Friends, do we have a special treat for you today – this 1982 documentary entitled Arcade Attack: Silverball Heroes vs. Video Invaders. It’s an incredible time capsule of when loyal pinball enthusiasts were finding their beloved tables being threatened in the arcades by the likes of Space Invaders and Defender. This documentary does it’s level best to give you both sides of view in regards to the two fans of each type of entertainment. In addition it sports a pretty incredible title sequence – setting up the rivalry between the two protagonists featured in Arcade Attack: Silverball Heroes vs. Video Invaders!
First of all if you do have the slightest appreciation of the artwork and design that went into classic pinball tables – you are going to be very impressed by the amount of tables on display in this documentary. For example you have 1979’s Gorgar, Space Invaders from 1980 as well as 1964’s Heat Wave by Williams Electronics. A tattooed pinball fan with a great deal of respect for Elvis Presley and Rockabilly music, who goes by the moniker of Edwardian Dreams shares his thoughts on why pinball is more challenging.
With the proponent of the ever-growing popularity of video games being a young man who calls himself Defender. Because as you will see in Arcade Attack: Silverball Heroes vs. Video Invaders he has some incredible skills on 1981’s Defender by Williams Electronics. Seriously, when he is playing that classic arcade title you will be amazing at how dexterous this guy is. You might also be taken aback at how wrong his viewpoint is on the skills needed to actually play pinball. To be fair, Edwardian Dreams is equally naive on video games – especially considering his desire to smash the games to pieces instead of playing them (Don’t worry, you won’t see this happen).
In addition to both Defender and Edwardian Dreams there is a sort of host. The Pinball Wizard, actually Geoff Harvey who does his best to explain the basics and a very brief history of a nice selection of pinball tables. That is when the tables themselves aren’t ‘talking’ over him – in fact at one point one of the effects on a table is so loud it completely drowns out the narrator.
Then…something truly bizarre occurs, friends. It seems like this built up and festering resentment from both Edwardian Dreams and Defender manage to alter reality – as icons from pinball tables rise up themselves to do battle against Space Invaders over they city of London, looking so much like a lost segment from 1981’s Heavy Metal!
Which is naturally when we realize this is no documentary at all but in fact a short film. One that was directed by Mike Wallington and apparently aired on HBO back in the day. That revelation however in no way distracts from the beauty of the vintage pinball tables used in the short film nor the majesty of seeing London’s Video Battle Centre in it’s heyday!
Set aside about 25 minutes of your time and enjoy 1982’s Arcade Attack: Silverball Heroes vs. Video Invaders!
I want to give a huge shout out to Daniel XIII for being kind enough to give me a heads up about and allowing me to share it with all of you!
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