and was a major draw in Mexico. In 1995 he started working for ECW for a short time and even helped co-promote an event that had both AAA and ECW wrestlers together. But in 1996 WCW came calling and he would be booked strong at first winning the United States Championship before loosing it and being forced in the silly Dungeon Of Doom stable for a short time, but when in 1997 they put him the nWo and his popularity and WCW run would kick into full gear and during his WCW run he would win some titles as well as join the group “Filthy Animals” and team with rapper Master P! But in 2001 WCW went out of business and Konnan would head to work for the indies and even wrestled for XPW, World Wrestling All-Stars and this would lead to him working for Impact Wrestling in 2003. While working for Impact he would also sign back with AAA in 2004 and was a featured wrestler in both being involved in the main event spotlight and in Impact even fourmed the LAX group. And these two federations were he would stay working now as a manager and taking a back stage role. During his time in the ring he has also went by the names Conan The Barbarian, K-Dogg, El Centurion, Latin Fury, Max Moon and Konnan The Great to name a few. While I am not a super mega fan of Konnan I do respect his hard work in and out of the ring, I mean at one time he was called the Hulk Hogan of Mexico!

# 17

El Canek
Started: 1972      Companies: AAA & CMLL       Active: No     Seen Live: No

When you think of legendary names in the history of Lucha Libre, one of the names has to be El Canek as he is on my list at least and should be on yours! I first heard of El Canek thanks to WWE when he was apart of the AAA talent exchange and he wrestled a few matches for them including a three-man tag at the 1997 WWE Royal Rumble as he teamed with Hector Garza and Perro Aguayo, and later I went on to buy a Grey Market VHS tape off Ebay that had many of his matches on it as I was a fan of his from seeing him in action. Also its awesome to see a bodybuilder from that time be a Luchador! El Canek started his career in 1972 and worked for the indies for a year before wrestling for CMLL and started his build to be a main-eventer in Lucha Libre as he would be featured in many high profile matches. By 1975 El Canek would leave CMLL and would join Universal Wrestling Association and this is were he would become the legend as he was in many big feuds, won many titles, got the attention of the NWA was sent to New Japan Pro Wrestling and would even win the UWA World Heavyweight Championship a total of 15 times and would even defend the title after the company went out of business in 1995! While working for UWA he was also sent to CMLL for another run in a talent exchange and would become a staple at their events as well placed in major matches with big time feuds, this would last until 1994. But in 1995 he would start working for AAA and during this time as well he would make appearances at WWE events due to a talent exchange, and during his time in AAA he as well was a main event star and was in many high profile matches and would even win the “Rey de Reyes” tournament. El Canek would leave AAA in 2003 and would then find himself at IWRG and even CMLL again off and one for years and would even have a small return to AAA in 2013 and worked for some indie federations over the years! During his career he has also gone under the names El Universitario, Kanek and Principe Azul. Make sure to go to YouTube and watch some El Canek matches.

# 16

Cibernetico
Started: 1992     Companies: AAA & WWE       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

WWE strikes again as thanks to them and the 1997 Royal Rumble is how I first discovered the Luchador known as Cibernetico who had a crazy neon and black mask and almost a 80’s Metal vibe to him, and over the years I have always kept up on his career. Cibernetico started his Lucha Libre career in 1992 working for UWA as he was a student in their training gym, and his bodybuilder background helped him stand out at the events he was featured at. While in UWA he started out as a tecnico but by the companies closing he was a rudo and was being built to be one the companies top! When UWA closed down for good in 1995 he found himself going to AAA and would have a very long a successful run with them finding himself the winner of many titles and was featured as a main event star! He would also work a few matches for WWE during this time starting in 1996 through 1997 as apart of AAA’s talent exchange adding more to his growing fan base. In 2004 Cibernetico would lose his mask in a bet match against La Parka! Cibernetico would stay in AAA until 2008 when he would leave for a year and start working for the indies in Mexico before landing back in AAA and having another long run and big matches and feuds before leaving again in 2015. That same year he would start a short run working for Lucha Libre Elite and would become the companies inaugural Heavyweight Champion, he would leave them in 2017. His last major run was in 2018 when he returned to CMLL for a quick time. Cibernetico is awesome and not only is a popular Luchador but has also appeared in his own comic book as well as was featured in a Mexico Burger King ad! I should also note that it stinks they took the mask off him in 2004 as his mask was very cool.

# 15

Fenix
Started: 2007     Companies: AAA & AEW       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Fenix is a Luchador that I had not only the pleasure of seeing wrestle live at Rockstar Pro Wrestling but also was able to film with for a un-finished episode of the Horror Host show I do called Baron Von Porkchop’s Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre. He is a super talented Luchador and a super nice person and if you ever have the chance to see him wrestle, go and do it! Fenix started working the indies in 2007 and was quickly signed to AAA in 2011 and was quickly put into big matches as well as feuds as the fans seemed to really be behind Fenix, and while working for AAA he was also working dates in Japan in federations like Pro Wrestling Noah. AAA would also lead him to work for Lucha Underground starting in 2014. But things would end for his AAA run in 2016 and this would allow Fenix to work the indies in Mexico and America as well as a few in Japan. Fenix was building a huge name for himself around the world and was being said that he is one of the best Luchadors going today! In 2018 Fenix would find himself signed to many major wrestling federations and working them all around the same time as he would work for Impact Wrestling, MLW, CMLL and would return to AAA and once more was a main eventer and a big attraction for each showing just how popular he is. In 2019 he was signed to AEW and is currently working for both AAA and AEW and is a major star in both. Fenix this far has captured gold in many of the places he has worked as he has held belts for AAA, Impact, Lucha Underground, MLW, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Pro Wrestling Revolver to name a few. He also has used the names Rey Fenix, The King, King Phoenix, Fenix el Rey and Mascara Oriental.

# 14

Essa Rios
Started: 1994     Companies: WWE & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Essa Rios is a Luchador that I became a fan of in 1997 when he was brought into the WWE as apart of there Light Heavyweight division going under the name Aguila and later in 1999 he would go under the name Essa Rios.  He was a high flyer in the world of giants, plus he was the man to introduce the WWE Universe to Lita as she was his manager! Essa Rios started wrestling in 1994 and worked the indies in Mexico before getting a contract with WWE in 1996, wrestling under a mask and called Aguila he was a featured highflyer in the growing Light Heavyweight division. By 1999 the repackaged Aguila and unmasked him and started calling him Essa Rios and partnered him with a female valet named Lita. Essa would capture Light Heavyweight title, and sadly after losing the title he would find himself falling down the card and being used as enhancement talent and by 2001 he was no longer working for WWE. But while gone form WWE he quickly found work in AAA working for them from 2001 to 2008 and was a semi main-eventer who also got to work a few matches for Impact due to a talent exchange starting in 2004 and this would only be for a year. Essa would leave AAA in 2008 and would take a little time off as well as working a few Indie dates, but in 2010 he would sign with CMLL and would an upper card roster member used in some great storylines and put in some bigger matches. He would stay with CMLL until 2017 as he would return to AAA that same year and stay for a bit, before heading back to the indies. During his run in wrestling Essa Rios has also went under the names Aguila, Mr. Agulla and Papi Chulo. While he might not be a household name, he still is a great worker who has captured many belts and has entertained for many years in the ring.

# 13

Damien 666
Started: 1985     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Once more I have to pay respects to WCW for introducing me to Damien 666 as he was you guessed it apart of the Cruiserweight division boom of 1996! And because of WCW, I was also able to see him live at a Saturday Night tapping and have followed him in the indies. Damien started in 1985 and was working the indies as well as places like WWA and in 1991 he was signed to FMW in Japan and learned the Hardcore wrestling ways and would be a mid-carder and a favorite for fans to watch, during this time he as well would work a few matches for AAA. His run in FMW would end in 1996 and Damien 666 would find himself in America and doing a very short run for ECW, and in 1996 is also when WCW came calling and Damien 666 was added to the Cruiserweight division and was used on the undercard as well as an enhancement talent, he would never hold any belts in WCW but did become a member of the LWO. Damien’s WCW run would come to an end in 1999 and along with Halloween they become the tag team “Mexico’s Most Wanted” and work the indies as the team and would even be featured on XPW and would win the federations Tag Team titles. In 2002 Damien would sign with CMLL alongside Halloween and they would be in major programs and would became draws, Damien 666 would leave CMLL in 2008 and would then find himself in AAA and once more was pushed up the card and became a rudo star for them, he would also work a few matches for IWRG at this time. Damien 666 would capture the AAA World Trios Championship before leaving AAA in 2012 and would wrestle for IWRG for awhile and then would return to the indies were he is at currently. Damien 666 in his career has also went under the names Caballero 2000, Ultraman 2000, Ultraman II, Amigo Ultra, Damien and Galaxy. When Damien retires from the ring he should be remembered not just for his Hardcore Wrestling but also his Lucha Libre style.

# 12

El Felino
Started: 1987     Companies: CMLL & AAA      Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

El Felino is a Luchador that I knew about thanks to wrestling magazines as well as grey market VHS tapes, in fact the first Arena figure I ever bought was El Felino that I got for the Horror convention Cinema Wasteland. El Felino is awesome in the ring and when masked his look was fantastic and very eye catching. El Felino started in 1987 and worked the indies as well as UWA and in 1989 he got the call to go to CMLL and became one of the companies biggest stars and was placed in many major matches and feuds and would capture many belts during his run, and he was truly one of the most loved tecnico’s for CMLL! Shockingly El Felino left CMLL in 1999 and signed with AAA for a very short run in the main event scene teaming with his brother Heavy Metal. Less than a year away El Felino signed back with CMLL and once more was pushed as a big star and would go from tecnico to rudo and back again and would even loose his mask in 2004 in a bet match he lost to La Sombra and who is known now as Andrade in WWE. El Felino continues to work for CMLL and still to this day is a main draw! I also would like to say for a short while he also used the name Babe Casas. If you are a fan of Lucha Libre, I am sure you know who El Felino is and I am sure you know just how iconic and great he is, and if you don’t look up some of his matches and give them a watch.

# 11

Mil Mascaras
Started: 1963      Companies: WWE & WCW       Active: Semi     Seen Live: No

One of the biggest names in Lucha Libre history is Mil Mascaras, the Luchador that is know by the nickname Man Of 1000 Masks who is a true journeyman in the sport. At a very young age I knew who Mil Mascaras was due to his film career as well as his classic matches in WWE as well as his work in WCW. I would always cheer for Mil in his matches as he was a true superstar of the ring and is an icon and WWE Hall Of Fame member. Mil started his career in 1963 and worked all over the world as he would have stints in All Japan Pro Wrestling, WWE, International Wrestling Association, World Wrestling Council, WCW, WWA, Legacy Wrestling Enterprises among so many others and he was a trail blazer and brought the Lucha Libre highflying style to American fans and lead the way for all those that followed in his foot steps. The thing about Mil is that he never stayed in a federation long enough for him to become stale, and this made him stand out and really feel like a big attraction when he is on a card in the main event. Over the years Mil has also has his fair share of critics has he has been legendary hard to deal with for promoters and fellow wrestlers alike, but while this may be true you can never take away just how great Mil is in the ring and all the barriers he broke in American wrestling.

# 10

El Hijo del Santo
Started: 1982      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

El Santo is hands down the biggest name in Lucha Libre history, and his son El Hijo del Santo is on the path to be just as iconic and respected as his father. El Hijo del Santo is a Luchador I learned about via wrestling magazines, grey market VHS tapes as well as his comic books and movies. El Hijo del Santo started his in ring career in 1982 working for the indies of Mexico and would spend much of his very early career working for WWA and UWA and by 1983 he started working some matches for CMLL and during this time he was quickly a draw and main eventer, and not just cause who his dad was but because he had great in ring skills. Through the 80’s he had many big feuds against the likes of Espanto Jr. and Negro Casas. In 1997 El Hijo del Santo made his first tour of Japan working for Universal Lucha Libre making a name for himself outside of Mexico and in 1992 he started working for AAA and had some amazing matches with the likes of Octagon, Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr. In 1995 after having some creative issues with AAA, he would go to CMLL and during his run for the first time El Hijo del Santo would turn rudo and would even have bloody matches against El Dandy.  The rudo turn helped CMLL draw big money and over time El Hijo del Santo would turn tecnico and become one of the company’s top stars up until he left in 2004. In 1998 El Hijo del Santo also had a small run working for WWE as apart of their very short-lived Super Astros program that features Lucha Libre and WWE Cruiserweight stars. El Hijo del Santo then started working for the indies and would even start booking his own shows in Mexico as well as even England and his fame was at an all time high! And still to this day he wrestles all over and is a true icon of Lucha Libra. Lucha Libre has so many amazing talents and El Hijo del Santo is one of them, and to be honest I would love to see his own son who is wrestling under the name Santo Jr. to work for the WWE and have some great matches with their current NXT talent. I should also note that El Hijo del Santo has also wrestled under the name El Korak when he first started.

# 9

Vampiro
Started: 1984      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Semi      Seen Live: Yes

I first learned about Vampiro via a CMLL action figure that was at a dollar store in Sugercreek, Ohio back in the early 90’s and then read more about him in the pages of wrestling magazines and then became a huge fan of his when I got to see him wrestle in WCW both on TV and once live! Vampiro is one of those Luchadors who has been all over and everywhere and started working in 1984 for International Wrestling out of Canada as an enhancement talent and would stick around the indies for a while. In 1991 he would head to Mexico and started working for CMLL who originally hired him to be a silly character, but his looks and limited move set for some reason got over with the fans and he found himself climbing up the card very fast. He would find himself in many bet matches as well as would be in tournaments as well as getting title shots! While working for CMLL he has would be working some dates for UWA as well as working matches in Japan. In 1996 he would leave CMLL and work dates for AAA, IWRG and Promo Azteca but would return in 1998 to CMLL before getting his big break in America. You see Vampiro got the call to come to WCW in 1998 and was used as a mid-carder who would have feuds with some of the companies big stars like Sting, Steve “Dr. Death” Williams and would even be in teams with the likes of Raven, The Great Muta and musicians The Misfits and ICP. When WCW went out of business in 2001 and was purchased by WWE his contract was not picked up and he found himself heading back to Mexico and working for CMLL as well as taking matches in other federations like World Wrestling Council, All Japan Pro Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Xtreme Pro Wrestling and would continue to work some of theme even after leaving CMLL in 2005. From there Vampiro would sign with AAA and work on and off for them until 2020 and while from their he would also work for Lucha Underground, Wrestling Society X, CMLL and Juggalo Championship Wrestling and every place he has gone Vampiro is a star! It’s crazy that WWE never signed him as I would have loved to have seen him feud with the likes of The Undertaker, Kane and even Mankind. While not what you would think of as a Luchador to me Vampiro is a great one who has been one of my favorites sense I was a teen. Vampiro has also went by the in ring names Vampiro Canadiense, Casanova, Gene Anderson, Ian Richards, Vampiro Casanova and a few more.

# 8

Eddie Guerrero
Started: 1986      Companies: WWE & WCW       Active: No     Seen Live: Yes

For many when you ask the question “Who Is The Best Luchador Ever” they will quickly say Eddie Guerrero and to be fair they are not wrong as he really was one of the best. I first knew of Eddie thanks to WCW and even ECW and followed him all the way up until his death as he was hands down one of the best minds and workers to step foot into the ring. I mean who else could make lying, cheating and stealing look so cool? Eddie started in 1986 working for the indies but was quickly picked up by CMLL in 1987 and was a popular Luchador to watch and would even work a few WCW matches as part of a talent exchange, but in 1992 when AAA was created he left CMLL to join them. While working for AAA he was a big star and would also work a few dates for New Japan Pro Wrestling and would be placed in many big matches for AAA. But in 1995 he would head to America and wrestle for ECW and would have some of the companies best technical and fast paced matches against the likes of Dean Malenko and 2 Cold Scorpio. But that same year WCW came calling and signed Eddie to a contract that would see him become a mid-card attraction and would win some titles as well as be apart of groups like LWO and the Filthy Animals. But after years of being misused and held back by aging wrestlers worried about their spots on the card Eddie would leave WCW and sign with WWE in 2000 and would appear with other wrestlers who left WCW for the same reason and those wrestlers were Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn and they became known as The Radicalz! Eddie would become injured at the start of his WWE run but would came back fast and become a future wrestler feuding with the likes of The New Age Outlaws, Chris Jericho and X-Pac and would have an angle that he was in love with Chyna. But in 2001 he was fired from WWE when he was battling addiction and was arrested for drinking and driving. Eddie would start working Indie dates in 2001 and worked for ROH, WWA and New Japan Pro Wrestling and was proving that he was still as talented as ever and was getting himself clean. Eddie would get a second chance in WWE as they resigned him to a contract in 2002 and he would be put into a team and later a feud with his nephew Chavo Guerrero as they were called Los Guerreros. After this Eddie became a contender for the belts and would end up winning the WWE Champion in 2004 by beating Brock Lesnar! And even after losing the belt he stayed a contender and a main event draw up until his death in 2005. While Eddie is gone he will never be forgotten, as he truly is one of the best Luchadors and Wrestlers to ever walk the Earth. Eddie in his career also used the names Black Tiger, Mascara Magica, El Caliente, Gory Guerrero Jr. and Eddy Guerrero.

# 7

Pentagone Jr.
Started: 2007      Companies: AAA & AEW       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No 

Pentagone Jr. for me is the best modern day Luchador working in Mexico and America today as he can wrestle the rough Lucha Libre style as well as a very bloody hardcore style his hardcore matches with Sami Callihan and OVE in Impact Wrestling was some of the best things in wrestling at the time. Plus whenever Pentagone Jr. is in a match, it’s must watch TV for me as you know you’re in for one hell of a good match. Pentagone Jr. started in 2007 working the indies in Mexico and would get his first big break in 2010 when he signed with AAA and started out as a mid-card attraction and with hard work and sky rocketed up the card winning big matches and would win some belts as well as worked for Lucha Underground, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and worked the Indies building his name and showing the world how good he really is. Pentagone Jr. would leave AAA in 2017 as they two sides clashed over creative ideas and freedoms. After leaving AAA he would still work a year for Lucha Underground and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as well as would work for other federations like MLW and Impact Wrestling with the later him really making a name for himself in America with. In 2018 he would return to AAA and once more was booked as a main draw and would also still work the indies as well as would sign with AEW and he is still working to this day in AAA and AEW and continues to wow fans with his style. In his career he has also wrestled under the names Zaius, Dark Dragon, Pentagon Dark, El Hijo del Cuchillo and Penta El Zero M to name a few. If he keeps it up Pentagone Jr. will surely be in many Hall Of Fames when he retires from the ring as his hard work is building a massive fan base.

# 6

La Parka
Started: 1982      Companies: AAA & WCW      Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

La Parka is a Luchador that I discovered thanks to WCW and their big boom of hiring Cruiserweights for their budding division. And La Parka was one that became a favorite of mine due to his awesome mask and fun loving yet hard hitting style and even got to see him wrestle live a few times in WCW. La Parka started his in ring career in 1982 wrestling and would wrestle under his real name as well as the names El Gringo, El Asesino de Tepito, Principe Island and Invasor del Norte and would travel the indies up until 1992. AAA started in 1992 and it’s here that La Parka was born and quickly became one of the company’s biggest draws even though he was a Rudo! He would also have many big matches during this time and was even apart of the WCW and AAA event called “When Worlds Collide” in 1994. He would also capture gold winning the Mexican National Light Heavyweight title and holding it for over 200 days! La Parka would also appear on ECW while still working for AAA as apart of a talent exchange. La Parka would leave AAA in 1996 and would sign with WCW and would become a mid-card attraction for the booming cruiserweight division, and would later be called the Chairman of WCW as he would bring a chair to the ring and play it like a guitar and even dance around it! He also became a member of the LWO and was treated as a comedy character in the late 90’s. La Parka would leave WCW in 2000 and was let go by the company alongside many of the other Luchador talent. La Parka would start working the indies after being let go and still does to this day working for the likes of X-LAW, MLW and many more. In 2003 LA Parka now under the name L.A. ParK signed with CMLL as he had to change his name as AAA would claim the trademark in Mexico for the character’s look and name and would be a draw from them as well as he was involved in high profile matches as well as held many titles. La Parka would leave CMLL in 2008, ending a good run that helped build his legacy. In 2010 he would have another run in AAA and would feud with the company’s La Parka on who was the real deal that lead to a match to see who would be known as La Parka…they both ended up able to use the name in the end but him still using the L.A. Park name for AAA. He would leave AAA in 2013 and by 2014 would be back in CMLL for a very short appearance run and was let go by CMLL in 2015 for violating their rules of crowd treatment. L.A. Park would stick working for the indies until 2018 when he once more started working for AAA and he is still with them as of this update as well as still working the indies. L.A. Park or the original La Parka if you will is an icon of Lucha Libre and will surely be placed in a Wrestling Hall Of Fame in Mexico as well as America when retired from the ring.

# 5

Blue Panther
Started: 1978      Companies: CMLL & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Blue Panther is a legendary Luchador who is a true journeyman who has wrestled all over Mexico and America and is one that I discovered thanks to the grey market tapes that I got off Ebay when I was a teenager and he became one of my favorites of classic Luchadors. Blue Panther started his in ring career in 1978 working the indies and made a name for himself very quickly and by 1981 UWA came calling and worked his way up the card as a Rudo and by 1984 won his first title with the company, and he would become a major draw for them up until left in 1990. In 1991 he would have a very short run for CMLL and was one of the company’s top rudos and would capture some gold as well was the one who unmasked The Love Machine in a bet match, and the world seen Art Barr was the man under the mask. By 1992 Blue Panther left CMLL for AAA and this would have him turn tecnico and he as well was a draw for AAA as fans and his fellow Luchadors respected his skill in the ring, and he of course would win titles, be involved in big matches and even feuded with Art Barr once again when he jumped companies. He would be with AAA up until 1997 and then would go back to CMLL and work for them still do this day along with his son Blue Panther Jr. and would become a true legend with them as he would win titles and compete in bet matches and sadly lost his mask in 2008 when he lost a match to Villano V! Even during this time Blue Panther was taking some indie bookings and even would go on to open his own wrestling school in the 1990’s and has been responsible for many great Luchadors like Texano Jr., Ephesto and Cynthia Moreno to name a few. Blue Panther is awesome and if you get a chance make sure to watch a few of his matches and see his classic style, hands done one of my favorites.

# 4

Juventud Guerrera
Started: 1992      Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Juventud is a Luchador that I first saw in ECW but became a fan of when seeing him in WCW as he was one the of top Cruiserweight stars and had a super fast and highflying Lucha Libre style! In fact while at a WCW Saturday Night taping at Hara Arena is Dayton, Ohio while waiting in line for a drink Juventud came out of a door and cut in front of me in line to grab a drink! Even cutting me off in line Juventud thanked me and for the cut and went back through the door, it was funny and awesome. He is the son of Lucha Libre legend Fuerza Guerrera and sadly he had a falling out with his father many years back. Juventud started his wrestling career in 1992 working very briefly the indies but was really a star for AAA right off the bat and he was pushed to the stars and was in a very epic feud with Rey Mysterio Jr. for the AAA Welterweight Title as they would pass it back and fourth. While wrestling for AAA he would also appear in early 1996 at ECW events and by mid 1996 he left AAA and signed with WCW as apart of their blooming Cruiserweight division. Juventud was pushed as one of the breakout stars by WCW and even would win the Cruiserweight title for the first time in 1998 beating Ultimo Dragon and he would hold it off and on a few times as well as always be a contender. In 1998 he would also loose a bet match in WCW to Chris Jericho causing him to lose his mask! Juventud would go on to join groups like LWO and The Filthy Animals and would even be in the film “Ready To Rumble” showing that he was one of the Luchadors they were pushing. In 2000 Juventud was let go from WCW due to an incident at an overseas tour that involved drugs. Once gone from WCW Juventud decided to do a small world tour and took matches in companies like XPW, AAA, Impact, FWA, CMLL and Pro Wrestling Noah building he name value even more and allowing fans from many federations to see him in action. But in 2005 the tour ended as he would sign with WWE and was teamed with Super Crazy and Psicosis to become the team known as The Mexicools and they would go for the Tag Titles as well as The Cruiserweight Championship. But in 2006 Juventud was let go from WWE for not listening and doing banned moves in a match. After his WWE run he would return to work the indies were he is still working to this day as well as had a number of short burst runs in AAA and remains one of Lucha Libres most popular Luchadors and a draw for indie promotions. It’s crazy that Juventud is not in the WWE Hall Of Fame and who knows once he retires from the ring maybe they will put him in as he deserves to be. Juventud over his career also wrestled under the names El Hijo de Fuerza Guerrera, Fighting Youth and Fuerza Grimm.

