Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Movieland Wax Museum documentary update

Dan Roebuck and Rob Klein continue to work on their forthcoming documentary about the now long closed "Movieland Wax Museum." Dan and Rob have been producing an in-depth look at the history of Buena Park's Movieland, which opened in 1962. Rob Klein commented: "Movieland was a very unique wax museum and a southern California historic amusement that is worthy of an in-depth documentation. Dan and I started out compiling interviews and materials in 2005, we had hoped to complete the documentary by 2007, unfortunately we are still unable to locate a large amount of promotional material the most crucial being the 1980s promotional TV spots. Southern Californians remember seeing these commercials broadcast all the time. I just don't feel that this documentary will be complete until we can locate some of these promos which will help convey the vibe of what Movieland was all about." Rob and Dan urge anyone who may know more about and or have any of this kind of material to get in touch with them.

For fellow Movieland fans, here is a rare print add promoting "The Black Box" which was an Audio-Animatronic horror attraction featuring scenes from "Halloween" and "Alien."

Disney original prop & costume display featuring items from Tron and The Black Hole by Gary Emerald

Disney Archives did an amazing job helping D23 promote the D23 Expo at Comic-Con by bringing out a few of Disney's comic-related heroes. All of these original costumes were displayed for the first time in California together. Pieces from the 70s sci-fi cult-classic "The Black Hole" were present, including the miniature robots, V.I.N.Cent., Old B.O.B. and Maximillain. Costumes from "Sky High," "Condorman," "TRON" and "The Rocketeer" complete with the hero X-3 Jetpack delighted attendees. The most popular definatly being Bruce Boxlietner's hero costume from TRON, even garnered attention from TRON's creator, Steven Lisberger, who stoped by the display to discus the details of the TRON costume with Disney Archivist Rob Klein.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Battlestar Galactica Tele-films promo ads

Here are two examples of print ads promoting the Galactica tele-films. There were several of these tele-movies cut together for syndication; I believe 5 in all, joining two-hour long episodes.

Instead of using the opening credits for the series, a new title card was created with the new title: i.e.: The Curse of the Cylons and Murder in Space placed over stock footage of the fleet flying by, to give it a feature film the feel.

“Experiment in Terra” was the only one that featured new footage. Ironically this was always a two-hour episode as it was originally broadcast as “Experiment in Terra” parts 1 and 2.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It’s A Wonderful Life- Blu-ray Disc

It’s A Wonderful Life is a wonderful film. Does that sound cliché? Well, too bad, because it has been voted the number one most inspiring film of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI). Frank Capra’s film holds up to the hype, and that’s a very difficult thing to live up to after so many years and years of fanfare. Broadcast every holiday season, this film is considered a “Christmas movie” though it’s not really about Christmas at all. It was continually shown during the holiday season, as the rights had fallen into public domain, so TV stations ran it endlessly during the holidays without having to pay a royalty. The aggressive broadcasts assaulted the public, happily creating several generations to take notice. Though it may have always been regarded among only film buffs as a great film, television is responsible for it its rediscovery, and for crowning it one of the royal classics, along with Gone with the Wind and the Wizard of Oz.

It’s A Wonderful Life should be viewed any time of the year. It is a masterpiece of filmmaking and should not be saved only for the holidays. In the film, George Bailey (James Stewart) questions his self worth late in life. He was once someone with big dreams, ambitions and ready to leave his small hometown Bedford Falls to make his mark on the world, but fate forces him to take on his father’s Building and Loan Company, which provides the lower income residents of Bedford Falls a chance to better their lives. He stays in Bedford Falls, though he knows that his decision to stay and run the his father’s loan company will guarantee him a financially moderate life like his father’s and prevent him from fulfilling his ambitions. Also, he is the only chance the community has against the wicked Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore) who owns everything in town except the Building and Loan. Foiling Potter’s continual attempts to put the Building and Loan out of business George is eventually found a victim to Potter’s evil schemes, and, in a desperate frame of mind, questions his own self worth. He is shown, with some heavenly help, that his life has been an adventure, indeed – and his impact on everyone around him has been profound. “No one is a failure who has friends,” was filmmaker Frank Capra’s ultimate message.

