Gremlins Arcade Game - Atarigames.Com

Check Out 1985’s Unreleased Gremlins Arcade Game!

For those of you that listened to the Crystal Castles episode of the Diary of an Arcade Employee podcast in March. You will recall I was going to share with you, actual proof that Atari was working on a Gremlins arcade game! I said of course that I was going to include a link to the video but in all honesty, I forgot. So naturally I felt it was time to make a post about it. Because it certainly looks like the Gremlins arcade game would have been a blast to play!

There isn’t actually a whole lot of information to go on. However, here is what we do know. The game was being developed by Atari in 1985. With Franz Lanzinger of Crystal Castles, Millipede, and Toobin’ (NES port) fame in charge of development.

[Via] NES Guide

Only a prototype exists for the Gremlins arcade game. Other classic arcade sites have mentioned it isn’t even known if the video represents an actual physical prototype. Quite possibly of course, the gameplay we see is merely from the ROM file. Thanks to – which seems to be down at the moment, we do have some neat artwork. Artwork I might add from what could have been the marquee for the game itself. Back in 1985 that would totally have drawn me to the cabinet like a siren’s song!
Gremlins Arcade Game - Arcade Cabinet - Atarigames.Com

Naturally we do not know why Atari decided to pull the plug. As you will see in the video below, it looks like the game was pretty much complete. Obviously in 1985, the legendary company was suffering from the Video Game Crash of ’83. So even though a year previously, Gremlins was tearing up the box office… perhaps the company felt it better to just pull the plug?

In the Gremlins arcade game, there are three separate levels. With the first level representing Lynn Peltzer’s valiant attempt at defending her kitchen. By way of what appears to be an endless supply of kitchen knives to hurl at her attackers!
Gremlins Arcade Game - Stage 1

In the next screen, you are playing Billy Peltzer, attempting to traverse the streets of Kingston Falls. Obviously being assaulted by the toothy little Gremlins, using a flashlight to ‘melt’ them. I would assume the arcade game was designed with twin joysticks or perhaps you would become stationary when holding down the flashlight button?
Gremlins Arcade Game - Stage 2

Last but not least, the third level would have let you play Gizmo. Driving in your Barbie Car through the aisles of Montgomery Ward, avoiding obstacles and a tank in hot pursuit. I am willing to bet that in the game it is supposed to be Stripe chasing you in that toy tank.
Gremlins Arcade Game - Stage 3

One more thing to pay attention to while watching the video. How incredible the music is that Franz Lanzinger used in the game. It is quite frankly portions of the actual Gremlins soundtrack from the 1984 film by Jerry Goldsmith.

Now then, you know a little about the Gremlins arcade game. So why not watch it in action?

[via] Frank Cifaldi

You probably have Gremlins on your mind now, right? I think this would certainly be the time to revisit the Retroist Podcast on the 1984 film!
Retroist Gremlins Podcast

Mr Skinny Bones - Marx Toys

Step Up And Shake Hands With Mr Skinny Bones!

For a couple of minutes I was tempted to publish this as a Saturday Frights post. As I have mentioned once or twice, I suffer from Pediophobia. The fear of dolls. Mr Skinny Bones from Marx Toys might not be an actual doll but it is close enough. However, I believe that if you look closely at the image of the Mr Skinny Bones box. Even the kids know this is full of Grade A nightmare juice!

Mr Skinny Bones was supposedly released by Marx Toys in 1970. You may not know the Marx brand off the top of your head but I guarantee you know some of their products. First of all the company was hugely successful in the 50’s. One of those reasons of course has to do with how many licenses they secured. The Long Ranger, Zorro, Robin Hood, and The Untouchables were just a few toy sets they produced. Not to mention the likes of trains sets, doll houses, as well as Rock’em Sock’em Robots!

[Via] Vintage TV Commercials

Marx was a toy company that early on saw the advantages of plastics. You know, like Dustin Hoffman was told in 1967’s The Graduate.

[Via] Zahh Man

As you can plainly see from Mr Skinny Bones… the character is very much into plastics. It was a type of construction kit, to create ‘A real posin’ pal’. As a matter of fact looking at the toy itself, I cannot help but think this would be an amazing thing for stop-motion animation.
Mr Skinny Bones - Instructions

Of course you might be wondering what Mr Skinny Bones could be useful for. Besides the obvious ability to induce nightmares in children and middle-aged writers for the Retroist. The simple answer is of course… anything you want to use it for. As I think is demonstrated quite well on the packaging for the toy.
Mr Skinny Bones - Toy Use 1

Mr Skinny Bones - Toy Use 2

By the way, our constructable pal wasn’t the only toy created by Marx for the Bones Family. There was one for girls known as Ginny Bones too. Furthermore they had pets as well, Trom Bones the horse and Ham Bones the dog.
Mr Skinny Bones - Bones Family

I have never heard of the show Thrift Hunters before, although there is this clip of them coming upon Mr Skinny Bones.


For more on Marx Toys, take a moment and check out this American Pickers bonus. They visited a Marx Toys museum which has sadly closed it’s doors. Some beautiful toys in the video though!


Mr Skinny Bones - Nightmare Juice

I’ll be seeing you in your dreams!

A Quiet Place - Title

A Quiet Place Is A Wonderful Throwback To ’70s Horror!

