Album Covers #29: Far East Vinyl

Let's be clear - these are not necessarily Korean, Chinese, Thai or Japanese musicians; but the vinyl itself is from an Asian distributor (if that makes sense).  Let's also be clear that these are some of the most incredible pieces of art to ever decorate a 7 inch piece of vinyl. Behold the magnificence that is Oriental single sleeve art.

Vintage Scares #30: Creepy Ads

Look into that dummy's cold dead eyes... .what do you see? Unspeakable evil, perhaps? This advertisement is the stuff of which nightmares are made..... but this is nothing compaired to this Neiman Marcus advert from 1972....


Ads #56: Horror Themed Ads

Can you count the number of vampire puns within this single ad?  Surely, this must be some kind of record for highest pun count. To make matters worse, the "neck book" pun has to rank among the worst puns ever bar none.

That being said, a horror theme always makes an ad better. Calculator ads are generally forgettable and lame; however, you stick in Dracula and "presto" you've got yourself a pretty engaging little ad.... despite the pun overkill.

So, here's some more ads for you to stick your teeth into.  Some I'm just batty about, others suck.  Either way, you're sure to have a bloody good time.


Retro Film Report #22: 5 Horror Flicks

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971)

Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971) is, for me, the perfect Hammer horror film.  It delivers everything you expect from Hammer: Gothic atmosphere, fine acting, subtle terror, an intelligent script, and busty babes.  Too often, my short attention span fails me with Hammer films; I can appreciate their quality, but the sometimes glacial pace is too much for my feeble mind. Plus, Valerie Leon has a way of keeping even the most distracted brain from wandering.

Comic Books #51: Horror Comic Sharity

Retrospace is the gift that keeps on giving.  It's real simple: I load scanned copies of comics into my Rapidshare account, and you download them for free.  It just doesn't get much better than this.  Sure, if the mood strikes you, I won't protest if you want to drop some change in the tip jar (in the sidebar).  But, truth is, I do this out of the goodness of my heart....... and some unexplainable compulsion to share old stuff.

Anyway, here's some PDFs of a variety of horror/Halloween themed vintage comic books scanned and posted for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.


Vintage Scares #29:Horror Movies - Then Vs. Now

How shocking that Retrospace would contend that horror movies were better in the 1960s - 80s than today, right? Well, for many of you this is a no-brainer, but others may need convincing.  For that, I say look at each genre of horror movie and make comparisons.

I'd like to mention beforehand, that this is by no means a comprehensive comparison; it's anecdotal at best.  We'll leave the in-depth comparisons to the full-time essayists.  So, I'm sure to have left out some shining examples within each genre.  I'm just standing on the soap box for a few minutes; feel free to take your turn atop the box in the comments section.  I'd love to hear your take.

Magazines #36: Horror Mag Sharity

As a token of appreciation to my readers and as a demonstration of my benevolence, I am once again offering up full magazine scans for you to download.  In the spirit of the season, all these are horror related rags in PDF format (I've had complaints that many of you don't like the superior CBR format).

Anyway, here they are.  Toss some loose change in the tip jar (located in the sidebar) if you're feeling charitable.  The more scraps of cash I get, the more likely I'll hook you up with another round.  It's a tedious process, but I'll do anything for money the wishes of my readers.  Enjoy!


Vintage Scares #28: Horror Movie Newspaper Ads

Consider this a "part two" to a post I did two years ago.

Anyway, I'll say this in regards to horror film advertising in newspapers - what it lacked in terms of a canvas (it was small and B&W), it made up for in sensationalism.  The art was certainly compromised versus the nice technicolor canvas of the movie poster; however, the unassuming newspaper spot was often license to go buck wild.  These are every bit as fun to peruse as are the posters.  Take a look for yourself...


Vintage Scares #27: 20 Great Horror Movie Lines

There's been some amazing quotes in horror movie history, and I couldn't begin to narrow down the greatest.  However, I can give some of my favorites.

The only rule I'm giving myself is that it should stand fairly well on its own.  In other words, the sick, twisted exclamation of "Heeere's Johnny!" in The Shining surely ranks among the greats.  However, the line itself isn't exactly horrifying out of context. So, I wanted some reliance on context, but not to the extent that it just looks silly without it.

I'll also clarify that these are lines that I consider great.  If you wanted just my favorites that would be a different story.  For instance, this line from Silver Bullet is in my personal top ten, but by no means is it great.

"C'mon! You comin' or are just gonna stand there and make lemonade in ya pants?"

Hopefully, you get my drift.  If not, it should be a fun set of quotes regardless.  Enjoy my top twenty in no particular order... and PLEASE add some of your own in the comments.


Viva VHS #11: Horror Box Art (Part 3)

If only all horror VHS covers could look this good.  Alas, it was not to be.  Yet, despite their flaws I am still able to enjoy looking at these old boxes - as a fan of the genre, and for sheer nostalgia's sake.

I've tried to include titles that you perhaps aren't as familiar with.  We've all seen the Poltergeist cover.... but do your recall the cover art for Bloodbath at the House of Death?  If the answer is 'no', you may want to step inside the Retrospace Video Store and see what's on the shelves...


