To watch me open this pack of cards with commentary, check out my video of it here.
To watch me open this pack of cards with commentary, check out my video of it here.
This past Friday marked the 41st anniversary of the release date of one of my favorite movies, Smokey and the Bandit! To celebrate this fact, my daughter and I decided to do a video on her food review YouTube channel where we would take a look at The Diablo Sandwich. Check out this classic scene from the movie:
The problem was, I had no idea just what the heck a Diablo sandwich actually was. After doing some digging around on the internet, I found an awesome post on a message board where a user had broken the scene down frame by frame to try and solve the mystery of the Diablo Sandwich. If you have time, it’s a very fascinating read. Check out the thread: Diablo & Doc
So armed with that knowledge, we set out to make this iconic mystery sandwich, and I think we had pretty good luck with it. CHeck out our YouTube video review of it, and if you enjoy the vibe of the video, consider subscribing to our channel. We have a lot of reviews up, with more coming on a mostly daily basis.
A few months back, The Rambler had me take my first look at GRUNT! The Wrestling Movie from 1985 and share my thoughts on that gritty, grappling mockumentary in this review. Spoilers, it wasn’t my favorite piece of attempted comedy.
So when I was booked for a rematch with obscure cult cinema focused on the squared circle, this time in the form of Body Slam from 1986, it took a little more bribery. The promise of few old comics and some vintage trading cards can make a man do some crazy things, but I’m happy to report that the experience of watching Body Slam was a real hoot.
The film stars TV pretty boy Dirk Benedict who kids of the 80’s will remember most from his roles as Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica or Face Man on the A-Team, who in this story plays M. Harry Smilac a sleazy, but affable con-man who finds himself managing a wrestling tag team on the rise. Their partnership results in a musical money-making innovation to the business that catapults them to superstardom by the film’s end.
Before we get deep into my thoughts on the film, I thought it would be worth citing a few bits of history about the making of Body Slam.
Written by Bill Lancaster (Burt’s son) and directed by Michael Ritchie (who had helmed adult fare like The Candidate and Smile), this winning 1976 film worked on a lot of levels—and not just the “hey, those naughty kids are cussing” level either. There was the underdog triumph story at the movie’s core; there was the satire of the uniquely American institution of Little League and its overly-involved bench parents (in the year of our country’s bicentennial, no less). There was also a redemptive character piece at work, as Buttermaker, via his group of misfits, tried to get his shambled life together once and for all.
Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) is a former minor league baseball player, and currently, a disheveled drunk and a not-so-devoted pool-cleaner. And if you think he’s mastered the fine art of uncouth and offensive language, wait until you meet the kids on his future Little League Team.
We’re back once again for another Retro Round Table! This time, we’re talking about our favorite movies from the 80’s. There were a lot of memorable movies in the 80’s, and we are all nostalgic about one or more of them. While I am more fond of old television shows from the 80’s, I do have a favorite movie from that decade too, and so do my friends, so I invited them over once again to share their memories as well. I’m joined today as usual by Hoju Koolander from the SequelQuest Podcast, Jason Gross from Rediscover the 80’s, Eric Vardeman from Eric V Music, and new to the round table starting this week, we welcome in Spyda-Man from the great retro blog, 20 Years Before 2000! Let’s get to it and see what movies we all loved!
– Eric Vardeman
Give Eric a follow on Twitter at @Eric_Vardeman, and you can find his retro memories right here on Retro Ramblings! His new weekly feature here on Retro Ramblings, Music Mondays, is awesome too. He looks back at the songs gracing the Top 40 list from 35 years ago in 1983! He’s also a talented singer/songwriter, and you should check out his music at EricVMusic.
My favorite movie from the 80’s has to be The Goonies! Not only is it my fave 80’s flick, but possibly my favorite movie of all time! I never actually did see The Goonies when it was released to theaters in 1985, but when it hit the VHS market a few months later it became a staple at sleepovers and parties. The main reason why I love this movie so much was because the story and relatable characters from The Goonies captured mine and my childhood friends imaginations. I mean, we planned entire weekends around attempts to recreate the epic story of Mikey and The Goonies’ quest for treasure to save the Goondocks! I even tried to come up with my own inventions to help us on our crazy adventures just like Data. You know, in case some devious ex-cons tried to stop us. The best Goonie idea I came up with was hiding the netting that held our Christmas Tree to the top of our car, up my coat sleeve. It was supposed to eject out in a flurry of awesomeness and wrap up anyone who stood in our way, but mostly it just caused my arm to get itchy. Nothing we ever did compared to the hunt for One-Eyed Willie’s riches, but we had a whole lot of fun trying. The closest we came was finding my brother’s collection of fools gold in his desk drawer. The Goonies was not just a movie to us, but it became a part of our lives and I will never forget the great memories The Goonies added to my childhood.
