When I was a kid in the 1980s, my parents would go to the supermarket once a month on Saturday mornings. Having been a regular viewer of Saturday morning cartoons, this would upset me as I had to go with them and miss out on all those shows. The supermarket? Pathmark.
While there, I would spend most of my time in the toy aisle. The toys were cheap and… limited, but it was something for me to look at. However, there was one aisle I didn’t mind going down, because of how odd it looked. From front of the aisle to the rear, all I could see were white labels on soda cans, apple sauce, pet food, etc.. This was the no frills aisle. I remember this fondly as this was the go to place to get everything we needed for vacations. The no frills soda cans were a staple in the cooler for those trips. I can’t remember how the cola tasted, but I do remember how the can looked. It was like watching a Looney Tunes cartoon, but instead of Acme products, it was no frills.
Looking for baking soda, don’t look for Arm & Hammer, get BAKING SODA. Looking for cola soda, don’t look for Pepsi, get COLA. Same goes for BEER and CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP. Something about the uniformity of this aisle made me smile. Do you remember Pathmark’s No Frills products? Did you have a similar experience?
With the passing of Tobe Hooper on August 26th of 2017, the pantheon of horror legends has grown smaller. I certainly made sure to share my shock and disbelief at the passing of Tobe Hooper on Facebook. However after talking it over with the Projectionist we came to a decision. To venture back into the Retroist Vault and record this special episode, one focusing on the works of Tobe Hooper.
I realize of course that Tobe Hooper is probably best remembered for his 1974 film, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Of course this is rightfully so. But in all honesty he was behind the camera for many more excellent horror films as well as TV series.
Granted there is in fact a debate on who actually directed 1982’s Poltergeist. As the Projectionist and I brought up back 27 episode ago. Thankfully for you, the listeners, this is…mostly…avoided this go around.
Furthermore we have a special guest segment for this show. We are joined by none other than Daniel XIII! Whose reviews are easily found over on the That’s Not Current spot on the internet.
If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in a future special. Or possibly you have comments on the current show, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook.
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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 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.
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?