Pancakes #11: The Pancake Bookshelf

Some of you are under the impression that Retrospace invented the "pancake" terminology - this couldn't be farther from the truth.  Indeed, the term has been a by-word and local idiom for sexual tomfoolery since at least the mid-fifties - possibly much, much earlier.  As such, there have been a handful of hard-to-find tomes on the subject; mostly published within the U.K.  I'd like to share with you some rare examples of pancake texts I've been able to dredge up; it's my pleasure to return these long forgotten works back to the light of day.  Those doing scholarly work on the subject of pancakes will no doubt find this post useful.  Enjoy.


Just for Laughs #4: Return of the Monster Party

In the grand tradition of Cracked magazine, Dynamite magazine, and the legions of other periodicals that used to add cheesy speech bubbles to horror/sci-fi movie frames, here comes another installment of the Retrospace Monster Party.  Back by popular demand!

Mini Skirt Monday #151: Hawaii Five-0

There was more to Hawaii Five-0 than just Jack Lord's awesome hair.  There were also miniskirts.  If you could avert your eyes from Lord's godlike pate, there were plenty o' minis to bee seen.

In this post we not only have a bunch of Five-0 minis, but also a brief bio for each actress that's wearing them.  Some interesting, some not-so-much.

Anyway, book dem miniskirts, Dano! (It had to be said.  Better to get it over with early.)


Important Things to Know #14: The Kind of Girls Men Won't Date

From a Feb 1938 issue of Click magazine comes this fascinating article of advice for women.  Times, they have changed. My favorite line  is when it tells the girl to not cry because "men don't like tears".

All text and photographs are taken directly from the article. Enjoy.


REASONS why one girl's phone is always ringing and she goes every place and other girls go no place are so simple that most women overlook them. A man likes to have others envy him his choice of girls, and he feels that if he spends money on an evening's fun, his date should look attractive for the occasion. Men are quick to resent laxity on the part of a girl. Often treat carelessness as a slap in the face. Charm is a girl's most valuable asset; it can be expressed by careful attention to appearance and appearances. The girl who looks like her escort thinks she should, acts in a way to make him proud of her, never lacks an escort!


Retro Film Report #26

Next to food blogs, I'd say movie blogs are the second most plentiful on the interwebs - God knows movie reviews are in no short supply these days.  Nowadays, any film, no matter how obscure, is going to have hundreds if not thousands of reviews via IMDb, Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd, and thousands upon thousands of blogs and forums.  But I can't help but, on occasion, add my little bit to the cacophony of cinematic expositions.

Sometimes I like to explore a single movie in detail; but more often than not I just like to skim.This time I'm skimming.


Vintage Scares #31: Awful Monsters

Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) - see more below

Before Tom Savini and Rick Baker brought you realistic horror movie makeup; before CGI; before big budget effects, Hollywood monsters looked a little.... well, lame.

That's not to say that was always the case (take a look at the Universal monsters; Lon Chaney's creations were perhaps better than anything since).  However, during the 50s and 60s there was an influx of low budget horror films to meet the demands of a new generation. The drive-ins were stocked with grade-Z horror in the wake of I Was a Teenage Werewolf, and Boomer kids were rapidly becoming monster fanatics.

The end result was some woefully poor monster costumes and unintentionally hilarious make up effects.  But folks weren't as jaded and cynical back then.  A little imagination was all that was needed; graphic realism would have taken the fun out of it.

So, when I present to you these awful monsters, it's with love.  Sure, I'm playfully mocking them, but I also genuinely enjoy them, and perhaps wish we could go back to a time when a costume with a zipper up the back was all that you needed to make a good monster movie.


The Boob Tube #41 : Lesser Known TV Babes (Part 2) The Knight Rider Edition

You do realize I could devote this entire blog to this subject and have enough material to take me to a ripe old age? Just the bit part actresses on Knight Rider alone could take me to 2014. Unfortunately, we have other topics to attend to, so that dream will have to be put on hold for a while.

