Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gratuitous Sexy Girl Pictures from the 1970's

Jane Seymour, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, 1977

So I recently noticed that when I checked my stats most of my posts will get a few dozen hits a day, maybe even going as high as a hundred.

But two posts I put up of Bettie Page, the one post I put up of classic strippers and the brief bit about Marilyn Monroe all get about a thousand hits a day each.

So apparently sex is a great way to pull in readers from all over.

So with that terribly self-serving thought in mind, let's check out some sexy, but slightly obscure babes, and generate some page hits!!!!!

Jane Seymour 1974

Back in the 70's years before Dr. Quinn, Jane Seymour spent time as a Bond girl in Live and Let Die and as the Princess in Distress in Ray Harryhausen's, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.

Caroline Murno in the Golden Voyage of Sinbad, 1975

Speaking of Sinbad, another Princess in Distress who made a memorable appearance in the Golden Voyage of Sinbad was 70's science fiction and horror mainstay Caroline Murno.

Caroline Murno and friend in Starcrach, 1979

Having been married to both Peter Sellers and Rod Stewart, Britt Ekland has led a fairly complicated life. On film though, she was great fun in her Bond girl appearance, In the Man With the Golden Gun, playing along both Roger Moore and Christopher Lee.

But her best known role these days is probably for her small, but unforgettable role, acting alongside Christopher Lee once again, in the original Wicker Man.

Britt Ekland in the Wicker Man, 1973

Still going strong more than 40 years since she started acting, Charlotte Rambling remains the epitome of refinement and European cool.

Charlotte Rambling

On the American side is the actress Jane Fonda.

Jane Fonda

Better known these days for her politics, her marriage to Ted Turner and he possible treason against the United States during a visit to North Vietnam in the early 1970's, Fonda never the less was one of the great beauties of her era.

Okay, I'm done.

Please forgive my complete lack of artistic scruples.

Monday, September 26, 2011

1977: The Tubes - Don't Touch Me There / Mondo Bondage

Fee Waybill and Re Styles of The Tubes (1977)

One of the great underground bands that came out of the late 70's Punk scene was The Tubes

Rude, raunchy, and extremely talented, the Tubes were a cross between Frank Zappa and the Mitchell Brothers. Several strong albums of smart, funny songs dealing with the dark, unhealthy side of sex helped make the Tubes one of the best bands of the late 1970's

From 1977, here is Fee Waybill and Re Styles on vocals, for the powerful combination of those two classic love songs, Don't Touch Me There and Mondo Bondage.

1966 - Cool Toys

Pictures are mostly from the 1966 JC Penny's Christmas Catalog.....

Captain Action and Accessories

In 1966 there was nothing that I wanted more in the entire universe than a Captain Action doll.

Not only was the good Captain cool looking all on his own, but he also had the excellent gimmick, of having accessory sets that let you turn Action, as well as his sidekick Action Boy into OTHER heroes.

You could make Captain Action turn into Superman, Batman, Aquaman, the Lone Ranger and even Sgt, Fury.

So if you owned Captain Action, you had 10 heroes in one, and there is nothing I wanted more then to get one.

Captain Action doesn't have time to put up with that wimp Superman

But sadly it was not to be.

You know how parents are, you tell them one thing, they get you another. It's not that they mean to break your youthful heart, it's just how it happens, so don't be a greed head.

What I got instead though turned out to be at least as cool and maybe even, in a way, just a bit more fun.

Mike Hazzard - Double Agent, and all the great gear that came with him

Mike Hazzard - Double Agent came equipped with weapons, disguises, bulletproof vest, exploding briefcases, loads of other exciting spy gear and a pipe.

Then again, thanks to both the Cold War and it's hero, James Bond, the mid 1960's was a great time for spy toys anyway.

James Bond Spy Gear

My brother got the camera and the swell shoulder holster, and I was given the Attache Case, with it's Walther PPK, silencer, sniper's rifle, hidden knife, and concealed gun in the case itself, we were ready to put SPECTRE out of business once and for all.

I recall that I kept trying to steal the shoulder holster from my brother because it was way cooler than my regular Bonanza gun and holster.

Zero M Specialized Weapons

We also had several of the toys from the Mattel, Zero M line.

My brother had the pocket knife that turned into a pistol and I had the transistor radio that turned into a machine gun.

 I like that it's Kurt Russell playing the suave young agent in the commercial

The Man From UNCLE had a huge number of tie-ins and merchandise

We never had many of the Man From UNCLE toys around the house, honestly I just don't think Mom was a fan, but I remember one of my cousins having the THRUSH rifle, with the special lite up scope.

