YouTube Channel Shoutout: Oddity Archive

If you thought I knew how to cover the stranger side of pop culture, you should check out my latest YouTube obsession, the Oddity Archive. Because he does it better!

YouTube Channel Shoutout

I’ve given a few shoutouts recently for several channels whose work I watch with a diligent eye, a smile on my face…and the intense concentration and excitement of an excited geek.

In recent months, I’ve praised urban explorers Dan Bell and Ace’s Adventures and their journeys through dead/dying mall culture. As you know, I dabble in pop culture bizzarreness, especially nostalgic pop culture bizarreness. And I’ve found a channel that makes it so weirdoes like me can revel in someone else’s equal enjoyment.

Oddity Archive

To be honest, I have no idea how I found the Oddity Archive, but it has already been responsible for a recent Music Monday post on my blog, so you know it means business in my life.

Oddity Archive delves into the strangeness of pop culture (specifically the nostalgic kind), and tells its story through history lessons, local commercials, and any relevant footage. Host Ben Minnotte sits behind his box and tells the tale of these bizzarre moments in pop culture. His tales are funny, the pop culture is odd and painful, and all of it is done with proud geeky passion.

And for every new episode, a different picture on the box.

He’s smiling behind that box.

Oddities Covered

Ben’s topics run the range of pop culture oddities – riffs, short films, local access programming (think Wayne’s World, but terrible), VCR gaming, analog broadcast sign-offs, drive-in theater ads, and children’s programming. The stranger, the better!

The webseries premiered with the Max Headroom hacking story, and from there, has gone on to cover anything that is pretty much on the level of that infamous incident.

Upload via OddityArchive

If you’re still reading this, then obviously, this piques your interest.

Which brings me to the part you came here for…VIDEOS!

Oddity Archive

How about a whole playlist of oddities?  Go on, click play!

Uploads via OddityArchive (Playlist via Michael Roden)

Tapper - Christoper Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Tapper (1983)

Tapper is a great choice from Christopher Tupa, for this week’s Retro Arcade Art. Developed by Marvin Glass and Associates. Who I should add were responsible for a few games and toys you might recall. Ever hear of Operation or Mouse Trap? While Tapper may have been developed by Glass it was released by Bally Midway.
Tapper - Arcade Marquee

I think we should tackle the Tapper name right out of the gate. This classic arcade title has the distinction of being produced by Budweiser!
Tapper - Budweiser Arcade

It is a fact that the arcade cabinet has one of the most distinctive designs. The brass rail at the bottom of the machine for Players to rest a foot. As well as some featuring ashtray holders on the side of the control panel.
Tapper - Arcade Cabinet

While those are definitely unique features to be sure. However for a game that was mostly carried in family-friendly arcades. A lot of parents saw Tapper as promoting drinking and smoking. Which is why of course that Bally Midway released Root Beer Tapper as an alternative a mere year later.

Gone were the ashtrays and brass rail. The side art had even been altered to showcase a character that looked more like a soda jerk than a bartender. Naturally all elements of the Budweiser brand had been removed from the game as well.
Tapper - Root Beer Sign

As for the gameplay for Tapper it’s easy to understand but hard to master. Tapper must keep slinging frosty glasses of root beer to his thirsty patrons. Who appear in early stages in small numbers but increase in later levels.

On the first couple of stages you will be serving cowboys in a western bar. Followed by an outside event with sports fans. Then you will need to contend with angry punk rockers in a basement bar. And finally you will head to outer space to serve some aliens.

This is done by pulling on the tap which of course fills up the mug in Tapper‘s hand. Releasing the tap slings the full mug across the bar to a waiting patron. Doing so might result in a happy guest being pushed outside the doors. In fact you need to clear the bar of all patrons before being able to complete the stage. Of course if there is no one to receive a mug it crashes to the floor and you lose a life. The same thing will occur as well if you fail to retrieve a mug that the patron sends back to be refilled.
Tapper - Empty Mug

Also if a patron reaches the end of the bar without being served they lose their temper. Taking it out on the Player in fact by sliding Tapper across the bar and out the door. Resulting in a loss of a life of course.

