This Is The Way – Bonus Episode

Friends, we have a very special episode for all three of the podcasts, a bonus episode as it were, that is meant to act as not only my official announcement but explanation for why I am retiring. I hope you will understand that for the past 12 years that I have been fortunate enough to be considered a blogger, writer, and podcaster…I have realized recently that I am very tired. I need more however than just a break or vacation from writing daily articles and producing podcasts – I truly need to step away from the laptop and microphone – it is the appropriate time to look back at what I, as well as my fellow Pop Culture Retrorama colleagues have accomplished.

As I state on the podcast itself, I am very proud of what Allison Venezio-Preston, Ashley Thomas, Rockford Jay, Earl Green, Brett Weiss, IseeRobots, Javier Ojst, Rob O’Hara, and Gary Burton have accomplished with this site. And while I will soon shutter the Pop Culture Retrorama site and step away from writing in general, I am extremely happy to announce that Earl Green has generously offered to host not only the content on this site – but any future articles that the Pop Culture Retrorama colleagues might decide to write – on theLogBook.com. So, while I am slipping into the shadows, Pop Culture Retrorama will most assuredly live on.

I do hope that those of you who have been so kind as to visit this page, or even remember my work on the Retroist, understand that I did not come to the decision to retire lightly. Having said that, it feels like this is right path to take, thanks in no small part to my new career.

Many thanks to all of you. You have made something that I originally tackled as a hobby feel far more important, giving me a desire to write over 6000 articles and produce over 300 podcasts in the past 11 -12 years. I am grateful for your time and support, but more importantly your friendship.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!”

Feel free to keep in touch with me on Facebook or even Twitter. Or perhaps check out the Saturday Frights Facebook Page, and Diary of an Arcade Employee!

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Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 100 – Gremlins

Friends, although it took much longer than anticipated to deliver the eighteen episodes that made up season three of the Saturday Frights podcast, we have finally reached the end of the line. What better way to celebrate the 100th episode of the show than tackling an important movie that we’ve attempted to cover three or four times in the past. While you might consider it something of a spoiler, I will tell you that the Projectionist and I actually do get to discuss 1984’s Gremlins on this go around. In addition I will give you a heads up that this podcast is far, far longer than the standard show. It just seemed that for the 100th episode of the podcast, a feat that has taken a little over six years to accomplish, that we should attempt to blow the doors off our previous episodes.

Obviously with a film like Gremlins, we are fortunate to have an abundance of information on the making of the movie. In fact there might actually be too much information to share, we ended up cherry picking the trivia we felt would interest you Fright Fans the most. Including a bit of information from the Gremlins reunion for Empire magazine, with Nick De Semlyen chatting with the likes of Joe Dante (The Howling), Zach Galligan (Waxwork), Dick Miller (Chopping Mall), Chris Walas (The Fly), as well as Rick Baker (An American Werewolf in London).

As I share in the podcast itself, Gremlins was a movie that I was extremly hyped about seeing, when it was originally released to theaters on June 8th of 1984. As is discussed on the show, the backlash from parent groups over both Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as well as Gremlins, caused none other than Steven Spielberg to help create the PG-13 rating.

There is a lot to cover on this 100th episode of the Saturday Frights podcast, but before we get to show, I thought I should give a huge thank you to some special guests:

Ashley Thomas aka The Nerdy Blogger has her work frequently featured on Fangirlish as well as the Sci-Fi 5 podcast. The daily five minute podcast that provides the best in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror history – produced by Roddenberry Entertainment.

We also are lucky enough to have the esteemed Earl Green join us on this special episode of the podcast. Earl is no stranger to the Sci-Fi 5 podcast himself, as well as running The Log Book.com – one of the longest running sites on the internet focusing on everything pop culture.

Last but certainly not least is Rockford Jay, my co-host on the Saturday Frights Facebook page – who does his level best to help me keep a lid on the madness of the Vault. He manages to share his love of retro horror on a nearly daily basis, and I am sad to add is frequently the target of the Projectionist’s schemes and explosive temper.

Without further ado, please join the Projectionist and myself at the Haunted Drive-In, as we discuss 1984’s Gremlins. As always we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to listen to the show, and hope that you have enjoyed season three of the podcast.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode – or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at VicSagePopCulture@gmail.com You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find posts from Rockford Jay, Preston Griffith and myself on a daily basis.

