1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Pac Man Blacklight Poster

Arcade Games Were King At The 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair!

Just feast your eyes on that beautiful vintage 1982 Pac-Man poster, friends. That was one of many video game related souvenirs you could have obtained at the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair. As the major focus for the fair was technology it only makes sense that video games were included, right? Although I was delightfully shocked by how many classic arcade games icons were featured at the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair!

Before I dive into a little history of how the fair took place in Knoxville, I want to direct your attention to that Pac-Man poster once again. Notice anything unusual about it? How about the fact that it is totally a flocked poster? Yes…it is indeed a blacklight Pac-Man souvenir. Which is the second most trippiest thing I have ever seen involving Namco’s legendary icon!

The World’s Fair came to Knoxville, Tennessee due to Spokane, Washington hosting one back in 1974. Obviously it isn’t like a World’s Fair doesn’t help bring in some welcome money to any city. It was the President of the Downtown Knoxville Association, W. Stewart Evans, who approached the city in the first place. As a matter of fact the last time a World’s Fair had taken place in Tennessee was in 1897.

1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Tennessee Centennial Exposition of 1897PyramidParthenon

1897 Pyramid and Parthenon

The location of the World’s Fair was placed between the University of Tennessee and Knoxville. Taking up around 70 acres of land, construction included the towering 266-foot Sunsphere. Which while some of the pavilions have been destroyed or re-purposed over the years, the Sunsphere is still standing tall and proud.

1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Sunsphere - Discordantly

Image courtesy of Discordant.

Since It Was 1982 You Better Believe Celebrities Attended The Opening!

Hard to top having President Ronald Regan open the 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair, right?

[Via] WBIR

Also helping to open the fair was Jerry Lee Lewis, Dinah Shore, Ricky Skaggs, and Porter Wagoner. In addition there were hosting pavilions featuring the nations of the World. Mexico, Peru, Denmark, Egypt, France, Canada, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, West Germany, the U.K., China, Australia, Japan, Italy, Luxembourg, South Korea, the Netherlands, Greece, Hungary, Italy, and the Philippines were represented. Panama had a pavilion set aside for them…but failed to show up, so it went to a collection of Caribbean Islands.

Now then, considering the popularity of arcade games in 1982, it should come as no surprise that they made a big impact. Just for starters you had seven special arcade tokens that were minted exclusively for the 1982 Knoxville World’s fair. Gorf, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Qix, Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, and Scramble were the arcade tokens you could collect.
1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Arcade Game Tokens

With this Video Expo logo being presented on the flip side of said tokens.
1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Video Expo toke

That isn’t all though however as besides that groovy blacklight Pac-Man poster, you could obtain this Pac-Family themed bumper sticker.
1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Pac Man Bumper Sticker

On the other hand if you didn’t go for the bumper sticker there was always the license plate version.
1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Pac Man License Plate

Granted with all of that sweet, sweet swag you needed something to carry it home with, right? Rest easy as Bally/Midway, who released Pac-Man in the States, totally had you covered with this plastic tote bag.
1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Pac Man Tote Bag

The fair ran from May 1st until October 31st of 1982. In total there was over 11 million visitors to the event and it is rumored to have netted Knoxville a tidy profit. A whopping $57 dollars after the fair had closed it’s run? It was estimated that the event would in fact earn the city a surplus of around 5 million dollars. While that may be true it was still considered a success by the amount of people it brought in, ranking it as one of the most popular fairs in US history.

Arcade Games Tokens Weren’t The Only Video Game Related Souveniers At The 1982 Knoxville World’s Fair!

