12/30/10

The Max Headroom Incident



from the youtube page:

During a broadcast of the Dr. Who episode "Horror of Fang Rock" on WTTW Chicago Channel 11, on Sunday November 22nd, 1987, at around 11:15pm, a Video "Pirate" wearing a Max Headroom mask broke into the signal and transmitted one of the weirdest things ever to hit the Chicago airwaves.

Earlier in the evening on the same day, during the Nine O'Clock News on Channel 9 (a different channel) the Max Headroom Pirate also broke in - although it was for a much shorter time and there was no audio. He was never caught.

12/28/10

Trendsetter 7



Look at the size of this thing. It's like a full-scale prop from Adam West's Batcave.

I saw one of these at an antique shop in West Hollywood. It lit up, and all of the stereo components worked, but when I played a Don Henley cassette to test the light organ, I couldn't get the lights to flash. So let me know if you ever spot a functioning one.

12/24/10

Christmas Evil



"The BEST seasonal film of all time…a tue cinematic masterpiece. I wish I had kids. I'd make them watch it every year and, if they didn't like it, they'd be punished!"
-John Waters

Curl up with the family around the computer this evening for the magical mirth of "Christmas Evil". And enjoy the holiday.

12/23/10

Kalle Anka



Excerpted from an almost-too-strange-to-be-true story first published in Slate.com last year, and reprinted this week. Read the whole thing
here.

Every year on Dec. 24 at 3 p.m., half of Sweden sits down in front of the television for a family viewing of the 1958 Walt Disney Presents Christmas special, "From All of Us to All of You." Or as it is known in Sverige, Kalle Anka och hans vänner önskar God Jul: "Donald Duck and his friends wish you a Merry Christmas."

Kalle Anka, for short, has been airing without commercial interruption at the same time on Sweden's main public-television channel, TV1, on Christmas Eve (when Swedes traditionally celebrate the holiday) since 1959. The show consists of Jiminy Cricket presenting about a dozen Disney cartoons from the '30s, '40s, '50s, and '60s, only a couple of which have anything to do with Christmas.

The show's cultural significance cannot be understated. You do not tape or DVR Kalle Anka for later viewing. You do not eat or prepare dinner while watching Kalle Anka. Age does not matter—every member of the family is expected to sit quietly together and watch a program that generations of Swedes have been watching for 50 years. Most families plan their entire Christmas around Kalle Anka, from the Smörgåsbord at lunch to the post-Kalle visit from Jultomten. "At 3 o'clock in the afternoon, you can't to do anything else, because Sweden is closed," Lena Kättström Höök, a curator at the Nordic Museum who manages the "Traditions" exhibit, told me. "So even if you don't want to watch it yourself, you can't call anyone else or do anything else, because no one will do it with you."

Kalle Anke and Friends has made national icons out of its cartoon characters—Kalle, Ferdinand, Piff och Puff (Chip and Dale), Musse Pigg (Mickey Mouse), Långben (Goofy), Pluto—but also its Swedish stars. Arne Weise, who hosted the show live from 1972 to 2002, personified Christmas to two generations of Swedes. In 1992, when he attempted to get the network to record his portion of the program in advance so that he could spend Christmas with his family, newspapers got a hold of the story and helped scuttle the change. "We had recorded everything, but no way," SVT's Haegerström said. "[The] host was supposed to sit there in some sort of vigil over Christmas." Weise claims that Sweden's stubborn insistence that he record live every year destroyed his personal life, blaming the show for his three divorces.

For many Swedes, there is something comforting about knowing that every year there is one hour, on one day, when you sit down with everyone in your family and just be together. "People always want to change everything, and make everything new," Feldreich, Sweden's Jiminy Cricket, told the Swedish newspaper Länstidningen in 2008. "And then, like in a fairy tale from when we were kids, there's something familiar." Kalle Anka, he said, "offers security in a confusing world."

Three Holiday Bummers

Go stuff these in your stocking. You're welcome.





12/19/10

Blood on Satan's Claw



I don't consider this film to be nearly as accomplished as the similarly themed Witchfinder General, but you can find that film on Netflix, and you need to see it right away. This, however, is unavailable on home video.