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Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 099 – Examination Day

Friends, it is the start of the work week for many of you, so why not get it off to a fright start? At least we hope you will choose to listen to the brand new episode of the Saturday Frights podcast, with the subject of this episode being a 1985 segment of the CBS The Twilight Zone revival series entitled “Examination Day”. A rather memorable offering from the first attempt at capturing the lightning in the bottle of Rod Serling’s original 1959 television series. One that as I mention in the podcast itself was able to leave me shaken, with the segment itself being talked about in class at school the following Monday.

The Twilight Zone segment “Examination Day” is based on an 1958 short story of the same name by Henry Slesar, who was a prolific author, selling his stories in numerous magazines in the mid-fifties. Although the Projectionist and I discuss it on the show, his writing actually attracted the attention of Alfred Hitchcock himself, which is how Slesar found himself writing for such television series as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, in addition to Serling’s The Twilight Zone to name just a few. Which was right in Slesar’s wheelhouse as he was quite fond of delivering ironic twist endings in his work.

“Examination Day” concerns a young boy by the name of Richard “Dickie” Jordan Jr, played by Over the Top‘s David Mendenhall, who is looking forward to taking his Government mandated exam.While the young boy shows no outward signs of being concerned or that anything is amiss, why do his parents Richard (Christopher Allport) and Ruth (Elizabeth Norment) seem so scared?

Without further ado, please join the Projectionist and myself at the Haunted Drive-In, as we discuss “Examination Day” on the Saturday Frights podcast. As always we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to listen to the show, and hope that you are enjoying season three of the podcast so far.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode – or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at VicSagePopCulture@gmail.com You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find posts from Rockford Jay, Preston Griffith and myself on a daily basis.

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Enjoy 1983’s Superman In The Flying Firefighter!

Friends, last week over at the SHOW ‘N TELL PICTURESOUND VIEWER CLUB on Facebook, a member shared a link to Superman in The Flying Firefighter for the iconic GE Show ‘N Tell phono viewer. Just one in a series of DC Super Heroes film strip and 33 1/3 record combos produced by CBS Toys back in 1983, along with other DC characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman, and even the Justice League.

I have talked about the awesomeness that was the GE Show ‘N Tell phono viewer in a previous article, in which I was able to share some of the other stories produced for the combination filmstrip viewer/projector and record player. A ‘toy’ that lasted a remarkably long time, first being produced by General Electric in ’64 and lasting until the early ’80s, being released under a few brand names. And while I was never fortunate enough to obtain a GE Show ‘N Tell phono viewer for myself, I certainly enjoyed the model that was in the kindergarten class of my youth.

Besides the likes of DC Super Heroes, other ‘Picturesound programs’ included Marvel Super Heroes, Sesame Street, The Shirt Tales, Hello Kitty, The Berenstain Bears, and even adaptations of popular Disney films and animated shorts.

Of course the 33 1/3 records provided in the Picturesound programs meant the stories were generally kept to under 4 minutes in length, with the B side of the record offering music or in the case of Superman in The Flying Firefighter, something entitled Aerobic Adventures: Sailing Through Space.

The synopsis for Superman in The Flying Firefighter is by necessity pretty simple. While receiving an award for reporter of the year, Clark Kent must excuse himself and respond to the threat of a massive fire. On the scene, he learns of a small boy who is still within the burning building, the child was scared by the firefighters in their gas masks and gear. It is up to Superman to save the day and pass along some words of wisdom in the process!

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY PRSRECORDS.

Check Out The Trailer For Nicolas Cage In Pig

“We don’t get a lot of things to really care about.”

Friends, that is one of the very memorable lines from the recently released trailer for Pig, the upcoming film starring Nicolas Cage (Willy’s Wonderland, Leaving Las Vegas) as a truffle forager who finds his cherished truffle-hunting pig stolen. It seems that Cage’s character of Rob, who was once a well-known and possibly celebrated chef, tracks the kidnappers from his backwoods home to the city. Sites such as Entertainment Weekly as well as others have been quick to compare Pig to the likes of John Wick. Personally I think we are going to see something quite a bit more somber in Cage’s performance when the film is released to theaters on July 16th.

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY NEON.

“…I remember every person I ever served. You live your life for them, and they don’t even see you.”

I think that is another exceptional line from the trailer, one that stands out for all of us that have spent the majority of our lives in the hospitality industry. While we do not have enough to go on from the trailer itself of course, I cannot help but feel that Rob might have lost his wife, something that made him snap and has caused him to retreat from society and isolate himself. The only comfort in his life now is the quiet of the woods and his pet pig, who I dearly hope is somehow okay by the end of the film… although I highly doubt that will be the case.

