SCARIOS! The Real Creepy Pasta

As a little monster living in a home along Western New York’s Niagara River, we picked up a lot of Canadian television. CHCH 11, CBLT 5, CFTO 9 and so on. Their programming was quite different from ours at the time and their commercials were equally diverse.

I want to spotlight one of the pitched products known as SCARIOS. A canned pasta made by Heinz, with spooky shapes like a shark named SHARKY, a pumpkin named PUMPYKIN, a ghost named GHOSTIO and a moon named LOONY MOON and HATTY WITCH, a floating witch hat. At one point, there was a new pasta shape called BAD BAT.

Move over Spaghetti-o’s and Chef Boyardee, SCARIOS were the fun pasta of choice. However, they weren’t always readily available in stateside stores. If you did find them on the shelves, it was usually by accident. Oh, to be haunted and taunted by those spooky pasta shapes, in their commercials while doing my homework. Yes, I always felt that homework was done so much better with the aide of television. I have no scientific proof of this, but I “think” it worked out.

Anyway, I did actually get to enjoy this scary dish a few times and it was some good stuff! The commercials were goofy and cheesy, and I’m sure that was part of the charm. They worked on my easy to please palette- both mind and body. Heinz added another pasta (with or without meatballs) to the roster and its characters appeared with SCARIOS in the next batch of ads. MEAT (sorry, couldn’t help it) the UFO’S. Basically, Star Wars droid rip-offs with a nervous scientist. The two groups of pasta would argue which of them were scarier. Oh, it doesn’t get much goofier than that! I wasn’t into the UFO’s. I preferred the SCARIOS. I had a distinguished (yeah, right) palette.

SCARIOS (which truly deserve to be called the first “creepy pasta” ) are somewhat revered by Canadians and border town Americans today, and there is a fan base that would gladly welcome them back to their menus. I stand among them as well! I must go now, because all of this food talk has made me hungry and I might eat you!!

Power Records - Batman - Robin Meets Man Bat

Retro Records: Batman – Robin Meets The Man-Bat! (1976)

Welcome back friends to a new installment of Retro Records! Since we have a Retro Radio Memories Podcast debut on Thanksgiving I felt we should not double up this week. Instead let us enjoy this 1976 Power Records Batman presentation entitled “Robin meets the Man-Bat!”.

This book and record reprinted parts of Detective Comics #400, 402, and 407 which were written by Frank Robbins and had artwork by Neal Adams.

[Via] One Of The Kings Of CMV

in search of

Saturday Frights: In Search Of The Ghost Ship/Mary Celeste (1980)

Welcome back friends! Before we talk about our spooky offering this week I want to thank all of you that have sent in e-mail concerning about the health and well being of my co-host on the Saturday Frights Podcast, the Projectionist.

While it’s true that he has yet to return to the control booth or even show up to record for the Retro Radio Memories Podcast, there have been confirmed sightings in the lower levels of the Retroist Vault of our friend. Of course many of my fellow employees here at Retroist Inc. have also mentioned they’ve seen him carrying dynamite and gasoline…so perhaps it’s best not to try and pry?

For this evening I thought we might step away from the usual TV show or short and instead present a wonderful episode of In Search Of, this one being entitled The Ghost Ship/Mary Celeste. In the episode the late great Leonard Nimoy does his typical great job of ratcheting up the creepiness of the Mary Celeste with his masterful narration. Presenting the facts of how the Canadian brigantine Dei Gratia came upon the abandoned and undamaged Mary Celeste on December 4, 1872 and then presenting In Search Of’s own theory as to what occurred to her crew.

Join us as we go In Search Of The Ghost Ship Mary Celeste, here on Saturday Frights!

[Via] The In Search Of

If you need to learn a little more about the legendary Leonard Nimoy, why not listen to Episode 008 of the Retroist Podcast?

Theatrical Poster courtesy of IMP Awards.

Past, Present – The Power of Sci-Fi in Predicting the Future

One of the greatest things about the genre of science fiction is that it gives us room to speculate on the future. Sometimes it takes us eons ahead, to a world where robots run amok, machines (or maybe aliens!) rule absolutely and humanity cowers in the shadows. Other times we’re flung just a short distance forward, to a place that doesn’t look all too different from our own time period. Science “fiction” stories are still rooted in reality, and this enables a sense of retrospection as well as prophesy. So while we may not be driving hover cars or commuting from the moon quite yet, sci-fi is still one of the best places to
look for hints about what the future holds. Here are four older works of science fiction that foresaw both the peril and potential of the present day.

