1966 Halloween - Ben Cooper

A Cub Scout 1966 Halloween Party Captured On 8 MM Film!

I do believe that after almost seven years with The Retroist I have made it clear I love Halloween. As well as movies and older film technology like 8 mm projectors. So when PlCary contacted me – telling me he picked up two 8 mm reels. I was interested, but then he told me one was a 1966 Halloween party, I was all ears.
1966 Halloween

Be that as it may, there was one problem. Phillip didn’t have access to an 8 mm film projector. Thankfully I could help with that issue and we agreed to meet up at the arcade. As I felt my co-workers would certainly want to see this bit of history.

However, as fate would have it, my 8 mm projector chose that moment to break. Under those circumstances you can understand how disappointed we were. Having said that though, Phillip was able to secure a projector all his own. One that I might add cost him the staggering sum of fifty cents!

So Phillip and I agreed to meet up again. Furthermore he had made sure to check the mechanical aspects and the bulb itself. All was good to go. In addition to the 1966 Halloween reel we would be able to watch something called “Kay’s Navy”.

On the contrary, it seemed fate was aligned against us one more time. I will let you take a look at the Bell and Howell projector yourself. See if you can spot what the issue might be.

Despite our best efforts of checking everything, the projector that Phillip purchased didn’t have the actual lens. In the light of this predicament I rushed home and stole the lens from my non-working projector.

In spite of all these difficulties we were able to overcome the obstacles at last. As a result we were totally treated to this Cub Scout 1966 Halloween short film. Furthermore both it and the “Kay’s Navy” were filmed at Grand Lake in Oklahoma, just about an hour and a half away.

It was an amazing treat for Phillip and myself to finally see the film.

The Cub Scout 1966 Halloween party was the real treasure although having said that we were all shocked at how well the film has survived.


Coupled with what looks to me to be a Ben Cooper or Collegeville skeleton costume it is certainly an undeniable pleasure. In fact if you look closely at the moment where the costume is shown there are vintage lunchboxes too!

Inside Atari

Celebrate Atari Day With This 1981 Inside Atari Promo Video!

Goodness gracious. I was so busy celebrating my Wife’s birthday that I neglected to share an Atari Day post! So let us celebrate a belated Atari Day by watching this 1981 promotional video entitled Inside Atari.
Inside Atari

This is most certainly a nice piece of history for the legendary company. By 1981 Atari had three separate divisions going full bore. They had their arcade division releasing titles that helped make the Golden Age of Arcades so memorable. As well as the home console division with the Atari VCS or 2600 as it became known once the 5200 was released a year later – which sold like hotcakes. Atari had as well at this point released the Atari 400 and 800 home computers.

Things were looking absolutely grand for Atari in 1981. Which is why Inside Atari was regularly seen at consumer electronic shows. To say nothing of course of aiding in the wooing of potential investors.
Inside Atari - Global Reach

In addition to Inside Atari coming across as a visual pep rally. There are some wonderful nuggets to be gleaned. For example in this screenshot you can see some rom chips for Defender, Pac-Man, Yar’s Revenge, and Graves Manor.

That last one is more than a little noteworthy as it is one of the four original names for 1981’s Haunted House !

Furthermore if you look quickly you can spy some interesting artwork on display. Like this piece for the port of Pac-Man. Which I might add I had not seen before until the release of Tim Lapetino’s stellar Art of Atari tome last year.

All in all Inside Atari runs about five and a half minutes. So obviously it will not be the most in-depth exposé on the workings of the company. It will however give you that perfect snapshot of the glory days of Atari as an entertainment juggernaut.

[Via] Dig That Box RETRO

I hope you enjoyed watching Inside Atari. But remember that every 26th of the month is when we celebrate Atari Day!


Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link here!

Aint Gonna Eat My Mind

Aint Gonna Eat My Mind is all about Bronx Gangs in the 1970s

Aint Gonna Eat My Mind was a short documentary style program made for public television. It illustrates the struggles of growing up and dealing with the increasing violent world of the Bronx in the 1970s. This was a time when crime and gangs seemed out of control. But what was the cause? Did people facing it want a solution?

The answer was, of course they did, and “Aint Gonna Eat My Mind” attempted to give the young people trapped in this world the ability to speak to those outside of it. In addition to young gang members and others caught in the crossfire of this dangerous world, we also hear from the education side of things. We learn unsurprisingly, that it is difficult to get a cycle of education going when things seem hopeless due to an uncontrolled avalanche of crime, drugs and violence. And that if people want things to be different, something deeper would have to change. This is something that I imagine is still applicable over three decades later.

As a bonus you get to see New York City as it used to be. When I visit NYC now, it is hard to believe that this is even the same place.

Watch Aint Gonna Eat My Mind

If this history intrigues you, I would also suggest you check out the more modern documentary Rubble Kings. A much older Karate Charlie from Aint Gonna Eat My Mind also makes an appearance to offer insight in retrospect.

Avengers - British Pathe

Did 1961’s The Avengers Influence Real Life?

Ah, the gloriousness that was The Avengers. The program’s stories successfully mixed elements of Cold War with sci-fi. Furthermore like 1967’s The Prisoner it found a cult following when it reached the states. How could it not though? Especially when in 1965 it added the beautiful Diana Rigg as Emma Peel to the mix? A perfect foil in fact to the more proper gentleman represented by Patrick Macnee’s John Steed!