How cool would you look today if you were sporting this metal Odyssey2 pin? Well, I am a little biased when it comes to Magnavox products obviously, but I think you would look amazing!
1982 Knoxville World's Fair - Odyssey2

Devil Car - Roger Zelazny

Retro Radio Memories: Devil Car By Roger Zelazny

Friends, welcome back to another installment of Retro Radio Memories. This week we have Devil Car for your listening enjoyment courtesy of MINDWEBS. You might recall we visited this exceptional radio show before with Ray Bradbury’s The Fog Horn a couple of months ago. Our story today takes place in a fascinating post-apocalyptic world where all cars are sentient enough to have feelings and desires. Such as some yearning for freedom from their masters and the factories that built them, becoming wild and dangerous. Hunting down humans, smashing and raiding ‘fuel forts’ and other sentient vehicles for replacement parts and fuel. This is how we are introduced to Sam Murdock and his sleek and deadly vehicle, whose AI is called Jenny…as they seek out the Devil Car.
Devil Car - The Black Caddy - Roger Zelazny

MINDWEBS was the brainchild of Mike Hanson of WHA Radio in Madison, Wisconsin. A cross between the old time radio shows of old and an audio book, the series began in the mid 70’s and last until the mid 90’s. The show wonderfully presented short stories from legendary authors such as the late Harlan Ellison, Arthur C. Clarke, Richard Matheson, Larry Niven, as well as Neil Gaiman. The great news is Mike Hanson has made available the series once more from his personal tapes, all 169 episodes. More so every Saturday at Midnight you can tune in at 92.7 WMSE to listen to re-broadcasts of the episodes. Then after a couple of weeks after airing the shows are uploaded to Mike Hanson’s Internet Archive page.

Devil Car - Mike Hanson - The OTR Plot Spot

Image courtesy of The OTR Plot Spot.

Devil Car Was First Published In 1965.

Written by Roger Zelazny, the story first saw print in Galaxy magazine. Zelazny sadly passed away in 1995 but was widely celebrated for his work over the years. Taking home the Nebula award three times as well as the Hugo award six times – in addition he was nominated 14 times each for those individual awards. It is probably fair to say he is best known for the incredible The Chronicles of Amber series. However that is not where I was first introduced to his writing…I got my first taste of his work thanks to a book series that I hold above all others. Wild Cards.
Devil Car - Roger Zelazny - Wild Cards 1

My love and history with this continuing series of anthologies…well…it just might need a podcast to contain everything I have to say about it. Beyond of course that you need to head out right now and pick up the first book for yourself. One of Zelazny’s creations is the fan favorite character, Croyd Crenson aka The Sleeper.

Let’s Get Back To The Subject Of The Devil Car.

Murdock is a character bent on revenge and he is hoping to achieve that goal with a custom made vehicle of destruction. Machine Guns, grenades, missile launchers are all hidden within the sleek beauty of Jenny. Sam has good reason for wanting vengeance too, his brother was murdered by a pack of wild cars 15 years ago. Led by the most hateful and intelligent sentient vehicle to survive the wastelands. A black caddy of death and hatred towards all Human life…
Devil Car- Roger Zelazny - The Black Caddy

Can Sam and Jenny bring an end to the reign of the Devil Car? Let’s find out together as we enjoy this, the 29th episode of MINDWEBS!

Joe Bob Briggs - The Last Drive-In

Shudder’s The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs Is Tonight!

Obviously with co-hosting a podcast like Saturday Frights, I have a particular fondness for horror films. I was raised on them and I continue to search for that next great scare flick. Working with the Projectionist I have learned an awful lot of trivia and background information on some of my favorite movies. Do you know who beats the Projectionist though in that category? None other than the esteemed film critic and raconteur Joe Bob Briggs. And thanks to the folks over at Shudder, this evening will see a 24 hour marathon entitled The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs!

As you can tell from that video this will be quite the event to say the very least. In total we will get 12 – err – 13 classic horror movies. Which films can you expect to see during the event? Thanks to Bloody Disgusting we know that the marathon will kick off with 1979’s Tourist Trap. I was lucky enough to catch this film when it was first released at my local Drive-In theater and it kind of scarred me with it’s almost fever dream aspects.
Joe Bob Briggs - Tourist Trap

Shudder has been kind enough to release a little snippet of Job Bob Briggs’ talk about the 1979 film!

