Sunday, April 17, 2016

Plans for a Refocused ‘Super Freek’ and an Atompunk Blog

I originally intended The Super Freek as a blog that discusses or conveys the importance of pop culture history, particularly that of the 1960s through ‘70s. However, for the last three months the blog has been going, I've opened it to other topics. But my main area of expertise is science fiction and fantasy in books, TV and movies. As I mention in Super Freek’s About page, I already have a blog that covers the first of these three medias. Atompunk, a fairly new subgenre of science fiction, is at least partly influenced by the above mentioned decades. But its influences’ time periods really range from the late 1940s to the early ‘90s (which was the end of the Cold War marked by the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and the breakdown of the Soviet Union). Because atompunk is so new, very little info about it can be found on the internet regardless of its form of storytelling such as books and film. Therefore I'm going to refocus The Super Freek on late 1960s and '70s cult movies and TV and will start a new, separate blog dedicated to all things atompunk.

Two precise reasons I'm making these changes are: 1) more focused blogs are easier for readers to follow and so bring more user traffic; 2) I want to help popularise atompunk and bring it to a level that steampunk has come to in the past ten years.

The Super Freek will be remade to focus on the topic of popular movies and TV of the late 1960s and 1970s. It will mostly emphasise TV and movies that fall within the science fiction and fantasy genres of those two decades, but I'm a person who likes to learn about a variety of topics and issues within pop culture. So, every now and then, the blog will include content about subjects that the two eras’ films and television programming have influenced such as comic books and music. Specific examples are the Gold Key comic adaptations of the original Star Trek TV series and 1970s disco group Mecco’s Star Wars theme songs. 

The new atompunk blog will feature everything atompunk, including some of the things The Super Freek will feature since a lot of the subgenre is directly inspired by movies and television of a time span that overlaps with the '60s and '70s. So don't be surprised to see posts here that will feature links to articles on the atompunk blog (which I haven't got a name for yet). Like steampunk, atompunk is that genre of sci fi that is made up of nostalgia and alternative history. Therefore it is history reimagined. It is driven by a passionate interest in a past time period’s culture. So the blog will also feature articles about the Cold War decades’ fictional entertainment that inspired atompunk. 

I'm going to need some time to rethink the focus of The Super Freek and to plan and create the atompunk blog. Because of that, Super Freek may have to go on a short hiatus (about a month or so). So if you don't see any posts here in the next few weeks, don't be alarmed; I'm still on the planet and in existence. If you want to keep in touch, however, feel free to comment in the box below anytime; I'll check in periodically. You can also subscribe for updates towards the top of the right hand column. 

Until the new Super Freek . . .

A swarm of cartoon alien monsters.
Photo Credit:

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Super Freek Preview: ‘Electra Woman and Dyna Girl’

1970s' Saturday Morning Feminine Super Heroes Electra Woman and Dyna Girl
Photo Credit: and Marty Krofft

My preview of the upcoming Electra Woman and Dyna Girl movie is now up at There's seemed to be a misunderstanding of this film being a reboot series of the '70s Saturday Morning live-action kids’ show. It is a movie adaptation of the series, as stated on production company Legendary’s website. However, it will not be released on the big screen but online on digital platforms in June. That's not to say it won't turn into a series; if it does well enough it might. In my article, I talk about how this movie combines the super hero and retro remake trends of today. Hollywood seems to be obsessed with selling nostalgia to older generations, in this case Generation X. However, the Electra Woman and Dyna Girl movie may be more a then vs. now film than a nostalgic one.

For those not old enough to remember or who have never seen the reruns (which you can catch  on YouTube) Electra Woman and Dyna girl was a kids' live-action series produced by the Krofft Brothers who made other live-action shows for Saturday morning viewing, including ones inspired by fairy tales such as H.R. Puff 'N Stuff and Lidville. The series featured a female dynamic duo and was born out of the feminist movement that television reflected during that time through such prime time sitcoms as Mary Tyler Moore and sci fi ones such as The Bionic Woman. Like Batman and Robin, the two title characters, a young woman and her teen sidekick, fought crime with the help of genius gadgets.

The movie adaptation of Electra Woman, according to the trailer that came out earlier in the week, starts off with the two women (played by YouTube stars Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart) fighting common criminals in their spandex costumes very similar to the ones they wore in the original series. Then they move to Hollywood where they are given a new look and so new costumes that reflect today's super hero trend: darker toned, leather uniforms.

As I talk about in my article at, the movie is a straight out comedy rather than mere camp unlike the original series. It is a much more adult version than the original, which is reflected a lot in Electra Woman's immature, and therefore somewhat crude, hyper active character typical of many 20-something female characters today. In the original series she was much more level-headed which brought out her mentor relationship to Dyna Girl. This along with the change in costumes makes the movie come across as a criticism against '70s pop culture that so many people look down on today. And this is ironic because the movie is co-produced by the series’ producer, Marty Krofft!