There are so many movie icons of the 80s to choose from when considering my favorite film of the decade. Heroes like Rambo or Batman, funny fellas like the Ghostbusters or Bill and Ted, but in my heart I know the top spot goes to Phyllis Nefler and her pack of spoiled rich girls in 1989’s Troop Beverly Hills. Oh, how I LOVE this movie, let me count the ways. First off the film features so many familiar 80’s sitcom stars including Shelley Long from Cheers, Craig T Nelson from Coach, Emily Schulman from Small Wonder, Ami Foster from Punky Brewster, Audra Lindley aka Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company and Tori Spelling from Beverly Hills, 90210 to name a few.Then there’s the fact that I grew up in a fairly affluent part of Southern California where I observed this life of privilege firsthand and totally knew ridiculous kids and parents like this. Oh and did you know that the animated opening title sequence was produced by John K, creator of the infamous Nicktoon, Ren and Stimpy? Plus, you gotta love the theatrics of selling girl scout cookies by holding a celebrity fashion show and performing a Tina Turner style pop song. Finally, Shelley Long totally reminds me of my own Mom when she took on the role of Cub Scout Den Mother for me and my friends the year this movie came out. Endlessly sweet, fun, fashionable and a little dingy, my mom IS Phyllis Nefler. I still own the VHS copy of Troop Beverly Hills we bought from our local video store, despite now owning the film on Blu-Ray and treasure it like a family heirloom. Beverly Hills what a thrill!
– Hoju Koolander
You can follow along with all of Hoju’s retro shenanigans on his twitter feed, @hojukoolander, read a lot of his his fine writing on a variety of retro topics at Retro-Daze, keep up with him at PopGeeks, and listen to his awesomely fun pod cast at SequelQuest Podcast where he and his cohorts craft sequels that we never got to movies that we loved! Be sure to check out his latest piece over at Retro-Daze, Retro Magazine Round-Up: Black Belt! Oh, and one more thing….stay tuned to Retro Ramblings, as Mr. Koolander has another fun movie review coming up soon as part of our Wrestlemania week.
So difficult to pick just one as my favorite. However, I will choose one that I’ve passed along to my kids. Ghostbusters was so impactful for my 8-year old brain in 1984. I don’t remember if it was the first movie I saw in the theater but judging the evidence, it was clearly my favorite as a kid. I remember spinning the 45 record single of Ray Parker Jr.’s theme at my birthday party that year as we played musical chairs. I received a light blue sweatshirt for Christmas with the iconic logo and the words “Back Off Man, I’m a Ghostbuster!” I remember eating the cereal with the glow-in-the-dark box and watching The Real Ghostbusters (and Filmation Ghostbusters) cartoon. And when Ghostbusters II came out, it impacted me all over again except this time it was Bobby Brown’s “On Our Own” on cassingle.
Ghostbusters has so many memorable scenes, quotable lines, and just something for everyone. There’s horror, comedy, romance, and adventure all in one film topped off with one of the coolest cars in cinematic history. I’ve seen the original film twice when it was re-released in theaters. On the 30th anniversary, I took my oldest son who was 9 at the time. He loved it. Probably not as much as I did when I was his age but he still saw why I’ve clung to it all these years. And now, the evidence is overwhelming. Just this month the film has come to Netflix and he initiated a viewing on his own. While many can’t get past the technology and fashion in ‘80s films, Ghostbusters is one of a select few that is truly transcendent among generations.
– Jason Gross
Jason is the creative force behind Rediscover the 80’s and is always posting some of the best retro content you’ll find anywhere on the web. His twitter feed is a heavenly slice of the 80’s, so you should give him a follow there at @rd80s. He and I collaborated last year to compile out list of our ten favorite episodes of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Check out his five here, and then give my five favorites a look too!
I started out thinking this was a very hard topic to narrow down to just one pick, but it didn’t take very long for me to realize that the honor of my favorite movie from the 80’s gets bestowed on The Karate Kid. I fell in love with the very first time I saw it. Back in the days before my family had a VCR, my cousin Tim and his family had one. They lived beside us, and my uncle Ernest would go to the new movie rental store in town and pick up a movie most summer days, and during the hottest part of the afternoon, we would settle down in his living room and watch a flick.
Tim and I weren’t the only two kids who loved The Karate Kid. When we got back to school that August, all of our friends were imitating the crane kick, and the movie was our main topic of conversation for a long time. But it was more than just the crane kick. It was the “wax on, wax off” scene, and all the fights Daniel had with the Cobra Kai gang before the All Valley tournament. Heck, it even inspired many of my friends to join the local karate class. The closest I got to that was the set of Karate Kid pajamas I had back then.
– Retro Rambler
Every film lover has a ‘guilty pleasure, a movie one enjoys despite what popular opinion says about it. The designation has been applied to films as diverse as Grease and Plan 9 From Outer Space, but one film that constantly pops up at the top of ‘guilty pleasure’ lists is The Beastmaster. Over the years, this sword-and-sorcery epic has built up a serious cult following for its flamboyant, one-of-a-kind blend of fantasy, action and flat-out weirdness.
The Beastmaster focuses on Dar, a young man living in medieval times. His life is turned upside down when his family and the rest of their village are murdered by the Juns, a group of leather-clad warriors who work the evil sorcerer Maax. Dar swears revenge and sets out to find Maax. As he begins his journey, Dar discovers that he can communicate telepathically with animals and see through their eyes. He soon gathers a team of four animal companions, including a black panther, an eagle and a pair of adorable ferrets named Kodo and Podo who like to hang from Dar’s belt.
It was a little bit Star Wars, a little bit J.R.R. Tolkien, and a whole lot of little people. Willow was what fantasy lovers fantasize about: magic, swords, dragons, and a cast of cheerable heroes, hissable villains, and loveable rogues.
The Star Wars connection was no coincidence. George Lucas wrote Willow’s story and was its executive producer. Ron Howard, who had already brought fantastical creatures to the screen in Splash and Cocoon, came in to direct, and the cast included Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis (the future Leprechaun star).