Mini Skirt Monday #129: Minis Among the Foliage

Today's Theme: Girls in their miniskirts in the great outdoors.  That means lots of shrubbery, twigs, grassy meadows, and other "woodsy" backdrops. This is Miniskirt Monday as Nature intended.  Enjoy.


Comic Books #50: Horror Comic Covers

Magazine style comics such as Eerie, Vampirella, Creepy and the Warren and Skywald publications had some rich painted illustrations - true gems in the  annals of horror artwork.  Please see some previous posts for examples of these amazing covers:
horror comic covers part one 5/25/11
horror comic covers part two 6/17/11
Creepy and Eerie magazines
Vampirella magazines
But these comics, for all their incredible cover art, were black and white between the covers.  Sure, this allowed them to get more graphic in their content, but as a kid I liked my horror comics in living color! Once the comics code came along, you could no longer see red blood; nonetheless, to a young lad, there could be no substitute - it had to be in color.


Retro Film Report #21: Return to Horror High

Return to Horror High (1987), oddly enough, is not a sequel.  It's sort of in the vein of Scream and National Lampoon's Class Reunion in that it's a parody of the slasher genre which tries to incorporate all the tropes alternating between comedy and scares.

While it's not totally without redeeming value, it's neither funny nor scary. Plus, the parody aspect gets lost in a very convoluted poorly edited storyline.  It's currently available on Netflix Instant, so it may be worth a watch - just know what you're getting into.


Vinyl Dynamite #44: Foreign Tracks

If you've been following this blog at all you know that, upon spotting the LP pictured above, I simply had to have it.  I mean, this is just too good to pass up.  I couldn't live with myself not knowing what this record sounded like.

Well, I'm sad to report that it's about the most generic Hispanic music imaginable.  Still, it wouldn't be fair to not let you have a listen yourself.

Garimpeiro do Amor


Sex Sells #28: Men's Fashion Advertising

It's so easy.  Just lay down a few bucks for our shirts and slacks, and BAM! the chicks will be coming out of the woodwork.  You'll have to beat them off with sticks.  And your girlfriend?  She'll be so overcome with sexual desire, you'll think she's possessed.  But who can blame her? You've become the kind of man you've always dreamed of becoming.... king of his castle, a sex machine, a modern day Adonis.

And it's all because you bought our shirts and slacks.  ....You're quite welcome.


Let's Get Physical #12: 1980s Muscle Mags

Yes! That's what I'm talking about.  A hot 80s chick, a roided up dude in a Speedo, and a freaking lion! It doesn't get much better than this for pure narcissistic pathos. We've covered muscle magazines before, but those were mostly from the early days.  The truly maniacal vanity didn't come to its glorious fruition until the eighties.  Ah, sweet sweet vainglory.  The 80s were ground zero for overt self-worship, and nowhere is it more pronounced than in these old muscle mags. Enjoy!


Artful Conceptions #16: The A Frame (Part III)

Whether it's a comic book panel or album cover, there's only a finite number of ways you can arrange a canvas.  Naturally, there's going to be some patterns that emerge, and one that has intrigued me for years is the A Frame. From an armchair sociologist's perspective, it's rife with meaning and subliminal interpretations.  Sometimes it means "power" as in the picture above, but sometimes it takes on an altogether different meaning, usually sexual.

If you have any A frame examples you'd like to share, please drop a link in a comment.... or even better, email them to me (only vintage images please).  I have a feeling there will be many more A Frame posts to come.


Vintage Reads #41: More Paperback Trash

You'll notice that many of the books in this collection have seen better days.  They're pretty well worn.  This underlines my point (one that I've reiterated many times on Retrospace) that we need to be scanning and preserving these things.  The powers that be will no doubt preserve those documents they deem worthy; however, trashy paperbacks from the sixties won't be on the preservation list.

When I do scan a cover, the temptation is there to Photoshop it to death and make it look clean and new.  But I'm on the fence as to whether that's the right thing to do since you'll never get it to look like it originally did without some serious cropping, cloning, erasing, etc.which sort of defeats the whole purpose

Oh, well.  Here's another round of paperback trash preserved for the Ages.  Enjoy!


Tech #21: Oh, the Possibilities!

Computer advertising in the eighties made promises that they simply could not deliver.... in fact, many of the claims still haven't been fully realized thirty-odd years later.  The old adage "Don't let your mouth write a check your ass can't cash" is fitting here.  How many families spent a fortune on computer stuff expecting it to change their lives, only to quickly realize it could actually do very little.

That being said, this is the way it always goes when new technology hits the market.  If you look at old ads for refrigerators and microwaves when they first came out, the advertising depicted a very similar ecstasy.  "Our new automatic garage door opener changed our life!"  No it didn't.   It made things marginally more convenient.

Anyway, let's check out some great vintage computer/tech ads.  Enjoy.

Dungeons & Dragons #5

So, I was really into Dungeons & Dragons around 1981.  I had all the fancy dice, all the books (Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, DM's Guide, Player's Handbook, Deities and Demigods) and a stack of modules.  I had a few friends in the neighborhood that like to play, and we had a blast.