Released in 1946 by RKO It’s A Wonderful Life was filmed at the Culver Studios. The studio has had different names before and since the filming of this film, such as Tom Ince Studios, Desilu Culver, David O’Selznick Studios and recently, simply The Culver Studios. The film’s interiors were shot on the same stages where Gone With the Wind, King Kong, Star Trek and Batman were filmed. The exterior set for Bedford Falls was filmed on the little celebrated RKO Ranch, located in Encino, California. The ranch is all but forgotten today, and I believe that a golf course is now located where cameras once captured lighting in a bottle or onto celluloid rather.

This disc offers the film in original glorious black and white, looking absolutely pristine as presented in its standard 4:3 format. It definitely looks better than previous releases, but not noticeable enough to freak out over. Also offered is the colorized version, which looks not as crisp as you would think. This version suffers from the “colorized look,” where the pigments are just “off” enough to annoy, and constantly remind you that something doesn’t look right. The gem of the set is a vintage television documentary hosted by Tom Bosley, who looks as plump as a Christmas goose in his blue holiday sweater, stoking and poking his fireplace while he reminisces about the film. Ah, the production values of television. Surprisingly, Tom will go on to grace other film docs again, lending his syrupy and throaty voice to explore the sci-fi train-wreck all-time crap-tacular waste of sci-fi celluloid called Krull. Thankfully interviews with James Stewart and Frank Capra make this doc worthwhile.

I predict that the future of It’s A Wonderful Life will be prolific: there must be even more versions of the film released, as the movie needs a better in-depth look into its history. It is perhaps the greatest time-travel films of all time, next to Back to the Future. It is no surprise that this is one of Robert Zemeckis’ favorite films, and that It’s a Wonderful Life contains moments that obviously inspired Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale in writing their time-travel trilogy. I am sure that the film inspired even Rod Serling, as some of the creepier moments could be right out of the Twilight Zone. How many vintage family films combine such evocative story telling, drama, and gut-wrenching emotion? Very few, which is perhaps why fickle audiences of today except It’s A Wonderful Life in so many ways.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


There is nothing more aesthetically perfect than the 1960s Batmobile from "Batman." It is represented here quite well and with quite a lot of charm. This piece is perhaps one of the best offerings of the Batmobile ever produced, manufactured by Palitoy of the UK. Just look at the full color box. With its extra cool “talking" feature kids just may become frightened of Batman and Robin...give as listen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Obi-Wan Promotional video from the 1977 Living in These Star Wars LP

Living in These Star Wars was released in 1977 by The Rebel Force Band. I have heard from a few people who are aware of this LP, people are aware of this because of Rob Klein who was spreading the word among friends, that it was a parody. Nope, these guys were obviously serious and very impacted by the fever of 77, Star Wars fever. Since it was released in 1977 it was out before many of the Star Wars products were, perhaps even sooner that the bootleg toys. (a story for another time)

This pop rock offering is full of catchy harmonies and Moog keyboards, a very groovy, perfect time capsule of fun for the custom van and maybe a simpler time.
In any case here is the rare promotional video for "Obi-Wan" promoting the extremely rare CD release of "Living in these Star Wars."