JC Penny's in-house produced Secret-Agent Weapons Set

Along with the spy toys another Cold War toy were based around the Space Program, many of these were fairly realistic toys based around what was coming out of NASA, but I liked my space toys to be just a bit more fantastic.

Fireball XL5 Space City from the British series
created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson

No commercials but I do love the opening credits.

And of course being 1966, space exploration wouldn't be the same without some high powered weaponry to whip ET's ass as needed.

The "Plazer" gun looks surprisingly Han Solo, but 10 years too soon.

Now I was never really a fan of Lost in Space, but I clearly remember wanting this gun, mostly, because it shot large spinning disks that I could aim at my brothers head.

Lost in Space 4 in One Space Gun

Here's one I didn't have but still remember being a big fan of the original show, here's the Seaview from Irwin Allen's, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Submarine Seaview

I liked the Seaview, but I was a much bigger fan of the Flying Sub from the show instead.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Flying Sub Model Kit

Of course the big star of 1966 wasn't actually James Bond, sub-marines or outer space, no, 1966 belonged to Batman.

All sorts of must have gear for the true Bat-Fan

I owned the Helmet and Cape, the Bat-Bomb and best of all the Batman Utility Belt, which was even more cool to own then it looks.

The Utility Belt is the Holy Grail of Batman toys selling for thousands of dollars

Primitive by today's standard, I got a kick out of this "Magnetic" version of Gotham City, where you could move cars, heros' and villains around the city by use of a magnet on a stick underneath the board.

Magnetic Gotham City Set

And of course what was good for Batman helped to push some of the other DC heroes, including the Justice League.

Justice League and Batman Playset

I look at these great toys, as well as the stuff they have for kids these days, and the people who I feel sorry for are those poor kids who grew up in the 70's and 80's, when the Safety Nazi's had taken over and everything had to have soft edges.

The toys from when I was a kid were violent, loud and full of parts you could choke on, but still they were  really lots of fun.

And Batman was still likable.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Watching Night Flight

On Friday nights, back in the 80's, before it became the place to go for low budget cop shows, the USA Network was the home of the eclectic video show Night Flight.

In many ways, Night Flight was the grandparent of YouTube, with it's oddball shorts combined with music and old political clips, Night Flight was the the most unusual show on the air.

So in tribute to one of the great shows of the television era, below is my own brief, little bloggers tribute to Night Flight...

Night Flight: A Night In the Wildwood

Firesign Theatre: Rat in the Box, broadcast on Night Flight 1985

Night Flight: A Little Irony

Jacmac and Radboy Go!!

Night Flight: The Devil's Ball

The The - Infected,World Premiere on Night Flight 1986

Night Flight: The Thing What Lurked in the Tub

Night Flight: A Trip to the Movies

Night Flight: Slack Explained

Night Flight: Shadows

Night Flight: A Look At Video Art

Night Flight: Prophet and Loss

Night Flight: Touchdown Retribution

I think this sample of bits from Night Flight should give all of you an idea of what the show was like week after week. And because of Night Flight a whole bunch of us were able to survive one of tv's worst decades.

1970: The Kinks - Apeman

Ray Davies had it right.

Maybe we should give it all up and head back to the trees.....

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Manitou Arcade

The Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs , Colorado

So today was a long and tense day that can only be known as, Tuesday.

There was nothing left to do but take the wife for a beer, and then hang out for awhile at the Penny Arcade in Manitou Springs playing dime PinBall.

A few of the classic pinball machines at the Manitou Arcade

The Penny Arcade has always been one of my special places, ever since I was a kid.

While all my friends were pumping quarters into machine after machine over in the mall, I'd take the bus to Manitou and spend hours playing for a couple of bucks.

A row of  dime shooting games

The selection of antique games run from machines from the 1920's and 30's, through the classic 50's pinball machines, to classic early 80's video games.

More of the classic arcade machines at the Manitou Arcade

It certainly helped to make the end of the day much better then the start.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

1976 - The Enterprise Revealed

United States Space Shuttle OV-101, Enterprise

35 Years ago today, September 17, 1976, after the success of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo program, as well as the joint Apollo-Soyuz and the launch of Skylab, NASA was ready to unveil the next step in the human exploration of the universe, Earth's first reusable spacecraft, the Space Shuttle.

Originally the first shuttle was going to be named "Constitution", but after a successful write in campaign from Star Trek fans around the world, President Gerald Ford, who during WWII had served on a support ship in the USS Enterprises battle group, and declaring himself rather partial to the name, personally designated the vessel, Enterprise.