Based on the novel by Ray Bradbury, the 1966 film Fahrenheit 451 starring Oskar Werner and Julie Christie imagines a world where firemen start fires instead of stopping them, and where society has reached a point of constant media absorption with little free or intellectual thought. People spend their days popping pills, drinking alcoholic beverages and watching the mindless programming which airs constantly on their flat panel televisions. Those that are caught with books and other forms of banned media are arrested and their collections burned. While books may not necessarily be considered contraband in contemporary America, their presence certainly isn’t encouraged. Flat panel TVs, however, with uninterrupted hours of programming across hundreds of channels (and of course prescription and nonprescription drugs) are everywhere. We might not be burning books, but we aren’t reading them either.

Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston and released in 1973, charts an even dimmer course for the future. Instead of a hedonistic society only interested in mindless pleasure such as that found in Fahrenheit 451, Soylent Green finds its people suffering from lack of food, lack of money, lack of space, and lack of a clean environment. Much of the story revolves around a murder case, but the solution of the case leads to a much more horrifying truth when the main character finds out that one of the sources of processed food eaten by everyone is human in nature. There are quite a few elements of Soylent Green that directly correlate to the world of today. Overpopulation, heavy pollution, and even poverty are problems currently suffered by society that this film alluded to over forty years ago. Alberta Energy reports that 87 percent of carbon dioxide emissions come directly from human activity – but even though we now have the biotechnology to use algae to help reverse the effects of climate change, there is still a long way to go before it is not a problem our world is suffering from any longer.

On a somewhat lighter note, John Carpenter’s They Live (1988) takes a much more satirical than dramatic look at the possible future. In this film, a drifter (played by Roddy Piper) finds out that the world has been taken over by aliens, posing as rich people and using subliminal messages embedded in media to control the human population. Because media is so pervasive in the society that appears in They Live, it is relatively simple for the aliens to keep them constantly buying and consuming resources. This is another obvious tie between the real world and the sci-fi world presented in the film. In our real world media is everywhere, and advertising in both subtle and not so subtle ways keeps us constantly buying and consuming resources, even if it isn’t for the nefarious purposes of alien invaders.

Starring Tom Cruise and based on a story by Philip K Dick, Minority Report centers around the not-so-distant future where physics predict crime before it happens and the police make arrests based on those predictions. It may not seem as obvious how a film about ‘pre-crime’ could be related to the real world where crimes usually have to happen before anything can be done about them. But the use of pervasive media in Miniority Report is very similar to the way of the world today, just as it is in Fahrenheit 451 and They Live. Coming from newscasts, television programs, and video clips taken on personal devices, it is almost impossible to escape the media’s reach in Minority Report, and in the world we live in today.

Science fiction films can be a great source of hope for what the future holds, but they can also be a warning. If we aren’t careful with our resources, our environment, and even our free thought, we run the risk of losing the very things that define our humanity.

Sugar Corn Pops - Big Yella

Would You Trade Your Bowl Of Sugar Corn Pops For A Big Yellow Bird?

That is one of many items that the diminutive “Big Yella” offers to just get a bowl of that sweet tasting Kellogg’s Sugar Corn Pops from this 1980 Television commercial. I admit that I quite enjoyed Sugar Corn Pops back in the day…but I totally would have traded a bowl for that big yellow bird.!

[Via] Pizzaguy2002
To be fair I would also have traded him my bowl of cereal for this sweet inflatable beach ball featuring Big Yella!
Big Yella 1
Big Yella 2

Diary of an Arcade Employee Vidcast ep 1

Diary Of An Arcade Employee Vidcast 003 (11/26/2015)

Welcome friends to the third episode of the Diary of an Arcade Employee Vidcast! Those of you that listen to the podcast know I have tried these last few months to do a live feed at the Arkadia Retrocade in an attempt to let those of you that aren’t able to make it to a fully functioning retro arcade enjoy the sights and sounds of such a place.

Sadly I kept running into all manner of issues using the easier and more popular broadcasting apps available to me so I decided instead to record a bit of my shift at the arcade and upload them as posts here on the Retroist. For this “Vidcast episode” you will get to see some gameplay for such classic titles as Crazy Climber, Shootout, and Robotron 2084. I’m going to try for more digest size vidcasts for now, I understand that not everyone has 30 minutes to spend watching a video so this one clocks in at around eleven minutes.