Friday, October 30, 2009

Global Van Lines was once located near Disneyland

Does anyone remember the Global Van Lines building that was once located at the North East corner of the Disneyland property in Anaheim California? Throughout the 60s and 70s it literally sat on the same property the Team Disneyland building is today. It is the iridescent green building off of the 5 FWY right before you exit onto Harbor Blvd. I remember knowing that we were about to exit Harbor as a youngster, before I could read when I saw the Global Van Lines fountain, a globe with the water pumping through it in front of their unique building (see my rare advertisement posted for your enjoyment). Does anyone have any color photos of that building before it was demolished?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back to the Future's DeLorean time machine abandoned and neglected by Gary Emerald

It's sad but true; some studios just don't care about their assets. Their short sidedness sometimes is just plain unprofessional. Back to the Future is one of the most important franchises in American film history, and no doubt one of Universal Studios’ best. Back to the Future is a perfect movie, a masterpiece. It is shocking to see that one of the three hero DMC time machines created for use in BTTF part I was left to rot away on Universal’s back lot. Can you imagine the value of this picture vehicle had it been cared for and auctioned off? Instead it was left to rot away…this particular car was used for all the interior shots, and perhaps was the one in the films that gets the most screen time. Clearly no one their has any concept of what they have or had, and for a company who needs stuff to display on their tour, why was this thing not better cared for?

Burt Ward's action figure

One way or the other, this was the closest you could get to having a Burt Ward Robin action figure: Mego's 8" World's Greatest Super Heroes line. The card art is fantastic, don't you agree? These figures were released in the early 70s, and the first issue of Robin featured a removable mask, which did not look as good as the later painted on mask, seen here carded.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Emerald and Hobbit photo pic of the week

Here's an image you don't see everyday: "The many moods of Daffy"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Emerald & Hobbit cool photo pic of the week

Disney and Dinosaurs

Vintage TRON photo from Disneyland's Starcade

Do you remember the 1982 Disney fantastic feature film TRON? Many do…I never saw it in the theater, but I do remember the video arcade game. It was one of the first games to feature four separate games in one. It had beautiful cabinet art and even a clear blue joystick that illuminated with a black light located just underneath the monitor, which illuminated all the florescent line details as well as the joystick. A Disney experience even in you home town’s video arcade.

Disneyland’s Tomorrowland had at least ten of these games in the Starcade, complete with overhead video monitors so everyone near and far in the Starcade could view the game in play. Here is a rarely seen image of the TRON set up in Disneyland’s Starcade.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The most wanted prop or costume list in the "Mirror, Mirror" universe.

Daddy Warbucks' dress from Annie

Fizzgig from Dark Crystal

"Mac" from Mac and Me

Pat Morita's apron and "Al's" neon sign from Happy Days

Ted Knight's drafting table and Cosmic Cow Puppet from "Too Close for Comfort"

Anything Richard "Larry" Kline from "Three's Company"

Anything from Alan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold

Porkin's X-Wing fighter pilot boots from Empire

The Monkey Man's robe Raiders

Elrond's prosthetic fingernails

Tire from "Tucker" automobile from Coppola/Lucas' film "Tucker"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Remco's energized Spiderman and other Energized heroes

The Remco Energized Superhero line fits in the category of crap-tacular non-pose able 12” figures with great box art. The boxes and commercial TV tie-ins inspired… yet these toys did very, very little. You’d think a battery operated toy could provide hours of adventure…not really. These figures were designed with non-moving limbs, very simplistic and similar in design to toys from the 1960s.

There were several energized figures produced, Spiderman, was the focus of the collection and had the commercial spotlight. Superman, The Hulk, Green Goblin did not get any commercial attention and are the more obscure characters from the series. You don’t see many of them around these days.

With a “C” battery each figure did one thing. Spiderman has a pulley inside, when switched on he would climbs up a piece of fishing line from an arm permanently raised above his head. There was even a helicopter made for Spiderman… he looked dumb in it because he had to stand in the helicopter since he couldn’t bend his legs.

Superman’s eyes light up and when you plug the Kryptonite rock into his side, his eyes dim. His box shows an energized Superman looking nothing like the figure inside.

The Hulk has a pulley inside, same sort of things as Spiderman’s mechanism so the Hulk can and can pull stuff. Yawn…this mysterious toy line is one of my favorites

Kenner's Star Wars line 1978-1986?