TV (especially in the seventies and eighties) was a breeding ground for actresses to get their feet wet before moving on to nude scenes in grade Z movies and a lifetime of bitter disappointment.  IMDb is littered with actresses who popped up on Murder, She Wrote, Riptide, Simon and Simon, Matt Houston, Sledgehammer, etc. and then PPHHHTTT! That's the sound of a promising acting career imploding on itself.


Tech #24: Arcade Games

The early eighties were all about video games for me.  I lived in Ohio during this time, and I literally can go down the list of all the arcade games I played and their exact location. Examples...

Every few weeks my family would eat out at Godfather's Pizza.  There I would play Tempest and Star Wars like a freaking maniac.  It seems like only yesterday I was blowing up the Death Star to the sound of Neil Diamond's "Heart Light" emanating from the restaurant's speakers.

Every day after school, my friends and I would walk to the 7-11, get a bag of Skittles and play Q-Bert and Time Pilot.

Every time I had to tag along to the grocery store (a Bruno's in Dayton), I spent the entire time playing Pole Position and Galaga.

Shall I go on? Well, Retrospace isn't a diary, so I'll spare you the entire laundry list of arcade memories; however, there are some games in particular that I'd like to take a look at...


Cinema #29: 1970s Lowbrow Movie Art (Part 2)

As was often the case in these low budget flicks, the poster was the best thing about the film had to offer.  If
a movie lived up to its poster, you knew it was good.  As with the last post on the subject, I've cut away the pesky words and honed in on the paintings for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.

Mini Skirt Monday #150: Barker's Beauties

The original Price Is Right was cancelled in 1965.  The year 1972 marked its triumphant return with Bob Barker at the helm, flanked by two beauties: Anitra Ford and Janice Pennington.  Naturally, Barker being a man's-man, dressed his ladies in miniskirts and was quick to add a lecherous comment.

A bevy of Barker's beauties followed Anitra and Janice; however, the miniskirt craze was over by then.  Thankfully, Anitra and Janice are plenty.  Now, if only they'd release all the old episodes, the miniskirt enthusiast population would be satisfied.  Alas, all we have are a handful (available on DVD and YouTube) and the quality isn't that great.

Longtime Retrospacers will note that this is somewhat of a repeat performance as Mini Skirt Monday #17 (7/27/09) was an Anitra Ford post.  However, back then I didn't go quite as overboard as I do now with pictures, and there's only four images.  I felt this deserved an update.

Aaaanyhoo.  I'll stop bitching now and just dish up some Price Is Right Mini Skirts.  Come on down!


Comic Books #56: Comic Book Creators

I read comics all my life (up until the mid nineties, actually).  It wasn't until around 1983 that I started caring about who was actually doing the writing and artwork.  I knew my MAD folks like the back of my hand (Sergio Aragones, Al Jaffee, Don Martin, etc.), but the guys behind my favorite comics for some reason didn't come into focus till much later.

Anyway, I found a few mags devoted to these guys and it brought back a lot of memories.  So, as a refresher for me, and perhaps of interest to you, here's a rundown of handful of comic creators - primarily Stan Lee.

By no means is this even close to a comprehensive list - that would go on forever. Just some a handful of pics from the past with a smattering of text. Nothing too in depth, but hopefully a lot of fun. I'm nowhere near an expert, so please fill in the gaps for me.  But most of all - Enjoy.


Just for Laughs #3

I'm a sucker for corny one liners.  I miss the Laugh-In brand of humor, the cheesy puns and gags from the "At the Dance" sketches on The Muppet Show, etc.  Everything now is so cynical, ironic and self aware.

Well, not here dammit. Today's installment features some of my favorite lines about drinking, drugs and sex.  No expletives, no self referential deprecation - just gold old fashioned ha-ha's.  Remember those?

I will give credit where credit is due at the bottom of this post.  See if you can guess who said them before you read the answers.  Enjoy.


Ads #66: Return of the Worst Ad Ever

Back in January 2009, posted an Interwoven Esquire sock advertisement and claimed it was the worst ever. I feel I must retract that statement, because I recently had the misfortune of stumbling upon another (shown above).  I'm sorry to subject you to this, but it is my duty as a blogger.