Gene Roddenberry and  most of the Star Trek Cast at the opening celebration

Most of the cast of the original series, with the noticeable exception of William Shatner, along with Gene Roddnberry were guests at Rockwell's, Palmdale California plant for the opening 35 years ago today.

The Enterprise being the prototype would never go into orbit, but as a test craft it proved invaluable with improving the design for better functioning in space.

And on August 12, 1977, the Enterprise would fly solo.

The Enterprise

Suck on that George Lucas.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Oriental" Hollywood

Christopher Lee as Fu Manchu

Before I begin let me make clear that your's truly is about as middle-class a white guy as white America ever produced. I'm as bland as buttermilk, dance like a dork, and when younger thought that Andy's adventures in Mayberry were a documentary.

So please keep that in mind, and if I am inadvertently offensive, please take my word for it, I'm really not trying.

But see here's the thing, I've been thinking a bit about Asian stereotypes in film and have come to the conclusion that on the whole Asians fared a whole hell lot better in old movies then most other groups.

Don't get me wrong, Hollywood had more then it's fair share of buck-toothed coolies, ponytailed servants and tiny soldiers with thick glasses waiting to get bayoneted by Errol Flynn. And of course the single biggest issue in all of these movies is how few Asians have ever actually played Asians in these films, with the roles instead being filled by my fellow white guys.

But that's not to say that Hollywood did not have some fine Asian stars though. Sessue Hayakawa and Anna May Wong were major motion picture stars during the 1920's and 30's.

Sessue Hayakawa and Anna May Wong (Daughter of the Dragon 1931)

Here's Anna May Wong from the 1929 film Picadilly.....

Also, in the 1940's Keye Luke starred in dozens of films and normally in "action" roles.

Keye Luke and Peter Lorre doing their very best Mad Scientists in
Mad Love (1935), the "patient" is Henry Frankenstein himself, Colin Clive

Still on the whole more often then not the Asians on screen were white (I'm looking at YOU Katharine Hepburn), and the characters they were playing were embaressingly sterotypical.

Katharine Hepburn in Dragon Seed (1944)

But here's the thing, from my perspective there are a couple of consistent Asian stereotypes that Hollywood has always happily embraced that personally, if it was me, I'd be sort of pleased about.

The Asian Detective

During the 1930's there were several popular Asian detectives enjoying great popularity in Pulp magazines and were naturals for adaption to film.

The most famous of these Charlie Chan first appeared on film in 1931 played most famously by Swedish Actor Warner Oland, who would make a career playing Asian, often as Chan but in other roles including Fu Manchu.

Charlie Chan in Shanghai (1935)

Other Asian film detectives included, Boris Karloff's Chinese, US Treasury Agent, Mister Wong and Peter Lorre's, dangerous and oddly sinister spy for Imperial Japan, Mr. Moto.

Boris Karloff as Treasury Agent James Wong

All three were smart, resourceful, and more often then not far more intelligent then the contemptuous, white people around them and inevitably solved the crime. Granted Chan had an outrageous, broken English speech pattern, but Karloff's Wong spoke perfect English, and Lorre's Moto was while speaking in a formal manner was also unaccented (unless you count Lorre's natural German accent).

Peter Lorre as the mysterious Mr. Moto

Also, in the case of Mr. Moto, who while very much the hero in his stories, is also an agent for Emperor Hirohito at the same time the invasion of Manchuria was taking place, so you get a far more complex anti-hero then 1930's Hollywood normally came up with.

Enjoy this trailer for 1938's Mr. Moto's Gamble..

The Yellow Peril

Look, okay, I know it's not the most wholesome of stereotype, and it's not something that any ones mother would approve of, but come on gang, I don't care who you are, don't tell me that there isn't something oddly appealing about being the leader of a slatheringly obedient secret society,  whose members happily die in the most horrible ways at your merest suggestion, while you and your equally evil daughter (never a son, they only betray you, although of course so does the daughter, but only after falling in love with the hero), have a nice day out as a family torturing snotty Englishmen who had the effrontery to interfere with your plans for world domination.

The classic example of course is Fu Manchu as most famously played by both Christopher Lee and Boris Karloff.

Boris Karloff (The Mask of Fu Manchu 1932)

Fu Manchu is the ultimate villain, brilliant, immortal, ruthless, twisted and quite mad, at his best Fu Manchu is as scary and dangerous as a badguy can get.

Another good example is Joseph Wiseman's Dr. No who might have been killed by James Bond, but is the guy who brought the secret lair and world domination plot into the modern age.

Joseph Wiseman (Dr. No 1962)

The Mystic Badass

Kwai Chang Caine as played by whiteboy, David Carradine in a role originally created for the great Bruce Lee spent three years on American television wandering the old West delivering sage bits of zen advice mixed with righteous asskickings, on ABC's Kung Fu, was kind, powerful and in touch with a higher reality then the rest of us.

