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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Spiderman '67

One of the fun things about owning so much crap is, it's very easy to forget what you have and when you discover something, it's like Christmas. That was how I felt the other day when I was rooting through my CED box and found a disc of '67 Spiderman cartoons. Last night I got to spend a little quality time with the RCA SKT-200 and completely got sucked in to the Spiderman disc.

Now, I never really was a comic book nerd. Sure, I bought some, but honestly I preferred Richie Rich and Archie to Superman and the like. I don't know why, it's just one of those boy rites of passage I skipped (like baseball cards, or sports in general, for that matter.) But somehow, even though this show is before my time really, I have fond memories of seeing this on reruns somewhere, so it was a blast to watch this disc all these years later.

Watching now, I guess what I like about it is it just doesn't take itself too seriously. The dialog is flat out ridiculous, with plenty of pompous sounding alliteration, both on the part of Spiderman and his foes. Speaking of, the enemies are pretty silly too. I saw Vulture Man, though I'm not exactly sure how controlling birds, even if they all were vultures was supposed to be worth the TWO MILLION DOLLARS he extorted from the city. Was he going to have them poop on people's cars or something?

And I love the fact that Vulture Man wanted two one million dollar bills. Luckily, the mayor just happened to have a couple handy.

The animation is pretty sad, typical of late 60's animated television, which only adds to the charm. I made a game out of playing count the recycled animations. Not only is there plenty of recycling, there's also some just bizarre drawing on display. Each episode has at least one reaction shot that has the human face doing things it could not do unless it was made of rubber.

Example A:

That, to me, is part of the charm of these 'toons. The comic industry just takes itself too serious anymore. Sure, these were cheap and weird, but they were designed to be disposable entertainment for children, not something for grown men who still live with mom to obsess over.

I didn't know it, but I guess all these are out as a DVD set for the reasonable price of about $45. Personally, I don't think I need that much Spiderman '67, but if you do, there it is. CED Magic's page on Spiderman on CED has more info specifically on what I have here and is where I ganked these images from. (Sorry Tom.)

One other thing, I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the excellent library music used throughout the Spiderman 'toons. Neat article about that at WFMU's Beware of the Blog. Fortunately some fans have done the sleuthing to put together a compilation of some of the tunes and you can check out that comp here. (Better quality comp here and here. Download both parts and unzip.)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I rocked Lincoln Center last night...

without ever leaving Indianapolis. In fact, I was home with a stomach cramp. Heck, I didn't even know I was killing 'em in Wynton's house.

Insert my rock here.

Ok, I may be stretching things a hair, but a crowd of people did hear me play drums at Lincoln Center last night. And I'm coming soon to a TV near you...assuming you have Showtime.

My friend and long time musical collaborator (man, it feels pretentious to say that) Jon Autry managed to get six of his songs in the new This American Life show Showtime is doing. In fact, they liked his music so much, the only other person to have so much in the show was Mark Mothersbaugh, who Jon is likely to get to meet, lucky dog.

Anyway, he hadn't heard what or how they were using the tracks prior to the show's debut party at Lincoln Center last night. As he describe it to me, at the climactic moment of one of the stories they showed, there's my drums, rocking it out balls to the wall.

Kind of funny some track we recorded four, five years ago in the living room of the place he was living is going to be on a cable TV show. I'm pretty stoked to see this.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Saddle Creek gets it.

Though I'll probably never buy anything they put out, it's really wonderful that they are offering the digital download of an album with the purchase of the vinyl. I love owning records, but the sad reality is, I have to listen to mp3s more often. This is a great idea and I hope either more labels follow or Saddle Creek starts putting out music I like (not bloody likely.)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

From the comments...

The award winning Butchieboy laid this link on my in the comments. Here I'll just embed it.

Spectreman vs. the Monster Gorilla

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Check out Butchie's blog, you Gaynatian.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Goin' Coconuts (1978)

You know Donnie & Marie Osmond were on the way down in 1978 when Goin' Coconuts starts with the two supposedly in concert on a totally empty stage with no audience. Not only did they cheap out on scenery, but it would appear to me they borrowed the plot from the Brady Bunch or Scooby-Doo.


See, Donnie and Marie, along with their stereotypical manager, are on their way to Hawaii to play a show. In the airport a fake priest hands Marie a necklace which immediately attracts the attention of a dozen stereotypical baddies. About five hours into the movie, we learn the necklace is actually a decoder for this treasure map leading to a sunken submarine (!) with gold bars. Of course, by this time, we've already figured that out as subtlety is not this movie's strong point.

Along the way, there are many "wacky" and/or "madcap" chases. Of course it takes about half the film's running time before our heroes realize they're being chased. Those stereotypical baddies? Well, we have a Strangeglove-esque German (who would have been a million times better if Charles Nelson Riley played him) and a few Fu Man Chu generic Orientals. And Lurch. Yes, Ted Cassidy is the only other recognizable person in this film.

There are lots of jokes about teeth. Y'see, the Osmonds have really big teeth. I mean huge. Like, freakishly large and white. We're also treated to many scenes of Donnie being a playboy. Though his star fading at this time, I guess it's still possible that he'd get the Beatles treatment. Poor Marie though is treated like the virginal kid sister throughout.

The problem here is Goin' Coconuts falls into the category of films not bad enough to be good but also too bad to be good. There are a few good moments (like this classic reaction shot) but for the most part the movie just kind of drags.

This disc, from EastWest, is slightly less crap than their normal fare. It appears to be taken from an actual film source as opposed to their normal technique of using crusty old ex-rental VHS tapes. Of course, the print is less than pristine and is compressed to all hell so you get some massive macroblocking anytime there's motion or any complexity in the image. For a dollar, you expect it.

As always, the legality of this release is highly questionable. There's also a second feature "Lost on Paradise Island" that I haven't gotten into yet.

If you're one of the suckers who paid $25 on eBay for this, well, I'd be out for blood if I was you. Worth a buck? Maybe. I have to admit, I had high hopes and this failed to live up to them.

Friday, February 09, 2007

New blog...

Heads up, I'm contributing to a new blog 30 Lives, dedicated to gaming and whatnot.

Check it out.

More here soon.