Its been talked about ad nauseaum, just look at the colors and enjoy...nuff said!

William "Shatastic" Shatner collectibles by Rob Klein

Everyone collects something. No matter if they are square with that or not. Concerning toy collecting it’s not really about the toy, it’s about the object. The toy plays a small part to me, it's all about the packaging. Toys can represent much, providing a deep understanding about the TV show or film it is based off of on so many levels.

Take for example this item from William Shatner’s first successful TV series since Star Trek (1966-1967): T.J. Hooker. This artifact asks the question: Did the public need toys from TJ Hooker? Perhaps the toy licensors couldn’t decide either since for this 5 season Aaron Spelling produced Shatastic Saturday night cop show only spawned a handful of products and they were all hard to find. I looked for anything I could find all and only remember locating a few items such the dart guns and a die-cast police car that was so inaccurate from the actual black and white police car Hooker drove, I didn’t even want it. Luckily a model kit was produced that was perfectly detailed, and remains to be a great example of T.J. Hooker merchandise, not to mentioned a great example of a 80s model police car, complete with the blue and red gumball sirens on top.

This T.J. hooker racer was not on my radar in the 80s, I never saw it or knew of its existance, and thanks to ebay I now know of it. Who cares about the toy itself, the mere fact another item with William Shatner that was once available for purchase in a store makes the world a little brighter.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Top 10 best movie or television weapons

Winky spear The Wizard of OZ
Deckard’s gun Blade Runner
Han Solo’s blaster Star Wars trilogy
Flame pistol Logan’s Run
Visitor laser pistol V
Colonial Marine Pulse Rifle Aliens
Colonial laser pistol Battlestar Galactica
Phaser 1 Star Trek
Luke Skywalkers Lightsaber The Empire Strikes Back
Phaser II Star Trek

Top 10 Television costumes-

Cylon Centurion Battlestar Galactica
Sleestak- Land of the Lost
Endora’s (Agnas Moorehead) witch robes- Bewitched
Batman (Adam West) “Batman”
Davy Crocket coonskin hat (Fess Parker) Disneyland - Davy Crockett episodes
Dr. McCoy (Deforest Kelley) Star Trek (1966-1969)
Captain Kirk (William Shatner) Star Trek (1966-1969)
Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) Star Trek (1966-1969)
Superman (George Reeves) The Adventures of Superman
Walt Disney suit from the opening of Disneyland (Anthology television series)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Super Powers Collection by Kenner: The best super hero toys ever produced?

Kenner's Super Powers collection

Many Super hero authorities consider Kenner’s Super Powers line to be the best toy line ever produced for the DC Universe. Perhaps even coming in first over the only other worthy collection: Mego's World's Greatest Super Heroes, produced in the 70s.

The Super Powers collection offered highly detailed figures, yet produced with simplistic charm. A style which has been ignored too often by current toy makers of the day. The primary colors of the plastic and superb packaging makes the Super Powers collection a pleasure to behold, total eye candy.

The figures were derived from Hanna Barbera’s “Super Friends” Saturday Morning TV series, and other super shows that followed such as: “The Challenge of the Super Fiends,” and eventually, “Super Powers” which tied directly into the toy line. Batman's and Robin’s designs were still closely related to the “Batman” 60s television series, though Batman started to stray away from Adam West’s look. The Super Powers Batman still had the classic blue and gray color scheme. This was the last toy line that offered Batman looking his best in blue and gray before he would forever be changed to the boring “dark motif” brought forth by Tim Burton’s Batman film in 1989.

Here is an example of Robin MOC card from the Super Powers line, still very Burt Ward-ish even 20 years after the show went off the air. Another robin feather in the cap of Burt Jervis.

