Random Nerdery: Black Dynamite, Billy Joel & H.P. Lovecraft, Summer of ‘84, Animaniacs

A screen legend is back, a musical match made in R’lyeh, more ’80s nostalgia, and the return of the Warner Brothers and their sister.
Black Dynamite - Scott Sanders
Black Dynamite

Random Nerdery is a regular Opus feature covering the latest nerdiness from the worlds of film, TV, literature, comic books, video games, technology, web development, and more.

The Return of Black Dynamite?

Earlier this week, Michael Jai White tweeted a short video that teased the return of one of cinema’s most iconic figures: Vietnam vet and former CIA agent Black Dynamite. There’s not much more to be said, no release date, nothing else. But I hope that Black Dynamite 2 features even more scientific biological transmogrification and kung fu treachery.

In the meantime, go watch the original Black Dynamite. It’s a brilliant parody/homage to ’70s-era blaxploitation and exploitation movies.

Billy Joel and H.P. Lovecraft, Together at Last

First, somebody realizes that the H.P. Lovecraft poem “Nemesis” has the same meter as the Billy Joel classic “Piano Man.” Then, somebody else decides to mash the two together, forming a blasphemous — but surprisingly catchy — musical union that could catch the ear of even Azathoth, blind idiot god at the center of all infinity.

Summer of 84 Brings Back 80s Nostalgia, Serial Killers

Back in 2015, the RKSS collective released Turbo Kid, a delightful (and delightfully gory) send-up of ’80s sci-fi movies. Sadly, their latest film isn’t the highly anticipated Turbo Kid sequel, but it does tackle another genre that was an ’80s mainstay: the slasher film.

Summer of ’84 follows a group of teenage misfits who become convinced that a neighbor is a serial killer. Not surprisingly, their investigation turns deadly — and given this is RKSS we’re talking about, it’ll probably turn gory, as well.

I’ll be curious to see if Summer of ’84 has the same sense of humor and heart as Turbo Kid, which elevated that movie above its disembowelments and decapitations. In any case, Summer of ’84 looks like it’s nailed the ’80s look and atmosphere à la Stranger Things, and as an added bonus, Le Matos is back again to do the soundtrack.

It’s Time for Even More Animaniacs

Everything is cyclical, and nowhere is that more obvious than the entertainment industry, where nostalgia reigns supreme and classic titles are revamped and given new lease on life. So it comes as no surprise that Animaniacs, the classic Warner Brothers cartoon that ran for five seasons in the mid-to-late ’90s, is coming back for new seasons on Hulu in 2020.

Animaniacs introduced us to Yakko, Wakko, and Dot Warner, three characters locked away in the ’30s because of their zany antics, only to break loose and wreak havoc. But Animaniacs was a variety show, and featured a wide range of characters including the Goodfeathers (a trio of pigeons modeled on Scorsese-like gangsters), an irate elderly squirrel named Slappy, a six-foot chicken named Boo who passes for a human, and of course, Pinky and the Brain.

I assume all of those characters will be joining the Warners for a whole new batch of craziness. And I also assume that we’ll see updated versions of Yakko’s classic “nations of the world” performance, The Great Wakkorotti, and Dot’s Poetry Corner.

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