ONE OF AMERICA'S GREATEST HORROR WRITERS DIES
AT THE AGE OF 65
Jaws author Peter Benchley passed away this weekend.
His 1974 book and co-writing duties on the film are among the most
well known and terrifying works of horror captured in both written
and motion picture mediums. Along with The Exorcist and
a couple Stephen King books, Jaws is certainly one of the most
important works of modern horror ever written. About 10 years
ago I went to The Monterey Bay Aquarium and there was a film about
sharks that was narrated by Benchley. I got a chuckle when he
said that its unfortunate that sharks have got such a bad rap and
that so many people are afraid of them. Ha! Who's fault
is that? There's probably not a writer in history that has
demonized a species more than Benchley has. How many people are
still afraid to go in the water after experiencing Jaws?
Benchley spent the latter years of his life fervently involved in
many marine conservation efforts in ways that made me wonder if he
was trying to atone for it all. Much like Little Richard's
eternal struggle between God and Rock and Roll. Ultimately
Benchley's legacy is one that has made the great white shark one of
the scariest monsters of all time, and has driven interest to
increase understanding of these incredible beasts. I've seen
Jaws more times than I can count, but I haven't actually read the
book since I was a kid. I'm going to buy some rum and curl up
with it tonight.
POLISH MOVIE POSTERS
EAST EUROPE TAKES ON CLASSIC FILMS ARE MINDBLOWING
While most movie posters in the United States pretty
much showcase the standard corporate style imagery to hawk the film,
the fine folks in Poland have a brilliant dramatic license when
marketing Hollywood's finest in their country, resulting in some of
the most brilliantly surreal and amazing pieces of movie artwork ever
created. Some of them are obvious, some seem to be crazy
nonsequiters that have nothing to do with the original picture, while
others seem to change the focus of the movie altogether.
Weekend At Bernies now looks more like a horror film, and Polish
poster for The Terror of Mechagodzilla looks as if it was animated by
the folks that made Yellow Submarine.
HERE TO SEE THE GALLERY & and a link TO THE SALE SITE
AL LEWIS: MONSTER, COP, and GOOD GHOST
Last week I
re-watched a double-bill of TV films, The Night Stalker and
the sequel called The Night Strangler, in anticipation of
finally viewing the whole first season of "The Night Stalker" on DVD.
Good movies—and written by no less than Richard Matheson. Check 'em
out. But the reason I mention them here is because of an odd
coincidence that occurred in time traveling back to 1972 and 1973
respectively for those films. When going back in time like that you
never know who else you might bump into besides the people you’re
actually looking for. You enter into a landscape full of ghosts (even
if they’re alive in present time, you’re still viewing them as the
specters of what they were) and one of the really neat things is the
surprise spirits that pop up.
In The Night
Strangler, our man Kolchak is hunting for a blood drinking ghoul
who’s hiding somewhere underneath Seattle in a part of the city that
was somehow buried but preserved, and while wandering around in the
dark down there he bumps into a tramp.
Enter Al Lewis into
the time machine.
CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF
STEVE URKEL VOTED MOST ANNOYING TV KID
With over 3,800 votes in our Most Annoying TV Kid
Poll, Steve Urkel was the top vote getter, with 25% of the vote.
It was a close race, with Vicki The Robot from "Small Wonder" and
Cousin Oliver from the final few episodes of "The Brady Bunch"
falling closely behind. While Jaleel White's portrayal of the
dorky Urkel on "Family Matters" was designed to be annoying, Oliver
and Vicki's characters were merely badly designed characters that
made you want to shove forks into your eyeballs. Screech from
"Saved By The Bell" was the only other double digit vote getter in
ASK THE DUST REVIEWED
ROBERT TOWNE'S 1930s LOS ANGELES
ROMANCE IS BEAUTIFUL AND
Based on a 1939 book of the same title by
John Fante, it reminded me of a Charles Bukowski story. I got quite
a laugh when looking at the editor review on Amazon which states that
Bukowski was actually quite a fan of the man's work and wrote as a preface
to a later edition of ADT, "Then one day I pulled a book down and opened
it, and there it was. I stood for a moment, reading. Then like a man who
had found gold in the city dump, I carried the book to a table. The lines
rolled easily across the page, there was a flow. Each line had its own
energy and was followed by another like it. The very substance of each
line gave the page a form, a feeling of something carved into it. And
here, at last, was a man who was not afraid of emotion. The humour and the
pain were intermixed with a superb simplicity ... that book was a wild and
enormous miracle to me."