Super accessories: Justice Jogger

What’s the deal with this Super Powers vehicle? Offered in the scarce third wave of the series. The Justice Jogger is an “overland villain chaser” with power stepping action. Perhaps Kenner’s design team was out of ideas by the time they began designing the third line of the Super Powers collection. The Justice Jogger is basically a wind-up two legged walking chair, which will carry a Super Powers action figure. The box depicts Superman piloting the chair. Lucky this vehicle is available to the man of steel just in case he gets tired. The only other character I could think of that would have been as bad of a choice to use as Superman was would have been the Flash. Though I guess Superman probably sells more toys regardless of the logic behind the idea.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Vintage Sleestak toy...well, sort of...

Most of the Land of the Lost toys were disappointing to say the least. Never the less, they are fun looking back now.

Unfortunately a Sleestak action figure was not produced. Though the Sleestaks did appear on this odd toy: “Land of the Lost Moon Spinners.” Sadly this toy had very little to do with Sleestaks, the moon, Land of the Lost or the Disney Hayley Mills film of the same name.

Beware: Sleestak by Gary Emerald

Concerning “The Land of the Lost” there is no doubt that the Sleestaks, the weird reptilian race stole the show. They are both nightmarish and yet fascinating, the 70’s generation’s Creature from the Black Lagoon. The Sleestaks are just a masterwork of design. The very name Sleestak was a creation of Sid Kroffts, another feather in his very colorful creative cap.

There were 3 Sleestaks suits made for all three season…no more, no less and the show’s long day production schedules trashed on them. Only two exist today, restored by archivist Rob Klein for Marty Krofft. Where the third one is, no one knows. Perhaps it was trashed after its use on the A-Team. The picture above is from the A-Team, in the show some guy parachutes into Universal's water tank, the one on the tour with the parting of the red-sea. Did they think that this fragile years old costume could survive this strain? Clearly someone did not care about the preservation of a priceless television Krofft artifact.

The Land of the Lost hand puppets

“The Land of the Lost” was one of the coolest Krofft shows. There is much to explore surrounding the three seasons that “The Land of the Lost” was on the air. Star Trek alumni contributed to writing episodes, no doubt by the suggestion of Sid Krofft. This show had it all, dinosaurs with a cool sci-fi cross-over.

This show technically combined video; the format the live action footage was taped on, with film, the format used to create the dinosaur’s movements. At one time it was thought the entire show would get scrapped vbefore the technitians figured out how to marry the two formats.

Not all of the dinosaurs were stop motion. The Krofft puppet shop made hand puppets for Grumpy and later Big Alice. Each puppet was quite large, constructed of foam, Grumpy seen here, has seen better days as you can see in the photo.

Big Alice is in far better condition, as the staff at Emerald and Hobbit has carefully maintained her. The Big Alice hand puppet can be seen at the end of the season 3 titles, taking Grumpy’s queue for having the final word.
The Big Alice hand puppet may have been built by Wah Ming Chang as grumpy was.

Technically The Big Alice hand Puppet is also Grumpy as she was substituted for Grumpy in one episode. It is unknown whether this was a mistake, or that perhaps they had to use her for some other technical reason. Maybe Grumpy was not available? Interesting whatever the reason may have been.

Photo #3: The Big Alice Hand puppet seen here in the late 80s

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New recording of the Dr. Shrinker theme song.

One of the most fun aspects to the Krofft's shows was the opening credits and catchy theme songs. Here is a recent version of the "Dr. Shrinker" theme song recorded by the pop trio "Lady Elaine and the Music Go-Round.”

Also pictured is a classic piece of Krofft memorabilia a "Dr. Shrinker" magnifying glass. Maybe by using this you can find those shrinkies. Notice the placement of where the manufacturer put the hole for where product was supposed to be hung from. Its exactly on Jay Robinson's head. I am not a big one for "punched" and "un-punched" concerning condition, but if this piece were "punched" you would loose the image of the doctor's face.

Sid Krofft and Rob Klein

Here is a picture of Sid Krofft with Rob Klein. Rob restored several of the artifacts from the Krofft's archives, including one of the only 2 remaining Sleestak costumes.