[Via] Route Master 19

While I was born a little too late to catch The Avengers in it’s original airing. I was lucky enough in High School to see the episodes that were played in reruns on A&E. I really fell for the show in a hard way. Even mimicking the clothing style of John Steed…to a degree. I certainly couldn’t afford to go to school in a Savile Row suit – but a trenchcoat and fedora would do in a pich. As well as a sturdy umbrella at my side and it was all too easy to play the part of the gentleman.
Avengers - Mr. Vic Sage

Of course back then I didn’t actually realize I was actually just a young Anglophile. But thanks to a video posted on Facebook the other day by RetroArt. It seems like some elements of The Avengers crept into real life.

Or is it actually real life elements being brought into that series? As this film for the amazing anti-thief security case was released on December 18,1961. So says at the very least, the British Pathe website.

It bears mentioning that John Steed didn’t start wearing his trademark attire until the 1962 season of The Avengers. Previously he actually wore a trenchcoat and acted as an assistant to Dr. David Keel (Ian Hendry). Beginning in 1962 with a rotating trio of partners – Steed began to dress the part of the gentleman.
Avengers

Now make sure to hop on over to British Pathe site for the full “Beat the Bandit” video. In addition to learning things like the briefcase was named the “arrestor”. You will also see how well a steel lined bowler stands up to be driven over by a car.

Now that you’ve witnessed the inventions of 1961 possibly affecting The Avengers series. Why not take a moment and enjoy Macnee and his co-star, Honor Blackman’s “Kinky Boots” from 1964?

[Via] Lord Skytower

Ubisoft Releases Assassin’s Creed: Heresy And The Essential Guide!

It is fair to say that I am in love with Assassin’s Creed.

Krull and BB-8 aren't actually art of Assassin's Creed...I just have them there.

Krull and BB-8 aren’t actually part of Assassin’s Creed…I just have them there.

Ubisoft hit that sweet spot for this particular retro-loving gaming aficionado when the first title was released. That hook was History. Moreover they reeled me in with the storyline right off the bat. As a player finds themselves plunged into a war that has taken place between two powerful and secretive factions through the ages. Two orders that desire above all things…peace. They just have a very different way of achieving that goal.

The Templar Order have a viewpoint that if humanity is to know peace. It must be guided with a firm hand. So that order and reason will prevail. Of course this also means that they feel world control is a viable choice to that end. A task made easier as they’ve become a global corporate power known as Abstergo Industries.
assassins-creed-templars

The Assassin Brotherhood on the other hand desires to protect free will. Believing that the Templars will in fact harm humanity by attempting to shepherd it. They also have set themselves as guardians to oppose tyrants and defend the weak. Naturally this sets them on a path against the Templar Order.
assassins-creed

In addition when these two factions cross paths it gets rather violent…quickly.

To say nothing of the fact there is a science fiction story running through the entire game series. The Assassins and Templars both covet the surviving technology of the Precursors. A lost civilization that was technologically superior to the point of being worshiped as Gods. That technology has a tendency to affect human thoughts and behavior. So you can easily see why both sides would want to claim these items.
precursors-assassins-creed

While the series started in the Third Crusade, the 9 core game releases since have expanded the periods of history you can visit. Vastly. From the Renaissance to the October Revolution of 1917. Add to the fact you have iOS game titles, comic books as well as novels, you can see how the lore has become deep.

Which is why it is was a great idea to collect all of that lore into a handy single volume. Hence Ubisoft’s release today of Assassin’s Creed: The Essential Guide. A 216 page collection that is perfect for not just first time players but longtime fans of the series.
Assassin's Creed

It covers the historical settings in the the games, the important characters, and insider information. After browsing the book you’ll be in the know on everything from the Animus to what the true fate was of Anastasia Romanova.
the-essential-guide-assassins-creed-precursor

Now that would certainly be reason to rush out to your local bookstore…but there is more. Much more. Ubisoft today also released Assassin’s Creed: Heresy, the brand new novel by Christie Golden.
assassins-creed-heresy-christie-golden

An Author that I have a great deal of respect for to say the least. I have followed her work since back in 1991 when she penned Vampire of the Mists for Ravenloft.
ravenloft-vampire-of-the-mists

I have continued to follow her work through the World of Warcraft novels as well as Starcraft. Which is why I pretty much begged Ubisoft to allow me to share the news of her latest novel with you all.

One of the key aspects of the game series in terms of the lore has been showing that both factions, the Assassins and Templars are not wholly good or evil. Well…perhaps the Templars do tend to rank a little more on the villain scale. Which is why Golden’s new book is such a treat. It’s not told from the viewpoint of a member of the Assassin Brotherhood. We get to experience the point of view of one of the Inner Sanctum of the Templar Order. An historian by the name of Simon Hathaway, the head of Abstergo Industries’ Historical Research Division. He has taken up the task of locating the sword of none other than Joan of Arc. Which is believed to actually be a powerful Precursor artifact. Along the way he uncovers secrets about the legendary Saint of soldiers and of France as well as himself.

With the permission of Ubisoft here are some excerpts from an interview with Golden about her new Assassin’s Creed novel.


Photo Credit Elizabeth Golden

Photo Credit Elizabeth Golden


christie-golden-assassins-creed-heresy
christie-golden-interview-assassins-creed-heresy
christie-golden-interview-b-assassins-creed-heresy
christie-golden-interview-c-assassins-creed-heresy

So I very much hope that you are ready to head out and pick up these new books from Ubisoft or order them online. But I feel I should let you know in the case of Assassin’s Creed: Heresy you have two options. You can choose the softcover edition or go with the Special Edition. If you go for the hardcover edition you also will have access to exclusive art sketches and behind the scenes interviews, as well as a special code to unlock Assassin’s Creed rewards through Ubisoft Club’s loyalty program!

So why not delve into the captivating world of Assassin’s Creed today? You can get prepared for the upcoming movie this December!

[Via] 20th Century Fox