Pig is directed by Michael Sarnoski (Olympia) who co-wrote the screenplay with Vanessa Block. Besides featuring the talents of Cage, the movie also boasts the likes of Alex Wolff (Hereditary), Adam Arkin (Northern Exposure), David Knell (Total Recall), and Nina Belforte (Wuthering Heights) to name a few.

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Zuccolox.

In closing out this article, I really do think that Pig looks like a solid film, plus it gave me the excuse to share that clip from Freakazoid. And as I am now employed at the local movie theater, I will admit there is a part of me that looks forward to a patron stepping up to the box office and saying, “One adult for Pig?”

The Masters Of The Universe: Revelation Trailer Needs A Hero

Friends, one of the things about returning to the theater that I’ve had to come to terms with is a strict no cell phone policy. While we of course are allowed to use our phones during our breaks and such, it understandable why they wouldn’t want a patron to walk up to the concession stand and see someone tapping on their phone. I bring all of this up because it does mean that I manage to miss out on some pretty important pop culture news, such as the fact that Netflix released an incredible trailer for Masters of the Universe: Revelation a few days ago. One that like that quite impressive fan made montage trailer we shared last year featuring ‘80s cartoon heroes, makes great use of Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For a Hero”. Executive Produced an co-created by Kevin Smith, prepare yourself for the first look at Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, which as I understand it is a continuation of the iconic Filmation series.

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Netflix.

Man-At-Arms punching Trap Jaw in the side of the head, He-Man riding Stridor, Tri-Klops causing havoc while flying what looks like a Sky Sled, and an older Orko wielding far more powerful magic than we’ve seen him cast before. There is a lot to take in with that trailer for Masters of the Universe: Revelation, but I have to say that it looks quite epic as well as fun.

You might be very interested to know that there is an embarrassment of riches in regards to the voice actors that have been tapped for the new animated series. He-Man will be voiced by Chris Wood (Supergirl) with the legendary Mark Hamill providing the voice for the infamous Skeletor. It seems to be something of an animated Batman voice actor reunion as Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) will voice Mer-Man, Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and the Bold) is Trap Jaw, Henry Rollins (Batman Beyond) portrays Tri-Klops, and Kevin Michael Richardson (The Batman) is Beast Man to point out just a few.

In all fairness, that is just the tip of the iceberg with the cast of Masters of the Universe: Revelation, but I am happy to share that Alan Oppenheimer who was the original voice of Skeletor in the Filmation series, has been included in the show as the heroic Moss Man. Thankfully we do not have too long to wait before we get to see the series itself, at least the first half of the first season. In fact while the trailer reveals that the animated show will debut on July 23rd, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kevin Smith let it slip that an aftershow will be also be produced featuring many of the cast from the series.

We would love to hear what you think of the trailer, let us know in the comment section!

Check Out This Sneak Peek Of Netflix’s The Cuphead Show!

Friends, for as long as I can remember I have always been a fan of classic animation, whether that be theatrical shorts from Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, Silly Symphony, or those Saturday morning and weekday afternoon cartoon series of my youth. That is of course why when Gary Burton asked if I might be interested in being a co-host on his podcast about animation, I readily agreed to join the Toon In podcast. At that time we were having an issue getting our schedules to coincide so I asked if I might use the name of the show for a series of articles on the Retroist. Not just because Toon In is a brilliant title for a cartoon related podcast, but in addition I hoped that it might help drum up some interest for the then upcoming show.

All my joking aside by using that GIF taken from 1982’s The Toy, while the Toon In articles might have been a little more popular on the Retroist than here on the PCR site, we had to put the idea for the podcast on the back burner while we attempted to figure out a proper format for the show.

Having said all of that, you can probably imagine how absolutely gobsmacked I was when the Cuphead game was announced. Combining my love of classic animation similar to the Fleischer produced Popeye cartoons with video games – I truly started counting down the days until it was finally released on September 29th of 2017.

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Fasgort.

When Cuphead debuted for Microsoft Windows as well as the Xbox One, I was blown away by how beautiful the side-scrolling run and gun title looked, it truly was like a playable classic theatrical short. I was also taken aback by just how difficult the title was compared to the standard games being released. Like legions of other Cuphead fans though I totally accepted the challenge of the game, always giving it just one more shot at trying to clear a particular level. And that usually resulted in my failing over and over and over again…

Even with those gamers who were turned off by the difficulty level of the game, it seems that everyone fell in love with the characters from the title. All manner of merchandise for Cuphead has been released in the four years since it was released, including T-Shirts, Funko Pops, plush dolls, and apparently an upcoming animated series from Netflix. So enjoy this short teaser clip from the soon to be released The Cuphead Show!