FOR THE REVIEW
THE GREATEST SUPERMAN OF THEM ALL?
I just got the second season of The Adventures of
Superman, and forgot what a totally entertaining show it is. My
9 year old daughter was excited to hear we were going to watch
Superman but was discouraged to see this strange black and white
version she knew nothing about. Even though she said, "This
looks crummy!" during the opening sequence, she was quickly won over
and eagerly watched several more. Of course, it's the
incredibly studly and charming George Reeves that makes this show so
fun to watch. His natural athletic build and dashing good looks
make him a great Man of Steel, and he's certainly the coolest Clark
Kent of them all. He had a promising film career that was put
on hold after he served in World War 2. After he returned he
ended up taking the Superman role, which was a blessing and a curse,
as he had trouble escaping typecast once the series was canceled.
He later died of a gunshot wound that was ruled a suicide, but many
people still believe there was foul play behind it.
Regardless the 2 seasons available on DVD are
fantastic adventures that perfectly capture the wonderment of the
early 50s. Though the villains he faced were hardly more
threatening than common thugs and bank robbers, there's a charm in
each episode that's hard to resist. We'll have a more detailed
review and tribute up shortly. In the meantime, you can
CLICK HERE to pick them up at Amazon if you can't wait.
We'll also be having a giveaway, and a poll with every version of
Superman to see who's really the all time favorite, so keep your eyes
I AM CURIOUS, GEORGE!
A SURPRISINGLY GOOD KIDS FILM THAT DOESN'T
Curious George was one of those last remaining great
children's books that had not been screwed up as a movie.
Granted, it works from time to time, but with garbage like The Polar
Express, both Dr. Seuss debacles, and Disney's sickeningly cute
Winnie The Pooh travesties, its hard to get your hopes up when a film
adaptation is announced. Curious George has been in planning
stages for quite sometime, with rumors ranging from a live action
version with a CGI monkey, to a completely computer animated version
ala Pixar. I'm happy to say that they did the ol' monkey proud.
Boasting good old fashioned ink animation, and a G rating that it
wears without shame, it's like a classic from the 50s was locked in a
time vault and opened up to show today's audiences that good
characters, funny stories, and slapstick comedy can still go a long
FOR THE ENTIRE REVIEW
BIG TROUBLE'S SUZEE PAI
We got a request
from Chris in New Mexico to showcase the incredible Suzee Pai, former
Penthouse Pet and underrated beauty from Big Trouble In Little
China. We found, as did he, that there's a disturbing lack
of Pai photos out there. So please, won't you contribute a
picture or two to
email@example.com and we'll start putting our gallery
together? One picture may not be much to you, but it can feed a
family of four on retroCRUSH for a whole month! For the good of
mankind, please help us out. Here's the paltry few we've
scraped up so far.
YEAR OF THE
This Chinese New Year (which according to ancient
tradition, adds a lot of extra years and is 29 days late), is The
Year of The Dog. And aside from the chance to tell outdated
Linda McCartney jokes from the '70s, we figured it'd be nice to
showcase The 100 Greatest Dogs of Pop Culture History.
CLICK HERE TO
SEE THE TOP 100 DOGS!
COMIC BOOK HOE-DOWN
"TALES DESIGNED TO THRIZZLE" #1 BY
I picked this up last July and loved the hell out of
it, but neglected to write a review cause I was too busy putting
naughty Barbarella photo galleries together. Sadly my delay is
so long that Fantagraphics is no longer featuring it on their site,
City still has it for sale for $4.50.
The comic by Michael Kupperman is a surreal and highly
funny mix of pop culture, dramatic artwork, and freakish delights.
As pictured you can thrill to Mayor McCheese narrating the story of
Picasso, and gasp in amazement at Mickey Rourke plugging high-fashion
pubic hair stencils.