Retro Film Report #25

Schizo (1976) holds a very special place in my heart.  It was one of the first movies I ever rented on VHS.  The whole experience of watching a videocassette was so novel and exciting, it made this otherwise lackluster slasher flick seem like the greatest movie ever filmed.

Upon reviewing it about thirty years later, I found it didn't have near the charm as it did back around '83.  Rather plodding in parts, and the so-called mystery is laughably predictable. Yet, this will always be a special film simply because of it being among the first of many, many video rentals.


Pulp Pages #2

If I had to pick a desert island post from Retrospace, it might easily be the 100+ Pages of Pulp post I did at the close of 2011.  I could honestly stare at those images for hours and not lose interest.  It's not the most popular post on Retrospace, but with over a hundred pages of pulp mayhem, it just exudes awesomeness in every conceivable direction.  Lusty wenches, psychotic commies, curvaceous sex slaves, perverted Nazis, satanic cannibals, buxom prison wardens, rabid grizzlies, rogue witch doctors, nympho pirates...... yes, YES, YES, YES!


Ads #65: Monster Stuff for Kids

In the back of men's magazines you had tawdry ads for stag films and blow-up dolls; in the back pages of boys' magazines you had monster stuff.  Today, we're looking at the latter. (Besides, we've already done blow up dolls.)

Naturally, these things often wound up being falsely advertised rip-offs, but did it really matter? It was just so damn cool browsing through the awesome stuff you'll never own.

Mini Skirt Monday #149: Footwear Faux Pas

The footwear that girls of the seventies chose to combine with their miniskirts deserves some attention...... negative attention.  A lot of the problem arose from the fact that sandals, boots, heels and pumps weren't allowed in most schools - so you're limited oftentimes to clunky shoes that have no business being partnered with the miniskirt.

So, here's my chance to pretend to be a "fashionista"; God knows I wish those Joan Rivers style police would just shut the hell up and let people dress how they want to dress. But this is all in fun - so, please don't take these criticisms too seriously.  Truth be told, as long as you're rockin' a mini, you're footwear is probably going to be just fine.

But let's proceed with the inspection, anyway.  Shall we?


Ads #64:1974

Ahhh.  Remember when credit cards were for emergencies? Things have completely reversed - most people these days keep cash in their wallet in case of emergency; the credit card is the primary means of purchase.  What happened?

Wait. Don't answer that.  That's a whole can of worms.  Instead, just sit back and enjoy some more ads from 1974.


Rollermania #5

Rollerskating was such a part of growing up, that it simply behooves me to bring up this old chestnut once again.  I wasn't quite old enough to enjoy the disco, except to see it on the big screen and splattered across the pop culture landscape.  In its place, was a substitute for the younger generation: roller skating.  It had its own culture, music, and "dance" as the disco.... except without the cocaine and consequence-free sex.


Just for Laughs #2: Bill Wenzel

Bill Wenzel was a big player in the golden age of those sexy single panel comics you found sprinkled throughout adult magazines like Playboy and Esquire.  Wenzel published a reputed 10,000 pin-up comics, and writing most of the jokes himself.  For the most part, his works appeared in Humorama publications (i.e. Breezy, Cartoon Parade, Gaze, Jest, Joker, Romp, and Zip).  But his work also found its way onto paperbacks (most notably Coffee, Tea or Me).

Son of Hungarian immigrants, Wenzel grew up in New Jersey and served in WWII.  His unique background brought a special style to the world of bawdy art. These types of cartoonists and illustrators each had their own recognizable type of pin-up gals.  For instance, Bill Ward's were notoriously sleazy; whereas Wenzel's had a certain innocence to them.  Wenzel is also noted for depicting "thick" busty women - no emaciated twigs in Wenzel panels.

Enjoy a few panels of the maestro: Bill Wenzel.