Friends, this will absolutely be a Non-Spoiler review of A Quiet Place. Beyond that which can be readily seen in the teaser trailer from back in 2017. However, explaining my feelings on why I believe John Krasinski has delivered a throwback to ’70s horror, this might in fact unintentionally reveal something. So if you’ve not had the pleasure of catching A Quiet Place yet – you might wait to read this until then.
A Quiet Place - John Krasinski

Before I dive into my thoughts on the film, I am going to echo something that other reviewers have stated. Watching A Quite Place was possibly the best theater experience I have had in many moons. The truth of the matter is that I have begun to dread seeing a film with a large audience. I pay my hard earned money to see a movie. Not to be blinded by hundreds of cell phones at the most pivotal moment of the film. Not to have to strain to hear the actors speaking over folks talking, not whispering but having full volume conversations. Nor do I enjoy the seemingly transformation of a movie auditorium into an impromptu session of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Yet, more often than not – in particular with horror films, this is the case. Not so with A Quiet Place. Moments after the house lights had dimmed, an amazing transformation took place. It was as if the opening moments of the film itself had cast a spell on the audience. Due to the lack of speech in the film, the importance of any noise possibly bringing death to the characters. Every single person in the audience was so very, very quiet. No open mouthed chomping of popcorn or crinkling of the bag of tortilla chips to defuse the tension on screen. I even found myself, making sure to not twist the cap on my bottle of water too fast – to avoid making undue noise. It was truly an interesting theater going experience – one that I cannot help but hope you experience as well.

Now, as I was watching the film, it occurred to me that it felt very much like an apocalyptic ’70s film. Along the lines of Damnation Alley, No Blade of Grass, The Omega Man, and even a little like 1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. In addition, there is also an incredibly strong vibe similar to Richard Matheson’s 1954 masterpiece, I Am Legend.
A Quiet Place - I Am Legend

Plus an element from 1985’s Day of the Dead. You will know the moment when you see it, if you are a fan of the Romero films. It has to do with presenting information to the audience without any exposition. A Quiet Place taps into a dread of everything having spun out of control, through no fault of your own. That element helps you not just feel for the characters but fear for their safety too. Naturally it also helps that the cast knock it out of the park with their performances as well.
A Quiet Place - Hush

Director, co-writer, and co-lead John Krasinski plays Lee Abbott. With Krasinski’s real life Wife, Emily Blunt, playing his spouse, Evelyn Abbott. Along with their three children, Regan, Marcus, and Beau. Who are wonderfully played by Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, and Cade Woodward. Right from the very beginning we are thrust into a world that has moved on. Something horrible has taken place, something monstrous is afoot. Humanity as far as we can tell is gone. Vacant streets, shops, and abandoned vehicles are everywhere. Thanks to some truly wonderful directing and editing, we realize that any sound above a whisper – possibly even that can be deadly. It is a world of perpetual silence.

The film isn’t interested in the big action pieces of the ’80s. Krasinski delivers a pot boiler, a horror film to be sure, but its concern is on the Abbot family. Little touches that raise the film up, like the painting of spots on the floor. A wooden floor, so the Family knows precisely where to step to avoid a single creak. This, besides being possibly my favorite shot in the film, harkens back to elements of I Am Legend as well as The Omega Man. The mundane, the routine chores that become an absolute lifeline.
A Quiet Place - Tread Lightly

In closing, there are certainly elements of ’70s horror in the movie. Whether John Krasinski planned that or not, I cannot say. It is however a very good time to be a fan of horror movies and fantastique films in general. Get Out, It, The Shape of Water, 1922, and more. All quite exceptional in their individual ways and A Quiet Place proudly joins their ranks.

Ready to see the teaser trailer for A Quiet Place?

[Via] Paramount Pictures


Diary Of An Arcade Employee Podcast 029 (Rampage)

Wait a minute, just wait a minute. Didn’t we have two brand new Diary podcasts just last month? That is indeed a fact. So you might be wondering why we already have another new episode. Well, it could certainly be that I am spending more time at the arcade these days. It helps to get the juices flowing, my overwhelming desire to share my personal memories with all of you. On the other hand it might also have a just a little to do with the fact that Rampage is hitting theaters today. Although I do have some great memories to share with you as well as some interesting information on 1986’s Rampage!

On this episode, I will admit that I share a rather embarrassing event from my youth. All tied to Rampage of course. In addition however I was able to include some interviews on this particular podcast. Interviews featuring Brian Colin, one of the co-developers of the arcade title.

I share not just my first encounters with Rampage but touch upon the gameplay too. As well as the legacy of the game series. Not to mention I have included a few vintage audio treats for your listening pleasure.
Rampage - Mutations

Obviously with the 2018 film, which is of course based on the actual Rampage game, hitting theaters today. Perhaps you will find listening to this episode is a good way to spend time while you are standing in line at the movie theater?
Rampage - George

If you have any suggestions for future games to cover or comments on the show itself you may email them to me at You can also contact me on Twitter and of course on Facebook. You can also keep up to date on what is going down at the Arkadia Retrocade by making sure to “Like” their Facebook Page. If you need a daily fix you can check out the Official Diary of an Arcade Employee page too.

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I have no idea if the Rampage film will be any good. It does look fun however and I like giant monsters fighting each other.

You do as well, right?

[Via] Warner Bros. Pictures