Now this continues of course to be a work in progress so excuse the rather unpolished aspects of the video, I do hope however that you will enjoy getting a bit of a walk through of the arcade, a chance to hear the sounds of a thriving arcade in this day and age.

Friday the 13th the Series - Alyse Wax - Bearmanor Media

Interview: Curious Goods Author Alyse Wax!

Just last week I had the good fortune to be able to review Alyse Wax’s in-depth look at Friday the 13th the TV show with her fantastic new book Curious Goods – Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series!

Well, since the Projectionist has been missing for the last few weeks so to speak I was emboldened to invite the talented Author down here to the Retroist Vault for a little Q and A about her work and the Television series itself.

Vic Sage: Hey, Alyse! Welcome to the Retroist Vault. I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to come down here and chat with me about your fantastic new book, Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th the Series.
Alyse Wax: Thanks!
VS: Would you mind telling us what gave you the idea of publishing a book that not only details all 72 episodes of one of my favorite 1980s television series but also offers interviews with the cast and crew of those episodes?
AW: I have been obsessed with Friday the 13th: The Series since I was about nine or ten years old. I mean, obsessed. In the early 1990s, at the dawn of the internet, I started the first F13 internet fan club. In the late 1990s I made my own fanzine. Flash forward to my 30s, and I am a journalist who specializes in the horror genre – something that I never even imagined was a “thing!” Being surrounded by dedicated horror fans, I found that I was not the only one who loved the series, and I started toying with an idea to write a book about the show. I figured I was covering 10+ TV shows per week for, on top of other articles for the site, so I figured, how hard could it be to write a book? LOL. A friend who has been published referred me to Bearmanor Media. A page-long proposal was met with an email a few hours later that said, “Guess what? You just sold a book.” It was almost too easy!
VS: I really was blown away by the interviews in your book, it gives some great insight on not just the fun of what it was like on those sets but also the difficulty in bringing such a quality show to television. How easy was it to secure interviews with the likes of Louise Robey, John LeMay, and Executive Producer for the series Frank Mancuso Jr.?
AW: Surprisingly easy. A little bit of internet sleuthing led me to their agents, and their agents set me up with them. Both Louise Robey and John LeMay were more than happy to help. In fact, almost everyone I reached out to was more than happy to contribute. The only one that was tough to get was Frank Mancuso Jr. He is very busy and I suspect he thought that this was just some silly fanzine interview or something. Luckily a friend of mine was able to get his agent to contact Frank’s agent and in the end, I got a solid hour on the phone with him.
VS: In Curious Goods you have some amazing and heartfelt interviews supplied by The Twilight Zone Companion’s Marc Scott Zicree, in particular for the first season episode “Doctor Jack”. I am a huge fan of the Twilight Zone and I have shared a project or two of Zicree’s on the Retroist before. Are you too a Twilight Zone fan? What is your favorite episode?
AW: Of course I am a fan! You are not allowed to be a horror fan without being a fan of The Twilight Zone. It was Zicree’s Twilight Zone Companion that showed me that you could actually write a book about television. “Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?” was always the episode that stuck with me, more than any other. I liked the “double whammy” of an ending.
VS: For myself when I was watching Friday the 13th the Series the character I most identified with was Ryan Dallion, he was a kid at heart and I found myself really looking up to him, and to be fair the rest of the characters who were putting their lives on the line to wrong evils. Sorry for the spoilers for our readers but in the Season 3 two-part episode entitled “The Prophecies” by the end of the second part Ryan is transformed back into a child and though he was alive and would be fine…I found myself almost in mourning for like a week after the episode aired.
AW: I remember mourning over a LOT of episodes!
VS: In Curious Goods you make a mention of how you were hooked on the series thanks to Louise Robey’s portrayal of Micki Foster, would you mind telling our readers what it was that made her your favorite character?
AW: Though I didn’t realize it when I was a kid, Louise was the first redhead I ever saw on television. As a redhead myself, I identified with her immediately. The 1980s didn’t have many redheaded heroines. Of course, it was more than that. I grew up watching 1980s slashers and Married With Children, both of which do not have a great history with strong female role models. Micki was nothing like that. She was intelligent, she was strong, and she managed to save herself more than the boys ever saved themselves. “Bedazzled” and “And Now the News” are the two episodes that best demonstrate Micki’s strength to me. “Wedding Bell Blues” was also hugely influential to me, with the way Micki handled Johnny. She was never whiny, never weak. And she was beautiful. I always wanted to look like Micki.
VS: As I mentioned in the review of your book this series was a huge part of my young adulthood. My top three favorite episodes are “The Inheritance”, not just because it’s the first episode and I think strongly sets up the rules of the series but you also had that incredibly horrifying porcelain doll named Veda.
AW: She was a bitch, that doll! Apparently, that episode gave Channing Tatum a life-long fear of porcelain dolls. (And it did an excellent job setting up the “rules” of the series, something which the show did a great job sticking to.)
VS: My second favorite is probably “And Now the News” where Micki and Ryan have to track down a cursed radio that offers solutions to problems thanks to a broadcast announcement…heck…the radio doesn’t even have to be plugged in to work. Of course being a cursed antique means it needs a horrible death to offer a solution to the owner which in this case is Dr. Carter, a “miracle worker” at the The Maseo Institute for the Criminally Insane.
AW: This was also a favorite of mine, although the snake scene at the beginning of this episode was one of the main factors that made me phobic of snakes! This episode also had some of the best anecdotes.
VS: Last but not least for myself is “Scarlet Cinema”, being a huge Universal Monsters fan even in my youth I kind of couldn’t be prepped to love this episode where the gang of Curious Goods are after a film camera that after being given three victims will grant the wish of the owner. Which in this case involves a big fan of Universal’s 1941 classic The Wolf Man.
AW: This one never really “spoke” to me as a kid, and I don’t know why. It is a great episode.
VS: Alyse, I totally understand if this is a case of picking your favorite children but what might your three favorite episodes be?
AW: “The Charnal Pit,” the last episode. It was so beautiful to look at, and it was another great example of Micki’s strength. I remember showing this episode to some friends, and they couldn’t understand the “lure” of de Sade – he was older and overweight and bald. But I knew, I understood the allure. I was probably about ten at the time and had no idea who the Marquis de Sade was.

