Saturn 3

Do You Remember 1980’s Saturn 3?

Let’s visit Saturn 3. It’s a neat 1980 sci-fi film starring Farrah Fawcett , Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel, directed by Stanley Donne and John Barry. Be warned as SPOILERS are straight ahead!

Set in the future, Saturn 3 is an outpost where scientists are working to hydroponically grow food for Earth.They do this beneath the surface of Saturn’s third moon, Titan. When they (Farrah Fawcett as Alex, Kirk Douglas as Adam) aren’t working they are lovers in space. They exercise together, play together, etc.
Saturn 3

Things get complicated quickly…Arriving as a stowaway, is Benson (Harvey Keitel ) and he is up to no good! He killed a fellow astronaut scientist and took his place for the voyage. He brings a bunch of cargo and one special canister. What could it be? Be patient, I’ll tell ya. Don’t worry. Benson is immediately smitten with Alex (Farrah) and who could blame him! He offers her various drugs and explains that this is the way of present Earth. He also lets her know that body sharing is very common. He
insists that Adam(Kirk) is the old and obsolete man.

He’s really pushing the issue.
Saturn 3

Very shortly, he introduces his cargo- a set of Tinker Toys! I mean, assembles a huge robot named “Hector.” There is fresh lab grown brains in the special canister, that is a blank page, with no thoughts, input, or experience. Kind of like me.

Benson (Keitel) is mind linked to the robot via a transmitter inserted into the back of his head. Hector soon falls for Alex (Farrah) as he picks up every nuance of Benson’s brain.
Saturn 3

The robot kills a dog owned by Alex and Adam, and this kind of makes the already rocky relationship fall apart quickly. Following a cringe worthy “robot needle instrument to eye” scene, the space lovers square off against the robot and master.
Saturn

Alex and Adam set up traps and the robot trumps them at every turn. At some point Benson (Keitel) dies and becomes one with the robot, taking over both the space post and unfortunately, Adam. He put one of the outlets in his head. Wonder if he got good TV reception?

Adam conceives a plan and doesn’t let Alex in on it. Meanwhile, The Robot, now Benson and Hector combined, commands them to report to work, to increase productivity. Adam sacrifices himself and knocks the robot into a leftover trap. It works, even though it didn’t before.

Jump to Alex (Farrah) on board a vessel that is approaching Earth, with a small crowd exchanging pills while viewing the planet through large windows.

[Via] Scream Factory TV

The good and not so good notes…
Now, that last scene kind of falls flat for me, it had dialogue that feels like it could’ve been changed to finish the film in a better manner. Kind of tie it up. I loved the set design of the Saturn 3 outpost.Some weird labyrinth of metals and ramps and a lot of deep blue colors.

I didn’t like Keitel’s tiny ponytail. It made me want to snip it! His speech pattern was cold and empty in contrast to Alex (Farrah) and Adam (Kirk). It gave him a real creep factor.
Saturn 3

Overall, I liked the film a lot- the robot was cool, there was action, humor, drama, everything you’d want! So, I recommend Saturn 3. You can order your copy from Shout Factory and as always they’ve packed in some extras:

  • New High Definition Transfer
  • Commentary by Greg Moss (Saturn 3 Fan site) and film critic David Bradley
  • Interviews with Academy Award winning Special Effects artist Colin Chilvers and actor Roy Dotrice
  • Deleted Scene
  • Additional scenes from the network television version
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery

Saturn 3
Just be ready to figure out if you’re obsolete or not.

Watch The Peanuts Gang Rocking Out To Chicago!

The Peanuts Gang rocking out to Chicago.

Yep, I’m officially seeking out reasons to write about Chicago.

(Insert Chicago Explanation Here)

I’ll state the obivous: I love Chicago, I’ve seen them in concert, and I write about them ALOT.

I love this song, that song, and such and such album. The concert from 1993 is a Hair Party. I have lukewarm feelings toward Bill Champlin and Peter Cetera (love their singing though!), and OMG have you heard that disco song?!

Anyway…

Who Knew The Peanuts Gang Sang…Like This?!

Now, we’ve always known the Peanuts gang (Good Old Chuck and the Group!) to sing Christmas songs. There was also that time in the 1980s where child actors with actual singing talent played the characters. Every special in the 1980s had musical numbers. The characters came a long way from their over-enunciating days in the 1960s.

But they never quite sang like Chicago.

Until now.

A few years ago, my dad shared this video on my Facebook timeline:

I was just getting into Chicago’s music (thanks I Heart Radio!), but I’d been into Peanuts for years.

This video, my friends, is the work of Garren Lazar. It is just one of several Chicago music videos he made, featuring the Peanuts gang.

Oh yes, there’s more!

“The Peanuts Gang…in the Park…”

Garren has done quite the job of matching mouth movments and the music. What results is nothing short of amazing!

Take, for instance, this song I’ve never heard before…

This one EVERYBODY has heard!

Do you know what time it is?

…time to smile?

The flute solo that got stuck in my head for two days…

Seriously.

This lovely day in a certain open air place…I think it was some warm weather holiday…

This one, complete with all the feels…

I remember seeing this special as a teenager, and being sad. This song does not help!