# 3

Blue Demon Jr.
Started: 1985      Companies: NWA & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: No

Blue Demon Jr. is one of the most iconic Luchadors who is still active today and is a draw for any company that brings him in as he is a true journeyman as well who has wrestled all over the world. Blue Demon Jr. is one that I first discovered on grey marker VHS tapes that I got off Ebay when I was a youngster and became a major fan of, and give that fact I was a fan of his father Blue Demon it was a no brainer that Jr. would become one of my favorites. I even got to meet Blue Demon Jr. once at a Monster Bash Convention and while we had a language barrier, he was a super nice Luchador. Blue Demon Jr. started his Lucha career in 1985 working for the indies and building his own legacy that would go alongside his father’s, be was a draw almost right off the bat and would even have a few matches off and on for major Mexican promotions just bringing fans into the matches. In 1996 he would sign with AAA and would be a major draw and would have some big high profile matches. He would stick around AAA until 2001 and then he returned to the indies and being a journeyman and not until 2008 did he sign with NWA and became the companies first Mexican and Masked wrestler to hold the NWA Heavyweaight Championship as well as was running his own company called NWA Mexico. He would stay around in the NWA until 2010 and then would go to Pro Wrestling Revolution and would win their Heavyweight Title and would even team with his biggest rival El Hijo del Santo to win the Tag Titles! He would stick around until 2013 with Pro Wrestling Revolution and by that same year he signed back with AAA and has become a major draw for them in many high profile matches including an amazing feud with Dr. Wagner Jr. that set the world of wrestling on fire. In 2014 while still working for AAA he also started working for Lucha Underground and was there for a year and was one of the main focuses of that season. Blue Demon Jr. is still active as of this posts upload and his working for AAA as well as takes Indie bookings. A true legend of the ring and really is one of my favorite Luchadors ever to step into the ring.

# 2

Psicosis
Started: 1989     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Psicosis is a Lucha that I first discovered in the pages of wrestling magazines and finally seen him in action thanks to WCW who brought him in during the massive Cruiserweight boom. Once I seen him in matches I became a mega fan and would watch his old matches in Mexico and in ECW thanks to the tape trade market. I have also been very lucky to have seen Psicosis wrestle live both in WCW as well as in WWE and he is one of the best Luchadors I have ever seen live! Plus his mask is so awesome and he was one of the wrestlers I always played as in WCW/NOW Revenge on the N64. Psicosis started his career in 1988 under the name El Salvaje and worked the indies and by 1989 he would go under the name Psicosis and he was a rudo draw as he would have matches with some of the top upcoming stars like Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera as well as legends like El Hijo del Santo and by this time as well he was signed and working matches in AAA even showcasing his style at the 1994 pay-per-view “When Worlds Collide” given American fans their first look at him, and this lead to him making appearances in 1995 for ECW. In 1996 Psicosis would start working for WCW and would become one of the featured Cruiserweights and would be come the champion as well as would be a member of the L.W.O. and would even lost his mask in a bet match against Billy Kidman, though Psicosis had lost his mask in Mexico to Rey Mysterio Jr. before this but his face was not seen in WCW it was and he would wrestle unmasked for the remainder of his time there. In 2000 Psicosis was let go from WCW and would return very briefly to ECW and from their would wrestle for many federations like XPW, All Japan, World Wrestling All-Stars, Impact, CMLL as well as NWA. Psicosis who had to start wrestling under the name Nicho El Millonario due to AAA and him having rights issues over the name as they had given the name to another known as Psicosis II and in 2005 he returned briefly to AAA in order to battle for the name and even Super Crazy got involved in the feud for the name. But he would leave AAA that same year and would sign to WWE and would be teamed with Super Crazy and Juventud Guerrera and became a group called The Mexicools, but his run would be short lived as he was fired in 2006 due to legal issues. But he would not be out of work for long as he would have a year run in CMLL before signing back with AAA in 2007 and would once more be a featured rudo in many big matches. During this run he would also put the mask back on and wrestle as Psicosis again in Mexico, but by 2014 he was once more released from AAA. He would return to the indies and is still working for them to this day, but did have a very small run once again in AAA starting in 2016 and by 2017 he was gone again. Really if you are a younger fan of Pro Wrestling and Lucha Libre, make sure to watch some of Psicosis matches and make sure it’s the original as you will see why he is one of my all time favorite Luchadors.

# 1

Rey Mysterio Jr.
Started: 1989     Companies: WCW & AAA       Active: Yes     Seen Live: Yes

Ok I had to pick Rey Mysterio Jr. as my # 1 spot cause well he is Rey and a true legend of Lucha Libre as well as brought the Mexican style to a mainstream pro wrestling fan her in America. Rey Mysterio I saw first thanks to WCW and I have seen him live several times not only during his WCW run but also in his WWE one. He is one wrestler that I have always cheered for and even the short time unmasked I was still a fan, but I will say thank goodness for WWE being smart and putting the mask back on him…and shame on WCW for unmasking him. Rey Musterio Jr. started in 1989 working the indies of Mexico and by 1992 was signed to AAA and was becoming one of the biggest rising stars in Lucha Libre, he would even have matches in ECW while with AAA and Americans would get their first look at Rey in action. In 1996 Rey would sign with WCW as part of their growing Cruiserweight division that was bring together some of the worlds best in that weight class. Rey would be one of the biggest breakout stars in that division and would hold many titles from the Cruiserweight Title to the Tag Titles, would be in such groups as the L.W.O., Filthy Animals and the No Limit Soldiers, he would also be unmasked by Kevin Nash and would be one of the company’s biggest mid-card attractions. Rey would stay with WCW until it closed in 2001 and then would work for CMLL as well as the indies until 2002 when WWE came calling and Rey signed with America’s biggest wrestling promotion. Rey Mysterio Jr. from the start was a big deal in WWE as he had a major fan base and he would be in main event matches as well as win titles like WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, Cruiserweight Championship, Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship as well as Tag Team Champion with such partners as Eddie Guerrero and Rob Van Dam. He would also win the Royal Rumble and would have big matches with the likes of Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy, Eddie Guerrero, Shawn Michaels, JBL and so many more. Rey would leave WWE in 2015 and would take indie bookings as well as would return to AAA for sometime as well as took matches in Lucha Underground, New Japan Pro Wrestling. In 2018 Rey Mysterio Jr. would return to WWE and is still there as of this update and is working alongside his son Dominik and is a true WWE Legend and for sure will be in the Hall Of Fame when he retires. Rey Mysterio Jr. is an amazing Luchador and even after years of injuries as well as age he still can out wrestle almost all the youngsters in WWE today. Get the WWE Network and watch many of Rey’s older matches and see why he is my # 1. Rey Mysterio Jr. has also wrestled under the names El Nino, Colibri, Super Nino and Rey Misterio II.

This list was way harder to compile then I ever would have thought as many times while writing it and even getting it ready to post I changed the order of many of them. And it was tough to choose was going to be my number one as it went to Rey Mysterio but it also was so close going to go to Psicosis and even Blue Demon Jr. was considered for that spot! And to be honest I could have done a Top 100 as there is many other Luchadors that I am a fan of that didn’t make the list with the likes of El Zorro, Electroshock, Charly Manson and Dark Ozz to name a few and they could and should off if I had more slots on this countdown. Well for our next update we will be leaving Lucha Libre behind and will be once more taking a look at the world of Horror Hosting and will be talking about The Moon and Narrator who first hosted TNT Monstervision! So until next time, watch a Lucha Libre match or three, read a comic or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for some MonsterVision!

The Best Active MLB Mascot Countdown!

Baseball is America’s favorite past time and a sport that is embedded into our culture and has driven collectors markets for decades with trading cards and even autographs. Growing up in Waynesville, Ohio almost all my male classmates and even some of the females collected baseball cards, showing that the appeal of this sport in the 80’s and 90’s was strong. In town we had a place called Bill’s Baseball Den that had tons of classic ball cards as well as new packs from the industries top companies like Topps, Donruss and Fleer. I can remember going to a few Cincinnati Reds games back then along with my father, brother and my dad’s close friends and seeing the likes of Barry Larkin and Eric Davis doing their thing, as well as seeing Mr. Red their then-mascot…and at those Red’s games is where I discovered that baseball was fun to watch live…but also that Mascots for sports teams are amazing! And when planning updates for 2021 I knew that I had to cover MLB Mascots and then knowing how many of you readers love when I do a countdown this just seemed like a no brainer to do. To me, mascots are a major part of baseball just like hot dogs, peanuts and beer are part of the experience.

Now let me take a moment to say what rules I gave myself when ranking these mascots as it was both very easy and very hard all at the same time as I think each and every one of these mascots are great in their own ways. So here is what I used for my rankings: I took my time and watched videos of each mascot doing their thing from on field antics all the way to videos on their social media. I looked at how well loved they are by the fans, critics as well as the team they represent. I looked at how well their costumes look as well as their personality. I looked at if they had any limitations in their antics as well as slightly how well they fit the team they mascot for. I ruled out any sidekick mascots and only rated the team’s main mascot. I as well ruled out teams that try to use real animals (looking at you Angels) as well as fans as their mascots, because those are not true mascots, as we all know and love them. I ruled out my love for the team – just cause I love the team doesn’t mean they have a great mascot. And most importantly is, of course, my personal like for the mascot again not the team but the mascot themselves. And again remember this is all for fun and I must stress I feel all of them mean something to their fans just like Horror Hosts so they are all important in their own ways. So with that, let’s find our seats at Rotten Ink Stadium and order a drink and some junk food and let’s talk MLB Mascots as I give you my personal countdown from least favorite to my top pick. Oh and I want to also take a moment to say shame on the following teams for not having a Mascot at their ball park” New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, get it together and bring in a mascot.

# 27

Billy The Marlin
Team: Miami Marlins     Debut: 1993     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Poor old Billy finds himself in the last place spot.  Since he was introduced in 1993 all the way to this day, I have always found him to be the least interesting mascot in the MLB as his antics and style are just bland as is his over all appearance.  Whenever I watch a game, he never is one that makes me wonder what he is up to during halftime. But while Billy The Marlin might not be my favorite mascot, he does have a very big following in his home state of Florida and even has his own fan club for youths. But while Billy is a lovable mascot, he also has a “dark side” aka some silly mishaps that includes firing a t-shirt into the crowd and knocking out an older man when the shirt hit him in the eye or so the old man claims. Also during a 1997 parachute stunt his head was blown off by high winds and was found 2 months later near the highway. But even with those silly mishaps, Billy is well loved for sure, he just is not for me. Oh yes and he has also gotten his own baseball cards from Topps over the years. When USA Today did their countdown, Billy was ranked # 15.

# 26

Southpaw
Team: Chicago White Sox     Debut: 2004     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 3

The White Sox is one of those iconic teams that started in 1900 and their original mascot was Andy The Clown who was later replaced by Ribbie & Roobarb who in turn were ousted by the animated White Sox Wolf…but his time as well was numbered by Southpaw who took over in 2004 and is the team’s mascot still to this day. Southpaw is a green furred monster who looks like a Muppet and cartoon character and is really solid at entertaining the fans during White Sox games and is a master of silly dances and silly pranks on players and fans.  But that’s kind of the thing about Southpaw, he just is kind of average all around and does not have a presence like the other mascots on this list and that’s why he ranks so low in my eyes. Southpaw has been on ball cards from companies like Topps and USA Today ranked him # 23 on their list.

# 25

Lou Seal
Team: San Francisco Giants     Debut: 1996     POP: No     World Series Wins: 8

While Forbes and Hulu will tell you that the iconic Lou Seal is one of the best mascots the MLB has to offer, I sadly disagree as his antics are fantastic but the character’s over all look is very bland and does not capture my attention nor imagination like the others that will be making up this list. But while I might not think the look of this sports mascot is the best thing going, those who go and see a Giants game are highly entertained by Lou who tries to appear at almost very home game and brings smiles to the young and young at heart. A fun little fact is that Lou Seal got his name from a contest that allowed fans to name the character before his debut in 1996 and a total of six fans all wrote in with the name “Lou Seal” and so the name was picked and all those fans got invited to the game when he made his on-field first appearance. Also Lou Seal and the man who wears the costume were one of the subjects followed on the Hulu show called “Behind The Mask”. And for those wondering, yes, this massive seal has graced some baseball cards. USA Today ranked him their # 6 best MLB Mascot.

# 24

Dinger
Team: Colorado Rockies     Debut: 1994     POP: No     World Series Wins: 0

Dinger is the Rockies # 1 fan and has warmed his way into the hearts of the fans that pack the ballpark to watch the game and see his antics, and he has became a icon in the minds of the kids who love watching the purple dinosaur do his thing to cheer on his team. Dinger is a purple triceratops and his name is slang term for home runs, and for those wondering why he is that type of dinosaur its cause many fossils were dug up in Colorado and this caused the ball club to choose a one to be their mascot. Dinger during a game can also be found in the stands interacting with his fans and even at times doing his best to distracting the opposing team in order to try and give his team an edge to win. Dinger is a fun mascot who is very much beloved by Rockies fans and while he is low on my list he is a great mascot for baseball and brings the smiles and joy to fans at the stadium. USA Today ranked him # 8 of their top MLB Mascots.

# 23

Clark
Team: Chicago Cubs     Debut: 2014     POP: No     World Series Wins: 3

The Chicago Cubs is a ball team that always seems like the underdogs that have you rooting for them, and crazy enough they always have great players they just never seem to get the wins they need…and for me their mascot Clark just does not bring the home runs when it comes to look and sideline antics, and over all has a very generic Party City rented suit look to him. But while I find Clark to be dull and boring in look he does bring the joy to fans of the Cubs and many younger fans look forward to seeing him and his silly ways and for that I have to give him respect. Plus Clark is a newbie in the baseball mascot world so he still has time to grow as a character and I am sure will become a major icon over time. I love that he was created when fans wanted more friendly things at Wrigley Field for kids to do and Clark was born to greet them before, during and after the games. Over all while Clark is just kind of silly looking and still green when it comes to being a thought about mascot, he is quickly building a fan base and helps add the fun times of attending a Cubs game. And yep, he has graced some baseball cards. Clark was rated # 22 on USA Today’s countdown.

# 22

T.C. Bear
Team: Minnesota Twins     Debut: 2000     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Another bear mascot with a very generic rental store look, but T.C. Bear has more history to his look as he is based on the old Hamm’s Beer Bear, mascot of Hamm’s Brewery that was on original sponsor for the Twins. And his name T.C. of course stands for Twin Cities and he stepped into the role of mascot when the original was sent to the Mascot Retirement Home in the sky the original was named Twinkie and was a Loon. One thing that sets T.C. apart from Clark is that he has a more classic mascot look to him, and while they both are great at entertaining on the sidelines and in the crowd I give T.C. the slight edge as I find him to turn it up when needed. Going on over 20 years as the teams mascot makes T.C. Bear a major part of the Twins game experience and like all other MLB mascots he has a major hometown following and has graced many baseball cards. And for his USA Today rating they gave him the # 26 spot.

# 21

Raymond
Team: Tampa Bay Rays     Debut: 1998     POP: No     World Series Wins: 0

So Raymond here is a strange looking creature that is said to be a “Seadog” that lives at the ball field and loves to show support for the Rays as well as entertain the fans during the game. Raymond is a very cool, cartoonish looking mascot who has a great act when it comes to entertaining the fans, and like all mascots not to mention helps bring the laughs to the crowd. Raymond over the years has gotten the respect from such sites as GameOps and USA Today who ranked him # 14 on their Mascot countdown. One thing that makes me enjoy Raymond as well is that he looks like a friend creature in some photos while others he kind of looks mean! Raymond is a great mascot and The Rays have done a fantastic job of bringing the laughs with him, and yep also got the baseball card treatment.

# 20

Ace
Team: Toronto Blue Jays     Debut: 2002     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Ace is a mascot for Canada’s only pro baseball team and he took over the role in 2002 from the teams original mascot named BJ Birdy who was forced into the Mascot Retirement Home by the ball club who wanted something new and fresh for fans to see while at home games, and this did not go over well with fans as Birdy was well loved and they did not want a new mascot as they were all very happy with the old one! And when the Blue Jays asked the fans to help name one the new replacement they got flooded with bad names as fans were not happy. But while at first fans where not happy Ace did what he does best and that’s entertain, bring the silly laughs and fill the fans with home team pride and has won their hearts over with time. Some fun facts about Ace is that he has graced baseball cards, his original name for a short time was Slider, his beak was changed from grey to blue, he wears team # 0 and his look was created by Sugar’s Mascot Costumes based in Toronto Canada. For me I see what Ace had to face in order to win his own towns respect and he does a great job of pulling off his antics and that’s why I respect the little feathered guy. USA Today ranked Ace at # 20 in their countdown.

# 19

Rangers Captain
Team: Texas Rangers     Debut: 2002     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

Who don’t love a horse that attends baseball games in Texas and jumps around swinging flags and entertaining you during the slow parts of the game! Rangers Captain is truly one cool and total “American” style mascot who loves baseball and also bringing the laughs to fans in the bleachers. When watching moments on YouTube of Rangers Captain doing his bits its great to see the fans face light up with smiles as they see him, and that goes for young and old as its clear he is well loved by his hometown fans. For some reason many outside of Texas fans have a weird dislike for Rangers Captain as they say that he is silly looking, stuff of nightmares and even generic…but I for one when watching him do his thing have nothing but respect for him as he is great at what he does and that’s bring on the laughs during a Rangers ball game. Some fun facts about Rangers Captain is that the number he wears 72 is the year that the Rangers relocated to the Dallas Metroplex, and he has many change of jerseys that follows the teams change in uniforms. Rangers Captain has graced Topps baseball cards and ranked # 18 of mascots of Major League Baseball.

# 18

Slider
Team: Cleveland Indians     Debut: 1990     POP: No     World Series Wins: 2

When the Cleveland Indians showed their new mascot Slider to the fans in 1990 they seemed a little confused as they replaced Chief Wahoo and Tom E. Hawk with this strange bright colored Muppet looking creature that just seemed out of place. And like many new mascots that took the place of beloved ones it was a little rough for Slider to win the hearts of the fans…but like all good mascots put in this position Slider worked his butt off and used his silly and funny skills to win them over. Slider is known for his dance movies and while he is a part of the Ohio sports family he also seems to have a feud with Cincinnati Reds secondary mascot Gapper who is also a fuzzy Muppet like creature. While Slider here might look very silly he does have the moves to get the attention, and has become a staple for fans who attend Indian games. But while Slider is super goofy he did have a bad mishap in 1995 when he fell off the outfield wall during an American League Championship Series game and tore ligaments in his knee, ouch! Slider is loved here in Ohio now and has graced some baseball cards and was ranked a very low # 25 by USA Today on their countdown. Slider got the honor of being inducted into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2008.

# 17

Blooper
Team: Atlanta Braves     Debut: 2018     POP: No     World Series Wins: 3

What can be said about Blooper, the newest mascot on this list, besides I have not seen so much anger and confusion over a mascot in my life.  This poor guy has gotten so much hate from not only MLB fans but also the media! But what really matters is not what none Atlanta Braves fans think and what does is how the home team fans feel about him and they seem to have opened their arms and love him now! This cartoon character looking mascot has all types of ways to make fans laugh and pop that include driving go-carts around, covering players heads under his shirt, dancing around, using a toilet paper gun, taking fake falls and even given out free snacks to fans by stealing it from the venders! And again I think Blooper came at a time of high critical social media and like others on this list he had to fill the shoes of retired former Brave mascots Chief Noc-A-Homa and Homer The Brave and that is hard work to do for any mascot. Blooper has had a small amount of baseball cards made with his image and ranked a # 27 on USA Todays list making him in last place for them. While Blooper does seem like a cheap imitation of the Phillie Phanatic and seems to recycle many of the other mascots bits, I think Blooper over the years will grow into his own and will find the respect of MLB fans.

# 16

Stomper
Team: Oakland Athletics     Debut: 1997     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 9

The Oakland A’s has always been a ball club that has had a tie to Elephants in their logos and in 1997 they unleashed Stomper into their fans and he quickly became a staple for those at the stadium. Stomper is a great mascot as he does all the classic bits from messing with the other team, dancing around, pulling fun pranks on players and fans and even has taken part in Mascot races and boxing matches. By all accounts Stomper is a top notch mascot that embodies the ball clubs spirit and legacy not to even mention he has all the hometown fans and mascot critics loving him. While I feel that he is an icon in MLB mascot history and has graced baseball cards over the decades…I shockingly do like and respect Stomper and his legacy and abilities, but I do find other mascots in baseball to be better and more fun for me and that’s why Stomper is only at # 16 for me. USA Today however gave him their # 10 spot.

# 15

Mr. Met
Team: New York Mets     Debut: 1963     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Okay I know many of you are ranting right now on how “low” I ranked Mr. Met on my list and I get it as Forbes placed him at # 1, USA Today had him ranked at # 2 and many sports fans say that he is truly the best mascot in baseball history…its just I disagree and that’s why he is only # 15 on my list! So let me first point out why Mr. Met is so iconic to fans and first is that he is a fun looking mascot with a friendly looking baseball for a head, he does a fantastic job of getting the crowd railed up and cheering The Mets on, he is great with the fans and is an attraction in his own right when fans attend a game they look forward to seeing him and lastly he truly is a pop culture icon and is in the Mascot Hall Of Fame (2007 class). Now for my reasons of not being super high on my list is that he is limited in his antics as the giant baseball head makes him unable to pull off normal mascot bits, while his look is fitting for the Mets I do feel that he lacks any real character in appearance as I do feel his actions do have lots of character and to be honest I also I have to say that he just is a clone of Mr. Redlegs (Cincinnati Reds) who was created 10 years before him. One funny Mr. Met moment is when in 2017 a fan recorded the beloved mascot given him the middle finger after a loss for the Mets, that’s right the three fingered icon figured out how to give a rival fan the bird…awesome! Mr. Met of course has graced baseball cards as well as has been on many TV Shows as well as commercials. Keep in mind while Mr. Met is only # 15 for me I still love this mascot and 100% think he is an icon of American culture.

# 14

D. Baxter The Bobcat
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks     Debut: 2000     POP: No     World Series Wins: 1

I feel that D. Baxter The Bobcat is a harshly judged mascot in MLB and for some reason people dislike the characters look and a few even use the word “creepy” when describing him and that word I feel is over used in the internet culture when talking about mascots in not only sports but also fast food. Baxter is great at what he does and his costume allows him to move around way more freely then many of his peers and pull off some great antics and goofy style stunts. His interaction with players and fans is great and he knows what to do to get a laugh, plus he also uses go-carts, costumes, props and other items to enhance his antics. Baxter also does classic dances and in my opinion has a great look for a mascot plus he is fitting for being Arizona’s mascot as bobcats are native to that state plus his name is a play on the teams name and old stadium’s name. Over all I think Baxter is a great mascot who does thinks that many of his fellow baseball mascots cannot do and that’s why he gets my respect. And yep if you are a fan you can get him on many baseball cards and USA Today ranked him a very low # 24 on their countdown.

# 13

Paws
Team: Detroit Tigers     Debut: 1995     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 4

The Detroit Tigers when selecting a mascot new that Paws was the winner, well cause he himself is a tiger! Paws is a very classic looking mascot and while his costume does look a little cheesy and generic, its that simple look that in my opinion works so well as he comes off looking very friendly and also just fits the ball clubs family friendly nature. Paws brings to the table of antics silly dances, costume changes, and even does silly skits to get the laughs. Paws is also very well loved by his home town crowd as he always makes time for them to takes pictures or even give high fives and most important gets them fired up to cheer for The Tigers. Paws to be is a great traditional mascot who is fitting for his team and brings all the entertainment he needs to in order to put smiles on the faces of fans. Paws has of course been on baseball cards for collectors, and USA Today of course rated him really low on their list given him the # 19.

# 12

Mariner Moose
Team: Seattle Mariners     Debut: 1990     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

Who don’t love watching a silly moose dance around and do goofy things for a laugh, well the people of Seattle do as their mascot Mariner Moose does just that. Mariner Moose is a mascot who does what he can to get the crowd to laugh and cheer for the home team and is well loved by the fans as they enjoy his antics and style of funny crowd hyping. The Mariner Moose character was created by a young boy when the Mariners wanted a mascot and held a contest, and he was selected from over 25,000 submissions! Mariner Moose’s trademark was roller skating while being pulled by an ATV in the outfield this lasted until 1999, and with a switch of fields Mariner Moose started himself to drive the ATV around to the delight of the fans. Mariner Moose has built himself up as being one of the most popular and well loved mascots in Baseball and fans even have their own ways for cheering him by using their hands as antlers to their heads and Mooing! But while this Moose has graced many of baseball cards over time he did have a bad accident while being pulled by the ATV the lead to him breaking his ankle! Mariner Moose is a true very cool mascot who makes appearances all around Seattle as well as even in Nike Commercial along side Ken Griffey Jr.! USA Today gave the # 11 spot on their MLB Mascot countdown.