VIDEO PROVIDED BY Netflix.

That was none other than Emmy award wining Wayne Brady providing his voice as King Dice, and online it has been stated that Tru Valentino (Fast & Furious Spy Racers) will voice the titular Cuphead, with Frank Todaro (Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy) as Mugman. There has been no official trailer or release date for The Cuphead Show! as of yet, but we will be sure to pass along the information when it is made available.

Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 098 – Top 5 Horror Soundtracks

Friends, I am afraid that yet again we have managed to deliver a new episode of the Saturday Frights podcast a couple of days later than intended. In all honesty it has to do with the new job and the strain of attempting to find the necessary free time to devote to the show. Having said that though, we do have a very special episode of the podcast for you today, as the Projectionist and I are joined by three friends on this show. Fellow PCR authors who were kind enough to share their top 5 horror soundtrack picks with you, focusing on memorable music from all manner of film and television shows. I am willing to bet there are going to be a few on the lists provided today by our guests that you may not be familiar with!

Joining us to share her top 5 horror soundtracks is none other than Ashley Thomas aka The Nerdy Blogger, whose work is frequently featured on Fangirlish as well as the Sci-Fi 5 podcast. The daily five minute podcast that provides the best in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror history – produced by Roddenberry Entertainment.

We also are lucky enough to have the esteemed Earl Green join us on this special episode of the podcast. Earl is no stranger to the Sci-Fi 5 podcast himself, as well as running The Log Book.com – one of the longest running sites on the internet focusing on everything pop culture.

Last but certainly not least is Rockford Jay, my co-host on the Saturday Frights Facebook page – who does his level best to help me keep a lid on the madness of the Vault. He manages to share his love of retro horror on a nearly daily basis, and I am sad to add is frequently the target of the Projectionist’s schemes and explosive temper.

Without further ado, please join the Projectionist and myself at the Haunted Drive-In, as we discuss the top 5 horror soundtracks on the Saturday Frights podcast. As always we want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to listen to the show, and hope that you are enjoying season three of the podcast so far.

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future episode – or possibly you have comments on the current show itself, email them to me at VicSagePopCulture@gmail.com You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. In addition I certainly hope you will take the time to visit the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. There you can find posts from Rockford Jay, Preston Griffith and myself on a daily basis.

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The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It – Non-Spoiler Review

Friends, I have just finished watching The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, not in the theater this time but at work through the HBO Max streaming service. I have been in love with the horror cinematic universe started with 2013’s The Conjuring, which has managed to produced spin-off series such as Annabelle, The Nun, The Curse of La Llorona, with more films reportedly on the way. While I obviously would have enjoyed the opportunity to catch this eighth entry in the Conjuring cinematic universe at the local movie theater, my weekend job just doesn’t make that possible, so huddling in the back office I was able to catch the third Conjuring film with one of my best friends. Which I have to admit I was glad I didn’t have to watch it by myself – because the tension and scares in The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It are raised to an entirely new level. As always in my non-spoiler reviews, I will be focusing on what you see in the trailers, but I will go ahead and tell you that the filmmakers and the cast really knock it out of the park with this one.

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Warner Bros. Pictures.

Both The Conjuring as well as The Conjuring 2 were directed by James Wan (Saw, Aquaman), with the original film being co-written by twin brothers Chad and Carey W. Hayes (House of Wax), based on a treatment by Tony DeRosa-Grund. The treatment was written by De-Rosa-Grund after he was inspired to get a film project in development, thanks to having an audio tape played from the Perron Family case by the real life Ed Warren. With The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, due to scheduling conflicts Wan handed over the directing reins to Michael Chaves (The Curse of La Llorona), although he provided the story idea that was turned into a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (The Walking Dead). The third film in The Conjuring series is also based on a real life event, this time focusing on the Connecticut trial held in 1981, where Arne Cheyenne Johnson made history by being the first person in a United States court case to claim that he killed someone while under demonic possession.

Just as I mentioned in the recent review for A Quiet Place Part 2, the latest Conjuring film has an incredibly tense opening sequence. We find Ed and Lorraine Warren, exceptionally portrayed once again by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, with the aid of the Glatzel Family and a priest attempting to perform an exorcism on 8-year-old David Glaztel (Julian Hilliard). It appears that they are successful, although it comes at a personal cost to both the Warrens and Arne Johnson (Ruairi O’Conno), who is the boyfriend of Debbie Glaztel (Sarah Catherine Hook).