Produced by the same studio that did "Witchfinder", most likely in response to that film's well-deserved success, this regards evil in more metaphysical terms. Witchfinder General is about corruption and authority, and leaves the actual existence of the supernatural (or, for that matter, of any sort of benevolent God) up to question. Blood on Satan's Claw, however, says yes, the Devil does actually exist, and he's taking possession of the world, one person at a time. It's lots of fun. See it before it's pulled.

12/15/10

Black Sabbatical



Goin' to Hawaii, won't be back until the new year. Don't know if anything will be happening here before then.

Happy Holidays.

12/12/10

Another BetamaxMas Plug



BetamaxMas is still going strong, two years since I last posted about it. Click the above image to be transported to a basement den, circa 1985.

Use the remote to change channels, move the antenna around if you start losing reception, and click the TV guide in the upper right corner to see if anything good is on (spoiler: there isn't).

11/29/10

Questionable Movie of the Week: 'Vampirella'


I haven't heard of this until a few minutes ago. It was recommended by a friend who bought a VHS tape of it at a video store's going-out-of-business sale.

I found most of it on vimeo.com, but haven't seen it yet. The first few seconds here already look like trouble, with the title "A Jim Wynorski Film". Oh boy, a movie by the man who brought us "Deathstalker II". I mean, Roger Daltrey gets top billing, and Angus Scrimm is in it, so there's that, but still... how much of it can you stand?

Don't answer yet, because Part 3 is missing (presumably pulled by vimeo for having nudity or violence), but you get the idea. The other 3/4 is easily enough.

I don't know if I can do it. You're on your own, man.


View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

part 2

part 4

11/27/10

Message from Space



Hey cool, Message from Space is now on Netflix Instant Watch! Check it HERE.

11/23/10

Slithis Music Video



All the best parts from Planeta Bur (a Soviet science fiction movie in the public domain), synced up with a track from LDS10, the latest (and final) album under the LDS moniker.

We've changed our stupid name, so expect the LDS pages to disappear from this blog and my site eventually. I'm also in the process of uploading all of our music to my own website's server, as the divshare playlists have become too unreliable.

11/18/10

An Obnoxious Clip from 'New Wave Hookers'

No, this isn't a screen adaptation of an early David Mamet play, this is New Wave Hookers, Thee One and Only 80's XXX Classic!

(warning: although this clip contains no nudity or sexual content, it's still offensive in both language and overall idiocy)

11/9/10

Sci-Fi Sleazotronic Double-Feature

We have a couple of rough ones tonight, so put the kids to bed early.

9:00 p.m: Galaxy of Terror

With a poster looking like it was based upon a pencil sketch from the inside cover of a junior high student's trapper keeper, Galaxy of Terror delivers everything it promises. It's a refreshingly tasteless piece of exploitation cinema.

But all you ever hear about is the worm scene. Half of the items on the imdb.com trivia page reference it. For example, did you know that James Cameron, the second-unit director, shot that particular scene? Also, the worm was named "Maggie the Maggot" by the film crew. It weighed 1,000 pounds, and nearly crushed the actress beneath it. Also, "several frames had to be cut from the worm rape scene in order to secure an R rating. Moreover, the sound effects of bones breaking and snapping also had to be softened in order to appease the MPAA". Lovely.

But it's like the tree rape scene in "The Evil Dead", in that it takes too much attention away from the rest of the movie, and temporarily robs it of its fun. So although I'm not a fan of mutant-rape, the rest of the movie is entertaining trash, with lots of gratuitous, outrageous scenes. You get to see Joanie of 'Happy Days' head explode, for example. You also have Sid Haig, Robert Englund and My Favorite Martian. And the set design looks great.

You shouldn't be seeing this here, really. Go buy or rent the new Shout Factory DVD release instead, with hi-quality picture and lots of extra features. Also check out the not-as-good-but-still-excellent Forbidden World, also produced by Corman and designed by James Cameron, and shot on the same sets.



Intermission


Why not visit our snack bar?




11:00 p.m: Inseminoid

Let the obnoxious title be a warning… this is second only to 'Faces of Death' as the sickest thing to appear in Futurechimp's Movie of the Week. In terms of both quality and taste, it's several grades below 'Galaxy of Terror'. But the intensity is still disturbing and memorable in a very unique way.