"HEE!" AND "HAW!" BY IVAN BRUNETTI
I'm a big fan of 1 panel gag comics, and this 3x3 inch
mini by legendary sicko Ivan Brunetti is full of 33 pages of guilty
laughs that will surely make you feel like a sick bastard every step
of the way. Psycho Ivan Brunetti showcases priceless gags like
a crowd noticing Superman's taint, and St. Peter astonished to read
Hitler's entry in The Book of Life. Buy a handful and switch
them out with the Jack Chick comics that are normally left at your
bus-stop. You can
CLICK HERE to purchase this for a paltry $2.50, as well as the
rest of Ivan Brunetti's work at Fantagraphics. Also back in
print is Brunetti's original "HAW!" book, which is a larger sized 96
page book with more of the same way out offensive shit.
"CHIMERA" #1 BY LORENZO MATTTOTTI
is collecting a series of comics from international creators with
their Ignatz line. "Chimera" is the 6th book in this series,
and it's a difficult to understand but hard to stop looking at piece
that can best be described as a nightmare of ink. The cover,
which features a sinister rabbit creature emerging from a lake is
almost worth the price alone. From what I can gather, the book
is divided into two sections that feature daydreams and nightmares.
The first part showcasing wispy cloud figures rolling around in an
erotic dance, until some evil creature belches darkness everywhere
raining soot and an all-consuming evil. I think this story was
lifted straight from an issue of Archie's Pals and Gals.
Definitely not your traditional comic book, per se, but a super high
quality example of how the medium can thrill without word balloons
and sound effects.
to check out the entire IGNATZ line. We'll be reviewing the
THE retroCRUSH INTERVIEW
The talented Lisa Pelikan has appeared in a variety of
different stage, film, and TV roles. Her first feature film, Julia,
was nominated for 11 Oscars. She’s also co-starred with Jean-Claude
Van Damme in Lionheart, battled Ghoulies, and made snakes kill
people in the cult classic Jennifer. We caught up with Lisa
and she had a lot of great stories to tell.
CLICK HERE FOR THE
BEST OF THE ELECTRIC COMPANY
COMES OUT ON DVD FEBRUARY 7TH
At long last, one of the hippest kid's
shows every made is coming out in a gorgeous 4 disc set on February
7th. The Electric Company was a great treat for kids that
wanted something entertaining and educational to watch, but outgrew
Sesame Street. With a cast that included Bill Cosby, Morgan Freeman,
and Rita Moreno, and segments like Letterman and often hilarious
live-action Spider-Man skts, the show was always great. We'll
have a review (and hopefully giveaway copies) up shortly, but in the
meantime, you can
CLICK HERE to see a Quicktime trailer full of highlights.
COMMERCIALS WITH AMERICAN STARS ULTRA FUN-TIME!
Many of America's biggest celebrities avoid
advertising to preserve their perfectly marketed Hollywood image, but
apparently when they visit Japan, all bets are off! Japander is
a wonderfully cool website that has a video archive of some truly
amazing ads featuring celebs that you'd think you'd never see.
Give 'em a look and make sure you see some truly inspired examples
featuring Nicolas Cage extolling the virtues of Pachinko, and Arnold
Schwarzenegger in some truly batshit insane works of art.
and see for yourself.
THE 100 MOST ANNOYING THINGS OF 2005
2005 is over and
not a moment too soon. We've been doing this since 2000 and I
can't think of a year where the bad outweighed the good to this
extent in quite a while. And of course, that's great news for
putting together a list of annoying things! Let's hope that
2006 will live up to this banner year of annoyingness.
CLICK HERE TO
COMMENCE THE ANNOYINGNESS!
FLASH" COMES TO DVD ON JANUARY 10TH
It's hard to believe it was 15 years ago, but in 1990 we
were treated to a single season of a high-budget TV series of The Flash.
With a near perfect and very expensive adaptation of the original costume
(which reportedly cost nearly a million dollars to design, and was
conceptualized by none other than pin-up art legend Dave Stevens), the
show only lasted a full season, but it was full of great fun and colorful
villains like Mark Hamill as The Trickster, and David Cassidy as The
Mirror Master. Some of the two part episodes were even released
theatrically in the UK. Warner is taking advantage of their super
hero properties and releasing a ton of cool things the next few months
including more sets of Lois and Clark, animated Superman and Batman sets,
and finally a complete Season 1 package of the surprisingly cool Teen
Titans cartoon. In the meantime, you can pre-order The Flash on Amazon for
$41.99, which is nearly $18 the suggested retail, if you