As you've probably noticed, most of the movie reviews on Something Awful feature really crappy video quality and blurry still shots. These wonderful displays of technology gone sour are courtesy of the "Dazzle DPM" USB capture device I had hooked up to my VCR until recently. Now I'm not quite sure if their engineers intentionally designed the card to be awful or if my cat had been secretly sneaking out of his room and urinating all over it while I slept, but regardless, the thing was trash. In a remarkable feat of awfulness, the Dazzle recently beat all odds and somehow managed to become even MORE CRAPPY, causing images to become 600% blurrier and refusing to record any sound on movie clips. This was not "a good thing," and I knew drastic actions had to be taken, so I did what I usually do when making tough decisions: I consulted with my cat.
ME: (talking to Spaz) "So Spaz, what should I do about this whole video capture situation?"
ME: "Hmmm, you have a very good point."
SPAZ: (his brain malfunctions and causes him to suddenly run off and hide under my table, staring at me for the next seven hours, undoubtedly plotting my demise)
ME: "Your every nuance teaches me volumes of information, Spaz."
So I headed to Fry's Electronics to pick up a new video capture device. In case you are not fortunate enough to live in California, Fry's is a chain of retail electronic stores that believe in hiring only the most furious and temperamental of employees, none of which have any qualification in any field of anything. Once hired, I'm fairly sure they just rotate people around random departments of the store every 10 minutes, just to make sure nobody will ever be able to successfully help you. One minute Javier will be selling hard drives, the next moment he'll be sorting through a bathtub full of garden hose and plastic swans.
Another added bonus to shopping at Fry's is the extra convenience of having all products pre-opened for you. Every single item at Fry's has a sticker that reveals it has been opened and returned, but "passed a quality inspection." This means that Billy Joe Wyatt, who bought a Voodoo 5 card so he could get better AM radio reception, used the thing for a couple days and then returned it. To make sure the card wasn't defective, alert Fry's employees ran it through strenuous testing, which consisted of leaving the card in the "RETURNS" bin for three weeks and then looking at the box long enough to shrink wrap it and slap a quality-control sticker on it. Service first, ladies and gents!
Anyway, I made it into Fry's and picked up a "Pinnacle Studio DC10 Plus" image capture board, which I guess just kicks the crap out of the inferior "Pinnacle Studio DC10", you know, because of that whole "plus" thing it has going on. This is actually a surprisingly great board. The image quality is so much better than that Dazzle POS, and the image editing tools are superior in every form. If you're looking for something to yank movies / shows onto, go for the DC10. Just don't buy it at Fry's because you'll never know who returned the one in the box... or what nefarious purposes they tried to use it for.
Since I got a new video capture board, I just had to use it... and the fruits of my loins (wakka chicka) can be seen in my review of the movie "Jacko." Yes, you read that correctly. "Jacko." A movie about some guy with a pumpkin for a head that kills people. Well, the head doesn't kill people, the rest of the body does as well. Bah, just read the review, which is packed full of tons of high quality movie clips and still images.
Back to THE HAUNTED SUBURBS. Shawn and his dad are watching something which could quite possibly be one of the greatest television shows to never exist [1.1 megs]. The main character has some "scary" cackling laugh which sounds like a severely constipated Penguin from "Batman". Shawn's parents begin babbling on and on about how much money they're going to raise with their incredibly ingenious HAUNTED GARAGE idea and how all the money will go to the homeless, which is about the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Let the homeless build their own damn HAUNTED GARAGE. Seeing a wretched, psychotic, filthy drifter leap at me with a shank he dug out of a dog's gut would be infinitely more frightening that watching a middle aged yuppie in a plastic Dracula cape run around like some fool with Down's Syndrome. They could probably think of a better name than "HAUNTED GARAGE" too.
This is really a terrible movie, folks. I mean BAD. It's the fifth worst movie to ever be reviewed here. However, the video clips I've included (about 20 megs of clips) are some of the finest cinematic gems you'll ever witness. As an added bonus, I threw in a video shot of some girl's boobs. I won't tell you where though, so read the movie review and find out for yourself! Did I mention you should check out all the great videos from it?
Squonkamatic, recovering from his recent bout of Legionnaires Disease, has churned out another fabulous Cranky Steve's Haunted Whorehouse map review, taking a critical look at a critical failure, "NukWasteFac." Since I'm the person who originally discovered this map, I can assure you this much: it's REALLY BAD.
Underneath all of this is a nether-world Hell of huge, empty chambers that contain forlorn, abandoned looking weapons dropped here and there and a slime trap that I managed to catch myself in at one point. One of the chambers is an absolutely surreal, evil neon green lit room with those kinds of pits we used to see in DOOM with a layer of slime texture at the very bottom and no way out of if you pitch yourself in ... there is a nightmarish quality to this particular area that defies my ability to describe it -- lonely, uncared for and left to DIE alone and friendless might describe the feeling I was overcome with when wandering though it.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
Cons: causes bad nightmares. I used to have to eat beef until I passed out to have these kind of terrors, but this machine does it for me every time I fall asleep inside it.
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