# 11

Wally The Green Monster
Team: Boston Red Sox     Debut: 1997     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 9

Wally The Green Monster is a mascot for one of the world’s most popular teams in baseball and he himself has climb to become one of the worlds most loved characters in the sport. Wally is named after the 37-Foot wall in left field at Fenway Park and he himself is said to live at the ballpark inside that very wall as you see Wally is a big mark when it comes to hits and ones that could have and should have been homeruns, but are not cause of his wall home. Wally The Green Monster is great at entertaining the fans and will do what he needs to do to get the laughs, and most important he his top notch to the fans and makes sure that they get that special moment with an interaction with him. Of course the kids in the stadium really love seeing Wally and over time even the adults have come to love him as he leads them in sing alongs and does silly things to entertain them during the seventh-inning stretch. Wally’s look is also great and will remind you of not only a Muppet but also just a classic style 80’s cartoon character and this helps his appeal to ball fans my age. Wally also wins extra points as he ties into the team as the Left-Wall that is painted green is one of the biggest legends of Fenway Park and Wally being the one who has lived inside it for over 50 years makes his legacy also apart of the teams history. Wally of course has graced ball cards and USA Today ranked him # 3 on their list and to be honest I can see why!

# 10

The Swinging Friar
Team: San Diego Padres     Debut: 1958     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

For some reason The Swinging Friar has always captured by attention and sense I have been a kid I have been a fan of his look and style and love that his look fits in with the name of the team The Padres. And the cool part about him is over the years his look has changed but his style and name has stayed the same. The Swinging Friar has been a very super popular mascot for Padres fans and really has been with the team forever even starting when they were just a minor league team and followed them up to the pros! Swinging Friar is great with fans and everyone loves meeting him and getting a picture with him and his main attraction is when he swings a giant bat that pops the fans and is his trademark bit. He also at times will change his robe to fit a theme night held at the stadium, helping add to his community love. The Swinging Friar has of course graced baseball cards and ranked # 4 on USA Today’s baseball mascot rankings. Not sure why but I really do dig The Swinging Friar and have lots of respect for his legacy in baseball history.

# 9

Bernie Brewer
Team: Milwaukee Brewers     Debut: 1973     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

For many Baseball fans things like hotdogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack and beer go hand and hand with a good time at the ballpark and one mascot really brings the bound of baseball and beer together and that’s Bernie Brewer who’s massive grinning face just screams let’s get drunk, do some silly stuff and have a good time while doing it! Bernie over the years besides being playful with the players and fans was known for sliding into a giant beer glass when a Brewer would hit a home run at a home game, and the fans just ate it up! But over time the giant beer mug slide turned into a slide to a giant home base plate. Bernie does a great job sitting in his own private dugout and getting the crowd to cheer on the Brewers and is one of the ballparks top attractions. Some fun quick facts about Bernie is that he has graced many baseball cards, was forced into retirement in 1984 but by 1993 the fans got their wish and he returned, he was based on a real life fan named Milt Mason who camped out on the scoreboard until at least 40,000 fans would attend a game and was up there for 40 days. Bernie is a fun mascot with a great history of entertaining fans and is an icon that I hope is around forever. USA Today ranked Bernie their # 13 spot.

# 8

Orbit
Team: Houston Astros     Debut: 1990     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 1

Orbit is a master of being a funny, silly and entertaining mascot and knows just how to work the fans to get that laugh! Orbit was the team’s #2 mascot after Chester Charge but to me, he is the most fitting as he his a green alien that plays on the fact Houston was a main hub for NASA back in the day and why not have a baseball loving alien be your teams mascot…am I right? Orbit is super popular and well loved by Astros fans that when the tried to retire him in 2000 with Junction Jack and the fans were not pleased as they did not connect with Jack like they did Orbit, and by 2012 after fans outcries they brought him back home as the mascot where he belongs…now don’t get me wrong, Junction Jack also had his fans he just could not replace the love the fans had for Orbit. The thing that makes Orbit so special is the fact he knows what to do to entertain the fans and that could be silly pranks all the way to his famous silly dances and the fans just eat up his silliness.  Do yourself a favor and look up some of his bits on YouTube to see just how good he is at his job. One thing Orbit is also known for is being thrown out of a game in 1996 after making gestures at the umpire after some bad calls, showing that Orbit is a true fan of the team he represents. Orbit is a cool looking alien with green fur, baseball antennae and has of course been on baseball cards for collectors. USA Today on their countdown gave Orbit the # 17 spot and I feel that is way to low for this guy.

# 7

Fredbird
Team: St. Louis Cardinals     Debut: 1979     POP: No     World Series Wins: 11

Another bird mascot swoops in and takes the # 7 spot and what’s cool about this guy is that he was unleashed the same year I was born! Fredbird is a true icon of mascots and when it comes to antics he brings all the classic bits to the fans the Cardinals as he greets and entertains the kids and young at heart, gives out free t-shirts and merchandise, dances around the stadium and his classic move is called the “beak-ing” where he places his mouth on fans heads and that is the highlights for many fans in the stadium. He also is seen swinging the team’s flag on field during wins, has young women that help him in his antics that are called “Team Fredbird”, he has been a cohost on a kids show on local St. Louis TV, makes hundreds of public appearances at events and most important is one of Baseballs most known and iconic mascots. Fredbird is a true topnotch mascot who brings the fun to the field, and for me his cheesy look just adds to his awesome over nature. Has graced ball cards and USA Today ranked him # 16 on their list.

# 6

Sluggerrr
Team: Kansas City Royals     Debut: 1996     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Sluggerrr is a very cool looking mascot as he is a muscle bound lion who has a crown for the top of his head and for some reason has always caught by attention as I think he really is one of the coolest looking mascots in Baseball. Sluggerr is an attraction at the Royals games as he does what he can to entertain the crowd by swing around the teams flag, getting the crowds to cheer and even firing free hot dogs into the crowd via a cannon, and speaking of the Hot Dog Cannon at one point Sluggerrr was taken to court over hitting a fan in the eye with a hotdog…or so the guy claimed. Sluggerrr is a mascot who is slightly limited by his costume, but does a great job to work around its limitations and really does a great job of bounding with the fans. And I am sure you longtime baseball fans also get that his name is a reference to a powerful batter and to me that name fits for this characters look, and then his crown being Royal and the Lion is said to be the King Of The Jungle so Sluggerrr to be fits like a glove as the face of this ball club. Sluggerrr has made appearances on cards and USA Today placed him at # 12 on their countdown list. Not going to lie I am a fan of Sluggerrr and think he really is one of the best mascots in baseball based on his look and connection to the teams name. Oh and Sluggerrr was put into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2019 showing that he is truly a great sports mascot.

# 5

Mr. Redlegs
Team: Cincinnati Reds     Debut: 1953     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 5

The Cincinnati Reds is not only my local team but are also my favorite team in baseball and over the years I have caught many live games, watched many on TV, listened to several on the radio and heck even one of my friends works for the team! And their mascot Mr. Redlegs is a true legend in our area and is well loved and truly is an attraction when heading to the stadium. Mr. Redlegs has a baseball for a head, has a thick mustache, dresses in the reds old style uniform and was the team’s original mascot and was so popular that he was reintroduced in 2007 after decades of being retired. Mr. Redlegs is great with fans with kids loving him and always wanting high fives and pictures with him, and to entertain and get the laughs he will have races, wave flags, fire water guns, dance and even drive around on a ATV. But while he really is a true icon in Ohio, I have to point out the flaws of Mr. Redlegs and the major flaw is the same thing that effects the likes of Mr. Met and that’s his costume is to top heavy and limits what he can do when it comes to antics! One other thing is that sometimes Mr. Redlegs gets lost in the shuffle at events, as he is joined on the field and stands by Mr. Red, Rosie Red and Gapper all who are as well Reds mascots. But even with his limitations I am a fan of Mr. Redlegs and he is one mascot that I have seen live many times and he has always delivered the fun entertainment. Mr. Redlegs has of course been on baseball cards for fans to collect and USA Today placed him at their # 7 spot for best baseball mascot. See this is proof that so much has went into this rankings as if I was going on just my love for the team the mascot is tied to would have put Mr. Redlegs at my # 1 spot. Ok I have to also tell a funny Mr. Redlegs accident story as in 2008 while driving around on a ATV he fell off the vehicle and the baseball head fell off exposing the actors real head, and a few days later Mr. Redlegs was seen wearing a neck brace to embrace the embarrassing moment and turn it into a funny joke…classic silly comedy stuff.

# 4

Screech
Team: Washington Nationals     Debut: 2005     POP: No     World Series Wins: 1

Call me crazy but for some reason I really like Screech who is the mascot for The Nationals and is so fitting as he is a bold eagle that is our nations bird and the team is out of Washington! Screech by all accounts is very generic looking in appearance and once more suffers from the rented suit from Party City look, but for some reason it just works for him and adds to his awesomeness for me. Screech is great with kids at home games and as well interacts with the fans making him a fan favorite of his hometown crowd. Screech is great with his antics to make the crowd pop and will dance around, does gags, pulls pranks including the classic pie to the face of a “fan”, waves the teams flag and is really great at what he does. And the thing is that fans seem to pop for his antics showing that he really is apart of the Nationals game experience. It’s crazy that such a cheesy mascot has become one of my favorites but he really has captured my attention and is one I hope sticks around for centuries to come. Many ball cards have features Screech and USA Today placed him very low at their # 21 spot, showing that for some reason people show him no respect as while writing this update and doing research I noticed many people seem to be hard on him, but to them I say he his my # 4 favorite!

# 3

Pirate Parrot
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates     Debut: 1979     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 5

The Pirate Parrot is another MLB mascot that made his debut the same year I was born and this funny guy has been a fan favorite for decades now and is truly one of the best of the best when it comes to getting laughs from his antics. The Pirate Parrot is green in color and when he first was hatched, he was more mean in nature and wore sea pirate gear and hats and was leaner, but later he gained weight and traded the real pirate gear for team gear and became more of a goofball looking to get that laugh from fans. The Pirate Parrot is super popular among fans and is embraced by them as he has become one of the best in the business at messing with the other teams players as well as annoying game officials. The Pirate Parrot does all types of antics during a game from shooting free hotdogs into the crowd via a cannon, pulling classic and silly pranks, leading the crowd in cheers and songs, dancing around the dugout and field and just being a total goofball! No joke when watching the Pirate Parrot do his thing I crack a smile and he makes me laugh, and that’s why I think he really is one of the all time greats as his antics really are funny and its crazy that he is not in the Official Mascot Hall Of Fame yet! But while the Pirate Parrot is an icon in my eyes he has had his bad press as back in 1985 the man in the suit was using drugs while playing the character and even was a middle man for hooking up players with cocaine…he was fired and a new guy was hired to be the character. The Pirate Parrot of course has been on trading cards and USA Today put him at their # 9 spot on their countdown. No joke get this guy in the Mascot Hall Of Fame already!

# 2

Phillie Phanatic
Team: Philadelphia Phillies    Debut: 1978     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

When people talk about the best arena/stadium mascots of all time, the top of almost everyone’s list is the Phillie Phanatic as he really is iconic and considered one of the best in all of sports. What sets the Phillie Phanatic apart form the rest of the mascots on this list is he was truly the first fuzzy creature to grace a ball field and brings pure joy and entertainment to everyone at the stadium from the cotton candy seller all the way to the first baseman. The Phillie Phanatic is a master of the art of entertaining the crowd and is no joke a true icon of Sport Mascot history and is one of the most loved in any sports! The people of Philadelphia love the Phanatic so much as he really is a major icon of the state and is well loved by young and old as his antics at the ballpark bring so much joy. But because he is so good at his job this has also lead to some drama for the Phillie Phanatic, who is the most sued mascot in sports history as some fans claim injuries from his antics as he also has also really angered players and managers of the teams the Phillies are playing as they find some of what he does to be disrespectful to them. But to be honest those who try and bring the drama are just sticks in the mud and will never bring The Phillie Phanatic down. The Phillie Phanatic was one of the first Sports Mascots to be inducted into The Mascot Hall Of Fame way back in 2005. And in USA Today’s ranking he took their # 1 spot and I can truly understand why as The Phillie Phanatic is awesome!

# 1

The Oriole Bird
Team: Baltimore Orioles     Debut: 1966/1979     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 3

Hands down for me the best MLB Mascot is The Oriole Bird, and he has been my favorite since I was a kid as his look as always put a smile on my face and I loved that he has the colors of Halloween with black and orange. The Oriole Bird is a mascot who has as well mastered the craft of entertaining the fans and messing with the opposing team. The Oriole Bird brings lots of A-Game material to his antics as he not only dances around all over the ball field, he interacts with players and fans and does a great job with the youngsters, does funny skits that he as well can be the butt of the jokes, of course he does the “beak-ing” spot, hiding baseballs in his mouth, but he is also known for shaking his tail feathers at the crowd and players that always seems to get a pop from the fans. While the walk around mascot did not show up until 1979 (hey that’s the year I was born!) his smug smiling face has been on the teams cap sense 1966 making him a truly iconic and long lasting mascot of the sport. Another thing about The Oriole Bird is he looks like he is always having a blast wherever he is, be it at the stadium or at a public appearance, and it’s crazy as he also seems to always be able to show emotion with the face, and that’s hard to do for sure. Another thing I am going to point out is that The Oriole Bird also does it right when it comes to social media as he posts on his sites and keeps people laughing and builds that bound with his fans. USA Today ranked him at the # 5 spot on their countdown list and The Oriole Bird made it into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2020, and his induction was long overdue. And for me The Oriole Bird really is the best MLB Mascot and that’s why he has taken my # 1 spot on this countdown list!

This list was a blast to put together and was a great excuse to watch old YouTube videos of these mascots in action as well as gave me even more reasons to watch more Baseball games…as its crazy in my old age I am starting to become a full fledge baseball fan. And if you are wondering my top 4 favorite teams are the following in order Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays. Plus I have to be honest the Reds and Orioles are on the same level as I love the Reds cause they are my home team and I have history with them by attending games and collecting the team sets and the Orioles are a team I just enjoy watching. I also have to give a shout out to The Dayton Dragons, a Class A team that I use to live by their stadium and have caught games of from time to time. And because I had a great time writing this Mascot Countdown I may just do more on future updates as I could cover Retired MLB Mascots, NFL Mascots, NHL Mascots, College Football Mascots and even Fast Food Mascots…but we will see if you readers enjoy this one. For my next update we will be continuing our look at iconic Horror Hosts and for the next one we will be talking about Gorgon The Gruesome of Nightmare that aired in Texas. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a sports game or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a Gruesome Nightmare!

Matt Goes To The Movies 2019

Welcome to the first update of 2020, and of course that means it’s time for my Best Of 2019 at the Cinema! Last year really was a great year filled with some top notch Action films, stunning Superhero epics, out of this world Science Fiction flicks and of course spine tingling Horror pictures! Plus this year going to see movies with family and friends helped make what was a stressful year way more relaxing. So grab your ticket, buy some popcorn and soda and find your seat…it’s time to talk about some movies! I also would like to say thanks to Cinemark Dayton South, Cinemark At The Greene, Neon Movies, Danbarry Huber Heights, Englewood Cinema and Cranberry Cinema for being the places that showed the movies that entertained me throughout the year of 2019.

Let’s start with the Action films I saw in the theater. While I did not see too many of them, the ones I did see were very entertaining popcorn films that brought excitement to viewers. It’s crazy to think that Action Movies in the 80’s and 90’s were some of the world’s must-watch movies, and over the years with a few exceptions Action is not the massive box office draw it used to be. It makes me wonder if it’s because the Action Heroes of the past have gotten older and the younger generation of actors have not stepped up to take their places. Well with that, grab some popcorn and let’s talk Actions films!

# 4

The world is in major trouble when a bio weapon goes missing and MI6 agent Hattie Shaw is blamed, when in reality she is now the carrier for the weapon and has been set up by cyber enhanced terrorist Brixton Lore who wants to use the weapon for the downfall of mankind. What is the world to do? Well they call in DSS agent Luke Hobbs and former mercenary Deckard Shaw to work together to save the day as Hattie is Deckard’s sister and they both get to witness first hand just how skilled and brutal Brixton is. This is a great action comedy that delivers a great time as you eat your popcorn and watch the story unfold on the big screen. The film has a great cast. Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Vanessa Kirby, Idris Elba and WWE superstar Roman Reigns all deliver sold performances in such an overt the top film. The film did good for Universal at the Box Office here in America bringing in $173,810,100.00 on a budget of $200 million, with world wide gross being even higher. Worth watching if you enjoy fun over the top action films.

# 3

When the California John Bosley retires a new Bosley takes his place, and when another Bosley along with two Angels, Sabina Wilson and Jane Kano, are set up when talking to tech worker Elena Houghlin that leads to the Angels being defeated by an assassin and their Bosley dead. This hit was placed as Elena knows that new energy tech can be used as a weapon that will devastate the world, and it’s clear the company she works for has a rat that wants to sell the tech on the black market! With the new Bosley, the new Angels group of Sabina, Jane and Elena must find the rat, get the tech and most importantly stay alive and watch out for each other….and worse, it also seems as if someone in the Angels agency has also turned rogue! So who are the rats and can the Angels save to world from a massive and deadly tech attack, watch this 2019 sequel and find out. This was a fun watch, and, much like Hobbs and Shaw, was filled with over the top action and humor. The three new Angels are fantastic and lovely and played by Ella Balinska, Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott, with the latter being an amazing actress and super beautiful. The movie sadly tanked for Sony bringing in a very low $17,765,238.00 on a budget of $48 million. While the internet critics trashed the film, do yourself a favor and make up your own mind. Go in checking your brain at the door and just enjoy this woman empowerment action flick.

# 2

John Wick is on the run, and the High Table has a price on his head for conducting business in a safe zone. Now he must fight for his life and find a way for a second chance at life as well as call in old friends to help him find the high order and try to make the wrongs right. This third film in the John Wick series is fantastic and is nonstop action and proves that action movies still do have a place in America cinema. Keanu Reeves gives a great performance as the assassin turned target John Wick, and the fight scenes are so amazing that they will remind you of classic Jackie Chan style action. Not to mention the end of the film leaves the plot thickening even more and really makes me look forward to the fourth film that is in the works. The film did fantastic for Lionsgate and brought in $171,015,687.00 on a budget of $75 million. This film is a great watch and worth owning on home media.

# 1

John J. Rambo is trying his best to live a normal life on his family ranch, and when his adoptive daughter Gabrielle travels to Mexico to find her real father and she gets kidnapped and sold into human trafficking. This sets Rambo on a rampage to get her back as well as get revenge on those who are responsible! This 5th film in the Rambo series is great stuff and shows that Sylvester Stallone is still one of the world’s best action movie stars, and that the character Rambo still has many stories to tell. Plus a movie that shows a pissed off Rambo massacring human traffickers is oddly relaxing in this day and age. Stallone is, as always, great as Rambo, and actress Yvette Monreal is great as Gabrielle. While this film was trashed by many “film critics” and even some viewers, I for one found it to be my favorite action film of 2019 and John Wick 3 is the only other action film that came close. The film did pretty well for Lionsgate at the US Box Office bringing in $44,819,352.00 on a budget of $50 million. This one is worth watching and owning if you are a fan of the Rambo films.

While Horror is my favorite genre of films to watch in theaters, I do also enjoy a great Sci-Fi and Fantasy film on the big screen. I mean who doesn’t love a good alien invasion or an epic quest gracing the silver screen as you get wrapped up in the story. So 2019 had some great films in this genre and this was also tough one to list as I enjoyed so many of them almost equally! So take a drink of your soda, and let’s get to this.

# 10

The world has been taken over by aliens who are stealing all of Earth’s natural resources and a group of underground fighters want to fight back and stop this invasion and prove that mankind will not just roll over. But these freedom fighters also have to face the cops who are also on the payroll of the aliens. Like all good science fiction, not all is what it seems as the story takes many twists and turns leaving viewers guessing on what is what and who is what. This film was a good popcorn flick and stars such fantastic actors as Vera Farmiga and John Goodman. The film tanked at the US Box Office for Focus Features bringing in a low $5,958,315.00 on a budget of $25 million! While this is not a groundbreaking alien invasion film it’s still an entertaining one that should have done better. Check it out on DVD or streaming on a boring night.

# 9

Explorer of the unknown Sir Lionel Frost wants to join the prestige group “Society Of Great Men” and makes a deal with the snooty Lord Piggot-Dunceby that’ll join if he can bring in a living Sasquatch. But once Sir Lionel Frost finds one, he befriends the beast and the pair go on an adventure to find the Sasquatch’s relatives called Yetis, but while they are doing so Lord Piggot-Dunceby and some hired guns are on a mission to kill the Sasquatch so Frost will never be able to join the group, and Piggot-Dunceby will go down in history as the world’s best adventurer. This is a truly fun kids’ film that has a charm much like “Wallace and Gromit” films, and has an amazing voice acting cast with names like Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Saldanna and Emma Thompson to name a few. The film did very poorly for United Artists at the American Box Office bringing in only $16,649,539.00 on a budget of $100 million. While this film might have tanked, I for one very much enjoyed it and would have loved to have seen a sequel that I am sure will never be in the works.

# 8

Agent H in 2016 along with High T saved the world from a massive infestation of aliens called The Hive and after the battle High T climb to the top of MIB while Agent H seemed to have slightly lost it. But when Molly Wright was a young girl she witnessed the MIB at work and even helped protect an alien on the run, and now she is a member of the group and being called Agent M who is the new partner to Agent H! The pair are sent on a standard easy mission to guard an Alien royal that ends with an assassination and our agents are blamed and have to go on the run as there is a alien mole deep in the MIB and they must clear their names and expose the true alien invaders. Oddly enough this film did not do well for Sony as it only brought in a very low $80,001,807.00 on a budget of $110 million. While the film did not set the movie going world ablaze, it was a very fun popcorn film that was filled with some funny and adventurous moments. Worth watching if you like the other films in the series and Tessa Thompson, Chris Hemsworth and Liam Neeson all do fantastic jobs as MIB agents in the film.

# 7

Gomez Addams and his new bride Morticia must flee their old home and find a new place in an abandoned mental asylum to start their family! So with former inmate now turned butler Lurch and their hand only friend called Thing, they make this asylum a home that ends up being filled with their kids Wednesday and Pugsley. But when a reality home improvement star buys and transforms the town below the Addams home things turn bad when the reality stars turns the town against them. Now The Addams Family must prove they are not monsters and that they are just a normal…well weird family. This was a fun little family film that features everyone’s favorite weird family and did really well for United Artist at the US box office brining in $95,720,779.00 on a budget of $40 million. This film was a great way to introduce a new generation to The Addams Family, and I am very much looking forward to the sequel that is in the works. Worth owning on DVD or Blu-Ray for fans of these characters.

# 6

A down on its luck circus welcomes a newly born baby elephant to the family, but to the horror of owner of ringmaster Max Medici, the baby is born with massive ears and is named Dumbo! With his circus losing money he is forced to sell Dumbo’s mom and this sets the baby elephant along with his caretaker’s children on a path to bring redemption to the failing circus. But when a rich con man amusement circus park owner gets involved, Dumbo’s safety and happiness are in danger and his friends will not let this happen. This take on Dumbo is done by director Tim Burton and has elements of the classic animated movie plus new additions to make it feel like a new tale. The effects are great, and Dumbo is adorable and the movie’s villain played by Michael Keaton is super greedy and sinister. This movie did pretty good for Disney at the US Box Office bringing in $114,766,307.00 on a budget of $170 million and brought in over $2 million internationally! Worth watching if you enjoy the animated movie and want to see those characters done with a Burton twist.

# 5

The Beast is still one the loose and kidnapping and killing young women when he is finally found by The Overseer, who is a man with superhero powers that is a vigilante who wants to stop his killing ways. This fight leads to both men being caught and brought to a mental hospital were they, alongside evil mastermind with brittle bones Mr. Glass, are being treated for their superhero complex disorder. But when Mr. Glass and The Beast team up and escape the asylum with a plan to show the world that super humans exist, things come to ahead and cards are played that expose those who want to put a lid on super beings and do whatever it takes to keep the secret away from the world. The is the third film in director M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable universe series as well as it appears to be the last, and this film mixes elements of many different film genres like superhero, science fiction, drama, thriller and even a dash of horror. The film did great for Universal at the US Boxoffice bringing in $111,035,005.00 on a budget of $20 million. A pretty solid ending the Unbreakable movie series.