Gary Emerald explores The Worlds of Sid & Marty Krofft

Sid & Marty Krofft remain to be one of the most unique creative teams in television history. They are known most for their childrens television programming. When you think of childrens television, the first thing you may think of may be The Muppets, or Sesame Street, the result of the creative mind of Jim Henson and those who worked with him. The Krofft’s Legacy shares many similarities to the world of the Muppets; yet their products take a sharp turn into the world of psycadelic and the strange. Perhaps due to their first self-produced hit H.R. Pufnstuf (1969-1970). Cloaked as a kids show, Pufnstuff spoke to not just young kids: The teenagers and young adult party goers of the late 60s waking up from a night of "wackiness" no doubt that was common and unique in the fall of the last year in the decade of magic. Waking up to "H.R. Pufnstuf" may just about have made the hang-over worth it. The talking mushrooms, and all the Sgt. Pepper / Magical Mystery Tour colorful sets were unlike anything on television then and now.

Though "H.R. Pufnstuf" only was on their air for one season, a story for another time, what followed was probably the most unique and creative portfolio of shows in television history, each rich with colorful characters and Theme songs that will not ever leave your subconscious…hopefully not! Plus the Kroffts had what very few creators or producers can claim on their resume’: a theme park.

What was once know as “The World of Sid & Marty Krofft” was sadly only open for a short time, but the mystery and majesty of their history still is some what illusive. I must explore more. Though I have had access inside of their world, their empire which they still own outright (they have never sold out) I got to perhaps to see a glimpse at the “men behind the curtain” I still need to learn more and crack the case and discover all the nooks.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Star Trek's Deforest Kelley's and Leonard Nimoy's unreleased LPs finally located on CD

by Rob Klein
There are many 60s records that have been put on to CD since the 60s. There are times when a certain release comes and goes with out anyone every really knowing about it. Two examples of extremely rare CDs are Leonard Nimoy’s “Butterscotch Kisses” and Deforest Kelley’s one and only album “I’m Here for You.”

Here is a copy of De Kelley’s CD autographed by him. When he signed it he commented to me that the cover photo “was taken where we did all those Western pictures.”

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Paul Williams a true gift to Planet Earth

By Rob Klein

Paul Williams is a special talent on the Earth arriving to public awareness in the later part of the 20th Century. Paul started his songwriting career, in the 60s. He was inked into pop culture when his catchy-lazy-groove-mellow tunes were recorded by The Carpenters and the sounds of Karen’s and Richard’s musical gifts mixed with Paul’s hooks summed up the feel of the early 70s. The post-sixties, tired of all the drugs, burned out counter culture, music lovers of the early 70s needed a sonic break, and the relaxing vibes of the Williams tune was the right medicine. “We’ve only Just Begun” went to the top of the pop charts and many more went straight to "hit" status.

Maybe it should have been titled “Paul has Only Just Begun,” as his career took off into solo LPs and writing complete scores for motion pictures, as was the case in Brian DePalma’s first film Phantom of the Paradise. Paul also wrote the complete score for Bugsy Malone (the one with the kids as gangsters, with Jodi Foster lip-synching along with the child mob-boss Fat Sam) Bugsy Malone featured the prop called the splurge gun. The Tommie-gun styled weapon that fires cream pies effectively messing up the victim’s face and effectively killing them. This is probably the most sought after movie prop by the powerhouse super-duo collecting team of Gary Emerald and Jim Hobbit. The aggressive pop culture collectors have reportedly tracked down the only surviving working prop known to exist, but they were unwilling to relinquish their Charlie Chaplin collection for it as trade.