Keye Luke and David Carradine in Kung Fu

Another Mystic Badass, and interestingly one who also traveled the old west, was Tony Randall's Doctor Lao whose mysterious and wondrous circus brought some changes to the people of Abalone, Arizona, in Gerorge Pals lovely fantasy the 7 Faces of Doctor Lao.

Tony Randall ( The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, 1964)

Now like I said, I'm not trying to defend what is in many cases truly offensive stereotypes, I'm really not, but all I'm saying is that if you've got to have some idiot's out there seeing you only as a stereotype, there are worse ones to choose from.

Plus I don't care what anyone says, Dragon Ladies are hot.

Anna May Wong (1932)



Munro, was the 1961 winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

Adapted by animator Gene Deitch and cartoonist Jules Feffier from his original story, Monro tells the tale of a four year old boy who after being drafted into the US Army has a very hard time convincing anyone that he is in fact, only four.

Beautifully animated by Deitch, and with great narration by Howard Morris, Feffier's story is at times poignant, sometimes absurd, but always funny and fifty years on still as meaningful as the day it was written.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

1978: Charles Rocket and the KOAA Super Show

Charles Claverie (nee. Charles Rocket)

The actor Charles Rocket, who died in 2005 at the age of 56, never really became the star in Hollywood that he dreamed of being.

Part of the notorious group of unlucky comedians who replaced the likes of Bill Murray and Gilda Radner on the 1980, post Lorne Michaels season of Saturday Night Live, Rocket famously got himself fired after saying the word "Fuck" live, on air.

Still throughout the 1980's, 90's and into the new century, Rocket worked steadily, with several good roles in films such as Earth Girls Are Easy and the television series Max Headroom, normally playing complete Yuppie Douche Bags, a part he was able to pull off to perfection.

A few years before moving to New York and his ill-fated move to late night comedy, Rocket, under his real name, Charles Claverie while working as the local weatherman and sometime human interest reporter for KOAA television in Pueblo, Colorado, created what is one of the great forgotten local television shows of all time, the KOAA Super Show.

For two hours every weekday afternoon Rocket would run public domain cartoons, old movie serials, classic but little seen television series such as I Led 3 Lives and My Living Doll. And all the while Rocket would hold court, telling bad jokes, taking live phone calls, bringing on strange local talent and the occasional street crazy. The Super Show was two hours of daily insanity.

I truly wish I had some kind of video to show you or even still pictures, but if any tapes of the series exist, I've never been able to find them. Even the folks at KOAA told me they didn't have any surviving episodes recorded when I contacted them and asked.

And who knows, maybe if I did find the tapes the show wouldn't be nearly as good as my memories, but still the insane world that was the Super Show was a real highlight for 1978.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dangerous Toys of My Youth

It was a different world back then

Growing up in the 1960's wasn't that different then growing up in any other era.

Kid's rode their bikes, built tree houses, played with dolls and toy soldiers just like the kids for generations before us had done.

Probably the only major difference between my generation and the generations of children who came before and who came after was that in the 1960's our parents were actively trying to KILL us.

Oh not straight out mind you, and not in any way that would convince a court to convict, but that doesn't change that our parents were setting us all up for all sorts of mean nasty life threatening injuries, suffocation dangers and just plain threat of being shot down by the police.

Mattel Tommy Burst Machine Gun

The Mattel Tommy Burst Machine Gun was a over built toy gun that allowed a kid to load an entire roll of caps and fire them off all at once in a sudden burst of pretend gunfire. Every kid could be a G-Man or Gangster, while having every chance to scare the hell out of neighbors, relatives and jittery cops in a mad mood from dealing with the local anti-war protest.

Now personally my favorite toy gun ever, if only because of it's overwhelming versatility and "firepower" was the Johnny Seven O.M.A. gun that was seven guns in one...

Another great toy gun set was the Dick Tracy 38 Snub Noise Revolver, which a young Bill Mumy demonstrates on his dad.

By the way, wouldn't it be great if the Sunday funnies were still that large?

Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't just a case of guns that our parents were trying to wipe us out with. Probably the most dangerous toy of the entire 1960's was Mattel's Thing -Maker

With it's lovely combination of portable furnace, lead molds and molten plastic, the Thing-Maker is responsible for many lovely scars carried by more then a few people in their early 50's walking around today.

Jimmy owned a Thing-Maker as a kid

And I haven't even begun to talk about Chemistry Sets yet.

Death: Thy Name is Science

It's a wonder that any of us made it out of childhood alive.