# 4

Aladdin and his pet monkey Abu are thieves in the streets of Egypt and meet a beautiful woman while stealing that Aladdin falls for, the issue being she is the Princess! And when Aladdin finds a magic lamp, the Genie inside helps him via wishes try his best to get the attention of the woman of his dreams, but he has a thorn in his side as the Jafar the Grand Vizier of the Sultan is also an evil sorcerer who craves power and wants to control the genie in the lamp who wants his own life as well and wants to be free. This live action film based on the hit animated film is really well done and cast with Will Smith doing great as the Genie and Naomi Scott is not only stunning as Jasmine but also does an amazing job making the character seem very important. And Mena Massoud was the prefect actor to bring Aladdin to the big screen. The film did great at the America Boxoffice for Disney bringing in $355,559,216.00 on a budget of $183 million. Worth watching and owning and a must for fans of the animated film.

# 3

When baby Simba is born, he becomes the next in line to take over the massive animal kingdom in Africa. But when is father is killed by his uncle Scar, the baby lion is forced to run away from the kingdom and thinks his fathers death is his fault. While on his own he strikes up a friendship with Timon a meerkat and warthog named Pumbaa, and the three spends years together, while the kingdom falls under the rule of Scar who teams with the hyenas and keeps all the lionesses as almost slaves. But in the end Simba returns to the kingdom with his new friends, and they bring down Scar and his hyena’s and reclaim what was always his. This live action version of the classic Disney animated film is well done and even brings James Earl Jones back as the voice of Mufasa! Also in the voice cast is Beyonce Knowles Carter, Seth Rogen and Donald Glover to name a few. The film was a hit for Disney at the U.S. Boxoffice bringing in $543,638,043.00 on a budget of $260 million. Over all this was a great film and one that should be watched and owned if you enjoy the animated film version.

# 2

The First Order is being run by Kylo Ren who has set his sights on not only destroying the rebels but also tracking down the evil and still alive Emperor Palpatine who when found wants Kylo to be his new appetence and will allow him to combine the Empires forces that have been in hidden with the First Order making them unstoppable! As Kylo still battles his inner demons, Rey is training to be a Jedi and her friends are doing their best to try and figure out how to stay ahead of the First Order and also bring them down. When Princess Leia, Rey and the rest of the rebels figure out that the Emperor is still alive and is threatening to destroy planets again as all the new Star Destroyers have weapons that can do just that! And now Rey and Kylo are on a path to change the universe and all out war is in the cards in this final film in the Skywalker series. I don’t want to say too much about the film’s plot as I do not want to give away any major spoilers as this film is still very fresh in theaters. This was a very fun mega budget Sci-Fi film to sit in the theater and watch while eating some popcorn with a large crowd of people, and while the film is flawed and had some head scratching moments, it also delivered some top-notch action. I also have to say the cameos of classic characters also made me pop in the theater. Like always, the films did fantastic for Disney at the American Box Office despite “fan boys” bad word of mouth bringing in $407,782,706.00 on a budget of around $300 million. Make up your own mind and stop depending on the opinions of Rotten Tomatoes or random net critics on social media and watch the film for yourself and make up your own mind, while not a perfect Star Wars film it still was entertaining.

# 1

Dani Ramos is a young woman who works in Mexico City at an auto plant along with her brother, but what starts as a normal day turns bad when a new breed of Terminator called a Rev-9 is sent to kill her from the future, but she as well has a guardian that is a enhanced solider from the future named Grace. Later they are joined by Sarah Connor who has dedicated her life in hunting down and killing Terminators as they appear, and she knows the locations thanks to an anonymous person he texts her the locations. With the Rev-9 hot on their trail and no clear way of defeating it, they track the person who’s been helping Sarah only to find out it is a T-800 who after filling his mission of stopping John Conner found away to blend in with normal humans. Now the new motley crew of survivors set up a showdown to stop the Rev-9 and stop a new version of Judgment Day. This 6th movie in the Terminator series acts as a direct sequel to T2 and does a pretty great job of bringing a new layer to the storyline, as while Sarah and John stopped Skynet another tech terror rose in its place and has its own version of judgment day in the works. It was great seeing Linda Hamilton return to the series as well as having Arnold Schwarzenegger return as the T-800. Actress Natalia Reyes is great as the new “John Carter” for the futures resistant’s hero and Mackenzie Davis is okay as Grace the enhanced solider of the future, though at times I feel like she over does the tough woman approach. The film sadly did very poorly for Paramount at the American Boxoffice only bringing in $62,253,077.00 on a massive budget of $185 million ending what was suppose to be a new trilogy of films with these characters. While it was not a mega hit at the cinema, I still found this film to be a fun one that I will own on DVD when released and do feel it’s a shame that moviegoers just didn’t come out to see this film.

So as you have just read, 2019 had some really good Sci-Fi, Fantasy and even Kid films! But we are going to now take a look at the film genre that has been dominating the Box Office for many years now and of course I am talking about Super Hero films!

# 7

Hellboy as well as his friends of B.R.P.D. are on the hunt for monsters all over the world and when an evil sorceress is set free, the whole world is in trouble as she is uniting the monsters of the world for a takeover! Hellboy, who is a demon, is the key for her to totally take over, and this hero must fight his instincts and listen to his human side. This film was a great monster fight film but was a mess otherwise. Really don’t have much too say about this one besides the effects were good and I had fun watching in the theater. The film bombed at the US Box Office for Lionsgate as it brought in only $21,903,748.00 on a budget of $50 million. This film is for diehard fans of Hellboy, and while it was not the best Superhero movie I saw this year, I would have liked to see what would have happened in a sequel if it was made.

# 6

Kree Empire warrior Vers and her people are at war with the Skrulls, and during one of her fights she escapes capture and crash lands on Earth where she soon finds that the Skrulls have taken residence and she wants to settle the score with her enemies! While on Earth she meets Nick Fury an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who helps her not only track down the Skrulls but also figures out what really is going on that leaves Vers aka Captain Marvel wondering what her real mission is as well as learn about her past that she does not remember. This is a pretty fun Marvel Superhero adventure that brings the powerful female hero Captain Marvel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and while some “fans” try and say this film is too preachy about Girl Power, I found it to be entertaining and a cool flashback to the 90’s culture. I mean you cannot go wrong seeing a Blockbuster Video again. My only real complaint about the film is that I felt at times actress Brie Larson is wooden in her emotions. At the U.S Boxoffice the film did great brining in a massive $426,829,839.00 on a budget of $175 million. Love it or hate it, this film is a part of the Marvel movie juggernaut and Captain Marvel is here to stay for years and movies to come.

# 5

With half the universe’s population gone thanks to Thanos, the rest of the world’s heroes track him down and kill him after he informs them that he has destroyed the Infinity Gauntlet. Once the threat is gone, the heroes don’t know what to do as they and the whole rest of life across the galaxy seem lost and with no direction. But the heroes find out that there is a chance that they could travel back in time and get the gem stones and bring back all those they have lost. So after having to push to get Iron Man and Thor on board, heroes like Captain America, Rocket Raccoon, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Hulk, War Machine, Nebula and the returning from the micro world Ant Man break off in teams and get the stones from the past! But this also alerts the past version of Thanos who uses his army to once more get his hands on the stones, and when the dusted heroes of the past like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch return, it’s all out war to end this madness once and for all that leaves some heroes dead and others changing their future. While this film is very epic, I myself found it to be both good and very disappointing as some of the goofy humor and “Big Lebowski” Thor just didn’t work for me. Coming off the downbeat, truly epic feel of the last Avengers movie, the humor of this one really does take away all the gloom the last one built up. Plus making The Hulk into Professor Hulk was not something I wanted to see in the movie universe as by making Hulk super smart it takes away the character’s….well, character. On the other side it was very cool to see Chris Evans’ end as Captain America as I felt they did it right and it was great to give characters like Nebula and Hawkeye big story plots. The film did amazing for Disney at the American Boxoffice bringing in a massive $858,373,000 on the budget of $356 million. This one is worth watching and owning if you are a fan of the Marvel films.

# 4

The X-Men are sent to space in order to save some astronauts whose ship was damaged by a solar flare, but while saving them, another massive flare erupts and Jean Grey absorbs it all to save the lives of her teammates. Once home she starts to feel odd and has fits of rage that unleashes raw power. She soon finds out that Professor X has messed with her mind making her forget what she did that caused her mother’s death and lead her to be at the school. With her mind filled with raw power and rage, Jean tracks down her father and the meeting leaves her raging that ends with her friend and X-Men member Mystique dead. Jean becomes a loose cannon and even tries to find shelter with Magneto, but finally meets up with Vuk, an alien shape- shifter who wants to drain all her cosmic powers. Can Professor X, Magneto and the X-Men save their friend and get Jean the help she needs or will the aliens take her powers and destroy the universe. This final film in the Fox X-Men series in my opinion was really good and while flawed in some part still was a very entertaining film that I enjoyed. Sophie Turner who plays Jean Grey/Phoenix is fantastic, and she has quickly became one of my favorite actresses going in Hollywood, and she does a fantastic job of going from scared to cold blooded. The action is well done, and the story of Jean getting the power of the Phoenix and learning about her past is fantastic, oh and I should also note that Dazzler makes an appearance. Sadly this film did not do well for Fox at the Boxoffice here in America bringing in only $65,845,974.00 on a budget of $200 million. While it might not have had the hype of the Disney Marvel films, I for one found this film to be very entertaining and worth owning on home media.

# 3

Billy Batson is a kid who has bounced in and out of foster homes, as he just wants to be reunited with his mother who got separated from him while at a carnival. He is placed once again in a foster home that has caring parents and many siblings, one who is a fan of superheroes and is handicapped, and when at his new school he takes up for his new foster brother against bullies and ends up losing them at the train station. And while on the train, he is taken to another world and meets the Wizard Shazam, who has chosen him to carry on the powers of the gods! Now when he says the word Shazam, Billy turns into a muscle bound superhero who still has the mind of a young teen! But an evil power hungry man that was deemed unworthy to be the new Shazam as a kid is armed with demons attacks and wants Billy dead…and so starts Shazam to rise and find his own inner strength to not only save his own life but those of his new foster siblings, and together they fight and save the day. This was a great Superhero Comedy film and was very well done, and while I do understand that they changed Shazam (Captain Marvel) from the comics, it still was fitting and was a great way to introduce kids of 2019 to the character. The film did okay for New Line Cinema at the U.S. Box Office bringing in $140,371,656.00 on a budget of $100 million, and over seas it did even better! I really enjoyed this one. The trailer made me very worried that this film would be really cheesy, but after seeing it I even own it on DVD now!

# 2

Arthur Fleck is a man with mental illness who lives with his equally unstable mother and his work is an advertising clown for hire. When he loses his job he is pushed too far when some rich dudes mess with him on the train ends their life, and so begins his downward spiral into madness, revenge, love and murder. And when Arthur who wants to become a stand up comic is made fun of by a late night host live on the air and called a joker and he finds out that his mom has lied to him his whole life, he starts to think that Thomas Wayne (yep Bruce Wayne’s dad) is his father as well and it finally comes crashing down and Arthur Fleck is no more and where this once broken man stands is The Joker. This dark themed film deals with mental illness, depression, deception, fame, poverty and sadness, making you as the viewer feel all types of different emotions. Joaquin Phoenix is fantastic as The Joker and makes the character his very own, plus Zazie Beetz, Robert De Niro and Frances Conroy are all great in their roles. The film did top fantastic for Warner Brothers at the American Box Office bringing in $333,453,468.00 on a budget of only $55 million. This is not your typical Superhero film and is very dark in nature and worth owning in your collection on any home media format.

# 1

Peter Parker is upset after the passing of his friend and mentor Tony Stark and decides that he is going to go on a school trip overseas with his classmates instead of being the masked hero Spider-Man and have a somewhat normal life. But while on his school trip one time S.H.I.E.L.D leader Nick Fury calls on him to help an interdimensional hero named Mysterio who has been fighting giant monsters that have been appearing around the world. And worse for Peter is that Tony Stark has left him in his will a very powerful pair of sunglasses that if hacked can be used as a powerful weapon, and when he feels that he is not worthy of them, he gives them to Mysterio who he thinks is a real hero. But when Mysterio is found out to be a con man, Spider-Man must risk his life to save his classmates and the world from his evil plan. This hands down the best Superhero film of 2019 as I found it to be true to the Spidey character and hands down Tom Holland makes the best Spider-Man and Peter Parker. I was also happy to finally see Mysterio make his big screen debut, and he is done right by Jake Gyllenhaal who took elements from the comic as well as added his own touches to make him work. The film did fantastic for Sony at the American Box Office bringing in $390,532,085.00 on a budget of $160 million. If you like Spider-Man, make sure to watch this film. It’s worth owning on DVD or Blu-Ray and having a place in your home media collection.

2019 was, as always, the year of the Superhero films as four out the top 10 grossing films in America were made up of them! But for me the main attraction for any year in cinema is the Horror Movies, and 2019 had its fair share of them that covered everything from psycho slashers to ghosts to even killer animals. This year was filled with some really good ones and choosing my top spot was really hard, so sit back relax in Rotten Ink Theater and let’s talk Horror.


# 26

Strange things are going on around the world after the Earth is rocked by too much fracking in the arctic, and this causes the dead to rise from their graves and look for human meals as well as do the things they did when alive. Now in the town of Centerville, the police force made up of Chief Robertson, Officer Peterson and Officer Morrison must find a way to protect themselves as well as warn the townspeople about the undead uprising. Throw in some zany locals like the horror film loving gas station owner Bobby and the samurai sword swinging funeral home owner Zelda, and you have a cheesy zombie comedy. The film was directed by Jim Jarmusch and has an all star cast featuring such names as Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Selena Gomez, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits and Danny Glover to name a few. For me this film fell flat on both comedy and horror, and while the actors all did great jobs in their roles, the film’s script was filled with plot holes, characters that go nowhere and “hip” dry humor. This film was a major letdown and came off too aware and preachy about the director’s own message of consumerism. The film had a limited release and brought in $6,563,605.00 for Focus Features and was one I ended up giving a second chance once on DVD and I still found it a disappointing bore. I should also note this almost made it to my Worst Films list!

# 25

Danni Ardor is a young woman who has suffered a major loss and travels to Sweden with her boyfriend and his friends to attend a secret festival, but once they get there, they find that the this peaceful place filled with oddly friendly people is really a strange cult that has some very deadly rituals. Can Danni and her friends escape…or do they even want to…check out this Drama Horror Film by Ari Aster and find out. Now this is another one of those films that I was looking forward to seeing in the theater that ended up letting me down as I found it to be overly long, poorly written and at times laughable on how cartoony it got with over acting moments and dumb decisions. Actress Florence Pugh does great for most of the film as Danni even though they make her break down in over the top ways. The film did ok for A24 at the US Box Office as on a budget of $10 million it brought in $27,426,361.00. While a disappointment on my first viewing, this will be one I will watch again someday on DVD.

# 24

Aaron returns to his small town home when is father passes away and must rebuild is relationship with his mother. And while home, he also reconnects with his old friends as well as his ex-girlfriend who is now dating the town cop. But things get weird when Aaron finds an urn and makes wishes that come true, but each one have very sinister outcomes. He soon learns that his wishes have unleashed a demon who is after his soul and wants to leave a path of deaths behind him. This is a great creepy little horror movie that is all about a Djinn demon that grants wishes and ruins lives doing so. While the movie does have some plot flaws that make for some cheesy moments, it was a film that got some good scares out of the audience I saw it with who all seemed to like it as they left the theater. The film brought in $22,912.00 at the US Box Office playing for only one day for Fathom Events. This is one I bought on DVD when released.

# 23

Frances McCullen is a young woman from a small town who is now living in New York with her friend Erica. While on the subway, she finds a purse and returns it to its owner an older woman named Greta that she befriends when she learns that the woman’s daughter now lives in France. But the friendship soon turns creepy when Frances finds out that Greta is really an unstable stalker who has set her sights on her and will not leave her alone. What is Frances to do when Greta steps over the line and will stop at nothing to become not only her friend but also her “mother”. This is a great Horror Thriller and has some really great creepy moments as Isabelle Huppert who plays Greta is devilishly sinister as Greta and Chloe Grace Moretz is fantastic as Frances and proves she needs to be in more Horror Movies as she plays a likable character very well. The film did okay for Focus Features at the US Boxoffice doing $10,519,425.00. This is one that is a fun watch and one I own on DVD once released.

# 22

The Firefly family that consists of Captain Spaulding, Otis Driftwood and Baby survived being shot over 20 times and find themselves in prison on death row and becoming almost folk heroes to the masses. And after the execution of Spaulding, the once crazy family is down to only two…or so the world thought! While out on work duty, Otis is sprung by his half brother Winslow Foxworth Coltrane, and the pair sets up the prison warden in order to free Baby. Once the three are reunited, they head to Mexico to lay low and unlucky for them they have caught the eye of a cartel who is run by one of the sons of a victim of theirs during the escape. Now what’s left of the Firefly family must once more fight for their lives when death comes looking for them. The film was a Fathom Events release and did really well for its limited run at the US Box Office for Saban Films bringing in a total of $2,172,949.00 on a budget of $3 million. Fans of Rob Zombie films will enjoy this bloodbath film for all its slaughter and foul-mouthed characters, worth watching, and I even bought once it was on DVD.

# 21

Riley Stone goes to Hawthorne College and is a member of the MKE sorority with her close friends Kris, Marty, Jesse and Helena and it’s Christmas time right before the winter break and she was the victim of an attack that was done by a sorority frat house leader who oddly was able to get away with it! But also masked killers are attacking and murdering young women around the college, and soon Riley and her friends find themselves on the hit list of these masked killers who seem to hate women and act like soulless emotionless killing machines. Throw in some humor, PG-13 kills, and message that “Boys Be Boys” is not okay and you have his remake of the classic holiday slasher film. This film does not take elements from the original film nor the 2006 remake and tries its best to make a new story set at a sorority house. The film’s main actress is Imogen Poots who plays Riley, and she is fantastic as is Lily Donoghue who plays Marty as I found them to be the best characters in the film. The downside of this film is at times it comes off preachy about its message and the characters at times seem like the after thought to it. The film did very poorly for Universal at the U.S. Box Office and only brought in $10,086,145.00 on a budget of $5 million. While this movie is not perfect, it was still a fun watch in the theater that once out on DVD I will watch again.

# 20

The Creed family have moves away from the big city to a farm house with lots of wooded lands in Ludlow, Maine and soon meet their new neighbor Jud. All seems well, that is till Louis who is a university doctor cannot save a young man hit by a car and that seems to talk to him even after death. But things for the family get worse when their daughter’s cat Church is hit by a car and Jud shows Louis a part of his land that brings the dead back to life, with some changes…Church is back, but he is not the same at all! During her birthday party daughter, Ellie is killed when she is hit by a truck and heartbroken Louis does the unthinkable and brings his daughter back…and this joy soon turns to horror. This remake is okay and does not stack up well to the original that is a true classic. This film takes its own twists and turns from the book and original film adding a new layer to the story…in fact you could almost look at this as a sequel that takes place in modern times that has history repeating itself. John Lithgow who plays Jud is fantastic at playing the aging man who knows the town’s evil secret. And actress Jete Laurence plays Ellie, and she is as well great in the role as she can snap from sweet kid to evil killer kid with ease. Not to mention all the cats who played Church also steal the film with their performances. The film did okay for Paramount Pictures at the American Boxoffice bringing in $54,724,696.00 on a budget of $21 million. While not great, this creepy tale was worth seeing in the theater and is one I have on home media. Check it out if you like the tale of Pet Sematary.

# 19

Stella is a young teen that wants to become a writer and has some emotional issues dealing with her mother leaving her and her father behind. On Halloween night she along with friends decide to break into the town’s local haunted house, and when the town’s bullies lock them inside a hidden room in the house, they find the storybook written by Sarah Bellows and take it with them…big mistake as the book seems to be writing itself and bad things are happing to people in town just like in the stories! Now Stella and what’s left of her friends must find away to stop the book, save their lives and set Sarah Bellows spirit free. This spooky PG-13 film is based on the hit book series and delivers some great creatures designs as well as brings many of the books classic tales to the big screen. The film did pretty well for Lionsgate bringing in $68,947,075.00 on a budget of $25 million. If you enjoy the book series or even like the Goosebump movies series, this is one you will want to check out. I own this one on DVD when it was released.

# 18

Mia and sister stepsister Sasha head out with some friends to a hidden swimming hole that is also an opening to a underwater tomb and tunnels that their father and his team are exploring, and for fun the girls enter the water and tunnels only to get trapped by a cave in and are being stalked by blind cave sharks who are hungry for human flesh! Can the young ladies survive this shark attack or will they just become lunch for these underwater terrors? Watch the movie and find out. This animal attack film was a pretty good follow up for “47 Meter Down” and has a really feel of dread in moments that add to the horror theme of the film. The film is well acted with Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx and Brianne Tju being the standouts. The film is rated PG-13 so it’s not overly bloody but does have some pretty brutal shark attack moments. The film sadly did not do that great for Entertainment Studios at the US Box Office as it only brought in $22,260,900.00 on a budget of $12 million. Worth watching if you enjoy shark horror movies.

# 17

Detective Jack Radcliff and his niece Ashley Radcliff are close and to his horror, she and her parents are murdered one night and his world changes. After the murder oddly enough he keeps getting phone calls from his dead niece who is calling from the past and now he must change her future as he must research the past to find out who killed them. Can he save her in time and will he be able to bring the killers to justice or will he become a victim himself. This Horror Thriller is a great watch and is well acted with very likable characters. The film had the budget of $5million and brought in only $5,215,062.00 for OTL Releasing at the American Box Office. I cannot say too much as I don’t want to ruin the films twist and turns, but this film is really good and a must see for fans who like Thrillers with Horror elements.

# 16

A massive hurricane is about to hit Florida when university swimmer Haley Keller gets a call from her sister who is worried about their father who is not answering his phone and whose house is in the path of the massive storm! When checking his home, she finds he is not there and heads to the family’s old house where she finds him in the basement bitten by an alligator as several have made their home their and keep the father and daughter from escaping as the hurricane rages on inside. As the water rises and the alligators pour in, Haley and her dad must fight to survive. This Sam Raimi produced animal attack film is a fun fright flick that showcases some very brutal gator attacks and likable characters. Many times in the movie both Juliet and my cousin Stephen jumped showing the film did back some scares. The downside to this film was not anything about the film itself but the other people in our row who talked almost the whole movie!! The film did good for Paramount at the American Box Office bringing in $39,014,193.00 on a budget of $13.5 showing that lower budget Horror does make money. Well worth seeing and owning on DVD for those who love physical media like I do.

# 15

A new phone app is sweeping the nation that tells you the exact day and time you will die. Young nurse Quinn Harris downloads it when a patient shows her the app that says he will die the time he would go into surgery. Now Quinn is starting to see demonic things as her death date is getting closer and she cannot get the app off her phone. Along her countdown she enlists the help of a cellphone dealer, a weird priest, a young man who also downloaded the app and even her very own young sister who has also made the mistake. Will Quinn out smart this demonic app and save all the lives that are on the line or will she become just another victim to the growing list? This was a pretty fun film that brought together tech and classic biblical demons that felt like it could have been right at home in the late 90’s Horror releases. The film did pretty good for STX Entertainment bringing in $$25,569,747 on a budget of $6.5 million. I really enjoyed this one and will own it on DVD when it is released.

# 14

Miles was born a special child with high intelligence, but he seems to be having a very hard time making friends and interacting with kids his own age. And worse, he seems to be getting more and more aggressive even leaving painful traps for his babysitter and attacking a fellow student in class. Soon his mother finds out that the spirit of a serial killer has entered her son at birth and wants to finish a kill he started. ow she must find a way to save her son’s soul and rid the world of this killer once and for all. This is a pretty great possession/evil kid Horror Movie that brings some solid spooky moments as Miles has very sinister things on his mind and acts on his urges to hurt and kill others. The film also was a great way to see the Orion logo once more on the big screen, and the film really did feel like one that would have been right at home in the early 80’s. The film did only so-so for Orion Pictures at the US Boxoffice bringing in $14,852,586.00 on a budget of only $6 million. While this film might not be ground breaking when it comes to the killer kid Horror genre, it still was a fun watch at the cinema and one I own on DVD.