Paul Williams later got into acting, finally gracing us with his entire person. Appearing in films such as Smokey and the Bandit as Little Enos Burdett, Swan the evil music mogul in Phantom of the Paradise and Virgil the orangutan scientist in the 5th and "best" Planet of the Apes offering: Battle for the Planet of the Apes. In addition to small screen appearances on magical programming like “The Muppet Show” and 70s Saturday were never the same without shows like “Fantasy Island” and “The Love Boat” and both featured Paul in guest starring roles. Most importantly Paul composed the soothing theme song to the “The Love Boat”…BANG! Paul even had his own show for a time, titled what else: “The Paul Williams Show”…BAM!!!

What's next...collecting Paul Williams merchandise. Paul Williams manufactured mementos are very scarce and there really is not too much that we know of around, with the exception of soundtrack LPs, and 8-tracks, and the occasional movie poster, that he appears on, perhaps other items surrounding his music, such as sheet music and the like.

The late seventies brought about Paul’s most celebrated contribution, writing a song for Kermit the Frog in his first feature film The Muppet Movie. Without over working the word "magic" the song “The Rainbow Connection” truly is. How that song did not receive the Oscar for song of the year is about as annoying as when Raiders of the Lost Ark did not win in 1981 for best picture. Or when Star Wars lost out to Annie Hall in 1977,
At least Paul took home an Oscar for one of his songs in the forgettable film A Star is Born. I prefer the Judy Garland James Mason version, but I support the effort merely on Paul’s involvement.

Today Paul in the president of ASCAP…BANG!!! He occasionally does concerts. I went to one in the early 90s and it was sold out…darn!

Texans are true Paul fans as they have a Phantom of the Paradise concert quite often where Paul comes out and sings his tunes written for the film…Texas is cool.

Paul Williams… Emerald and Hobbit loves you, carry on beautiful man, carry on.

Here are a few of Emerald and Hobbit’s treasures from the vaults pertaining to Paul Williams.

If anyone turns up the satin powder blue suit he wore in Smokey and the Bandit, please contact Emerald and Hobbit immediately.

Paul Williams rarest collectible item ever!

Perhaps the most unique item that we have found for Paul Williams is a Slurpee cup. This piece is so rare it has been put inside a plexi-box, as no one should ever handle this treasure umless it is by the experts at Emerald & Hobbit.

It may be the only one left on the Earth, as most kids were not aware of his magic until they grew a little and learned more about him. Most kids usually discarded his cup into the gutters where they were crushed by the pea spup green and sparkle brown gas guzzling boat-like automobiles of the 70s.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Blade Runner: I don't get it.

Blade Runner…I don’t get it.
Jennifer Smith
Am I missing something? I admit, it took me three viewings of Casablanca (I saw it for the first time when I was 12) before I can sort of understand why some consider it the finest motion picture ever made. But Blade Runner? I don’t get it. Let me tell you, I have tried. My eyes have seen the original props from the film, from the Toymaker’s jacket and shirt to Harrison Ford’s original blaster, complete with its semi-translucent fiery handled grip. The Japanese Blade Runner “Dekkard” doll is beautiful, down to the last detail. The film has a rabid following of very cultured and intelligent sci-fi fans. I usually “get it” almost immediatley, I just don’t this time. So I’m wondering, am I alone? I feel somehow “wrong” for not catching on to the apparent coolness of this film, but I’m missing something here.
I tried to watch the film last night, for about the fourth time in my adult life. Mind you, I have the absolute perfect setting for film viewing. The film was projected onto a 90” screen with 5-point-one surround sound. When those Tangerine Purple (or whatever the hell that band is called) bells sounded, it was incredible. The film is a tour-de-force of design and boasts an absolutely otherworldly soundtrack. The innovation of Japanese projection ads on buildings through the rainy gloom of 2019 Los Angeles was fantastic. Rutger Hauer is both magnetic and tragic. He’s a symbol of doomed perfection, a combination of Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s immortal “Spike” and a genetically engineered Billy Idol. A brilliant and compelling character.