I can't say how off Electra Woman and Dyna Girl will be from the original series, since I've only seen the trailer. So it may be better than what the trailer is conveying it as. But, because of its adult themes and seemingly down-criticism of a past era's pop culture, I don't think it will bring back that childhood nostalgia like many Hollywood movie adaptations try to do with kids’ shows. Legendary’s website explains that the movie is introducing these two '70s super heroes to a new generation of viewers, but it could just be a front for reintroducing the two to that older generation who grew up watching them, reintroducing them as characters re-made for their adult viewing.

To Come

I'm planning to publish a new blog, this one focusing on atom punk. Atom punk is a topic that is not very popular on the internet (or off for that matter) as geeky as it is. Because of that, it may even be more geeky than the other subgenres of science fiction such as steampunk. So I want to provide a source for this subgenre and sub-geek culture and am hoping to do that with this new blog. I don't have a launch date for it yet, but the best way to stay updated on it is to visit here every two weeks (my posting frequency). The easiest way to do that is by subscribing where it says "Subscribe to Post" above in the right-hand column. 

Until next time . . .

Check out these electrafying and dynamite Tiki Polystone busts beauties of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl! According to Amazon (as of this writing) there are only five of these sets left. So, if you're interested, hussle over there now by simply clicking the image!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Artificial Intelligence Breakthrough: AI Wins Match Against Go Champion

A Go game board with a samurai sword laying across a corner.
Photo Credit:

The five-game Go match between world champion Lee Sedol and Google’s AlphaGo AI system, held in a hotel in Seol, Korea last week, was truly an artificial intelligence breakthrough. It wasn’t just a major turning point for technology, but for history as a whole. This wasn’t just due to the fact that it was the first time a computer beat a Go world champion, Go being a game far morecomplex than chess. It wasn’t even due to the fact that the computer beat Sedol four out of the five games. It was more so due to the unexpected move the AI system made in its second victory game showing that computers have a capacity to learn equivalent to that of humans. This brings AI a wide step closer to human-thinking, a step that computer scientists did not expect to happen until another 10 years, according to’s CadeMetz.

While some people are delighted by this kind of artificial intelligence breakthrough, it shouldn’t be too surprising that many others fear it. After all, science fiction has nearly prophesied computers taking over and even replacing the human race altogether. Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey (based on an Arthur C. Clark short story), features a ship’s computer, HAL, that refuses a crew member’s command, endangering the lives of the crew. Blade Runner (based on Philip K. Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) is about androids that develop their own consciences and kill people out of fear for their lives. But even though movies about robots such as these seem to dominate science fiction, the genre has had its share of AI optimism. Examples are Star Wars’ C-3PO and R2-D2, Wall-E’s title character, and Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Data--all friendly robots ready to help human beings and other natural life forms.

HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey
Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/

If an AI system such as AlphaGo can reach the level of human intelligence even if only limited to a certain respect such as the learning of a complex game like Go, that’s indication of a possible birth of a new race of beings. If that birth ever occurs, will that race be friend or foe to us humans? It may be too early to tell, but Metz at least thinks they can be helpful to humans by “teaching” them to solve complex problems as demonstrated in the Go match. After losing the first three games to AlphaGo, Sedol won the fourth game based on what he learned of the computer’s moves earlier in the match.

If AlphaGo’s victory is a step towards the next stage of sentient evolution, then we should probably learn to get along with AI computers, including robots, now. We don’t want to create another form of racial discrimination either against robots or ourselves. If the latter occurs, which of the two races do you think will be behind it? Please feel free to leave your answers in the comments box.

Until next time . . . 

This robot was designed by a NASA scientist. To find out more about him, just click on the image.

And you can't forget this little guy from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, who you can  also find more details about at Amazon! Again, just click the image.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Future of Virtual Reality: One Big Trip?

Glass head sculpture wearing a set of virtual reality goggles.
Photo Credit:

There are so many forms of imaginary escapism from boring everyday reality. Some people escape via drug trips (which I don’t recommend), others through gaming of all sorts--video games, board games, trading card games, RPG, etc. Others watch movies or TV or they read. But what if you could escape to a world of adventure and fantasy that looks and feels perfectly real yet you don’t have to worry about getting killed or hurt in actuality? What if you can have a “Disneyland” in your own home, or better yet, anywhere you go? Well, it may not be long before you can. The Oculus Rift headset releases next month and before we know it, virtual reality devices will be as common as video game consoles are today. But virtual reality (VR) may also be as common as communicating through social media is today. Like it will probably be the next step up in video gaming, it will probably also be the next step up in digital communication between friends and relatives.