# 13

Zoey Davis is selected to take part of an Escape Room along with a group of strangers that is put on by a big company called Minos, but once the game starts, the group soon find out that the rooms are designed to kill those who don’t solve the puzzle. Now Zoey and her fellow players must use their sharp minds in order to survive and find out who is responsible for this twisted game. This was the first Horror Movie for the cinema in 2019 and was a great way to start the year as it was a thrilling PG-13 SAW inspired flick. The film also keeps you as the viewer on the edge of your seat wondering how the characters were going to escape each death trap room. The film did well for Sony at the Box Office here in America bringing in $57,005,601.00 on a budget of $9 million. The film leaves itself open for a sequel, and I hope they do one as there is more to tell about Minos and their deadly escape rooms. It’s worth owning on home media if you’re a fan of this style of Horror.

# 12

Maggie Thompson is the new girl in a small town in Ohio, and she quickly makes friends who like to hang out and drink, but being to young to buy alcohol they end up meeting Sue Ann Ellington (who likes to be called Ma), an older woman who ends him helping them get alcohol and allows the teens to party in her basement. But while it starts out fun, things soon turn weird when Ma is not what she appears and is a woman with lots of mental issues, secrets, lies and has set her sights on revenge and control on those she feels have wronged her! Blumhouse and Universal once more team up and deliver a highly entertaining Horror Thriller where the films villain is both evil and yet you do feel bad for her throughout. Octavia Spencer is fantastic in the role of Ma, and I really hope that a sequel or even a prequel is made to allow her to return to the role. The film did pretty well for Universal at the US Box Office bringing in $45,373,120.00 on a budget of only $5 million! This is worth owning on DVD, and when released I bought it for my collection.

# 11

Brandon Breyer is adopted by Tori and Kyle, but from any orphanage as he really came from a rocket that fell from the sky and on his 12 birthday he starts to change and the sweet boy they raised has turned into a egotistical super powered being who wants to take over the world and will silence anyone who stands in his way. With deaths and missing persons piling up around them, the Breyer’s must figure out a way to stop their son who is really a monster. This film is almost like a ‘’What If” Superman was evil story and is really a fantastic watch as the tension is high and the character of Brandon Breyer is so cold that he truly is scary. Elizabeth Banks who plays Tori Breyer does a fantastic job as well as being the voice of reason for Brandon and the one who keeps him slightly in line and keeps his raging evil powers in check…well at least hidden. The film is gory in spots with some of the kills being brutal and gross, and this was refreshing in a world filled with Paranormal Horror Films. I for one hope this film does get a sequel as I would love to see how the world will fight back against Brandon, and the film’s credits tease that there are more like him in the world with different powers and how would they fit in…so come on Gunn family give as a sequel. The film did really well at the US Box Office for Sony brining in $17,300,439.00 on a budget of only $6 million. So if you like Superhero films as well as Horror, do yourself a favor and make sure to see this one as I even rushed out to get it once on home media!

# 10

Andy and his young mom have had to move back to the city she grew up in when they fall on hard times. Andy is having a hard time making friends, and the cop who visits his mom down the hall is the only one he is making. But things change when, for his birthday, Andy gets a Buddi doll that is defective, but still makes him the talk of the school and he makes friends as they use the doll to pull off pranks…you see the doll that is very high tech and can learn and move and is named Chucky! When Chucky feels that Andy is being wronged or that someone is standing in the way of their friendship, he takes bloody revenge on them as he learns to murder by watching horror movies. But when Andy wants nothing to do with Chucky, the doll is mad and wants revenge and sets up a bloody showdown at the department store his mom works for that leaves several dead, many injured and a son fighting for the life of his own mother. This remake is very familiar and yet also very different as Chucky this time around is a computer powered doll who is sinister, but does not hold a candle to the classic Chucky who was the reanimated spirit of a serial killer. Mark Hamill does great as the voice of Chucky, and Audrey Plaza plays the mom and is fantastic. The film also has some good kills and has a them song sung by Hamill that will be stuck in your head for days. The film did okay for United Artists at the American Box Office bringing in $29,208,403.00 on a budget of $10 million. While not in the same ballpark as the original, I was still very much amused by this remake and was a fun popcorn film at the Cranberry Cinema. When released, I  bought it on DVD to join my Child’s Play movie collection.

# 9

Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock are back years after the events of the first film and have made a home for themselves in the White House, and life is a normal as it can be with zombies all around them. But things change when Columbus purposes to Wichita. Things get crazy again as she and Little Rock run away stealing the car again! While heartbroken, the pair go shopping and Columbus meets Madison, a young ditzy blonde, and the pair start to date. But Wichita shows back up and informs them that Little Rock has ran away with a hippie and they need to get her back! Now with emotions high Wichita leads Tallahassee, Columbus and Madison on a quest to save Little Rock that leads them all over from Graceland to a Sanctuary that is weaponless! In a world filled with zombies and weirdo people, this mission is dangerous and funny and made a great sequel to this Horror Comedy. Woody Harrelson is funny and fantastic as always, having Rosario Dawson as an owner of an Elvis Hotel was a nice touch as she as well is great. One of the funniest actors in the film is Zoey Deutch who plays the ditzy Madison as she cracked me up! The film is packed with good jokes, zombie kills and over all was a great popcorn film. The film did alright for Sony at the U.S. Box Office as on a budget of $42 million it brought in $72,785,288.00! This was a fun sequel and one I will own on DVD when released, and I do hope they make another film in the series.

# 8

Tree Gelbman’s life is going good as she has broken the cycle she was in and had stopped her killer for good…but things get bad for her again as she is once more stuck in living the cycle of her birthday and murder…but there is a twist as this time around she finds herself not the main target and stuck on a loop in another reality where her mother is alive but her boyfriend is dating Whitney, her main frenemy! Now Tree must choose to stop the killer in this new world and stay to be with her Mom or go back to her own reality and be with her boyfriend! The choice hard, and the Baby Face Masked Killer is on the loose what is Tree to do? This is a very fun sequel that blends elements of Horror, Comedy and Sci-Fi together to make for a fun ride to figure out who the killer is and what will Tree do when it comes to her decision. Sadly this film did not do overly great at the US Box Office for Universal as it brought in $28,051,045.00 on a budget of only $9 million…yeah Universal was not pleased even though the film made a profit and sadly it looks like the third film is now in limbo. But if you liked the first film and enjoy the replaying world around Tree, this is one you must see, and yep bought it when released on home media.

# 7

Young Adelaide separates from her family on Coney Island and finds herself in a hall of mirrors when a thunderstorm knocks out the power and she sees a reflection of herself that seems to have a mind of its own. Years later Adelaide is married to Gabe Wilson, has two kids and they are about to vacation near Coney Island and her memories of that night are making her uncomfortable. And her worries are corrects as attacks start to take place all around by what appears to doppelgangers of the victims, and when Adelaide and her family come face to face with twisted versions of themselves, they must fight to stay alive! This second Horror Movie by Jordon Peele is a really cool mind bending journey that not only tries to scare you but also tries to enforce that nothing is stronger that a family bond. The film has some great twists and turns, and I will not spoil them here for you, but do yourself a favor and check this one out. The film does a great job of blending humor into the blood horror and the pacing is excellent. The film did outstanding for Universal at the American Box Office bringing in a total of $174,702,345.00 on a budget of $20 million. This was the highest grossing Horror movie of 2019 and really does show Horror is back being a draw at the cinema! I bought this fright flick as well on DVD when released.

# 6

Danny Torrance is an adult now and the events of the Overlook Hotel have left him a drunken mess with no direction in life, that is until he drifts his way into a small town and finds friends, a job and the help he needs. He also uses his shining power to make friends with a young girl named Abra Stone, and life seems to be going good as he also learns how to capture and lock away all the spirits from the Hotel that have tormented him for years. But both Danny and Abra’s life is about to change as Rose The Hat, a cult leader who has her followers feed off the psychic powers of folks with The Shining, is on the track of Abra who has so much power. ow Danny and Abra must fight back in the real world as well as the spiritual, and this fight leads them all back to the Overlook Hotel for a showdown that will leave you chilled and thrilled. This sequel to The Shining is really well done and Ewan McGregor as the adult Danny Torrance delivers a top-notch performance. Rebecca Ferguson as Rose The Hat is creepy, and in my opinion one of the best villains in Horror Cinema this year. The film for some reason did very poorly for Warner Brothers at the Box Office here in America bringing in only $31,488,764.00 on a budget of around $55 million. I’m not sure why this film did not do well as it was a fun Horror Thriller ride that delivered some good scare moments and likable and frighting characters. I will own once out on home media as I would like to watch this one again sooner than later.

# 5

Grace is marring Alex who is part of the Le Domas board game empire, and while the family is odd, she loves her soon to be husband, and after the wedding she is told that the family plays a weird game as a family to welcome her into their fold…the game is picked at a blind random by Grace and unlucky for her its Hide And Seek as this means while she hides the family armed with weapons hunt her down to kill her! You see their family made a packed with a Devil that if that card is drawn they must kill the person as a sacrifice or they themselves will die by morning light! Now Grace must fight to escape with her life from a family that is crazy and are fighting for theirs! This is a great Horror Thriller that even adds a dash of Comedy to bring entertainment to the viewers. Samara Waving is great as Grace and is a hero I found myself cheering for the whole film as she fights back, in fact she is the female hero the genre needed this year! The film I should also say has some great kills and adds in that supernatural element to make for a soon to be cult classic for sure. The film did pretty well for Fox at the U.S. Box Office as on a budget of only $5 million the film brought in $28,901,546.00! While it could be a stand alone movie I do hope that it gets a sequel as I would like to see were the story goes with The Devil and his deals. And of course when released on DVD I got it for my collection and think you should get yourself a copy as well.

# 4

Judy Warren is left with a babysitter while her parents Ed and Lorraine are out. Her babysitter is Mary Ellen and her friend Daniela Rios decide to bake a cake for Judy as her birthday is coming up, but things for not go well once Daniela goes into the Warrens room filled with cursed objects and touches things and even opens the case that houses the evil doll Annabelle! After doing this the three young ladies are in for a night of terror as Annabelle awakens many of the ghosts and demons that were trapped in that room and they want nothing more then to torment and kill with the likes of such creatures as a werewolf, The Bride and The Ferryman running loose looking for souls. Now Judy must be as brave as her parents and return and lock Annabelle into her case to stop this madness before it’s to late! This film has some good twists and turns as you learn lots about Judy Warrens as well as why Daniela touched the cursed items, this third film in the Annabelle series is well done and adds more to the story of this cursed doll. The film did well for New Line Cinema at the U.S. Box Office bringing in $74,152,591.00 on a budget of around $32 million. Another great film in The Conjuring universe that delivers some very amazing evil sprits with The Ferryman being the best in my opinion!

# 3

Anna Tate-Garcia is a single mother and a caseworker who stumbles upon a client who has locked her kids into a closet with bruises on their body and this sparks for them to be taken away from their mother. Once in custody the kids have a fear of a woman…but not their mother and when they are found drowned in a nearby stream while in care their mother is blamed for the killings and is arrested. But things get worse when Anna and her own children soon find themselves being marked by La Llorona who is an evil sprit who was responsible for killing the kids in the stream as well as hundreds of others over the decades and now wants to murder Anna’s kids! Now Anna must find a way to save her kids before they end up just another number in the body count of La Llorona! This supernatural horror flick is part of The Conjuring universe and is filled with creepy moments and lots of jump scares that truly bring the classic Mexican legend to the big screen, that is perfectly casted and has a suspenseful pace. This movie did well for New Line Cinema at the US Box Office bringing in $54,733,739.00 on a budget of $9 million dollars showing that New Line is a very solid player in the Horror World again. This film is worth seeing for those who like The Conjuring films, enjoy the Weeping Woman Legend and who get scared from Supernatural Horror. Worth owning as I bought on DVD when released.

# 2

Years have passed and Pennywise The Dancing Clown has not been seen, until 23 years after the Losers Club brought him down in Derry, Maine. Now much older and forgetting the pas must reunite in back in Derry and try and end Pennywise once and for all, but this time this killer clown is fighting back and wants to end the Losers Club before they end him. This is yet another amazing, scary and spooky film based on the hit novel written by Stephen King. This second chapter is filled with some very nasty kills and moments and brings a feel of dread throughout it, not to even mention that Bill Skarsgard is once more fantastic as Pennywise and brings a real mean spirit to the character. What really works for this film is that it flows so well with Chapter 1 and the elements of youth and adulthood facing a terror are done so well. It’s crazy to thank that Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema are climbing back to the top when it comes to making Horror Movies with its only other main rival being Universal! The film did great for WB bringing in $211,593,228.00 on a budget of $79 million at the American Box Office. IT Chapter Two is a fantastic film that almost took my # 1 spot and was only slightly edged out, and yes worth owning on home media for sure.

# 1

Godzilla King Of The Monsters is one of those films that critics and online “fans” doomed at the Box Office with their over trashing and poor scores…but I for one say ignore all that nonsense and never trust Rotten Tomatoes and make up your own mind on films. This film as Monarch in trouble over not sharing with the world about all the Titans that live among us, and worse a terrorist group has decided to wake them up with the hopes they will destroy mankind and become the rulers of the world once more! So they wake up Mothra, Rodan, Ghidorah among others….and the worlds only hope is Godzilla who needs to defend his thrown as Alpha when Ghidorah decides he wants to rule all the monsters and make the Earth in his own vision. In other words it’s Godzilla vs. Ghidorah with Rodan and Mothra injecting themselves into the fight! Add in the drama of Monarch and the terrorist group with a dash of family drama between a husband, wife and daughter and you have one entertaining film! The film stars the likes of Vera Farmiga, Kyle Chandler, Millie Bobby Brown and Ken Watanabe who all do fantastic and the score from Bear McCreary is amazing! This sequel to the 2014 film makes major improvements and delivers a good Kaiju film that is filled with some cool fights as well as badass monsters. The film sadly did not do great for Warner Brothers here in America bringing in only $110,500,138.00 on a massive budget of $170 million. While the negative modern Horror Fans may have trashed it on their social media those who go into movies to be Entertained and don’t spend the whole movies runtime looking for flaws enjoyed the hell out of it. Worth owning for sure!

2019 was filled with lots of great films and it was amazing to see all of the listed above in the theaters with my friends at all the different cinemas. I must say this year in Horror Movies was really good filled with so many good ones with only one being on the border of being one of the worst films I have seen in a very long time. But as you can see the usher is here and wants to clean up all the spilled drinks and popcorn from the floor, so I think it’s time for us to wrap up this review and before we go, I want to let you know that my next update is going to take us to an evil cursed house as we talk about Ju-On as the new film in the American Grudge series is in theaters now. So until next time watch a movie or three and support your local theater. See you next time to settle a Grudge.

Matt Goes To The Movies 2016

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The year of 2016 was a crazy one for me as much of my time was spent working on comic books for Sparkle Comics, the company I co-own with Jason Young as well as trying to film Baron Von Porkchop episodes among many other things like helping on films and of course working on updates for here at Rotten Ink. One thing I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted to this year was go to the movie theater so I want to apologies for the lack of depth to this list. 2016 was a pretty big year for cinema as we got many sequels to big budget movies like “Star Trek Beyond” and “Rougue One: A Star Wars Story.” We got classic books turned into big summer blockbusters like “Jungle Book” and “The Legend Of Tarzan,” not to mention lots of horror films from “The Conjuring 2” all the way to “Blair Witch,” the third film in that cult series. Hitting the cinemas this year, I filled my tummy with lots of popcorn and blue Icee’s and saw films in theaters like Regal, Cinemark, Danberry Huber Heights and Cranberry Cinema and had a blast watching the silver screen with friends like Juliet Fromholt, Jeremy Hoyt, Josh Weinberg, Stephen Alexander, Theresa Lopez, Thomas “Maurice” Smith and many more all who made the experience more fun. A weird thing about this year in movies is that while it was filled with many blockbusters, it also had many flops that expressed moviegoers lack of interest in sequels and reboots to films of the past, but this year also proved that Disney knows how to pack them into the theater with superhero films as well as family friendly adventures. Plus, it proved to Hollywood that horror films make money and bring profits on smaller budgets. So let’s find our seats here at Rotten Ink Theater and chat a little about the films of 2016!

Film Reels

Normally I would start with my “Worst” list, but since I wasn’t at the cinema as much this year, I didn’t get to see the that many films, and lucky for me, none of the ones I did get to see were what I would call a worst film. So this time around we are going to start with science fiction and fantasy, two genres that are near and dear to my heart.  So let’s sit here for a moment and chat about them, shall we?scifi-16# 5

the-5th-wave-posterHigh school student Cassie Sullivan is stuck in a world of chaos as aliens are attacking the Earth, killing off the human race.  When her younger brother is taken, she along with some other survivors go to war to try and survive and bring back the world they once knew. This fun science fiction film was based on the book of the same name written by Rick Yancey and was filled with lots of action as well as aliens and their waves of attacks that included flooding and spreading a sickness. The film, while not groundbreaking, was a fun film to see in the theater and actress Chloe Grace Moretz is fantastic in the role of Cassie.  You definitely find yourself cheering for her to kick some alien butt. The film did poorly at the US box office for Sony and brought in $34,912,982.00 on a $38 million dollar budget, but was a hit overseas making the film semi profitable. I would say the film is worth checking out on DVD if you skipped it at the theater or even maybe a rental from a local video store.

# 4

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While a third Ghostbusters sequel with the original cast was just not in the cards, we did get a reboot to the series that featured a whole new female cast gearing up with their protonpacks and tackling a whole new group of ghosts as well as some returning favorites like Slimer! This go around we follow Dr. Erin Gilbert who lost her tenure at Columbia University after a video shows up online of her on a paranormal research.  Along with friends Dr. Abby Yates, Dr. Jillian Holtzmann and Patty Tolan, Erin opens The Ghostbusters, a business that is set to rid the city of ghosts thanks to equipment they make in house. But when the city of New York comes under attack by a powerful evil spirit, they are the only hope….but are they ready to be the heroes? The film was directed by Paul Feig and starred Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth and even has cameos from many of the actors from the original films. I found the film to be lots of fun, and the characters were well portrayed with Holtzmann being the silliest and funniest! The film had some funny moments, and I find the fact that many fanboys got butt hurt over the film being made with all females comedians as The Ghostbusters was just silly and showed that many of these types of “fans” ruin things for others as sadly the film did poorly for Sony at the US Boxoffice bringing in $128,350,574.00 on a $144 million dollar budget.  By the look of it, a sequel is not in the works. I would say if you skipped this at the theater make sure to give it a chance and watch it on DVD or Blu-Ray and make up your own mind about it.

# 3

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Disney has done another great job of turning one of their classic animated features into a live action film, and they made one heck of a great film with The Jungle Book! The film is about young human boy Mowgli who is raised by wolves in India, but when he becomes the target of the evil tiger Shere Khan, they are forced to send him away to rejoin the human race. Along his journey he is protected by black panther Bagheera and bear Baloo from not only Khan, but also giant python Kaa and King Louie, who is the king of the monkeys. But in the end Mowgli must face his fears of Shere Khan to save his animal friends and family from his terror as well as a fire that spreading across the jungle. The film was a great family adventure film and when sitting in the theater I felt like a kid again as Baloo sang “Bear Necessities.”  Everyone did a great job voicing the animals; I mean you cant go wrong with the talents of Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley and Christopher Walken. Director Jon Favreau did a fantastic job of making this film come alive and helps bring out the personality of the animals more by treating them as if they were real actors on set. The film did great for Disney at the US Box Office bringing in $364,001,123.00 on a $175 million budget making it a hit for sure! This was worth a watch and even a buy on home media if you enjoy the story of The Jungle Book as this is only slightly under the animated feature as being the best adaptation of the book.

# 2

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Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S Enterprise are in major trouble when they travel into an uncharted nebula on a set up mission that leaves them at the mercy of Krall and his men who want to kill as many federation members as possible and have chaos throughout the galaxy. Can Kirk and his crew along, with their new alley Jaylah, escape the nebula and save lives in time before Krall and his fleet attacks? Watch this science fiction adventure film and find out. This was such a fun film to watch in the theater in Imax 3-D, and the addition of over the top action made it not your standard Strek Trek fare yet still kept the charm of what makes Star Trek Star Trek! This was the third in the reboot series, and after a very lackluster teaser trailer, the internet started the bashing and hating on the film before it was released.  This caused the film to perform poorly at the US Box Office for Paramount only bringing in $ 158,848,340.00 on a $185 million dollar budget. While this is not the best Star Trek film in the long running film series, I would say it’s a solid sequel that offers enough sci-fi tech talk and action to make it a fun summer popcorn movie.  Make sure to check it out on DVD as it’s well worth the watch.

# 1

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Jyn Erso is the daughter of Galen, the man who lead the construction of the Empire’s newest and most deadly weapon, the Death Star! She was left behind at a young age to be raised by Rebel extremist fighter Saw Gerrera as her father was forced into labor by Orson Kernnic, the director of the Empire’s weapons research. Now older and on her own, Jyn must track down her father who has the secrets to destroy the Death Star from the inside.  She is joined by a rag tag group made up of Rebel soldiers and supporters who go on a suicide mission in order to get the plans into the hands of the Rebels. Add in tension between Kernnic and Grand Moff Tarkin, who both want credit for the Death Star, and in a annoyed Darth Vader as well as cameos from classic Star Wars characters, and you have one well made and entertaining science fiction film! The film’s main characters have amazing chemistry with each other and the friendships that are formed make sense and just add even more layers to their personalities. My favorite character was Jyn Erso as she proved that this new crop of Star Wars films are in the right hands as they clearly care about character development and story. Seeing Darth Vader back in full badass action was something to behold in IMAX 3-D as it made me feel like a kid again, seeing Return Of The Jedi in the theater. Plus the digital Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin made my Monster Kid heart grow three sizes, and I would say that I would love to see Hammer do this and make a new Frankenstein Movie. This film is still in theaters and as of January 1st has brought in a total of $393,554,705.00 for Disney on a $200 million dollar budget and is showing no signs of slowing down. If you have not seen this film yet, do yourself a favor and do so as its well worth the 2 hours of your time.

So as you can see, Hollywood delivered some great sci-fi and fantasy films all that were fantastic watches at my local cinema, not to mention we got a new Star Wars and Star Trek film last year. But another genre of films that rocked the box office this year is my second favorite kind of films, right behind horror, and thats super hero flicks! So grab a refill on your large popcorn, and let’s talk heroes from the comic books who have made the leap to the big screen in 2016.

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# 7

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The moviegoing public seemed to not be able to get enough of Batman on the big screen, and after the last Superman movie, someone at Warner Brothers and DC Comics decided that the world needed a vs. film that pitted their top two superheroes against each other.  So Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice was created and unleashed on the masses. The film has Bruce Wayne being very angry over the fight between Superman and General Zob that left some of his employees dead and others injured, and now, as Batman, he sets his sights on stopping Superman once and for all as he feels the government has not done their job well of keeping this superhuman alien in check. Throw in Wonder Woman, Lex Luther Jr. and Doomsday, and you have this epic battle film that will test the strength and mental fortitude of our heroes. The film was a little too long and for the most part, much of the hate that Batman had for Superman was weak.  In fact half way through, you wonder just why he has projected all the hate he has in his heart toward the Man of Steel and with that, the film kind of falls apart. Other flaws for this comic book fan and movie lover were: the birth of Doomsday was just dumb and pointless and Lex Luther Jr. was a turd and acted more like he was the son of The Joker.  While it sounds like I didn’t like it, I really did enjoy it as it was a fun popcorn flick that showcased that superhero films are just enjoyable on the big screen no matter how flawed they are. The film was directed by Zack Snyder and starred Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck and Amy Adams and did pretty dang well for WB at the US Box Office bringing a total of $330,360,194.00 on a $250 million dollar budget. It’s worth watching on home media or even on cable as it at least will be sure to please during the fight scenes.

# 6

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back at it again as they target The Shredder and the footclan who are again attacking New York with the idea of taking over the world.  This time with the help of scientist Baxter Stockman, the foot create two mutants of their own, the warthog Bebop and rhino Rocksteady, to finally put up a fight against the turtles.  But they also have help in their battle with Casey Jones, a vigilante cop who has had enough of crime ruining his streets. Things get worst when Shredder gets help from Krang, an alien from Dimension X! This sequel is hard hitting and is packed with not only action but also lots of comedic moments that bring out the Turtles’ personalities that made them the popular characters that kids of yesterday and today know and love. This was a fun theater watch and seeing the Turtles battle Bebop and Rocksteady was something I, as a long time turtle fan, have wanted to see in a live action movie. The flaws of the movie for me was that actor Stephen Amell, who played Casey Jones was terrible and super weak in his portrayal that had him hardly wearing the character’s trademark hockey mask. Another lackluster thing was that Shredder played by Brain Lee also did not wear the character’s trademark helmet…when will Hollywood learn that people wanna see the character appear like they should and not just the actor’s face….we get what actor is playing the part! The film was directed by Dave Green and also stars Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Tyler Perry and Sheamus and sadly did very poorly for Paramount at the US Box Office only bringing in a small $82,051,601.00 on a $135 million dollar budget. While the film was judged pretty harshly by movie goers, I for one enjoyed it for the most part and found it a good summer popcorn flick based on characters I grew up loving.

