Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2008 Upper Deck X-Rated

Just when I thought I might be the first to post a certain type of pack, dayf beats me to the punch. All I can do is try to write a more entertaining post in order to save face, Japanese Salaryman-style.

Upper Deck X was manufactured back in the late 1970s using machinery and technology from the current day. The time portal that enabled these cards to be produced was used to expedite the distribution process within today's retail outlets. Vertical integration, bitches! The only catch was that the production facility just happened to be a small, murky office on Manhattan's sleazy 42nd Street, just above one of the more notorious of the era's grindhouse theatres, The Heavenly Throb. The content of the oft-X-rated features managed to seep its way into the card stock used to produce UDX, resulting in the first subliminally-exploitative major card company release. Touching the glossy coating ignites an effect, not unlike the Stendahl Syndrome, that produces a visceral flashback to the flea-pit features gazed upon by evenly-spaced male audience members wearing dingy raincoats and paying their admission with bills and coins bearing questionable coating.

If you can stomach it, let's tear in. Eeewwww, I think the first couple of cards are stuck together.

Top to Bottom:
40 Miguel Cabrera (The location of Cabrera's team is the origin of this sensory experience. Like ozone in the nostrils, the first whiff of exploitation hints at Detroit 9000, but this is followed by a wave of pure Detroit motorworks and urban decay. Damnation Alley produces a tableaux that is quite possibly the most authentic recreation of new-millennium Detroit ever produced. As this poster boasts, the aural transmissions are indeed in "Sound 360." Despite the PG rating, the faint of heart need not apply.)

3 Brandon Webb Die-Cut Parallel (The William Shatner vehicle Kingdom of the Spiders will jump off this Webb when touched. Days of skitchy heroin addict withdrawal symptoms can be yours.)

X4-RH Ryan Howard Xponential (With no better tool of provocation available with which to lure the seediest of clientele into darkened theatres than the letter X, this insert hearkens back to the 1975 classic, The Beast in Space. While Upper Deck clearly stole from the poster and DVD cover art for this set's design, at least it was lifted from a classic of Italian cinema surpassing all but the most brilliant works of Antonioni, De Sica, and Pier Paolo Pasolini.)

FC Frank Catalanotto UDX Signatures (Grasping this card produces images of still frames from Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS. Sure, there's no literal connection between the two, but it just so happens that the best card in the pack is paired with the grandaddy of all exploitation/grindhouse films. And yes, that is my DVD in the scan, taken from the OOP Anchor Bay Ilsa box set. Yes, be very jealous.)

18 Derrek Lee (I will not break my legally binding non-portrayal agreement, but rest assured that you do get a poster. While the enemy from the south might be in a World Series hunt, this card evokes a Woman Hunt. Yeah, that looks pretty tasteless, but as a New World Pictures release, this is not shocking. Man...even I'm slightly offended by that poster. Sorry.)

88 Felix Hernandez (For the last card in the pack, you'll get nothing better than The Last House on the Left. The film that inspired a slew of imitators, among them The Last House on Dead End Street and Don't Go in the House, would have earned an X rating, had it not been for some back-door shenannagins from director Wes Craven. After being asked repeatedly by the ratings board to trim scenes down to earn an R rating, Craven obliged...and then borrowed a friend's R-rating header, spliced it into his print, and then snuck in the offending scenes. Nice.)

Verdict: B+
I'm happier with my pack than dayf was with his, even though mine was retail. The auto is on a sticker, but it's really hard to tell. I agree with the sentiment that this is a one-and-done type of set (i.e. not a set-builder's joy). I will not get pulled back in by this godfather. And I'm not holding my breath for Upper Deck NC-17.


The Drizz said...

love the detroit 9000 reference! "mean" moe green!!!!

dayf said...

Wow... much better post and much better pack than me. I think retail is the way to go on this stuff, you get less of those awful base cards.

By the way NO ONE will ever scoop me on a pack rip. I'll just pre-date the post.