Director Norman J. Warren reminds me of a British version of Andy Milligan; a filmmaker with almost no talent, but he's still going to do the task with all the energy he possesses, as if he's trying to cough up a tumor. He ends up with incompetent but visceral films, with constantly agitated and violent characters and a nasty underlying contempt for humanity and repulsion towards sex. Check out his 1978 film 'Prey', if you can find it. Hardly any of his films are available on region 1 DVD. Anyway, brace yourself:

11/8/10

Party at Party Beach

A generous youtube member has given us just the party scenes from "The Horror of Party Beach", featuring the fabulous Del-Aires.





10/31/10

Vincent Price Wishes You a Happy Halloween

Viewer Mail: The Cast of Eerie Publications Performs the Johnson-Smith Horror Record



Just in time for Halloween, Jason of Scar Command found me through my Eerie Publications post to refer this video he made: a mashup of Eerie's cover illustrations and their contemporary, the 1973 Johnson-Smith horror record.

It's fantastic. I'm reminded of the Crazy Mixed-Up Dr. Evil spook show promo of the 60's, and it's pretty much what the inside of my brain looked like when I was pre-pubescent. Now I'll have to buy a pair of those LCD television glasses so this can soak into my retinas at all times. Again, fantastic.

As previously posted, these magazines were a little before my time, but I've been acquiring old copies of them since my teens. They're disturbing, to be sure, but I'm fascinated by kiddie culture during the Johnson and Nixon administrations; it was so grim and perverse. Remember, these magazines were sold in grocery stores and read by kids of all ages.

And I've forgotten how cool the Johnson-Smith record is. This 7" was only available through mail order from the company. This is one side. The other side is separate tracks of the same sound effects, as was common with cheap Halloween records of the era.

Read more about it at the resurrected Scar Stuff blog.

10/19/10

The Dungeonmaster

This starts a little slow, but give it time; it's an action-packed extravaganza. Helmed by seven different directors (including Futurechimp-Movie-of-the-Week favorite Charles Band), our hero travels through seven different realms to win back his girlfriend, conjuring up a variety of weapons with his magical wristband.

Lots of special effects, claymation giants, trolls, zombies, evil puppets, werewolves, mutant bikers, animated dragons… even the metal band W.A.S.P. shows up! Don't miss it!

10/15/10

Blank Generation on Google Video



This excellent punk documentary can be seen in its entirety right here. It covers both the New York scene (Ramones, Television, Patti Smith) and London (Sex Pistols, Clash, Damned, Buzzcocks) comprehensively. It's very well made, and limits its hour-long time to the most nascent years of the music, ending around the time the Pistols broke up in '78.

9/26/10

Creature Feature Sunday: Reptilicus



This classic Danish monster movie has been edited down to just 10 minutes, so maybe you can find the time when you're not 'posting', 'texting', 'tweeting' or 'squonking' or whatever you do on that little electronic gadget of yours.

I saw this on a Sunday afternoon in the neighborhood theater in 1976. I didn't win anything in the raffle (top prize was a complete train set), but at least the movie's strangeness stuck with me, as with other childhood brain-melters like Attack of the Mushroom People or War of the Gargantuas.

9/23/10

The Notorious 'Sex Dwarf' Music Video

from Dangerous Minds,

Directed by Tim Pope, Soft Cell’s Sex Dwarf  video, released to promote their debut album, created quite a scandal in 1981. Claiming it was pornographic, British police actually confiscated copies of the video. It was banned from MTV at the time and is currently banned from Youtube.


Not safe for the workplace or the kids, obviously. But not as disturbing or offensive as you might think, either. It straddles a fine line between ridiculous and genuinely frightening, echoing the ouvre of Paul McCarthy or Hermann Nitsch (Soft Cell met in art school, where Dave Ball was composing avant-garde soundscapes and Mark Almond was a performance artist).