“The Long Road Home.” I hate Johnny with such a passion, something that still flickered up as an adult. But beside that, this was a true horror movie. A young couple stranded in the middle of nowhere, a couple crazy hillbillies trying to do unspeakable things to them. To this day that is still one of my favorite horror movie tropes.

“Wedding Bell Blues.” This was a Micki-focused episode, and I liked that, and I LOVE how she cuts down Johnny at every turn.

I have to give honorable mentions to “And Now the News,” “Repetition,” and “Scarecrow.” When I was a kid, “Doorway to Hell” was one of my favorites, but as an adult, I have no idea what I saw in that episode!
VS: Friday the 13th the Series’ plot of tracking down cursed and sometimes just evil artifacts is brilliant and certainly lends itself well to a weekly series, look at the SyFy channels similar premise with Warehouse 13. Do you feel that the series itself could be revived today with a new cast…maybe have Micki and Ryan filling in the role that Jack Marshak (Chris Wiggins) did of the older and wiser character?
AW: Absolutely. That may, in part, be because I just want the series back. But in actuality, genre television is SO BIG right now. CW is developing an F13 (based on the movies, not the show) series; there are shows like The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries, Bates Motel, Teen Wolf, The Originals, Penny Dreadful, Scream, Scream Queens, Supernatural, The Strain, American Horror Story, Grimm… and these are are just the series that are currently in production. There are a half-dozen in development that I can think of off the top of my head. Genre television is hugely popular right now, so bringing back the gang would do very well!
VS: I want to thank you again for taking the time to come down here and visiting us today, Alyse. I’m not trying to put you on the spot but as a fan of the series I really want to thank you for Curious Goods: Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th the Series. Informative and blessedly informal.
AW: Thanks for having me! Trust me, this is a dream of mine: to talk non-stop about F13!
VS: Before you leave…I’m sorry…I have to ask. Which object would you most like to possess for good or ill?
AW: Umm… probably the pocket watch in “13 o’clock.” I always loved the idea of having an hour to myself, especially in the middle of the night! I don’t think I would have done anything nefarious with that hour. As a kid, I just wanted an hour to watch the crazy late-night monster movies without worrying I would wake up my parents.
VS: Before you go, Alyse, I thought you might like to see this vintage interview with Louise Robey from The Late Show back in 1988!

[Via] Cold144

I want to thank the talented Alyse Wax for taking the time to speak with me once again, if you would like to read more of her work you might want to check out her site and remember to pick up her book Curious Goods:Behind the Scenes of Friday the 13th: The Series which is out now!