That other song that signals a start…

I just wanna be…

And ANOTHER song I haven’t heard before!

All uploads via Garren Lazar

You laughed, you cried…you probably sang along. Don’t hide it!

But Wait, There’s More!

Turns out Garren Lazar has a huge playlist of singing Peanuts Gang videos, not exclusive to Chicago music!

Seriously, check this out!

Uploads via Garren Lazar

Thank you so much, Garren Lazar, for sharing you talent for making You Tube music videos a true art form! :-)

1969 Receipt for Wood Paneling

1969 Receipt for Wood Paneling

When I was growing up, my family home was covered in wood paneling. This process started well before I was around. Not just in the home I was raised, but in all the homes and apartments my family ever lived. They were just obsessed with wood paneling.

Sadly I don’t have a lot of photos from where I lived, especially not of the rooms. But I was lucky enough to save boxes of receipts that my Mother was throwing out in the eighties. In them, I have found lots of interesting information on the price of things from decades past. As well as stores long gone.

In 1969, my father went to J Taffaro Lumber Company in West New York and bought three 4×8 Brazilian Walnut Wood Panels and a box of nails. He paid a whopping $25.24. In today’s dollars that would be $164.76. That seems pretty pricey to me. Although admittedly, I don’t know much about the cost of paneling.

What I do see is that my family was serious about wood paneling. It also explains why well into the eighties, when people were starting to move away from wood paneling, we were still putting it up.

Looking online, it appear the J Taffaro Lumber Company is no longer in business. I have a vague recollection of driving by it as a kid on the way to some other store and my Mom pointing it out. It stuck in my head because I liked the way “Taffaro” sounds.

I did find this New York Times article that mentions Taffaro. It is about two politicians and corruption. I know what your thinking. New Jersey? Corruption? Politics? Yeah, I guess the Garden State has always had some constants.

Here is a full scan of the receipt.

1969 Receipt for Wood Paneling


1969 Receipt for Wood Paneling

Teenage Mutant Ninja Duvets

Being a parent is awesome, especially when your offspring like the same stuff that you enjoyed at their age. In this case, my seven year old LOVES the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Sadly this isn’t the 80’s animated version from my youth, but rather the 2012 update.

No matter though, his love for TMNT grants me a special connection that extends to everything – even to pillow cases and duvets! After upgrading the theme in my son’s room, we bought him lovely new bedding featuring his favourite half-shell heroes. He was happy, but I couldn’t help feel a little annoyed about the lack of choice we had.

Could we only purchase items depicting the modern interpretation of the characters? Thankfully not! Official channels are a little lacking in retro Turtle, but if you look further afield, you can find some totally bodacious fan-made and vintage bedding.

Here are a few items that I’d like to see in my room

Vintage Sheet, over on Etsy, hopefully not soiled in the 90’s

In the market for some vintage pillow cases? Etsy again has you (ahem) covered!

Need a cushion? Made from an old T-Shirt? or hand-made from vintage fabric?

There are hundreds of items like these on sites like Etsy, but in my opinion the really good stuff can be found with the Print-on-demand online retails like RedBubble and Society6.

How about some duvet covers from Society6?

And to finish off the room, why not grab a good looking clock from RedBubble?

I could easily add another 50 images, covering everything from curtains to canvas prints, floor rugs to lamp shades, and beyond. But the purpose of this post is to open your eyes to the possibilities!

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for? Go create your own designs, upload them and buy your own products! The duvet cover at the start of this post is one of mine. I didn’t create the pixel design, that one is from Konami’s arcade TMNT game, but I did a little processing work and added some colour, and now I can sleep in pixelated style!

Cowabunga Dudes!

Death Race Video Game Controversy

Death Race Video Game Controversy

Long before Grand Theft Auto was freaking everyone out, we had the Death Race Video Game Controversy. Death Race is till a controversial arcade game. It was released by Exidy in the United States in 1976 and they only made about 500 of these cabinets. This makes this infamous game a difficult one to find. I was lucky enough to be able to play it at the Musée Mécanique in San Francisco.

Death Race was controversial because it appeared to promote vehicular violence. Even though Exidy took great pains to describe the human stick figures you are running over a “gremlins”, people were not buying it. The media lashed out. It did not help that the game’s working title was Pedestrian and appeared to be inspired by the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000.

Here is an example of the media reaction at the time in the form of a newspaper article. It hangs right next to the machine at the Musée Mécanique.

death race video game article

Controversial, maybe. But did it contribute to an increase in violence? No. It also did not do so well for Exidy. This was probably partly due to the backlash.

As you might guess from the year of its release, the game does not have anything resembling modern video game violence. By today’s standards, it is quite tame. Here is some game-play footage. I hope it does not turn your stomach or worse, turn you into a homicidal maniac.

Death Race Game-play Video

I played a couple of games of Death Race. It handled pretty well and was kind of fun. You won’t find many of these games out in the wild, but if you are at one of their know locations, make sure you drop a few quarters into one. According to online sources you can find Death Race machines at Musée Mécanique in San Francisco, the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Illinois, and Fun Spot in New Hampshire.

If you do play, I would love to hear about your experience. At least share how well you did. According to the game, I am an Expert Drive. So try and beat that.

death race scoring