Album Covers #38: Beach Babes

We've established a hundred times over on Retrospace that cheesecake sells records.  More often than not, the swimsuit/beach scene was the go-to route for either compilation records or easy listening. Those type of albums tended to feature exotic (i.e. non American, often  tropical clime locals) music - and what better way to illustrate your LP of Brazilian or Tahitian than with a babe on a beach?

Also, having a dame in a bikini maximizes the skin potential.  You can't have her naked, and a gal in her bra and panties might be a tad risque for an album cover. So, how better to show the most epidermal surface area than the bathing suit?  Elementary, my dear cheesecake peddler.


Pancakes #10: Calculating the Pancake Probability

A lot has been said on Retrospace about the likelihood of pancakes based on various snapshots.  Yet, very little has been offered in terms of quantifying the pancake.  In other words: attaching a numerical value to the probability of pancakes.

What would you say if I told you that we have developed just such a tool?  Well, it's true.  The R&D department at Retrospace has conducted a series of studies allowing us to actually apply mathematics to our pancake predictions.

Of course, our research involved a lot of calculus (and even some theoretical physics) which I won't bore you with.  Suffice it to say, our results have been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal; however, the actual formula remains proprietary.

So, let's put our hard work to good use and quantify some pancakes!


Mini Skirt Monday #148: Minis and Religion

Miniskirts and organized religion, it's sad to say, aren't always the best of friends.  I'd like to reprint a short article from January 21, 1971 in Truth Magazine.  I think it sums up the objection to miniskirts on Christian grounds pretty succinctly.

I hope it doesn't come as a shock that I am definitely FOR miniskirts, and consider the religious objection to them deeply flawed. But first, let me reprint the article, and then opinion (of course, I'll sprinkle this post with a handful of those wonderful minis as well).


Vintage Musicians #11

This group of strapping young men is the 1985 musical group, Momentum.  Haven't heard of them? Well, join the other 7 billion people on Planet Earth.  This is another post on musicians that never quite made it past the State Fair level.  Back in the day, it was alright to not play Shea Stadium, there was always a place for you at the local hotel lounge.  So, here's another loving tribute to bands like Momentum.  Enjoy.


Retrospace Radio #44: Science Fiction



  1. The Jetsons Theme
  2. Van Mccoy -  Theme from Star Trek
  3. Monty Python - The Galaxy Song
  4. Ran-Dells - Martian Hop
  5. Dr. Who Theme
  6. Klaatu - Dog Star
  7. Schoolhouse Rock - Interplanet Janet
  8. Leonard Nimoy - A Visit to a Sad Planet
  9. Inter Galactic Touring Band - Space Commando (1976)
  10. Kiss - 2000 Man
  11. UFO theme
  12. The Space Walkers - Apollo 9  
  13. Meco - Star Wars Theme /Cantina Band


Artful Conception #20: The Carry (Famous Monsters of Filmland Edition)

Curse of the Faceless Man (1958)

I've posted a few times on the odd phenomenon of "the carry".  Typically seen in monster movies - it's that almost inevitable point where the chick faints and the monster carries her away. It's a scene that's repeated over and over - and not just in film, but in books, comics and advertising as well.

The idea to revisit this topic came from reading an old Famous Monsters of Filmland where they actually talk about this very theme. Of course, it's done in the typical FMoF style with plenty of puns and no real sociological analysis:

"The first rule of monsterish carry-offism is that the creature must carry off the maiden in destress.  Or dat dress. And carry her off well.

No one really cares where they carry her to, it's how that makes 'em howl. 'Cuz, after all, whether it's to Dracula's dungeon or a dinosaur's pad, chances are 1,000,000 to none that the hero will rescue her in the nick of time -- heroes' have a knack for that sort of thing --- and drive a stake thru the vampire's heart (this is known as a wooden performance) or blow up the brontosaurus with grenatdes, explosive bullets, mortar shells & chemical bombs.  As Brenda Saurus said as she was being blown to bits, 'That's show blitz!'"

As you can see, there isn't much substance, but at least they acknowledged it.  The topic began in issue #33, and was "carried on" in subsequent issues.  So, to make like Forry Ackerman, I too will "carry on" the tradition.  Enjoy.