A few days after the exorcism, Arne is possibly experiencing hallucinations and begins to behave oddly… resulting in the murder of a landlord. The Warrens are contacted and attempt to aid Arne after his arrest, pledging to investigate what they believe might have been a possession, which leads them to the horrifying realization this is not random… the Glaztels were targeted… cursed.

The previous two films in the Conjuring series have focused on both hauntings and possession, the third film however presents something entirely new by adding a human antagonist along with the demonic entity introduced at the beginning of the movie. This naturally ramps up the tension as both the Warrens and others begin to unravel a very dark plot that is affecting a handful of families – it becomes a race against time to try and uncover who is behind all of this pain and death.

Of course the reason that the Conjuring films are just so good are the performances delivered by Farmiga and Wilson, they have an amazing chemistry together and the screenwriters have ground the supernatural elements by focusing on how much the two characters love each other. It is the characters devotion to each other, mirroring the real life relationship of the Warrens as I understand it, that are the anchor of these three films. But you can be assured that the rest of the cast in this latest film deliver strong performances too, in particular though the spotlight should be shined on the performance by John Noble (Fringe), who portrays a character who has seen the power of evil in his younger days as a priest.

In closing out this article, if The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It ends up being the last film in the series, it is a proper way to see off the characters of Ed and Lorraine. I do hope however that we will be seeing more Conjuring movies in the coming years. So, if you are looking for an entertaining film chock-full of chills and thrills with likeable and memorable characters, why not check out The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It in theaters or on HBO Max today?

A Quiet Place Part 2 – Non-Spoiler Review

Friends, the other evening after finishing my shift at the movie theater, I was able to check out A Quiet Place 2, the first film I have been able to watch since becoming an employee as a matter of fact. I had to work very hard to not get spoiled by anything, this was especially tough when acting as an usher, preparing to thank the patrons as they are leaving the auditoriums means that there are times I am standing in front of an open door with the last few minutes of the film playing. With a bit of luck as well as the fact I had some very understanding co-workers, I managed to stay away from anything that would ruin the film before I had a chance to see it. It has been a long wait to see A Quiet Place Part 2 and while I will only touch upon what you might see in the trailers for the film, I can honestly say that I personally felt it was worth the wait.

VIDEO AND ARTICLE IMAGE PROVIDED BY Paramount Pictures.

A Quiet Place Part 2 sheds some light on the origins of the sound sensitive monsters that seem to have rendered the world into a nearly silent post-apocalyptic place. I realize that there are hints given in the first film about where the monsters came from, if memory serves there are newspapers and notes written on the dry-erase board that Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) has set up in his family’s house. But after a pretty intense opening that gives us a glimpse of what it was like when the monsters first arrived in the town of Millbrook, as well as introducing an important new character, the film picks up right after the ending of the 2018 movie. And while the Abbotts might have a way to fight back against the monsters now, thanks to Regan’s (Millicent Simmonds) cochlear implant providing painful feedback to the violent creatures – they cannot stay at the farm due to the fire in the barn and the flooding in the house.

Emily Blunt, who delivers an incredibly strong performance as Evelyn Abbott, must attempt to protect her two teenage children, Regan and Marcus (Noah Jupe), and now a newborn baby in a world where just a rattled glass could bring quick death. It is Regan who notices a lone signal fire in the distant, offering the possibility of other survivors willing to lend them aid. But has a world of silence and the strain of just trying to live one more day without alerting the roaming monsters just changed humanity too much?

That is a very important question posed in A Quiet Place 2, and something that the Abbotts are confronted with when they reach Emmet, played by Cillian Murphy, who is holed up at an old steel foundry. It is pretty evident right from their first meeting that Emmet has prepped the place to not only be alerted of any of the monsters nosing around, but he’s barricaded more than the foundry, the man has done his best to pretty much distance himself from any feelings or connections to the outside world.

Being a post-apocalyptic world isn’t just because of the monsters, the end of the world can bring out the worst in people, even those folks who might have once been neighbors. But the takeaway from the film, which was written and directed by Krasinski, is that there is always hope or at the very least doing the right thing is worth fighting for. A Quiet Place 2 is a rare movie sequel that feels like a logical continuation of the story that delivers thrills and chills as well as plenty of heart. The performances from the entire cast are fantastic but I think special praise needs to be given to Millicent Simmonds, not only does her character carry the weight of the majority of the movie, but she is deftly able to hold her own with the likes of Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Peaky Blinders).

In closing out this article, if you liked A Quiet Place, you should do your best to head out to theater and check out the sequel for yourself. Here is hoping that the film will continue to do good business, that way we might get a trilogy out of the series.