# 5

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Dr. Stephen Strange is a genius surgeon who is cocky and ego driven, but after a major wreck, the nerves in his hands are shot and his career as a surgeon is over.  He tries all types of ways to get better that finally leaves him going to Kathmandu to seek out The Ancient One who teaches him that magic and other dimensions are the path to truly heal. But Dr. Strange gets more than he bargained for as he is forced to use his newly learned magic to fight a rogue group of dark magic students lead by Kaecilius who wants to bring the Dark Dimension ruler Dormammu into our world and bring life as we know it to an end. When the odds are against him, how can Doctor Strange out magic Dormammu in order to save us all? This was a superhero film that I was not fully looking forward to as I have never been a big fan of the comic series and for the most part find the character very boring, but this film stepped it up and made him very interesting for me. The film was directed by Scott Derrickson and actor Benedict Cumberbatch was a great choice to play Doctor Strange as he brings the character to life. This superhero popcorn film also stars Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams and Chiwetel Ejiofor all of whom are fantastic in their roles of various characters from the Marvel Universe. The film has done pretty solid for Disney at the US Box Office bringing in a total this far of $230,323,048.00 on a $165 million dollar budget. It was well worth watching in the theater, and I will for sure buy it on DVD when released.

# 4

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The government is in big trouble when it comes to world affairs, and after Superman is no longer around, they create a task force of criminals who they will send on mission that could lead to death. The team is made up of Deadshot, El Diablo, Killer Croc, Captain Boomerang, Enchantress, Katana, Slipnot and Harley Quinn and is lead by Colonel Rick Flag who informs them that if they break the rules and try to escape, they will be killed on the spot via a tiny bomb in their brains. When the Enchantress turns rogue and, along with her brother, wants to bring the world to an end, it’s up to The Suicide Squad to stop them and prove that not every bad guy is un-savable. To make things worse, The Joker has entered the combat zone as he wants his girlfriend Harley Quinn back by his side and not doing the work of government. The film also has cameos from DC Heroes like The Flash and Batman and was a really fun watch at the theater while munching on popcorn and drinking a blue icee, as I found it to be a fun ride filled with fun characters and enough action to please most fans. But for some reason like most modern DC Movies, this flick was meet with lots of internet hate even before it was released as fanboys decided they hated the casting of Jared Leto as The Joker and just over all wanted to hate on it.  I know lots of friends who joined the hate who never even saw the film but wanted to tell others not to watch it. The film as a great cast with Will Smith playing Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harely both stealing the show and making the characters their own while still holding onto elements from the comics they come from. The film did good for Warner Brothers, despite all the internet trash talking, at the US Box Office bringing in $325,100,054.00 on a budget of $175 million. This is another movie I was glad I watched in theaters and going in with low expectations and no pre-judging in my mind found it to be a great watch and one I will own on DVD very soon.

# 3

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The Apocalypse is the world’s first mutant and is godlike in nature.  In 1983, he is awakened and does not like what he sees of modern times and goes on a quest to get disciples that will act as his horsemen of the apocalypse.  He gets Magneto, Storm, Angel and Psylocke to join his cause of allowing mutants to rule and for him to lead them to a new world. Charles Xavier and his X-Men that include Beast, Havok and Quicksilver along with new members Nightcrawler, Jean Grey and Cyclops must come together and trust Mystique and try to stop the destruction of the world as we know it and stop the next age of Apocalypse. This was a really fun and action packed film in the X-Men series and was a great watch in the theater. The film brought most of the returning cast from X-Men: First Class and continued the awkward relationship between Charles and Mystique. Apocalypse, played by Oscar Isaac was a great narcissistic villain who would manipulate his followers with ego boosting words, but clearly he does not care if they live or die as long as he is once more in power. I also like how they showed Apocalypse past in Egypt and that’s what starts the movie off. One down side is the film focuses way too much on Mystique played by Jennifer Lawrence, and she does not rock her blue scaled skin most of the film.  It was clear she didn’t want to wear all that make up and body suit, and Fox wanted to showcase they had Lawrence still on board. This film also stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Evan Peters, Sophie Turner and Olivia Munn, oh and it also has a cool cameo from Hugh Jackman as Wolverine! The film did poorly for Fox at the US Box Office bringing in $155,442,489.00 on a budget of $178 million. While this film was met with mixed reviews from fans and critics alike, I for one found it to be a great super hero film and in fact bought it on DVD when it was released.  I suggest if you like the X-Men films and have not seen this one yet, do yourself a favor and check it out.

# 2

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Wade Wilson was a member of a special force team who has fallen in love with a woman named Venessa and all is well until Wade gets cancer and is dying.  When they cannot cure it, he decides to seek alternative help that leaves him being turned into a burnt up looking freak who cannot die! This sets Wade off who becomes the costumed anti-hero Deadpool who lurks in the shadows afraid to let Vanessa know he is alive all the while tracking down Ajax, the man who he thinks can cure him of his disfigurement. But things get bad when Ajax and his team of enhanced mutants kidnap Vanessa, and Deadpool, along with X-Men members Colossus and Warhead, must get her back! This film is rated R and is packed to the brim with crude humor and brutal kills all done with tongue in cheek one liners and grace. Ryan Reynolds returns to the role of Deadpool, with his first appearance as the character being in the 2009 film “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” and owns it with his wise cracking delivery. Also starring in this over the top super hero action film is Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano, Stan Lee and Ed Skrein, all who do great things in the roles they were cast, no matter how big or small. The film did fantastic for Fox bringing in a total of $363,070,709.00 in the US on a budget of only $58 million! This is a Marvel super hero movie that is not for kids as it really is packed with blood, cussing and very crude humor but it made for one fun and enjoyable watch for this old comic book reader. I must also say that I have never been a super fan of Deadpool as even reading comics back in the day I never paid him that much attention, but I think it’s really cool that this film as well as good solid comics being made by Marvel has made him into one of the industry’s top selling heroes. Own it on DVD now, and it’s worth watching for sure!

# 1

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Captain America and Iron Man clash in this third film in the series about everyones favorite red, white and blue Avenger. What starts the war is that Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Black Widow and Falcon are on a mission to stop Crossbones and his band of mercenaries that leaves humanitarian workers of Wakanda dead, and the government now wants The Avengers and other superheroes to register with them and only work when the government tells them to. Worse, when the King of Wakanda is killed and everyone blames The Winter Solider, Captain America along with his team Ant Man, Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye and Falcon turn on the registration act and try to protect Winter Solider who claims he is innocent. This sparks the new King of Wakanda, The Black Panther, to join Iron Man, Vision, Black Widow, War Machine and Spider-Man to all do to war and little does anyone know this is all a big set up game by the sinister Baron Zemo who wants to ruin The Avengers and all the good they stand for. This film has so many more layers than what I am sharing here as it would take awhile to explain it all, and you should have or need to see it to understand why it’s my top super hero film of 2016. Chris Evans is truly Captain America come to life, and I could not imagine these films going on without him, so here is hoping he sticks around for awhile. What is great about this film, besides the solid script and amazing actors that bring their parts to life, is the fact you get some many heroes for the price of one and this includes Spider-Man as Sony and Marvel have come to an agreement that allows the hero to now take part in the Marvel Universe films and let alone one that has them all in a fight much like the WWE Survivor Series! The film did outstanding for Disney at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $408,084,349.00 on the massive budget of $250 million. I don’t want to go on too much about this film as I think it speaks better for itself, and all I can say is Spider-Man and Black Panther are great new additions to this amazing film universe that Disney and Marvel are delivering to all us movie goers.

So as you can see, 2016 had some really great super hero films that delivered action and adventure and entertained the movie going masses. Another genre that delivered this year was horror, and while the theater was packed with more ghost and possession movies that seem to be the life blood of horror for the last few years, it also had some slashers and iconic characters returning to the silver screen that included The Tall Man of Phantasm and Godzilla! Blumhouse once more proved that there is money in horror films as many films they produced hit and scared the crowds.  They have quickly become a production team that I look forward to seeing what they release next. So let’s dim these theater lights a little more and let’s take a look at the top horror films that I saw in the theater in 2016!

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# 17

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Dana is a woman who is haunted by the accidental death of her baby daughter, and alongside her husband David and son Lucas she moves out of the city and into a giant old house in the country that was once owned by the town’s top judge. But after finding a closed off room in the attic that was not on the house’s blueprints, she soon starts to see ghosts of the judge and his dog and finds that the room held a family secret that left a young girl murdered.  Now she must solve the mystery or lose her own mind doing so. This film is yet another ghost/possession film and suffers from a paper thin story mostly dealing with Dana’s mental breakdown and is by all accounts very boring in its delivery to try to scare us in the theater. When seeing this film, only one other guy was in the theater and he seemed to be bored as he kept checking his phone and even after it was done looked over at me and talked about just how lame the film was and how the characters did things that lead to nowhere.  Sad to say, the phone checker was right, the film’s characters just seemed like shells of people doing silly things that had no real outcome. The actors in this boring horror film include Kate Beckinsale, Mel Raido, Gerald McRaney and Lucas Till and while they are all great actors in other films, what they are given to do here is very weak, and this was one that I would suggest that most skip unless you have a free rental or is on cable TV. The film did poorly for Rogue Pictures only bringing in the small amount of $2,423,468.00 at the US box office on a $15 million dollar budget. Over all, while I love seeing horror films in the theater, this one almost put me to sleep even after drinking a large blue Icee, this is hands down the worst horror film I saw in theaters this year!

# 16

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Peter Taylor and his wife Bronny are having issues in their marriage, and their children also have their issues as daughter Stephanie has a eating disorder and son Michael is autistic.  The last happy moment of their life together was a family vacation they took with friends at the Grand Canyon where, unknown to them all, Michael removes and takes home stones that were placed to keep Native American demon spirits trapped.  Now with the stones moved and at the Taylor’s home, they must find out the clues to why mystery animals are appearing, why Michael is talking to the walls that he calls The Sky People and acting up. In the end they must call a healer to try and clear the house of the spirits ,but is it enough and can the love of a family be enough to send the demons back? While the film was not terrible it, was nothing new and seemed like just a watered down version of Amityville Horror and or even Poltergeist, and yep, marks yet another possession/ghost film to be released this year that seems to still be the flavor of the decade for horror film makers. The film stars Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, Paul Reiser and Llza Rosario and was directed by Greg McLean who is known for directing the Wolf Creek series. The film turned a profit for High Top Releasing at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $10,753,574.00 on a $4 Million Dollar budget. Not recommended for those looking for horror films that showcase the bad guys more than a total of maybe a minute the whole film or ones who don’t like slow burn horror

# 15

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Rocky is a young woman with a daughter who lives in Detroit with her rude and crude mother and in order to get money, she robs houses with her boyfriend Money and friend Alex who’s father works for a home security company. Rocky needs one last big score in order to move away with her daughter, and they select the house of a blind vet named Norman Nordstrom who was awarded money after his daughter was killed in a drunk driver auto accident. But once inside, they find out that this blind man is not helpless and has his own dirty secrets to hide away! Norman along with his dog hunt down the burglars and make them pay for entering his home and finding out his dark twisted secret that is worth killing for. Don’t Breathe is a horror thriller that has elements of being a slasher film as Norman is brutal in his ways of killing and seems to feel what he is doing is right! While I did enjoy this film and had a good time watching it in the theater with Juliet, the film had some flaws that were pretty outstanding to me.  The fact NONE of the characters are likable people.  From Rocky all the way to Norman, they are all bad people who do bad things! The fact that by the end Norman who is a normal man seems to not be able to be killed like Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees as he seems to be superhuman and shrug off killing blows is dumb. Another thing that annoyed me is the fact that Rocky and Alex, during their time of trying to escape the house of this madman, never have the idea of using a weapon until toward the end of the film. The film does have some amazing actors who do fantastic in their roles as Stephen Lang is great as the blind Norman and Jane Levy is amazing as Rocky and the supporting cast as well hold their own. At the US box Office this film brought in a total of $89,059,699.00 for Sony on a budget of only $9.9 million making it a hit for the studio. Over all this Sam Raimi produced film was not terrible but also was nothing special and some of the flaws made it very annoying to this horror fan. I would say worth the watch on DVD and Blu-Ray. Also I should note that this film was one I was super hyped for after seeing the trailer and was a tad bit of a letdown.

# 14

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Rob Zombie strikes again with a foul language horror film packed with lots of blood and some weird yet fascinating characters with his film 31. The film follows a group of carnival workers who have been kidnapped and forced to play a game of life and death on Halloween Night by some rich people who have employed killers like chainsaw brothers Sick-Head & Psycho-Head as well as other killers Schizo-Head, Sex-Head, Death-Head and the all time kill champion Doom-Head to hunt them down and kill them as they beat on their survival. The film is packed with some brutal kills and for the most part the carnival workers are likable people who you want to see make it out alive and survive the killers attacks as well as you root for them to deliver justice to the psychos! The downside to the film, like most Rob Zombie films, is the dialogue is terrible in spots and so over the top its laughable as he tries to use almost every cuss word he can think of! The other flaw the film has was that in spots he uses shaky camera techniques in order to mask some of the film’s lower budget special effects. But while it has flaws it also had things I really liked about it as I found the killers odd and memorable, I loved the fact that the carnival workers fight back and are not just helpless victims, his use of classic rock songs also was pretty well done and the acting was good for what terrible lines they were given. The film has an all star cast with names like Malcolm McDowell, Meg Foster, Lew Temple, Ginger Lynn, Sheri Moon Zombie and a stunning E.G. Daily from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure as Sex-Head. Richard Brake who plays Doom-Head does great and the character is not only sadistic but also gross and just a foul human being. The film at the US box office brought in a total of $779,820.00 for Saban Films, and I must say while Rob Zombie films are not perfect, they at least have heart and are entertaining in some way or another. Oh yeah and I have to say I hated the ending – those who have seen this film will know what I am talking about.

# 13

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The Forest is a supernatural horror film based on the Aokigahara Forest that follows Sara who travels to Japan and journeys into the forest to find her missing identical twin sister Jess whom people believe went into the forest to commit suicide.  She is joined by Michi a park ranger and Aiden, a reporter. But she soon finds out that the forest has plans of its own and that the dead don’t rest in these haunted woods. So does she find Jess? Is she alive or dead? Why do people say not to stay in the woods at night? Watch this film to find those answers! The film is packed with jump scares, some creepy ghosts and a great atmosphere, but also has a cheesy hole filled plot as well as some paint by number horror clichés that make it an average supernatural horror romp. Natalie Dormer best known from the HBO show Game Of Thrones plays the twins Sara and Jess and looks fantastic, and the music done by Bear McCreary is well done and makes scenes pop. The film brought in a total of $26,594,261.00 for Gramercy Pictures at the US Box Office on a $10 million dollar budget. Not amazing and not bad, The Forest is one you might want to rent or check out on DVD.

# 12

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The Other Side Of The Door was a horror film that was orignaly supposed to be a wide release that then turned into a limited release, and I was lucky enough to catch it at Regal Cinema. The film is about Maria who is living the perfect life in India along with her husband Michael, son Oliver, young daughter Lucy and maid Myrtu, but that perfect life comes to an end when an accident leaves Oliver dead and Maria heartbroken and not able to get over the accident and the loss of her son. Six years after the accident, Maria gets her chance to tell her deceased son goodbye thanks to Myrtu who tells her of a ritual and place that will allow her to speak to him from the other side of a door.  The only catch is you can’t open the door…and of course Maria does and by doing so free’s something sinister. The film is another ghost/possession film and had a few good chills and had a great setting being in India, not your typical American or England backdrop. The film’s cast was good with Sarah Wayne Callies and Jeremy Sisto heading the pack and each doing well in their roles. The film did not perform great for Fox at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $3,000,342.00 due to them making it a limited release. Not groundbreaking but very entertaining and was worth the theater watch for me as well as Josh Weinberg who tagged along.

# 11

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The Witch was a Horror Film that had lots of buzz around it on the internet and among fans before it even hit theaters.  Stephen King even said The Witch scared the hell out of him, but could it live up to that for movie goers? The film is about William and his family leaving the safety of a plantation in New England and making a farm in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods and something sinister that steals and kills their youngest child. Quickly the family starts falling apart as oldest daughter Thomasin is blamed for the wrong doings by her mother, while all along The Witch of the woods and the mysterious goat named Black Phillip are the chaos makers at hand. The film is well acted with stand out performances from Ralph Ineson who played William and Anya Taylor-Joy who played Thomasin, and the atmosphere is great and has a feeling of dread all around the farm as we witness the breakdown of a God-fearing family. But the Witch character herself who takes two forms, one being old and the other glamor porn star, is just not really scary and is not really used throughout the hour and a half shocker. Much of the film, the characters spend time praying or chatting about God and religion, and I hate to say this, at some points I became very bored at drawn out moments. While this was not a bad movie, it was not as scary, spooky nor bone chilling as I hoped for. The only part that got me was when The Witch killed the young baby and mashed its body up and covered herself with its blood, and keep in mind this description is more graphic than what you see on the screen. It was also great to hear how split the group of friends and family I went with were on this film, and I had to laugh when one young lady at the end of the film let out a loud “This Movie Sucked” announcement. The film did okay for A24 at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $25,138,705.00 on a budget of $3.5 million, showing that lower budget horror films can make studios extra cash. While I didn’t hate this film, in no way am I a super fan of this film…I might check it out again once on DVD.

# 10

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The final Phantasm film and the fifth film in the series was released this year, and it was bitter sweet to see it in the big screen thanks to Horrorama as it was the end of the franchise and sadly just an okay entry in the series. The film follows Ice Cream Man Reggie as he is trying to track down his missing friend Mike and along the way fight off The Tall Man and his evil spheres and henchmen. But this is the world of Phantasm, so nothing and no one are what they seem, and Reggie must try and use his wits to figure out the real world from the other dimension. Reggie is joined by fellow Tall Man hunters and together they must team up against his horde of followers and crack the code and stop the coming end of times. The film was produced by Don Coscarelli the series creator and was directed by David Hartman and stars Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm and A. Michael Baldwin and sadly had its premiere on Video On Demand but lucky for me it was a film that had it’s Dayton area first movie theater showing at Horrorama allowing me to watch the film from the projection window. While I enjoyed the film, I also saw that it had lots of flaws and for the most part is just a showcase of Reggie with very little Tall Man surrounded by low budget digital effects. The film has been meet with mixed reviews and really does mark the end of the series as Angus “Tall Man” Scrimm sadly passed away in early 2016. Fans of the series should for sure check it out on DVD or streaming rental.

# 9

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Alice Zander and her two young daughters Lina and Doris are living in a Los Angeles suburban house in 1967 and charge people for giving them spiritual readings. But when Alice buys a Ouija Board as a new prop to use, she soon finds out that Doris has a real gift and can communicate with the dead including her dead father…or can she as soon it’s clear something evil has came through and is using the young girl as a vessel and its up to Lina and her mother to save their loved one from a terrible possessed fate. This sequel was leaps and bounds better than its predecessor and is filled with some creepy moments and is well acted with Elizabeth Reaser who played Alice Zander stealing the show, not to mention this film brings to life the events of the first film as it acts as a prequel. The film did pretty well for Universal at the US Box Office bringing in a total of $34,992,970.00 on a $9 million budget showing that movie goers still want to see possession and ghost films. Worth watching for sure and like I said, way better than the first film.

# 8

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James Donahue, the brother of missing person Heather Donahue, along with some friends go to the woods near Burkittsville when a tape is found in a tree that appears to show Heather alive and running through a house in the woods. Once there, they hook up with some local YouTube ghost hunters and soon find out that they are not alone as The Blair Witch is back and looking for more young adults to kill. Does James find his missing sister? Does the house in the woods really exist? And can James and his friends get out of the woods alive? All this is answered in this third film in the series that was original being advertised as The Woods. The film was one I was super hyped to see as I was a fan of the 1999 original film The Blair Witch Project and it had been over 16 years between sequels.  While I enjoyed the film, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of scares and some times unmotivated actions of the friends who make some really terrible decisions. One very cool thing is that in some shots you get a quick glimpse of what the Witch looks like, and I have a theory that she just might be an alien or even a interdenominational being! The film did good for Lionsgate at the US Box Office even though its was below what they expected as it brought in $20,777,061.00 on a $5 million budget! While not an amazing sequel, it’s way better than part two and was a fun watch in the theater, check it out on DVD.

# 7

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What was originally a short film made for the internet, Lights Out made its way to being a feature length that hit theaters this year. Rebecca is a young woman who is into drawing dark pictures who moved away from home when her mother had a series of mental breakdowns. After her stepfather is killed and her Mother begins acting crazy again, she takes her young brother Martin in who is not sleeping after being tormented by a shadow woman! Rebecca along with her boyfriend Bret and Martin are forced to stay at their mother’s house when the government forces Martin to be with his mother. The group soon learns that the shadow lady is indeed real and her name is Diana, and she was an odd child who was “friends” with their mother after they meet in a mental asylum and after being killed in a treatment gone wrong she lives on as a sinister shadow that lives on thanks to the weakness of their mothers mental state! Now Diana is mad and wants to live on and will kill whom ever tries to get in her way.  Now it’s up to Rebecca to save her family and rid the world of the sinister demonic Diana. This film is a jump scare fest filled with some creepy effects and a really cool monster as Diana could easily become a new horror icon that could spark sequels for years to come. The film was rated PG-13 and while not a bloodbath, it does have some gruesome moments that I am sure will scare the wits out of many viewers. Another cool fact is that this was released by Warner Brothers under New Line Cinema, and it made me miss when New Line was its own company and would embrace the world of horror films. The film did great for WB at the US Box Office delivering $67,268,835.00 on a small $4.9 million budget showing that horror films are very profitable and also sparked talks of a sequel! While not groundbreaking and pretty much another ghost/possession film, it was a fun watch in the theater and is one I now own on DVD and would suggest fans of these types of films to watch.

# 6

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Dr. Seth Ember is a man who lost his family in a terrible car accident that was caused by a demon named Maggie.  This accident also left him in a wheelchair and put his faith and will to live for anything besides revenge to the test. You see Ember spends his time in a trance near death’s door that allows him to enter the subconscious of possessed people and exorcize the demon from within by giving the person’s own will a choice to expel the demon from their own bodies. But when Maggie shows back up inside a young 11 year old boy, he must come face to face with his family’s killer and will put his very own life and soul on the line as a warzone has been set that will leave everyone around to never be the same again. This film, while a possession film, is done differently from most as it downplays the religious elements and up plays the scientific and psychic way to defeat a demon, and our hero is wheelchair bound and not a saint of a person at all as he is only doing this for his own quest for revenge making him not your typical hero. The film stars Aaron Eckhart as Seth Ember and co-stars Carice Van Houten, Catalina Sandino Moreno and even has WWE wrestler Mark Henry in a cameo role. The film was a team up of WWE Studios and Blumhouse Productions and was a solid entertaining PG-13 horror film that was super enjoyable in the theater even if Juliet and I were the only people their to see it. The film has some blood and violence with some chilling moments and sadly did very poorly for High Top Releasing at the Box Office in the US only bringing in $4,777,253.00 on a budget of $5 million and for some reason had very poor word of mouth among horror fans. While this film was not perfect, I did find it pretty original for a genre of horror that is getting very stale, worth watching on cable or renting from your local video store and for me, I am sure I will pick it up on DVD when released.

# 5

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Japan is under attack by a giant lizard monster who keeps evolving and is being called Godzilla. The prime minister of Japan and his cabinet must find a way to keep the giant monster at bay or even better yet kill it and even get the help of America but all military attempts fail as Godzilla has his own tricks that include fire breath and fire blasts from his tail. Finally after many human deaths, lots of destruction and many failed attempts Godzilla is stopped thanks to a team effort that leaves him frozen from the inside out and like a statue, but not all is as it seems as Godzilla’s tail may have its own living race of creatures ready to come alive. This film is very slow moving and mixes elements of horror, science fiction and drama to deliver a very new and unique re-telling of the origin of Godzilla as many options are hinted at yet never confirmed, and some how this odd combination works really well! Godzilla looks like he has never looked before, and this new generation of films looks like it might be one that evolves with each new installment. This is a real hard movie to explain as it has lots of political moments and is less about Godzilla and more about the state of Japan. The film had a very limited theatrical release here in America, and I was lucky enough to catch it at the Regal Cinema in Beavercreek along with my friends Jeremy Hoyt, Erin R. Ryan and Sean Leo. Shin Godzilla brought in $1,918,403.00 in the US for FUNimation on a budget of $15 million and this was just icing on the cake as the film made way more in Japan. Worth watching and one I will own when on DVD, but I must also say this film is not for everyone and would probably bore many younger Godzilla fans.