Bonus clip: Soft Cell tears through a sleazy cover of Suicide's "Ghost Rider" with Foetus on guest vocals:


9/21/10

70's Arcade Oddities

Computer Space

The first of all video games (predating "Pong" by a year), this beautiful cabinet was sculpted from clay in the designer's kitchen and molded in fiberglass. The gameplay was said to be confusing, and it flopped right away. But look, it was futuristic enough to star in the movie "Soylent Green", set in the year 2002:




Space Flight


This lunar landing game was modeled after the popular crane-and-target cabinets. It had a built-in 8-track tape player that changed channels accordingly when you would succeed or fail. Check out the oscilloscope effect on the control panel! And those models! Why aren't these sorts of things still around?



Haunted House

Lots of shooting galleries were made in the 70's, but the black-light diorama and mechanical targets on this one are fantastic, and like "Space Flight", there's an 8-track tape player that provides music and sound effects. Here's a long video, but he gets inside the cabinet and shows some of the mechanics.



Maneater

There were one of these at a Holiday Inn when I was vacationing with my family as a six-year old, and I remember it well: two players are scuba divers trying to repeatedly swim to the ocean floor and surface with treasure while sharks pursue them. Currently there are estimated to be somewhere between 5 and 25 left in the world.



Sexy Girl Pinball

This was manufactured in Germany and only distributed within Western Europe. It features a window on the table, which projects a selection of 200 (200! ) photos of models in increasing degrees of nuditude.


I actually have a 'virtual' re-creation of this game on my mame cabinet, but I never play it. For one thing, it's too hard to get the photos going. That requires you to pass through all four lanes in the top (they clear with every new ball) then hit difficult side targets to advance the pictures. It's also a slow design with few features. The best thing about it is the under-table projector. And the titties.

Dr. Mad's Monster Maker



I'm guessing it uses a two-way mirror and a Pepper's Ghost effect to turn your reflection into a monster. But did this actually exist? The only info I can find online is the above photo and a page from the sales flyer:


Maybe it never passed the prototyping stage, but wow. That's one of the coolest cabinets and coolest ideas I've ever seen for an arcade machine.

9/12/10

Family Classics

It's Sunday afternoon, which means it's time for Family Classics, hosted by Frazier Thomas:



Today we have a family-friendly edit of the 1974 classic "Flesh Gordon"



And now for a short commercial break. Tonight is a night of programming that you won't want to miss:



And now, the exciting conclusion of "Flesh Gordon"

9/11/10

Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines


Opened three years ago, this small museum of playable machines recreates the arcades of the USSR from the 70's to the late 80's. From their website:

Arcade Games were a part of childhood and youth of Soviet people. They were made at secret military factories from the seventies up to the Perestroika. Forgotten and broken down Soviet-era arcade games are now being restored for Moscow’s newest museum and now it is possible to play and feel atmosphere of the passed epoch.
Around 20 of 37 different kinds of machines are now in working order. They operate with old Soviet 15 kopek coins, the hammer-and-sickle emblem of which itself conjures up a bygone time.


Here's one example, “Morskoi Boi” (Sea Battle):


This is the most popular of all the Russian games. It's a copy of Midway's Sea Raider as far as the interior is concerned, but the exterior is way cooler, with all the backlit knobs and dials.

A drawer at floor level pulls out to act as a step stool for children, midgets and amputees. The interior scene has lots of depth because it takes advantage of the cabinet's height; a parabolic mirror bounces your field of vision straight down (I'm currently designing an interactive diorama like this).


The player looks through the periscope, but there are also two windows up top for spectators to check out the action. The periscope swivels to aim, and a trigger releases torpedos. Scoring is simple enough: the numbers 1-10 on the right show how many torpedoes you've fired, and the numbers 1-10 on the left register your hits.

The enemy ships, which are filled with capitalist dogs, move across the diorama on a chain drive. A series of incandescent lamps chase in sequence and bounce off the glass water surface to simulate the torpedo's path. Strike! Another victory for the proletariate!


Ready to play a round? You don't have to travel to Russia to try this game. The museum's website has a flash version. Man your station and GO.

There's little else working on that website, but a blog of some kind has pictures and lots of descriptions of their visit here.

9/8/10

Night Tide



Our Movie of the Week is presented without interruption courtesy of archive.org, where you can also download the entire public domain feature.