It was just last week when the founder of the Oculus Rift, Palmer Luckey, discussed where he thought the future of virtual reality lay. Oddly enough, it wasn’t with Facebook even though Facebook owns the Oculus franchise. Yet, Luckey says VR will play a big role in social media. So, if he says this then how the hell can its future not lie with the biggest social media empire in the world? The answer to this question lies in my article on the subject at In that article, I discuss one of the trippiest things Luckey and Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg share: their vision for VR. That vision is that VR will become a regular means of communication like social media is today. In fact, they believe it will become a form of social media itself.

Virtual reality definitely has its place: escapist entertainment, education (your grandkids may be exploring the ocean floor without having to go there), job training, and even an artistic place such as what 2-demensional film has had throughout the decades. But as a place in everyday communication?  I mean, VR can simulate the world in precise detail--not just in sound and sight but in touch as well! What will our perception of reality be if we use it as a regular means of communication? Will we all be on one big digital acid trip and not even realise it? To put it another way, will we be living and lost in the damn Matrix? When we play a game or watch a movie, at least we know they are fantasies regardless of how much they reflect reality. Think about these things when you read the article and then let me know what you think either in the comments box below or the one at

Until next time . . .

A road sign labeled "Real World" with a slash line behind the lettering.
Photo Credit:


Friday, February 19, 2016

Video Game News: Fortified: Alien Invasion in an Alternative 1950s

Steampunk has been an in thing for geek culture for the last decade, but many other retro futuristic sci fi subgenres are making their way to popularity. Dieselpunk, raygun gothic and atompunk are just a few of them. That last one can be found in its TV form throughout the web, such as the two series I discussed last post. But atompunk is also becoming a hit in video games.

Fortified is one of many games in this classification. It’s set in an alternative 1950s where players have to defend the earth from invading Martians. Players strategically build a defense base to ward off armies of alien robots. A player chooses the role of one of four archetypal characters: “a jetpack piloting heroine, a shotgun wielding space cowboy, a secret government agent, [or] a battle hardened Marine captain.” You can play single or as a group of up to four players. This sci fi video game is loaded with retro future style high-tech weapons and up-to-date special effects.

Giant robot with smaller robots marching down a city street.
Photo Credit: Clapfoot Inc.

Released early last week, Fortified was created by the team at Clapfoot Inc. located in Toronto, Canada. It’s available for Xbox and PC and can be purchased at its official website. For more atompunk video gaming check out the games below, each of which can be purchased at Amazon. Simply click on their images to find out more.

Until next time . . . 


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Web TV Review: Two Atompunk Series

Welcome to the first post for The Super Freek! In this blog you’ll find content about everything pop culture, particularly in nerd-dom. We’ll discuss everything from science fiction and fantasy to computer technology. We’ll cover entertainment media in TV, movies, comic books, video games, and even music. As of now, a post will be published here mid-week—Wednesday or Thursday—every other week. If enough people seem interested, I may post every once a week. To find out more about this blog, please check out the About page. If you have any suggestions for the blog, please feel free to post any comments in the box below. To start off, I provided two short reviews of two internet TV sci fi series below.

These two series can be considered atompunk. For those of you who don’t know what atompunk is, it’s a sub-genre of science fiction involving retrofutures like much steampunk does, only instead of these futures being based on Victorian-derived steam technology it’s based on atomic era technology and so technology of the late 1940s through the early half of the ‘60s (though this has been debated like nearly all history). To find out more about atompunk, check out my article at my other blog, A Far Out Fantastic Site. You can also check out the links below:

"Here Comes 'Atompunk' . . ." , Wired article by Bruce Sterling

Matt Mercury

This humourous space opera debuted only last year, but is reminiscent of 1930s through ‘50s sci fi TV and movie serials. Yet, it uses today’s special effects (considering it was produced on a string budget, that is). Think Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and Star Wars. Hell, there’s even an alien hang-out of a cantina scene in the first episode. It stars Rick Corrigan, Doug Drexler, Lauren Galley, and Eric Lobo, (better known as Mr. Lobo, horror host of TV-syndicated Cinema Insomnia). The director is Bill Hughes who also co-writes with Heidi Hughes.

10 Ways to Defeat Aliens

Like Matt Mercury, this series is atompunk only the aliens come to Earth in this one instead of Earthlings going to the aliens. Defeat Aliens, is an alien-invasion series but with twists: children, babies to be precise, defend the adults from the alien invaders (at least in episodes one and two they do) and it is told mockumentary style, or, more precisely, instructional/how-to style. Because of these comical twists, Defeat Aliens is a parody of atomic era sci fi like Matt Mercury but even more hilarious. Starring Karl Champley and my x-girlfriend. Okay, it doesn’t star any x-girlfriend of mine. But the woman it does star, Dorothy Chan, looks a lot like a gal I dated once. But I won’t go on any more about that; bad memories. Produced by Griffith Pictures.

Next time, I’ll talk a little more on Matt Mercury and maybe a new video game premiering this month. So tune in in one-and-a-half weeks, same Freek time . . . well, not really. But in one-and-a-half weeks for sure.