We need to give another tip of the hat to Bloody Disgusting for also giving us the low down on the two other films in the 24 hour marathon. As well as Tourist Trap we are getting 1983’s Sleepaway Camp and 1982’s Basket Case.
Joe Bob Briggs - Basket Case

Joe Bob Briggs made a name for himself with his wit and film knowledge, starting on The Movie Channels’ Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater. The success of that series earned Briggs two nominations for the Cable ACE award. Which eventually led to Joe Bob appearing on TNT’s MonsterVision, which is in fact where I was first introduced to the legendary horror host.

[Via] TNT’s MonsterVision

You Can Only Catch The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs On Shudder!

Shudder’s streaming service is all you will need to catch this event, friends. Not only do I have a subscription – paying a mere $4.99 a month I might add – but I can tell you there has been many a night down here in the Vault where I’ve kept myself entertained with the films and TV series that Shudder offers. Furthermore can you truly think of a better way to enjoy today, Friday the 13th?
Joe Bob Briggs - Shudder - The Last Drive-In

While we wait for the 24 hour marathon to begin, let’s take a look at this vintage interview with Joe Bob Briggs and Jay Leno on The Tonight Show!

[Via] Joe Bob

Wolfman's Got Nards - Title

Wolfman’s Got Nards – The New Monster Squad Documentary!

Friends, I believe I first heard about Wolfman’s Got Nards last year, probably from the Bloody Disgusting site. As a lifelong fan of The Monster Squad it’s fair to say that bit of news certainly got my blood pumping. I thrill to the idea of course of watching other fans discuss what makes the 1987 movie so special for them, not to mention hearing from the original cast and crew who brought it to life. Furthermore I need to point out that Wolfman’s Got Nards was directed by Andre Gower, none other than Sean of the Squad!

When The Monster Squad was originally released in 1987, my Father and myself were there opening weekend. While I would love to tell you that the theater auditorium was in fact packed…the truth is we were maybe two of six people? Growing up as a monster kid, furthermore a fanatic of the Universal Monsters this was totally right up my alley.

[Via] Mr. Pyscho 313

Speaking of Universal Monsters, while the film isn’t an official entry into that canon. The Stan Winston Studios certainly were showing their love of those classic films in the designs of the monsters they crafted for The Monster Squad.
Wolfman's Got Nards - Stan Winston Monsters

Furthermore I will go on record saying that Duncan Regehr’s take on Dracula is only second to Bela Lugosi’s! In addition, Tom Noonan does a fantastic job as the Frankenstein Monster too.
Wolfman's Got Nards - Tom Noonan - Duncan Regehr

The Monster Squad Took Time To Find It’s Audience.

If you too are a fan of this film you know the sad truth already, it wasn’t the box office hit that the studio was expecting. All of us who visit this site can point to films that we cherish that for one reason or another didn’t find success when originally released. TRON, The Thing as well as The Rocketeer to name a few. Just like The Monster Squad it took time for them to develop into cult classics.

A cult classic though however has a fan base that is loyal and dedicated, taking great delight in introducing others to what they love. Case in point, the esteemed Shawn Robare of Branded in the 80s. Not only do I think he is a friend to this site he also can be considered one of the biggest fans of The Monster Squad. Which is of course why it appears that he is featured in the Wolfman’s Got Nards documentary!
Wolfman's Got Nards - Shawn Robare

Wolfman’s Got Nards Is Currently Making The Rounds At Festivals.

I obviously cannot imagine how both Fred Dekker and Shane Black must have felt to see the movie fail at the box office. Judging from the trailer below for the documentary, we will be able to hear all about it. At the moment you can only catch it at film festivals – which you can find where it is appearing by visiting the documentary’s official site.
Wolfman's Got Nards - A Documentary - Poster

I have no doubts of course that soon we will be able to rent it digitally or pick up a copy for ourselves. As soon as we hear anything we will be sure to let you all know about it. But for now, enjoy a little taste of what Wolfman’s Got Nards will deliver. Having not had the pleasure of seeing it for myself yet – I still feel this truly is going to be something special and even heartwarming.

[Via] Wolfman’s Got Nards: A Documentary