Players can move up and down at the edges of the bar. In later stages the ends of the bar are often split up. Two might have you serving from the right side and two on the left, etc. Besides picking up the empty mugs which will net you points, some patrons will leave a tip. Collecting this will cause a quick dance number to start up which usually distracts the patrons. Giving you a couple of seconds to collect empty mugs and not get overwhelmed.
Tapper - Dancers

In addition to slinging root beer, between the changes in venue. There is a quick mini-game. A bandit shakes up all but one can of root beer. Then slams his fist against the counter causing them to rotate – forcing the player to keep a sharp eye on the unshaken can. Otherwise when you open the wrong can Tapper gets a face full of soda. Find the right can of course and you get a hefty bonus to your score.

Now that you know the rules of Tapper, why not watch it in action?

[Via] Barry Bloso


As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

Don’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!

Paul Naschy - Scream Factory

Scream Factory: The Paul Naschy Collection II

Paul Naschy has been described as being the Spanish equivalent of the legendary Lon Chaney. I think that is a rather apt comparsion. In fact with Scream Factory’s Blu-Ray release of the Paul Naschy Collection II. I think you too will see why he is held in such high regard as well.
Paul Naschy - Table

You might remember back in June of this year, when I wrote about Scream Factory’s release for the first Paul Naschy collection. For this go around they are presenting another set of five films. Representing a good dose of the actor’s filmography.

Paul Naschy - Hunchback
HUNCHBACK OF THE MORGUE (EL JOROBADO DE LA MORGUE)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Rod Barnett And Troy Guinn Of The Podcast, NaschyCast
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)
  • Still Gallery

Paul Naschy - Devil's Possessed
THE DEVIL’S POSSESSED (EL MARISCAL DEL INFIERNO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)

Paul Naschy - Werewolf
THE WEREWOLF AND THE YETI (LA MALDICION DE LA BESTIA) (I won’t lie, friends. This is absolutely the one film I would had given anything to have had commentary on as a special feature.)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • Still Gallery

Paul Naschy - Exorcism
EXORCISM (EXORCISMO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Troy Howarth
  • Theatrical Trailers (Spanish And English)
  • English Credit Sequence
  • Still Gallery


A DRAGONFLY FOR EACH CORPSE (UNA LIBELULA PARA CADA MUERTO)

  • In Castilian With English Subtitles And English Dub
  • NEW Audio Commentary By Author Troy Howarth
  • Still Gallery

Now that you know what is in the Paul Naschy Collection II, how about where to get it?

The 5-disc collection will be available this Tuesday at better Blu-Ray dealers everywhere. Of course you can also order your copy from Scream Factory itself. I should also add that the collection contains a 24-page booklet written by Mirek Lipinski!

Let’s (Kinda Sorta) Play “Sonic Fury”

Ok, it’s more like let’s watch “Sonic Fury.” But here nor there, folks.

On a Sonic Fury-Like Alternate Universe…

Back in 2015, an excited writer named Allison Venezio wrote a piece for a certain retro blog. She talked at length about a game. It wasn’t much of a game – you put the tape in a VCR and connected a “console” (the console’s maker called it a “base unit”) to your VCR. You took aim at targets, and your actions (or inactions) didn’t effect the outcome. It wasn’t much of a game.

That game, however, contained decent visuals. It tried so hard. And the only reason it contained those decent visuals was because those visuals came from an actual feature film.

That game, you ask? Action Max’s Blue Thunder. The writer? This one! It was my first Retroist article, and I am proud that so many articles later (this is my 127th), I’m still with Retroist, cranking out the best of the best in rare weirdness and Chicago music.

It’s an awesome ride, which doesn’t quite describe what you’re about to read and watch…

Highway To the Sonic Fury – er, Danger Zone!

Welcome to the friendly skies of Chroma Key, where your final training exercises are being held. This training is your ticket into Sonic Fury, which is probably Top Gun Lite.