# 4

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Michelle leaves her fiance after an argument and during her drive out of town, she gets into a terrible accident when a truck smashes into her and wakes up in chains in a fall out bunker owned by a man named Howard. Michelle thinks she’s being kept captive but soon learns from her host Howard that an attack has taken place that has left the outside air poisonous, and his story is backed up by Emmett another man taking shelter in the bunker. But after Howard’s odd and some time anger filled moods as well as witnessing a woman die from the air outside, the mystery of who did this attack as well as Howard really is unfolds. The film has so many twists and turns and delivers suspense with a horror vibe so well that I found myself glued to the movie screen watching it, and that’s saying something as the film this loose sequel spawned off of Cloverfield, which was not very good in my opinion. The acting is top notch with John Goodman as Howard stealing the show as well as other actors Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. delivering solid performances. The film is packed with some suspenseful and sinister moments, and I don’t want to spoil anything on what is really outside as I think it’s something you need to just see for yourself. The film did good for Paramount at the US Box Office bringing in $72,082,998.00 on a budget of $15 million causing talks of a sequel. Worth watch and was leaps and bounds better than the original and does away with the shaky came found footage style and delivers a solid spooky and well done movie.

# 3

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The Boy was one of those films that when my cousin Stephen and I saw the trailer at work when it was released into the world wide web, we knew we had to see it the weekend it came out, as growing up Stephen was scared of creepy dolls, and it’s our thing when we talk horror films. The film follows Greta, a young American woman who is getting away from her abusive boyfriend and takes a nanny job in England for the Heelshire family.  When the parents go on a holiday she is to watch after their son Brahms. But things are very odd as Brahms is nothing more than a doll who the Heelshire’s treat as a living child, and worse she learns from grocery delivery man Malcolm that Brahms died in a fire after an “accident” happened to a young girl near the house. Brahms has rules that must be followed, and Greta soon finds out that things are not as they seem as The Doll seems to have ideas of its own or does it? This is the kind of film that takes twists and turns and keeps a spooky gothic/haunting pace and then turns it up a notch with a surprise ending that some fans might see coming, but others might not…so I will not spoil it for you here. The film stars Lauren Cohan as Greta who is best known for playing Maggie Greene on the hits TV Show The Walking Dead, and she does a great job and is truly a stunning actress. During the film my girlfriend Juliet leaned over in pure joy and said the film reminded her of a cult classic “Tourist Trap,” and the rest of our viewing party seemed to get a kick out of this weird little horror gem. The film did pretty good for STX Entertainment at the US Box Office Bringing in a total of $35,819,556.00, if you like horror films set in a spooky old castle home and like creepy dolls check this one out on DVD or Blu-Ray.

# 2

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Leo Barnes is now working as a security chief for Senator Charlie Roan, a woman who had her family killed on a purge night many years back and wants to get rid of the day that she finds barbaric and wrong. But when she ruffles the feathers of the New Founding Fathers, they lift the band on not being able to kill a government official and hire a group of mercenaries to take her life! Leo, along with cornerstore workers and a group of protesters, must keep her safe throughout the night so she can make it to election day and rid America of this terrible yearly event. This is the third film in this amazing series and blends horror really well with action, drama and most surprisingly, a message, as all the films thus far have been not just about brutal killings but more about how society is going and how the 1% truly do call the shots. Leo and Senator Charlie are both very likable characters that you find yourself cheering for as are the workers of the small corner store who show that community and friends need to watch out for each other during the good and bad times. Another aspect of this film I liked is how America has turned the Purge into a tourist attraction where rich people from all over the world come to kill the weak and poor. The film stars Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell and Berry Gabriel and did really well for Universal at the US Box Office as if brought them in $79,042,440.00 on a small budget of $10 million and once more this was produced by Blumhouse proving these guys know horror! Own it on DVD and if you have not seen it and have enjoyed the other two films in the series, make sure you check this one out as it was a easy pick for my # 2! I want to also note that I saw this film at the Cranberry Cinema with Juliet during a Monsterbash vacation.

# 1

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In 1976, Lorraine and Ed Warren were looking into the haunting at the house in Amityville and during this investigation Lorraine gets a vision of her husband’s death as well sees a evil demonic Nun who haunts her dreams as well as her family’s even after leaving the home. Now in 1977, single mother Peggy and her children are living in a home in England when an evil spirit comes out to play and possesses young Janet who can speak with the voice of a 77 year old man as well as other creepy stuff happens around the house. The church asks Ed and Lorraine to look into the case, and they soon find that there is more evil at play than just the ghost of the house’s former owner as the Nun is there and wants to make Lorraine’s vision of her husband’s death a reality! Can Ed and Lorraine save the family from the torment of the evil spirits and can they prove the vision wrong? Watch this creepy ghost film to find out! This sequel is as good as the original, and Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson who play Lorraine and Ed Warren are fantastic and truly are what make these films work so well as you find yourself bonding with them. The films villain is Valak a demon who takes the appearance of the Demon Nun and who is just pure evil and is sure to scare many viewers with her sinister looks. Director James Wan knows how to take the true case files of the Warrens and along with his writers created a spooky film that does not suffer from being only PG-13 as it uses mood and jump scares to fill the audience with fright and when seeing this in the theater I can tell you I heard many of my fellow movie goers gasp and shriek with terror and to me that shows this flick did what it was suppose to do. The film was put out by Warner Brothers via New Line Cinema and did great at the Box Office here in the US as on a budget of $40 million it brought in $102,470,008.00 proving as I have said many times in this update that horror is profitable. I own this film on DVD and watched it again, and it still holds up and won easily my # 1 spot for best theater-viewed horror film of 2016! So if you like your horror films filled with demon nuns, jump scares, cool and creepy soundtrack and likable characters this one is for you!

So there it is. my best of 2016 in films I got to see in the theater, and I must say while I didn’t get to go as much as I wanted, the times I did get to go I had a blast! And I will make this promise that next year I will make sure to make more time to get my butt to the theater so that my Best of 2017 will be epic! Plus with rumors next year of new Friday The 13th, Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Amityville films, the horror competition will be high and dare I say cutthroat! But the Rotten Ink Theater clean up crew is here to sweep out all the popcorn so we should wrap this up.  I hope you enjoyed this update as much as I did writing it and our next update we are headed to Africa to spend some time with The Phantom! So until then, go see a movie or four and support your local movie theater!

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Matt Goes To The Movies 2014

Matt Goes To The Movies 2014 Logo

2014 was a pretty good year for movies, and while I didn’t get to visit the theater just about every week like last year, I still was able to catch many great films at my favorite theaters. It’s odd that after all these years I still feel the excitement of watching a film in the theater with some popcorn and an Icee. But before we get into my lists, I should say that my favorite theater is Cinemark at the Greene in Beavercreek, but man since they bought the theater from The Rave that place has had some issue and cutbacks that have really taken away from the place. The first thing you will notice is that on many days they are understaffed and many of the faces from last year are no longer working there, although my friend Chris still does so that’s a plus. Plus they did away with the flavor powder to put on your popcorn….so no more cheese popcorn for this movie goer. Others issues I have had is that during John Wick they left the lights on.  When my pal Jeremy Hoyt went and told them they turned off all the lights besides the center one that sadly we were sitting under…I felt like I was being interrogated by Dick Tracy! During November Man almost all the speakers besides the front two didn’t work, and worse, they had the front two cranked and it sounded like crap. During some movies, due to them going all digital with no projectionist when the film would start it would have no sound or no picture. Plus one of the most annoying things is the fact that they cram so many Coka-Cola and Microsoft ads at the start of every movie that it feels like your watching network TV! But to be fair for every bad experience, I have had way more good and that’s why it’s still my favorite theater. So let’s take a seat here at the Rotten Ink Theater lobby and let’s talk films of 2014!

Rotten Ink Cinema Lobby 2014Let’s get those bad films out of the way first, the ones that I left the theater wondering why film or even digital pixels were wasted on making them! So let’s take out this stinky trash before it smells up the joint! This year since I didn’t go and see one or two films a week, I was lucky enough to miss many stinkers but here are at least two that left a fowl smell in the theater.

WORST copy

# 2

300 Rise of an Empire

A direct follow up to 300 takes place at the same time and after the events of the first film, and instead of land battles, it’s mostly all about water warfare. Themistocles and his brave warriors go to war at sea with Xerxes and his evil sister Artemisia all for the glory of Greece. The film has some fun over the top boat battles and even a few sword to sword fights, but many times the action is pure cheese and some of the green screen effects look as if it was a made for the Sy-Fy Channel film. The scene that has Themistocles riding a horse from boat to boat and throwing fire is down right silly and mind numbingly bad. Highlights include a naked Eva Green who plays Artemisia. Over all, it’s a very poor follow up to the original and was a bland sword and sandal film. The film grossed $106,580,051.00 at the US Box Office for Warner Brothers.

# 1

Million Ways To Die In The West

This film just plan sucked! I saw it with my pal Jeremy Hoyt with a theater semi-full of people, and hardly no one laughed and many groans were heard at the poor attempts at humor. The film follows sheep farmer Albert Stark, who is a weak man with no backbone and no shooting skills, that is until he meets Anna, the wife of a gunslinger outlaw who has set his sights on killing Albert who has fallen in love with his wife! It’s up to Anna to help Albert get a backbone and survive not only a fight with her husband but that also with his ex-girlfriend’s mustachioed boyfriend. The film was written, directed and starred Seth McFarlane, who is a one trick pony with his gross and pop culture humor. So in other words, if you think fart jokes are top of the line comedy than Seth wrote this one for you. The film’s only real highlights are cameos from celebrities playing famous characters they have played in past Western films like Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown from Back To The Future Part III! At the US box office, this film brought in $43,139,300 for Universal. I hope they don’t make a sequel to this film…as the thought makes my brain hurt.

Those were the only bad films I saw in theater, but I should also note that I saw two really bad ones that went direct to video like Wolf Creek 2 and Dario Argento’s Dracula 3-D. But let’s not inhale any more of this stinky trash!

Wolf Creek 2Trash CanArgentos Dracula 3D

Up second, we are going to take a look at action.  While last year we called it 80’s action, this year we are going to add more into it besides films starring aging action stars; plus I am going to add action thrillers into this category. So get your Rambo headband ready because I am about to tell you my top 6 action packed films of 2014!

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# 6

sabotage

Arnold Schwarzenegger geared up in this action thriller film that was pretty solid even though it had many plot holes. Breacher is the leader of an elite DEA team.  His wife was murdered by drug lords in Mexico, and he has his team steal money from their busts. When $10 million goes missing from one of their heists, the DEA turns up the heat and disbands the team. But when members of the team are starting to be murdered off, the team must figure out who is killing them and what happened to the money they stole that went missing. The film takes many twists and turns; it also has a solid line up of supporting actors like Joe Manganiello, Terrence Howard and Mireille Enos and some great gun play that all help add to the over all action film feel. The film sadly did very poorly at the box office grossing only $10,508,518.00 in the US for Open House Films, but both Juliet and I enjoyed it.

# 5

The Equalizer

Who doesn’t like seeing Denzel Washington kicking ass and taking names? This action drama follows Robert McCall, a retired black ops agent who is now working at a home improvement store after his wife’s passing. He comes out of retirement and takes on the Russian Mafia when his young friend Alina is beaten badly by her pimp who happens to be a Mafia member.  The bodies pile up as Robert takes the war to the streets and to crime that he witnesses. It’s a fun action flick based on the old 80’s TV show on CBS, that has Robert killing scum bags with all types of weapons from guns to hammers. Denzel is fantastic as is Chloe Grace Moretz who plays Alina.  In fact I think Chloe is an actress to keep an eye on because if Hollywood gives her the roles, she will pull them off. If you want to see scum bags get what they deserve at the hands of a man who knows no fear, then check this one out! The film did pretty well at the US box office and grossed $99,306,000.00 for Sony. I saw this film with pal David J. Getz, who was way too hard on it and took the stand of Denzel being to old to be an action star, and to that I say he’s wrong!

# 4

november man

The November Man is an action thriller that stars former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan who plays Peter Devereaux, a retired CIA agent who must go head to head with his former protege David Mason when a large plot involving a Russian general and a young female witness to crimes he has committed’s life is in danger. Throw in a hit woman who has been hired to kill her and you have a race to find out the truth and who is the real bad guy! One thing I like about the film is the good guy Devereaux is not a real nice guy as he lies and even hurts innocent people to make things go his way, but with that said he has his reasons and over all he truly is a “good” guy. Pierce Brosnan is fantastic in the role of Devereaux, and that’s what makes this over all average film a heck of a lot better. Sadly this is the movie that when Jeremy and I saw it at the theater, only the front speakers were working and to “fix” it when Jeremy told them, they turned up the front ones louder…doh! The film grossed $25,018,119.00 for Relativity via the US box office.

# 3

John WickThis was the surprise action hit of the year for me as I can safely say that I really enjoyed every bullet riddled moment! Keanu Reeves plays John Wick, a one time enforcer for a crime family who has retired to spend time with his wife who passes away from an illness. After her death, she leaves John a puppy and together they morn the loss. But when the son of the crime lord makes the mistake of stealing John’s car and killing his dog, they awaken “The Boogeyman” who will not stop till the son is dead. What follows next is nonstop action that felt like a video game come to life as bullets and fights break out in clubs and hotels, all ending in deaths! Plus it was funny to see WWF Superstar Kevin Nash in a small role, not to mention the supporting cast was also fantastic with names like William Dafoe, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki and John Leguizamo all doing great performances for an over the top action film like this. The film did pretty well for Lionsgate at the US box office, grossing in $40,649,000.00 and bringing them in a profit. This is a movie I will buy on DVD when it’s released to show to Juliet and my parents.

# 2

Expendables 3

My favorite action star of all time, Sylvester Stallone, returns as Barney Ross for The Expendables 3.  The film has Barney disbanding his old crew when he finds out that Conrad Stonebanks, an old teammate turned enemy, is still alive when Hale Caesar is injured by him in a raid. Barney turns to his pal Bonaparte to get a younger crew that consist of such actors as Kellan Lutz, Rhonda Rousey, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell, and when they go after Conrad and fail and become his prisoners, it’s up to Barney and his old crew to save them and stop Conrad once and for all. This film has a paper thin plot but is heavy on the action! It was nice to see Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Jet Li and Arnold Schwarzenegger all return for a third time. Plus the addition of other classic action stars like Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes and Antonio Banderas (who steals the movie) was a nice way to spice up the cast. The new crew sadly are all forgettable besides Rhonda Rousey, who is a great looking tough UFC chick who can rock a red dress and bash a head in and look fantastic doing it. Not as great as the other two films in the series, but still a solid action flick that sadly did poorly at the US box office for Lionsgate only bringing in $39,322,544.00, but thank God the overseas viewers loved it where it brought in $166,850,000.00! Here is to hoping Sly will give this franchise a break and focus on a new Rambo film…or a sequel to Cobra.

# 1

Walk Among The Tombstones

A Walk Among The Tombstones is a film that mixes many genres together and does so really well; it takes elements from Action, Horror, Thriller and Drama and sprinkles in elements like Noir, Detective and Serial Killer. The film follows former cop now unlicensed private detective Matthew Scudder, who takes a case that involves kidnapping, ransom and murder, and once he’s involved he becomes a player in this sick and twisted game set up by a group of killers. Along the way he meets a young boy on the streets who becomes his somewhat partner and helps him stop the killings and expose the identities of the killers. I really dug this film and enjoyed the fact that it was a Noir Action film that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Plus the film’s killers are true scum of the earth! I saw this film with a pretty packed house and with my friend Jeremy, and you could hear many people talking at the end about how much they liked it. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, and the story has some surprises that are best left for you to discover when you watch it. The film did pretty bad at the US box office bringing in a total of $26,307,600.00 for Universal on a budget of $28 Million, and that’s a shame cause this film was pretty badass!

Liam beating Sly on my top action films, I would have NEVER seen that coming! So we whooped some ass with action now let’s get our nerd minds a good workout as we take a look at my top four Sci-Fi and Fantasy films! So charge up your Lightsaber and set you phasers to stun, we are talking Science Fiction now.

SciFi

# 4

transformers age of extinction

I hate to say it, but I really enjoyed Transformers: Age Of Extinction in the theater while eating popcorn, drinking a blue Icee with my gal Juliet.  That says a lot for me because I was by no means a fan of the other three films in this series directed by Michael Bay. This one’s plot is simple; the people of Earth have turned on the Autobots and have ruled it open season on killing them and taking the bodies away to be studied to see if we could create ones that would become weapons of war. When the Yeager family find and help Optimus Prime, they become the target of the CIA, and worse, Megatron is back in the form of Galvatron! Can Optimus and the remaining Autobots stop them from ruining the world..well of course they can! The film is packed with stupid robot one liners, wall to wall over the top action and the worst cameos for the Dinobots ever, who only have a few minutes on screen and are a waste of film as they really add nothing to the story. The film scored big for Paramount at the US box office bringing in $245,439,076.00 and when adding in foreign gross, it did over a billion dollars! So if you don’t mind checking your brain in at the door and want to see Mark Wahlberg team up with Optimus Prime, then this Sci-Fi Action film is for you.

# 3

Robocop

I generally dislike remakes of classic films, and when I heard Sony was remaking Robocop, my eyes rolled and I thought here we go again another heartless retelling all for the sake of a quick buck. But after seeing Robocop the week it came out, I must admit I was wrong and I think the people who made this film really tried to capture the feel of the original and update it all at the same time. This time around Alex Murphy is a cop on a mission, and when going after a crime boss he is blown up via a car bomb. OmniCorp, who create robots to fight wars, wants to make a super cop and use Murphy as the test subject and create Robocop! And once he gets revenge on those who originally set him up, he also soon finds that Raymond Sellars, the CEO of OmniCorp, is not a very nice man and wants Robocop shutdown for good when he finds he can’t control his mind and looks at him as nothing more than a computer. Can Robocop stop the evil corporation? Will his wife and son accept him? Will Raymond succeed in pulling the plug? All these questions are answered in this fun PG-13 action romp. Joel Kinnaman plays Robocop/Alex and does a pretty good job, but he is no Peter Weller. The supporting cast is also fantastic with such names as Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson and Jackie Earle Haley. The film did weak in the USA box office grossing $58,607,007.00 making the film a miss for Sony. It’s a shame; I would have liked to have seen a part two.

# 2

maleficent

Maleficent was fantastic ,and when seeing it in IMAX 3D, I felt like a kid again watching a Disney take on a fairy tale unfold before my eyes. My favorite animated Disney film has always been Sleeping Beauty so when I heard they were doing a live action film based around the villain Maleficent my interest was peeked. The film follows Maleficent, who is a fairy, and when a human boy misleads her and cuts off her wings to gain power in the nearby kingdom, she turns mean and waits for her revenge on the day the boy is now King and is going to have his first child.  Maleficent places a curse on the child to sleep forever until true loves kiss awakens her on her 16th birthday. But the film takes a twist as we see that Maleficent ends up befriending the young Princess and wants to try and undue the curse but can she do it? And worse the King has sent his whole army to kill her. This family fun flick was amazing and added so much more depth to the Maleficent character.  Plus Angelina Jolie does a top notch job as the “evil” fairy Maleficent. The special effects are top of the line with the fairy moors being breathtaking, as is the dragon that appears to help her in her fight against the army. The film did really well for Disney at the US box office, grossing in $241,381,217.00 and proving that the classic characters never go out of style. If you have not seen this film, you should check it out.

# 1

dawn of planet of the apes

The Planet of the Apes films have always been some of my favorite Sci-Fi films to watch, and these new films being made by Fox are just as great as the originals! This second film in the rebooted series follows Caesar, the leader of the ape population trying to work alongside the remaining humans who have survived a mass sickness that killed off most of the population.  This team up pisses off primate Koba who was abused by man many years back, and he sets a plan in motion where he makes an attempt at Caesar’s life sparking a war with the humans and apes. But can an injured Caesar stop the war or is it too late? The film’s special effects are top notch and throughout the whole movie, you forget that the apes are CGI! Plus with actors like Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell and Kirk Acevedo playing the humans, you know you’re getting sold acting. My favorite ape in the film has to be Koba; he is so bad yet somehow I think he really thought he was doing good by starting the war and killing any man or ape that got in his way! This was one of the films I was most looking forward to this year, and it was by no means a letdown as I loved every minute of it! The film was a hit for Fox and grossed $208,532,326.00 here in the United States showing that people still love seeing a world run by primates!

I saw a few other films that fit this genre this year that were entertaining but just couldn’t make the cut for this list: “Lucy” starring Scarlett Johansson, a film about a drug that allows a woman to use 100% of her brain after she is used as a mule to smuggle it to the USA when it’s surgically placed into her body.  When the bag leaks she becomes less and less human. “Pompeii” is about the town that was covered in lava and ash via an erupting volcano and follows a gladiator who has fallen in love with a young woman of power, and it turns into a tragic love story starring the likes of Kit Harington, Kiefer Sutherland and Emily Browning. “Legend of Hercules” is about a clean cut son of Zeus who is more of a gladiator than the hero we all know and love. All are entertaining movies in their own right but none were strong enough to make the list.

LucyPompeiilegend of hercules

So let’s trade our phasers in for capes as we now take a look at my top 7 Superhero films of 2014, and man I must say that films based on comics are dominating the box office and shows that comics are more powerful money makers then any company could have ever imagined.

SUPER HERO copy# 7

sin city a dame to kill for

This follow up to Sin City was laced with all the same techniques that wowed audiences upon it’s release in 2005 and even brought back many of the actors from the first film. Sadly it tanked at the box office and put the nail in the coffin for this series. The film follows many stories from Marv, who can’t remember why he killed a bunch of rich brats, to Dwight McCarthy falling for a woman who is using him and many others to get what she wants. There is also a story line of a lucky gambler named Johnny who tests his luck against corrupt Senator Roark and stripper Nancy who wants to kill Roark for crimes he committed in the first film. All the stories come together in the end and all ends well for some, while others end up dead.  The film was a lot of fun and not nearly as bad as many critics would have you think, but as I said it bombed and only did $13,757,804.00 at the box office for Dimension Films. The film also has an all star cast like Josh Brolin, Micky Rourke, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Powers Boothe, Rosario Dawson, Christopher Lloyd and Jessica Alba to name a few.

# 6

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I was very lukewarm on the idea of a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie that was a reboot to the series done by those masters of butchering of childhood memories, Platinum Dunes. But I must say the film was way better than I could ever expect it to be, and while it is flawed with a cheesy script and a Shredder who looks more like he should be in Transformers, the Turtles’ banter is well done even if they look like steroid goofy faced mutants. The film follows the Turtles who are going up against the foot clan who are tormenting New York and even have a plan in motion that will poison and kill many thanks to a gas they will be pumping into the air.  Alongside April O’Neil, the Turtles clash with the foot and their leader The Shredder, and of course along the way we learn about Master Splinter as well as a connection they all have to April. Again the film is flawed, but I enjoyed checking my brain at the door and watching a comic book/cartoon inspired film that tried to keep some of the basics of source material and also tried to add more of an update to it for modern fans. For me I would put it on par with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III and say while bad, it was fun to watch. The film did pretty solid numbers at the US box office for Paramount bringing in $191,204,754.00!

# 5

Hercules

I am pretty sure many people who went to seen Hercules had no idea that it was based on a comic book from Radical Comics and to be honest, much like my cousin Steve Alexander said, this is truly one of the year’s most underrated films. The film stars WWF Superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Hercules, a mercenary who alongside his friends are creating the legend of Hercules, the son of Zeus. But when he finds out that he was hired to help the wrong side in a conflict, he and his friends stand against the odds and leave everyone wondering if he truly is the son of a God. The film is filled with great Sword and Sandal action as well as likable characters; this is one film I would have loved to seen sequels made about. The Rock as well does a fantastic job as Hercules and pulls off the role of being maybe a con man yet maybe not, making the character tough when needed and light hearted when the mood is right. The film sadly did not do as well as it should have and grossed only $72,688,614.00 for Paramount at the US box office. With the film being out on DVD and Blu-Ray, do yourself a favor and check it out.