Then, literally overnight, I abandoned it like yesterday's news.  I don't know what it was (hormones?), but a part of me was gone.  The part of me that could just step into these imaginary worlds without that repressive self-consciousness went bye-bye. "Poof!"


Comic Books #49: More Insanely Awesome Spanish Comics

I'm not so much marveling at the wicked leopard hoodie as much as I am the leopard mittens!   And this dude is totally obscuring the wording under the title - but he doesn't give a damn.  That's what kind of a guy he is.

He's obviously spouting nonsense - something like "Aaarrgh!" or "Graaaahh!".  No skills with the ladies whatsoever.  He needs to get acquainted with Leopard Girl - she'll have him minding his P's and Q's in a hurry.  Judging by their wardrobe, they have a lot in common.

Retrospace Radio #34: Halloween Episode





Mini Skirt Monday #128: Reading (Part II)

Back in August, we started our pleasant journey down the road of Minis 'n' Reading.  It's a subject I'm not quite ready to move on from just yet.

Recall that we're not only featuring gals reading, but also girls among and around books (and other reading material such as magazines and newspapers).  That's pretty broad; but, then, who cares? We're all here just to look at a bunch of miniskirts, right?  Let's begin.


Ads #55: Happy Couples and their Booze

You don't have to work on Madison Avenue to know that an alcohol advertisement should never feature a guy drinking alone.  That has the potential to just look sad.  Sure, it's probably more realistic, but advertising isn't about honesty - it's about illusion (i.e. lies).

If perchance, you do feel the need to show a guy alone with his bottle, he better damn well look studly and self-confident - as if, any minute, a throng of nubile women will enter the scene throwing themselves at his feet.  But that's a tough feat to pull off.  The safe route is to have the guy flanked by a chick(s).  Other options: (1) a lone sexy female beckoning you to have a drink or (2) no people at all - just the booze.  Today, however, we're just lookin' at the male+female option. Enjoy.


Fotonovelas #4: Sharity

The title is "Sexual Witchcraft".  So, why aren't you downloading right now?

Anyway, I've got a stack of those lovable Spanish rags that are begging to be shared.  None actually contain nudity.... but they do contain plenty of debauchery, murder, insanity, and perversion.  A fair trade I'd say.


Tech #20: Computers - Making Stupid Kids Smart

Home computer advertising in the eighties may have over-represented their products, but they did it with gusto.  Computer products, whether it was hardware or software, were going to shock and awe your family to the point of orgasm.  They were going to save your children from the clutches of ignorance and unemployment.  They were going to bring your lousy dysfunctional family together into a wonderfully harmonious circle of love.  Computing was, dare I say, 'The Answer' for every upper middle class Caucasian family.

Let's look at some ads and you'll see what I mean.  In this post we'll look at educational products that will make your stupid kids smart.  In the next tech post, we'll just look at general computer insanity.  Enjoy.


Album Covers #28: ABBA

I love ABBA.  Love them.  Have loved them for over thirty years. Even in the nineties, when my car was full of cassette tapes of Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, I was still prone to pop in a little "Waterloo" or "SOS" - the very antithesis of grunge.  These Swedes cast a freakin' spell on me in the seventies and here I am, still totally spellbound.

The girls could sing - and like Lennon and McCartney, there was something inexplicably perfect about the way their voices sounded together.  Plus they were smoking hot.  I had a crush on Agnetha that was unhealthy for a child of that age.

Of course, they weren't big on lyrics.  Bjorn was no Dylan; however, those guys could write a melody that was damn near transcendent.  Ray Davies (The Kinks) attributes their ability to craft such exultant pop to pixie dust - it's the best explanation I've heard thus far.

Anyway, I've got a got a pile of ABBA single/record covers for your viewing pleasure (mostly foreign). As exciting as their music was, their covers were more or less standard fare.  But true ABBA fans will no doubt appreciate this gallery nonetheless.  Enjoy.

Opinions and Rants #42: The News is Dead

I'm old enough to remember when news had at least a modicum of credibilty left. Those days are long gone. It's so bad that I won't waste your time trying to convince you of something so self evident. The mainstream news media is just plain awful - that's a given.  But let me count the ways...


Twisted Impressions #15: Group Showers

They didn't really just say "put our heads together" did they? Perhaps not the best word choice for a group shower ad.

Even forgetting the verbiage, this ad gives me the creeps. Nothing against getting naked in a locker room - uncomfortable as it may be.  But these young fellas are having way too much fun in their skivvies - and there's just something wrong with the whole vibe I'm getting here.

The full color version is even worse....


The Boob Tube #32: Horror on the Tube

I attribute my fondness for the horror genre to the prevalence of it on the tube back in the seventies and early eighties.  Some of my fondest memories are sitting in front of the TV at night, fine tuning the UHF knob, grabbing a bowl of Frankenberry and enjoying a back to back horror movie marathon. Before Netflix, before VHS, it was up to the local 3-4 networks to provide your horror fix - and provide they did.   I recall watching Blood Beach and Hell Night one night down in Miami, and just experiencing pure bliss.