Joining you on your final training exercise is Alabam (“True” Fact: the last “a” was left off so Worlds of Wonder wouldn’t get sued by the state of Alabama), and these two enthusiastic pilots:

Your friendly neighborhood Native American pilot, “Chief,” and that old hot dog…”Trucker.”

I bet he did that for the kids.

You’re nickname for the mission is Ace, this is a nicknames-only mission, and it should be a cut-and-dry final training session…

Yeah, movies never wrap up that fast, why should Worlds of Wonder dare to be different?

Friends, let’s grab our light guns and take to the friendly skies of Chroma Key to complete our training for “Sonic Fury,” aka “Not A Top Gun Ripoff Squadron.”

The best part?  I’ll be joining you for the ride!

That’s right, my happy face is confined to the lower corner of the screen, covering up the flashing “target” placement area.

Oh, and apparently I’ve lost my mind.

And whenever you’re ready, click play and join in on the mutual torturing, littered with drones, me giggling, and the feel of a company that really thought they had something big going on here.

Sonic Fury

PREPARE FOR ACTION!

Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words

Related Watchings/Readings

I covered one of the other Action Max games on my blog for my Halloween article, if you’re still feeling brave after your training mission for Sonic Fury!

The Halloween I Spent Rescuing Pops Ghostly – Published October 31, 2017 on Allison’s Written Words. Your supposed to save the Ghostly family from evil lurking in their friendly haunted house. I’m still convinced it was those two child “actors” that needed more saving!

I also wrote a two-part piece on my original Allison’s Written Words blog  about the system in general. It pretty much covers what every other piece on the Action Max has already said.

Action Max: The Rise and (Quick) Fall of a Video Game System

Part 1 – November 26, 2013 / Part 2 – December 27, 2013 (Don’t ask why it took a month between parts)

Kaos - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Kaos (1981)

Christopher Tupa has done it again. With Kaos his pick for this week’s Retro Arcade Art. He has chosen another arcade title that I have not heard of before. I am going to go out on a limb and assume that many of you have not heard of Kaos before today as well!

While Kaos might be a mystery to you. I will add that who is responsible for the design and production of the game also requires some sleuthing. If you go with the knowledgeable folks over at the International Arcade Museum the credit goes to Taiyo. Although as can be seen from that attract screen as well as the arcade cabinet itself, it was released by GamePlan, inc.
Kaos - Arcade Machine

However, mystery of who gets credit for Kaos aside. This 1981 game belongs to the maze genre of classic arcade titles. Although having said that this isn’t like Pac-Man. In fact it is a vertical maze that the Players have to navigate – jumping from one moving platform to another. I honestly feel that 1982’s Zoo Keeper was inspired by Kaos for the former’s bonus level.

Now the gameplay for Kaos is rather simple. Players attempt to catch coins as they glide across the moving platforms towards the bottom of the stage.
Kaos - Stage 1

This isn’t just because you are trying to rack up points of course. It turns out that in this video game universe when a coin reaches the bottom of the screen it becomes a deadly dragon! Who will naturally give chase to the Player.
Kaos - Dragons

As you might imagine if a dragon catches the Player you lose a life. But at the very least you can take comfort that you helped to fill a dragon’s stomach, right?
Kaos - Dragon is Fed

In later stages the dragons will actually spawn from the top of the stage. Beyond that another threat is the maze itself. For example some of the platforms will have walls attached to them that can slide you off. Or worse yet in early levels they can rake you to the side of the screen where you will be electrocuted. However in some later stages you can safely wraparound to the other side. Thankfully before each stage it will give you a friendly warning. In addition if you slip through a crack in the platforms at the bottom of the screen you will be fried as well.

Take heart though brave adventurer! The Player isn’t totally without a way to fight back. If you jump up to the top of the stage and make contact with a green pyramid. You are transformed into an almighty dragon-slaying King! At least for a little while. You can rush towards the foes and dispatch them with a touch…and net yourself a nice score in the process.

Kaos - King

Hail to the King, Baby!

Feel like trying Kaos for yourself? Good news it’s totally available on the Internet Archive Arcade!


Kaos - Service Manual


As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

Don’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!
(Beezer)
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)
(Inferno)
(Kangaroo)