# 4

Amazing Spider-Man 2

I feel like Amazing Spider-Man 2 was judged way too hard by critics and fans who seemed to want to try and nitpick it to death.  I for one really enjoyed it and found it better than the overblown Spider-Man 2 made by Sam Raimi that I think was praised way too much by fans and critics. This time around Spider-Man is locking horns with three super villains who are all gunning to take Spidey down for the count! You have the Rhino, a man in mechanical suit who feels as if he has been wronged by Spider-Man; you have Electro, a man who was a one time Spider-Man fan who after an accident finds that he has the power of electricity; and Green Goblin, who is really his long time friend Harry Osborne who is slipping into madness! And worse as Peter Parker is having issues coming to terms with the death of his girlfriend’s father to whom he made a promise that has him staying away from her. Action, Drama and Spider-Man one liners help make this one a good Super Hero film! Andrew Garfield is fantastic as Spider-Man, and Emma Stone makes one hell of a Gwen Stacy. The strangest casting had to be Paul Giamatti as The Rhino…his performance is down right silly! The film did pretty well for Sony at the US box office grossing in $202,853,933.00 even though they try and act as if it wasn’t a hit for them. I for one am looking forward to Amazing Spider-Man 3 as well as the spin off Sinister Six movie.

# 3

guardians of the galaxy

Guardians Of The Galaxy is the Marvel Comic team that showed the world that you don’t have to be a triple A team to have a hit movie! The film is about Starlord, a goofball outlaw who teams up with other misfits of space like the living tree Groot, talking raccoon Rocket, psycho brute Drax The Destroyer and green skinned female assassin Gamora to protect a infinity stone from getting into the hands of Ronan The Accuser, who is an evil Kree alien who is back stabbing the powerful Thanos in order to collect the jewel and become all powerful. The movie has lots of sci-fi action, drama and comedy and has some of the most likeable characters of any movie this year! Plus I really liked Ronan as a bad guy, and he is a prime example of a cold blooded super villain who will kill whomever gets in his way. When Juliet and I went to see this movie in the theater, it was a pretty packed house and it was clear that everyone in that theater that day had a blast watching it.  The overly positive remarks of people leaving their seats when it was over was a clear sign that Disney and Marvel Studios did something very right. The film did fantastic for Disney at the US box office grossing in an impressive $332,309,276.00 making this a huge hit. If you have not seen this film yet, do yourself a favor and check it out!

# 2

captain america winter

Captain America is one of my favorite Super Hereos of all time and has been ever since I was a kid.  This second film from Disney and Marvel Studios was a fun kick butt action film laced with enough drama to make the film feel very important in the over all movie universe they are creating. This time around Captain America, Black Widow and Nick Fury have became a target by a group controlled by a very high official in America, and they even bring Cap’s old World War II buddy Bucky Barns back from the “dead” and call him Winter Solider, a well trained killing machine. Can Captain America stop this evil group and talk sense into his one time friend? Watch and find out! While the original film was set during World War II, this second film takes place in modern times right after the events of The Avengers and trades in Red Skull for The Winter Solider and does a nice job of making the odds looking against Cap at every twist and turn. I must say Christ Evans makes the perfect Captain America/Steve Rogers and who would have thought that was possible? The film did great for Disney grossing in a massive $259,766,572.00 at the US box office. If your a fan of the star spangled Avenger like myself, make sure to give this film a watch.

# 1

X-Men Days Of The Future Past

The X-Men films, as well as the spin offs like “First Class” and “Wolverine,” are fun comic book action films that make for some amazing popcorn munching theater watches, and “X-Men: Days Of The Future Past” was just that and more as I found it to be my favorite Comic Book film of 2014! I know what those of you who know me are saying, the X-Men beat Captain America? But let me tell you, while Cap was amazing, X-Men was a fun thrill ride filled with some great faces from the franchise’s past. The film follows the future where mutants are being hunted and killed by Sentinels made by Bolivar Trask, and their only hope is to send Wolverine to the past to unite the mutants and stop an event that triggered the mutants’ death sentence. The whole mess is started by the younger Mystique, so can Professor X and Magneto put aside their differences and stop the terrible events to happen in the future…watch and find out. The film is based on one of Marvel Comics’ top story lines for the X-Men and FOX did a fantastic job of making it come alive on the big screen. The film stars all the classic characters from the series rich history with many actors returning such as Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Halle Berry (Storm), Shawn Ashmore (Ice Man), Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) and Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde) all returning from the first three films as well as actors who played the younger characters in First Class like James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult as Beast. Not to mention the addition of new characters like Bishop, Quicksilver, Blink, Sunspot and Warpath. I don’t want to ruin the end but let’s just say it feels like a High School Reunion, and all the faces you see are ones that make you smile and feel good about the journey you made to get there. The film did pretty well for Fox at the USA Box Office grossing in $233,921,534.00 and even more overseas! While I like the First Class actors, I am hoping that the next film based on The Age of Apocalypse story will feature more of the originals.

So now that we are retiring the cape, let me talk a little about some cool things Game Swap Kettering did this year for me.  They allowed us to have private screenings of Baron Von Porkchop specials. The first one was near Halloween, and we set up a projector, screen and big speaker as well as a buffet of wings, pizza, chips and cookies. Friends in attendance included Juliet, Stephen Alexander, Maurice, Joe G, Garrison, Todd The Fox and V and we all watched Baron host White Zombie as he tried to enjoy a peaceful Halloween that’s interrupted by an ax murdering zombie named Fulci! They also got a sneak peak at an episode for season three that has Baron hosting the film Face Of The Screaming Werewolf. Then around Thanksgiving we did it again, and they got a sneak peek at the new Baron Von Porkchop Black Friday special where he hosted the Independent B Movie film Razor as well as the First Black Friday special whose film was Farmer Joe. Those specials has his feud with a Chicken Man he made that has become a thorn in the Baron’s side. But a big thank you goes to Game Swap in Kettering for allowing us to do these fun screenings. Whenever I get a bigger place to live with a basement I would love to start a Horror Host Fan Club that has meetings once every two months and we project and watch host shows…who knows maybe 2015 will be that year! Below is a cellphone pic from the Halloween episode screening.

Baron Von Porkchop Screening

So while doing a rundown of the films of 2014, I figured I would take a brief moment to give you my top three best Survival Horror Games of 2014 as well as the worst, because those of you who know me understand that I love to play a good solid Survival Horror game! Now I need to state that of the “modern” game systems, I have a PS3 and will soon get a PS4 so all games on the list are ones I got for PS3. I also want to say that the games I buy are on physical disc, and I do not download games so while many horror themed games did come out as digital only games, I have not played them and won’t unless a disc is released.  I like to own what I pay for. So let’s start off with what I found to be the worst of the horror games that came out in 2014 that I have played. And I won’t ramble much I promise…okay, maybe a little rambling.

Worst Horror Video Games

# 1

Escape Dead Island PS3

Escape Dead Island is one of those games that just reeks of a quick cash in with boring fighting mechanics as well as a storyline that is a little weak. This game follows Cliff, a party boy who wants to get his dad’s respect so he goes to the island of a zombie outbreak along with his friends Linda and Devan and finds out that the stories are true and zombies are running wild on the island! Along the way he also meets Xian, a woman who is looking for her friend Rob who went missing while getting intel on the corporation responsible for the outbreak. While the other two games in the series “Dead Island” and “Dead Island Riptide” are first person shooters, this game changed to a third person game.  In the two games that came before you could customize your weapons multiple ways, and in this game your weapons are very limited and barely upgradeable. Plus I can’t help but notice the style of animation is clearly trying to rip off Tell Tale Games’s style with the more cartoonish look. Over all this is not a bottom of the barrel game, but it’s close.

So now that I spoke about the “worst” Horror Game this year that I would more label at “weakest,” let’s move onto what I considered the three best games that helped make 2014 a pretty good year for horror themed games!

Best Horror Video Games Logo

# 3

Alien Isolation PS3

After the complete mess that was “Aliens: Colonial Marians,” Sega redeemed themselves with this fun moody game that allows the player to take control of Amanda Ripley, the daughter of Ellen who travels to a space station that has been sending out distress signals.  Once she gets there, things go wrong as she is separated from her small crew and finds that Xenomorphs are on the prowl and hungry for a human host! The game stacks the odds against you, and the player must use their wits in order to survive this terror in space. The downside to the game is that I felt it took forever for the story to really kick in and that slowed the scares from coming in. The game is a first person shooter and plays much like Call of Duty and so many other shooters like this. I must also say that some of the cut scene graphics are really ugly on PS3, and it’s clear that the development team spent more time on the newer generation consoles versions. A major plus for this game comes via DLC that allows you to play as Ellen and has many of the original characters from the first film like Dallas and Ash back, and they are voiced by the actors who played them in the film! While not a perfect game, it was a fun game that helped make 2014 in gaming a little spookier!

# 2

The Walking Dead Season Two PS3

The Walking Dead Season Two is a great follow up to Season One and helps add more to the story it created. This is a point and click adventure game made by one of the best independent game companies, Tell Tale Games, who have made some of my top favorite games of the past 4 years and this game adds another hit to the list. This time around we follow Clementine (who was a major character in the first game), a young girl who is trying to survive this zombie outbreak.  Along the way she meets people and she loses people all of whom are running from Carver, a man that use to lead them in a group.  All comes to a head when she meets Carver herself, a jerk of a man who runs a camp that is held up in a home improvement center and who takes Clem and her friends hostage and makes them work for the group’s needs putting them in danger. Your choices impact the story so when playing make sure to choose wisely. One cool aspect of this game is some returning faces from the first game as well as references to choices you made. The downside is the new characters seem to have less development then those from the original and the settings are a little less impactful as in the first game I truly felt like I could be zombie food at any moment. But with that said, this is a great game and one hell of a fun play.  So if you liked the first or just want to play a fun story driven point and click adventure horror game, then this one is for you.

# 1

The Evil Within PS3Take video games Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Clock Tower and mix them with Horror films like As Above So Below, and you have the new Survival Horror Game by Shinji Mikami, the mastermind behind the original Resident Evil series as well as Dino Crisis! This game is about Sebastian Castellanos, a detective who along with his partners Juli and Joseph, go to a distress call at the Beacon Mental Hospital.  When they get there, everything is in chaos and the world as they know it has changed and infected people and monsters are wandering the world above as well as below. Can Sebastion get to the bottom of what’s going on as well as unearth the truth of why and who is responsible! The game is packed with great atmosphere and at all times I feel as if the odds are against me as ammo comes in only ones and twos and most the time it’s better to run than to fight. So if you’re not too scared, get this game and beware of Safehead!

It was very hard to pick between Evil Within and The Walking Dead Season Two for the # 1 spot as both are solid and super fun games, but in the end I had to go with Evil Within as I felt that it truly captured what a Survival Horror Game is all about and at all times I felt as if the odds of survival were against me. One game that came out that while I bought I have not played yet is Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow 2, so who knows where it would have placed.

Castlevania Lords Of Shadow 2 PS3

So we talked a little about screenings of Horror Host Baron Von Porkchop as well as Survival Horror Video Games, now let’s get to the bloody meat of this update and take a look at the Horror Films of Hollywood!

horror copy

# 11

Tusk

Tusk was so close to being on my worst films of the year list as once more Kevin Smith smoked a bunch of pot and unleashed another over the top film onto the small masses who still watch his films. But then I read some interviews with Smith and he explained that he wanted to make this film because he wanted to and not for a studio or for quick cash.  I began to see that the film is labor of love much like the film The Wolf Hunter is to Matt Hoffman. It’s about a podcast host who travels to Canada for an interview with a kid who is a Youtube sensation after cutting off his own leg with a samurai sword.  When he gets there, he finds the kid has committed suicide, and he then travels to an old mansion to talk to an old man who has a story to tell or so the letter left in a mens room says. The rest of this film has the old man turning the podcaster into a human walrus as his co-host and his girlfriend try to find and save him.  Oh yeah and throw in a dimwitted investigator, and you have the film. When the podcaster is turned into full Walrus, I laughed out loud in the theater and thought to myself what and why am I watching this! I should also note that Juliet and I were the only people at the theater watching this film at the time. It stars Justin Long, Johnny Depp, Haley Joel Osment and Michael Parks and all do fantastic with the silly parts they are given. Again when you see Long, who plays the podcaster, as a walrus you can’t help but to laugh as he swims and grunts around. The film did poorly for A24 and only grossed $1,826,705.00 and didn’t even get a foreign release. If you are to watch this cheesy thriller/comedy horror film check your brain at the door and be prepared for long goofy dialogue and unlikable characters.

# 10

the pyramid

Hollywood horror films are lacking mummies, and when The Pyramid was announced I was hyped believing that we got a mummy film in 2014…I was sadly wrong. I first need to say that I was hyped to see this film and was ready for a creepy Egyptian found footage film taking place in an old pyramid where the viewer was not sure what was stalking our characters.  So when this film was a disappointment, I think it’s because of my own hype I made for it. The hype I made for it was the fact it was the last theatrical horror film of the year and again the setting and the possibility of it being about a Mummy. The film is about a father and daughter team as well as her boyfriend being followed by a documentary crew who are in Egypt during stressful times who find a pyramid that could be the oldest one ever found.  When they are told to leave due to the outbreak of civil uprising, they send in a robot real quick to get a sneak peek and when the bot looses contact, they go in to retrieve it and soon find the pyramid was a place to keep something in and not things out! One by one, they fall victim to the hunter who is a jackal headed god who has been placed there because it went mad after the death of its father. Can any of them survive and can they also dodge the evil cats that are roaming around…yeah the film has evil cats. The characters all seem brain dead with the cameraman and father being the worst two.  The CGI for the cats and jackal god are downright eye rolling, and the film was just kind of boring.  I was not the only one who felt this as Juliet and several others in the theater also expressed these feelings. The film was pulled from wide release to limited, and we had to see it at the Regal Cinema in Beavercreek.  Doing this made the film only gross a small $ 2,638,300.00 for FOX at the US box office. No Mummy but a heck of a lot of CGI Cats is what I got in The Pyramid.

# 9

Ouija

Ouija is a film based on the Hasbro board game and produced by those masters of crap Platinum Dunes.  It’s your typical paint by number ghost story. When a young woman commits suicide, her friends don’t believe it and soon find that she was messing with a Ouija Board on her own and had unleashed something terrible, but they only learn this after they themselves use the board to try and speak to her. Now the evil is after them, can they find the answers on how to stop the spirit or will they all become victims? No major gore, some cool spirit effects, some good creepy shots, pretty actresses, released at Halloween time and a fun film to torment my friend Jeremy with as he had to be dragged to this film kicking and screaming! The film did $50,856,010.00 for Universal and is clearly a teen PG-13 horror film that was nothing special and not fully terrible.

# 8

The Quiet Ones

The Quiet Ones is a Hammer Horror Film that follows a camera man who takes the job of documenting a college professor who, along with his helpers, are trying to cure a sick and possessed young woman named Jane whom they have locked in a room and wont allow her to sleep for any long period of time as well as keep her human interaction to a minimum. But when her treatments become more and more cruel, the camera man must come to a decision on whether to help Jane escape who he has fallen for or stay true to his assignment as the Professor thinks she can be cured. So is she possessed or being abused…watch and find out. The film is a little slow and while well acted for the most part, many decisions characters make are annoying and add to frustration as a viewer. Olivia Cooke plays Jane, the sick girl, and she is fantastic and probably the best actor in the film. I saw the film with Stephen, Garrison, Todd and Josh, and all of us felt the same way about it and that’s it was okay but way too slow and a little too long as a good 15 minutes could easily be cut out of the 1 Hour 38 minute run time. The film at the US box office brought in $8,509.867.00 for Lionsgate.  All I can say was much like Ouija, it was just okay.

# 7

deliver us from evil

A group of soldiers from Iraq have come back and are acting very aggressive and all have strange behavior. New York cop Ralph Sarchie is called in to investigate the crimes and soon learns the truth that demons are real and want to teach him a lesson for butting into their plans. Along with a Castilian priest, he must find faith and save the souls of the infected as well as save his wife who has been kidnapped by the possessed. It also shows that Sarchie is gifted and can spot evil. The film is said to be based on a real case and the real life of Sarchie. The film stars Eric Bana as Sarchie as well as the likes of Olivua Munn, Sean Harris and Edgar Ramirez with music by Christopher Young. The film was nothing special and for the most part is a run of the mill possession film with no surprises and a few gross moments. I watched the film with Jeremy and watching him go crazy with the overly religious tone of the movie made me laugh. The film didn’t do so hot at the box office only grossing in $30,577,122.00 for Sony on a 30 million dollar budget in the US. Not much more to say about this one, besides if you’ve seen one modern possession movie, ya pretty much have seen em all.  It’s not bad and has some good creepy moments – worth a watch to fans of this horror film topic boom.

# 6

Godzilla

I have been a fan of Godzilla since I was a kid and can remember watching the films all the time on TBS on Super Scary Saturday hosted by Grandpa Munster. But when Godzilla is made by Americans, it tends to not be so good; I mean just look at the over blown 1998 film that Hollywood spewed out to the fans that seemed like it was made more to sell toys and Taco Bell Cups than to entertain the movie goers. So when Warner Brothers said they were releasing a Godzilla film, I was stand offish even though in the back of my mind I was scream YES, a new Godzilla film on the big screen,  The more time passed and after seeing the trailer I became very hyped to watch it! The film has an accident that happens at a power planet in Japan that’s caused by a giant monster who is looking for its mate and when it wakes up it causes havoc and destruction.  As this is going on a US Solider is trying to get home to his family, and Godzilla has come from the sea and is on a path to clash with the other two monsters. You see Godzilla is acting as Earth’s protector! The human parts are what they always are in my opinion in giant monster films, and that’s filler. The major flaw I had with the film is more time is spent on the boring solider trying to get home and less on Godzilla who is why we all went to see this film in the theater. I must also say the shaky camera and pull away shots of the early monster fights was annoying and didn’t add suspense for me as much as it added frustration. Even with those small flaws I really enjoyed the film for the most part and am looking forward to part two as well as the announced Japanese Godzilla film in the works. The film did great for WB at the US box office bringing in a whooping $200,676,069.00, making it a hit for them this year.

# 5

i frankenstein

Frankenstein’s Monster was back on the silver screen this year with an Action Horror film called I, Frankenstein that followed The Monster who was a pawn in a war between Heaven and Hell who need him to find the secrets of life created by man and not God. The good side is gargoyles who at first want to protect or kill The Monster, and the Demons who are working for evil and they want him to study and make soulless husks so demons straight from hell can take over the bodies of the newly made soulless bodies. But what none of them counted on is that The Monster is a fighter, and he will be pawn to no man or creature! The film has a real Underworld feel to it, and the action is fun and over the top, plus for the most part is well acted. I think this film is pretty underrated and was judged way too much just by the trailer, the fact it’s PG-13 and that Aaron Eckhart plays The Monster. The film did terrible at the US box office and only grossed $19,075,290.00 for Lionsgate on a $65 Million Dollar budget, and it’s a shame as it’s not at all that bad of a film.

# 4

As Above So Below

As Above So Below is a “found footage” style film that follows Scarlett, an alchemy scholar who wants to find the famed philosopher’s stone that is said to be able to heal the sick and dying among other amazing things. She follows clues and finds that the entrance to achieving her goal is inside the catacombs below Paris, and along with her camera man and friend they hire some local urban explorers and find that this quest is more then they bargained for as they face sins of their past and find the gateway to Hell. This film was packed with some solid acting and atmosphere that was downright spooky and well done unlike The Pyramid that had a very similar type of feel. All the characters are likable and while they do make some dumb decisions, I still found myself hoping they all make it out okay. The film is by no means a bloodbath but what it lacks in the red stuff, it makes up for with heart and mood. I saw this film with Juliet, Todd The Fox and V, and we all left the theater thinking the film worked and was okay. Universal released this film and at the US box office it grossed in $21,321,100.00 on a $5 million budget. If you are a fan of the found footage horror genre then make sure to check this one out, oh yeah liked this one so much even bought the DVD when it was released.

# 3

The Purge Anarchy

The first Purge film was my # 9 horror film of 2013 out of thirteen and while I enjoyed it, I found it lost among many other solid horror pictures. The sequel The Purge: Anarchy in my opinion is a way better film and that’s why it’s locked itself as the 3rd best Horror film I saw in theaters in 2014! The film follows a man named Leo who is going out to purge a man who killed his son in a drinking and driving accident, but he gets side tracked from his task when he saves a mother and daughter as well as a young couple all of whom are being targeted by what seems like a government elite team hired to reduce the population not to mention a rag tag bunch of mask and makeup wearing youngsters who have set their eyes on them as well. Leo does his best to keep them all alive as well as get to his goal. The film is filled with surprises as well as a positive message in the end and that’s why I think I enjoyed it so much.  It was not your typical modern downbeat horror flick. The film is also well acted with actors like Frank Grillo, Cameron Ejogo and Zach Gilford. The film did great for Universal at the box office here in America grossing in $71,962,800.00 and making it that a part 3 is in the works. More action and suspense then the original and a solid good sequel, check it out if you liked the first one. I saw it with Juliet who also really liked it!

# 2

anabelle

The Conjuring was my # 1 Horror film of 2013, and this off shoot titled Annabelle is my # 2 for 2014 showing you that the makers of this film series are doing something right. It’s the 1960’s and satanic cults are all the rage, and a young couple is attacked in their home by cult members that leave the would be attackers dead.  When the female attacker dies in the baby’s room holding the Annabelle doll the odd events start happening. It gets so bad that something seems to be trying to hurt the woman and her unborn baby, even at one point setting the house on fire! After the baby is born, they move and find that whatever it is followed as the doll the cult woman held when dying is possessed by a demon who wants to take a soul real bad! Can they get rid of the demon before it’s too late? The Annabelle doll is the same one used to open The Conjuring and is over all creepy looking.  That’s one thing I really liked about the film, the longer it went on, the more sinister looking the doll became. And while the doll is never seen moving on its own, the dead eyed stare of its porcelain face is what terrified the audience. The demon who is the real baddie of the film is not seen too much, but when he is, it’s effective. This is supposed to be based on a true story and is a nice appetizer for the next Conjuring film that should be out in 2016. The film did well for New Line Cinema at the US box office bringing in $84,273,813.00 making it a hit for them. For some reason the film also seemed to get a lot of hate from Horror fans, but most of the ones I knew who trashed it, I question their taste anyway as they go to see Seth Rogen movies! I saw the film with Juliet, who loved it.

# 1

Dracula Untold

Universal is trying to breath new life into their classic Monsters, and the first on the list was Dracula.  This film, Dracula Untold, is about how Prince Vlad became a vampire! I was really hyped for this film that was set to release in October…yeah finally Hollywood gets that Horror Films and Halloween go hand and hand. The film follows Prince Vlad whose people are being bullied by the Turks and the sultan who want all the male kids to be given to them to become soldiers in the large Turkish army. So Vlad makes a deal with a Vampire that lives in a cave to gain powers to stop the Turks.  By doing so, he is putting his own soul at risk, but he gains the powers to single handedly kick the butt of his enemies. But when things go wrong Vlad goes full vampire, and once he does that, there is no going back. This film is filled with horror and a heck of a lot of action and is really well done. Luke Evans plays Dracula and does so with grace and it’s the first time that I can remember that you find yourself cheering for Dracula as he is not the bad guy and only takes the curse to save his son as well as the sons of all his people. I saw this with Juliet and Jeremy Hoyt, and both of them really enjoyed it as well did all the others in the IMAX Theater as praises were being said as people left. This film ends as well with a lead up to a sequel or to link to another Universal Monster film, and this makes this Monster Kid happy. The film did okay for Universal at the US box office bringing in $55,991,880.00 and did more overseas. If you like your horror mixed with action and enjoy classic monsters, then check this one out, because I really enjoyed it locking it in as my # 1 Horror Film of 2014.

2014 in Horror Films was filled with lots of ghost/possession films, and I have a feeling this trend will continue for awhile as they seem to be films that can be cheaply made and return a big profit. While sitting in the theater this year the two films that I noticed seem to have the audience in it’s grip were Annabelle, that had a few people gasp and jump when the evil things would happen on the silver screen, and As Above So Below where the audience had an eerie hush as the characters went deeper into the catacombs. Ouija had the worse response as people laughed at many of the scares and many of the younger people in the audience seemed to be having a fun time teasing the young ladies with them. 2014 was an okay year for Horror in the theaters, and I for one am looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store to send shivers up my spine. Well the next update is something terrifying as we take a look at another Draculina Photo Comic based on a film of Jess Franco called Tender Flesh! So until then, support your local theaters, read a comic or two and always support your local Horror Host and see you next update.

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