This 1961 relic with a very young-looking Dennis Hopper (he was actually in his late 20's) and obscure singer Lana Clarkson is all about the location: Venice Beach when it was a happening bohemian mecca. It's also a moody little tone poem, perhaps better suited to something shorter, like an episode of 'Twilight Zone' rather than a full movie, but still worth your time.

9/6/10

Mighty Thor

Thor Blow Up Water Bottle:



Thor Bend Steel with Teeth:



Thor Accept Challenge:

8/31/10

1990: The Bronx Warriors


This 1982 Italian production was shot on location in New York City. It's all the good aspects of The Warriors and Escape from New York combined, but way funnier. Essential.

8/21/10

Movie of The Week Super-Special Coming-of-Age-at-Summer-Camp Double Feature

It's the end of Summer, and what better way to commemorate than to revisit those growing pains we all went through at camp, via two of the finest films on the subject?

First up is Little Darlings, with Kristy Mcnichol and Tatum O'Neal as two 15-year olds competing to see who loses their virginity first. It's a girl movie, but I still like it for the realistic, tough characters. Think of it as a cross between "Meatballs" and "Born Innocent". Unavailable on DVD, so this'll get pulled eventually for copyright reasons.




Next is Sleepaway Camp, in which the shy and sensitive Angela learns to love and care, and maybe discovers a few things about herself along the way. Think of it as a cross between "Meatballs" and "The Bad Seed".

A few years ago, either here or on another blog, I cited this as the most traumatic ending I'd ever seen. I first experienced it as a teen, and since then whenever I'd even think about the movie, I'd start feeling physically ill and anxious. So it's strange what time can do; I just saw this again, and the whole movie is hilarious. And the ending is a perfect punchline.

If you don't know it ends, then for God's sake, see this movie soon before someone ruins it for you. Get it on dvd through netflix and whatnot, or watch it here:

It's A Small World



All imagery is from a photo album purchased at a flea market.

See the filmmaker's other videos here.

8/1/10

Aphrodisiac! The Sexual Secret of Marijuana



Cool, I've been waiting for this to show up on the internet. I've been a fan ever since I found it as a bonus film on Something Weird's Alice in Acidland DVD. It seems to be very obscure - there isn't even a imdb.com page - but should have become a cult classic decades ago.

This weird hybrid of social commentary and stag film is NSFW with its borderline-hardcore sex scenes. John Holmes is even in one of them. But it's youtube, which is strictly no nudity, so there must be some edits.

part 2
part 3
part 4
part 5

Wizards of the Lost Kingdom 2

Man o man, this looks goo-oo-ood. Not prepared to sit through the whole damn movie to find out for yourself? Perhaps you may be enticed by this most excellent promo reel:



Sid Haig! Lana Clarkson! David Carradine! Action! Adventure! Idiocy! Start Here:

7/16/10

Hate Will Consum You



UCLA Film School's class reel looks a little sub-par this year.

(HT to owmysweeteyes)

7/13/10

7/11/10

Building Sites Bite



follow the links to part 2 and part 3 (HT to kindertrauma.com).

7/9/10

Driller Killer


from Wikipedia:

Driller Killer was a low budget independent feature, with a cast of unknown actors, produced by Abel Ferrara's own Navaron Films company 1977-78. It was filmed on 16mm film and utilised Ferrara's Union Square apartment and adjacent streets as locations. It features many of the elements which became trademarks of Ferrara's later films. These include Catholic iconography, gritty urban locations filmed at night, an eclectic soundtrack combining punk rock and Bach, scenes of extreme violence and a religious theme of redemption, salvation and damnation. The punk rock band in the movie reflects contemporary New York punk bands such as the New York Dolls and Television.

I really really like this movie. It's more like an early Paul Morrisey film than a slasher. The apocalyptic 70's Punk Rock New York vibe is fantastic, and I get chills just thinking about the ending.

It's public domain, so you can get it anywhere on DVD for a dollar or two. Or you can click the above image to view or download the whole uncut feature.

