First Atari - Missile Command

Celebrate Atari Day With…well…My First Atari!

It is once more the 26th of the month. Which of course means that it is time to celebrate Atari Day! Furthermore I felt that perhaps a more personal recollection would be in order. Case in point the memories of how I got my first Atari.
First Atari - Vic Sage

As you can certainly see I was rather excited to unwrap this particular Christmas gift. In addition I should say that it certainly wasn’t a bad holiday up to that point. If you look closely behind me you will spy the likes of Imperial Troop Transport as well as the remote controlled R2-D2.

[Via] Sarlaac Pit Podcast

Of course if you keep checking out that late 70’s photograph. You will likewise see a few more equally important toys in my youth. I will direct your attention to the then desired Mortimer Snerd ventriloquist dummy sitting…patiently…in the decorative chair behind me. Bear in mind this was before I was instilled with an overwhelming fear of dummies. This was naturally before Steven Spielberg delivered 1982’s Poltergeist!
First Atari - Poltergeist

Besides a collection of wind-up toys, something I will admit I was totally captivated by in my youth. We have some of those faithful blue friends, The Smurfs. Going off my memory I want to say that it the three present were Doctor Smurf, Lion Tamer Smurf, and possibly Hang Glider Smurf.
First Atari - Lion Tamer Smurf

Which I am sure you will be more than glad to hear leads us to my first Atari. Finally. So as I have already stated this was a good Christmas. It was all done or so I thought. My Grandmother asked what was that in the Christmas tree. I will admit to not being able to remotely find what had captured her attention. At this point my Father had joined in – trying to direct me to behind the tree where one wrapped gift remained hidden, nestled in the branches. It was small and box shaped, I literally had no idea what it was. Moreover when I ripped off that wrapping paper I discovered I was an owner of Atari’s Missile Command!
Missile Command

I think you can imagine how excited I was, right? The dawning realization that this obviously meant I got my first Atari! In the nearly seven years I have written for The Retroist have I ever let on I was remotely that sharp? I can vividly recall looking at the box and just shrugging my shoulders. I mean this gift was wasted as I of course didn’t own an Atari VCS.

That is when my Grandmother opened a closet door and pulled out a much larger wrapped gift. Heady with the joy of not just the Holiday but the thrill of civilized destruction I tore into the wrapping paper. You can see the absolute joy on my face in that photo, which was snapped by my Grandfather by the way. As much as I loved all of my Star Wars gifts and other presents…my first Atari was the best thing in my eyes.

In addition to Missile Command there was another Atari cart hidden in the tree. That was Adventure, a game I still love to this very day. Very quickly I was sitting in the middle of the living room floor with my Grandmother. After my Father had set up the Atari 2600 to that large television of course. But as you can see from this photograph of my Father and myself…even though he disliked video games in general. The fun of my first Atari was enough to coerce him to join me in game or two of Missile Command!
First Atari - Missile Command

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!

Now that you have learned about my first Atari featuring Missile Command. Perhaps you would like to know another fan of that classic Atari game?


That would of course be none other than Steven Spielberg. Yep. The man responsible for many of our most cherished films as well as instilling a lifelong case of Automatonophobia was also a fan of the 1980 arcade game!

Chiller TV Presents Real Fear: The Truth Behind The Movies (2012)


Chiller TV was kind enough to send us information on their upcoming new reality special, Real Fear: The Truth Behind the Movies. Debuting this Sunday at 8P ET, the show will deal with some of the lesser known facts surrounding 4 horror films: The Amityville Horror, Poltergeist, Silent Hill, and The Mothman Prophecies.

I was a little surprised by the inclusion of the Silent Hill film as it was based on a video game by Konami but Real Fear site explains that the screenwriter, Roger Avary (Beowulf, Pulp Fiction), used the real life events of what happened in Centralia, PA during the early 60’s to mold his screenplay.

Here is an ad for the special:

[Via] First Contact TV’s YouTube Channel

From the Press Release: “On Sunday, March 11 @ 8pm, Chiller’s all-new special, Real Fear: The Truth Behind the Movies, will uncover the terrifying real-life stories that inspired some of the most popular horror films of all time! Paranormal investigator Katrina Weidman (Paranormal State), along with three of her colleagues, reveal the secrets behind four iconic movies: Poltergeist, The Amityville Horror, Silent Hill and The Mothman Prophecies.

The special also features exclusive eyewitness accounts from Lucille Herrmann, whose family made national attention in 1958, when they experienced unexplained poltergeist activity in their house in Seaford, NY (later influencing the popular film); and Christopher Lutz, the youngest member of the Amityville family who lived through the terrifying paranormal events in the infamous Long Island home.”

So if your local cable provider gives you the option of Chiller TV why not make some popcorn Sunday night, turn out all the lights, curl up on the couch and check it out?

Get your Poltergeist Cuesta Verde Estates T-Shirt

Steve Thomas, who did some wonderful horror travel posters, has also done some very t-shirt appropriate work, including this wonderful piece that promotes the real estate development from Poltergeist, Cuesta Verde. Phase 1 is a wonderful place to live, but I hear that people who really want a return on investment should put money into the upcoming, Phase 2. Still having a Phase 1 shirt, will let people know that I was “in the know”, before they even announce Phase 2.

[via] Rocket Tours

Retroist Poltergeist Podcast

Retroist Poltergeist Podcast

Welcome to the Retroist Poltergeist Podcast. They’re here! On today’s show we talk all about the legendary horror film, Poltergeist. We talk about how it was made, the people behind it, the Curse of the movie, the controversy around its direction, its sequels and much much more. Halloween is coming, so it is a good time to sit down and watch a good horror film, I can suggest no finer film to kick off the season. Okay, maybe a I can suggest a few others, but this is a great start. So fire up those TVs

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