The question is raised: is Harrison Ford the “good guy,” or is he bad? After all, he guns down helpless Joanna Cassidy in the streets, which is one of the saddest examples of violence against women I have ever seen on film. Yet in the moments where you are supposed to empathize for his character, to root for him, I felt nothing. First of all, there is absolutely no chemistry between Sean Young and Harrison Ford. None whatsoever. The tender love story that is supposed to transform a bounty hunter into a runner (so run, runner!) fizzles at the end. Why does he want to run away with Young’s chain-smoking ice queen anyway? In the scene where they first meet and he questions her, she is rude and hostile. Is that sexy? I didn’t catch the undertone of attraction there, or in any subsequent meeting.
Then, the menacing and bizarre character played by James Edward Olmos just lets them go at the end, evidenced by the foil unicorn left on Ford’s apartment entryway. Olmos knows that Ford will run with the replicant Young, but I suppose he figures that she will die soon anyway, so he allows it? And what’s with Olmos’ weird blue eyes? Is he a replicant? Did that weird Japanese guy in the freeze chamber make his eyes too?
This could have been a chase film, like Terminator on crack. A cybernetic Rutger Hauer in his prime Vs. Harrison “Han” Ford? Bring it on!! Daryl Hannah as a psychotic gymnastic “pleasure model”? Wow! Pris says to Hauer: “We’re stupid and we’ll die,” yet Hauer seems so touchingly certain that they won’t. Yet at the end in the rooftop scene, with the nail in his hand and the dove across his chest, Hauer resembles a futuristic St. Sebastian. Even if he alone lived, excepting all other replicants (including Sean Young’s wet rag with great lip gloss character) it would have made this film worth watching. If Hauer lived on, and the Blade Runner let him go because he has a realization on the rooftop that he is an executioner, and not the good guy, how great would that have been? Hauer is the good guy, and could go free. Fabulous, I would have cried and cried. Just like Somewhere in Time, right?
In the prop collecting world, much has been made about the blaster that Ford uses. What’s the big deal? The very gun that blows two huge holes in Pris does Ford absolutely no good five minutes later against Hauer? Then Ford drops it? He drops it???? Where’s the drama? Ford could have shot Hauer in the face in the hallway of the toymaker’s house in the first minute of the finale when Hauer discovers the dead Pris, for Pete’s sake! By the end of the film I was howling like Hauer does, hoping for some logic to strike this highly legendary movie. I was hoping to figure out some secret message that everyone else has already figured out that makes this movie so well loved, like those 3-D images at the mall that I have never been able to see for myself. Like the fat guy in Mallrats, I never saw the sailboat either.
Some of you may be thinking, “lighten up, woman, it’s a classic!” but I don’t care. Classics are Three Stooges shorts with Curly in them, or Return of the Living Dead on DVD. Classics are The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, when at the end Mrs. Muir’s ghost walks away into the clouds holding hands with the ghost of the Captain. Classics are Elvis in the Aloha from Hawaii special and I Remember Mama with Irene Dunne. Logan’s Run and Aliens. Xanadu and Singin’ in the Rain. Logan’s Run and the Star Trek episode “Return to Babel” where Spock’s mom slaps him in the face. These are the true classics, and no well-made Japanese doll or cleverly marketed nostalgia of a beautifully art-directed film will make me think otherwise. So there.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kollecting KISS

Kollecting KISS

KISS is one of those bands where you either love them, or hate them. The loyal KISS fans would all agree that their lives have been changed by being a KISS fan. The fun and magic of their entertainment will always be a high point while on Planet Earth. They are one of he most innovative and talented bands in the history of entertainment.

The genius of Paul Stanley’s song writing, god given voice and stage performance, he is the epitome of what is Rock Star. Ace Frehley, perhaps the best guitarist of the 70s and onward, Ace is just cool, truly awesome. Peter Criss’ excellent and straightforward, custom van drumming, along with classic rock n roll wiskey-ish voice, KISS would not have been the same without him. Gene Simmons, is Gene Simmons, nuff said.

Here area few examples of some KISS items, a true feast for the eyeballs.