7/5/10

Vegetable Soup

Remember this show? I barely do. I saw it maybe only once, and I was, like, six. It was a syndicated PBS program from that era of the mid-70's when everything had Soul Power. The opening credits animation has stuck with me:



And "Outerscope II" looked familiar:



And check out "Ranger Rescue". In just three minutes, it not only teaches self-reliance over consumerism, but also has something to say about what it means to be a parent:



And then there's this guy:

6/28/10

Secrets of the Wax Museum



A Futurechimp associate has returned from the front with images of a wax museum's storage room somewhere in America. The name of both the photographer and the museum have been withheld to protect the guilty.

Click the above image to start a slideshow.

6/27/10

FutureCat



from the BBC youtube page description:

A cat named Oscar, who had its back feet severed by a combine harvester, has been given two prosthetics in a pioneering operation. The new feet are custom-made implants that "peg" the ankle to the foot. They are bioengineered to mimic the way deer antler bone grows through the skin.

6/13/10

Norwegian Sabbath


(thanks to dangerousminds.net)

6/11/10

Spawn of Satan

The Sexorcist:



The Blaxorcist:



The Turxocist:



The Jazzercist:


Slithis

If you sat through more than five seconds of The Black Sleep, here's your chaser: SLITHIS. My dad took me and a huge car full of other kids to the drive-in for this fondly remembered movie in 1978.

Shot on Venice Beach in just 12 days, and boasting an impressive 1.9 out of 10 stars on imdb.com, Slithis The Movie isn't so impressive as Slithis The Marketing Juggernaut. The filmmakers rolled out the PR on this one, dressing up a guy in the Slithis suit to make personal appearances all over the country:



And when you entered the theater, you got a Slithis Survival Kit. To replicate the experience, print the below images on a half sheet of cardstock (both sides) and fold it lengthwise:



Watch the whole movie below in chaptered low-rez youtube frustrato-vision. Not available through netflix, but you can get it on a somewhat-affordable DVD from Code Red, distributors of other rare-but-essential films like "Beyond the Door" and "Stunt Rock". Check out their incredible catalog.

And thanks to this fine blog for the images.

6/9/10

The Black Sleep



Hollywood legends Basil Rathbone, Lon Chaney Jr, John Carradine, Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson gathered together in 1956 for one of the worst movies ever made. I haven't seen it yet, but have been wanting to for about 20 years. It's hulu, so you get a steady stream with a couple of commercials.

Keep Off the Grass



(relevant bonus here)

6/2/10

Medieval Madness







The Phoenix


Am I wrong, or is this indistinguishable from a Scientology promotional video?

6/1/10

5/29/10

Imagineering



A few weeks ago I went to a talk moderated by actor Daniel Roebuck (perhaps best known as the murderer from "River's Edge") about monster toys of the 70's. He screened this teaser (below) for a documentary he was working on, then handed out several unopened packages of "Scar Stuf" to randomly chosen audience members.



Looks like the film could use some more quality production, but anyone in their late 30's - early 40's should at least dig seeing these package illustrations again. Imagineering products were ubiquitous in the 70's. We'd buy them at the local supermarket. There were few things more thrilling than seeing "Vampire Blood" appear on the store shelves in early October, signifying the approach of the greatest of all holidays.

This was supposed to be an auction pick, but I can't find any imagineering make up for sale on ebay. So you'll have to make do with these photos.

On a related note, check out these proto-juggalos.

5/27/10

Chasing Ghosts

I'm tired of waiting for this 2007 documentary to come to DVD, so I'm going to youtube it. Haven't seen it yet, but it has a 7.5 rating on imdb.com, and it's a topic I'm fascinated in: grown men who compete at early-80's arcade games.

As with King of Kong, Billy Mitchell seems to get lots of screen time here. How can he not? He's the champ. But we also get to know some other arcade legends like Mr. Awesome (the self-obsessed world record-holder of the "Missile Command" title) and many more.

Here's part 2. Part 1 has been pulled, presumably because of music infringement, but the remaining 70 minutes are all all here, for now.

5/22/10

Dance of the Seven Veils

This 1970 BBC movie by Ken Russell is extremely rare, and for legal reasons will not stay on youtube for long (read more about that HERE). I haven't seen it yet, but it looks great, a largely fictional biopic of Richard Strauss that has many similarities to Lisztomania, his craziest film. Check it out while you can: