Understanding Human Behavior #5

It's high time we took another look at the greatest series of reference books ever printed.  The topics are insane and the illustrations crazier than a shit-house rat.  It's like a thousand page diary of a madman; a testimonial, if you will, to how intensely off-course the 1970s were - and I love every page.

The illustration above is for a chapter on dreams as premonitions. The caption: "There are thousands of authenticated cases of dreams which have foretold the future.  But details of the dream should mirror the event - it is not enough to dream about an air crash, then read of one the next day."


Retro Film Report #28: Get Crazy (1983)

Get Crazy (1983) is perhaps the most aptly named move ever made.  Only cocaine could have produced a movie this manic, this politically incorrect, this.... well, crazy.  Do you remember a few years ago when the word of the day was "random"? Well this is that.  It's so nuts that I can't really give it a proper review.

The plot: A 1983 New Year's Concert is being sabotaged.  Silliness, drugs, rock 'n' roll, and more silliness ensue.  So much so that it's impossible to take it all in in a single viewing... or even a hundred viewings. Only under the influence of a massive line of cocaine, might you hope to get a glimpse into the madness of Get Crazy.

For those not doing coke, I thought I'd break it down to allow the rest of us to take in this truly amazing film.


Vintage Men's Mags #38: Action Rags

Here's a stack of those men's action magazines we all know and love.  You know the ones: the ones with titles like "The Weasels Ripped My Flesh" and brimming with plenty of cheesecake and politically incorrect articles.  What's not to love?

In this post, we'll take a look at the glorious covers as well as a few pages from inside.  Enjoy!


Humor Mags #5: Berg's Lighter Side Fashions

Anyone familiar with MAD during the seventies will well remember Dave Berg's regular feature "The Lighter Side"  It wasn't a particular favorite as a kid, but as an adult I appreciate it much more.  The gags are a tad on the lame side, but what made these strips special was the timeliness.  Unlike the Don Martin and Spy v. Spy segments which stood independent of any time period, the Dave Berg strips had more in common with Doonesbury which definitely was "of the day", featuring current issues and characters who wore the latest fashions.

And this is where Retrospace comes in.  You can tell Berg put a lot of effort and attention into the fashions in each strip.  Indeed, it was every bit as important as the gag itself.  I would be remiss to not have a post highlighting Berg's great illustrations of fashions past within his "Lighter Side" strips - perhaps, second only to the Archie comics in their depth and detail in bringing to life the styles of the seventies in comic form.


Let's Get Physical #13: The Suzy Chapstick Workout

Suzy Chaffee, better known by her nickname "Suzy Chapstick", was an Olympic athlete, political activist, and supposed midnight lover to Ted Kennedy.  Her athletic accomplishments are actually pretty impressive..... her fitness book, not so much.  But then, it's interesting enough to warrant a blog post unto itself, so maybe it's impressive in its own way.

But before we start, a word about her co-author, Bill Adler.  He was a writer for Candid Camera and wrote the classics: Kids' Letters to President Carter and Letters to the Air Force on UFOs.

So, now that we know who we're dealing with, let's begin The I [love] NY Fitness Book (1983).


Ads #68: 1981

This is indeed Carol Ann from Poltegeist (Heather O'Rourke).  She was discovered by Steven Spielberg when she went with her sister and mother to MGM studios for her sister Tammy's part in Pennies from Heaven (1981) who played uncredited as a dancer.  They were eating in the MGM cafeteria when Spielberg spotted her.

Her mother was a seamstress and her stepfather a truck driver, so when the movie part came along, it was life changing.  Unfortunately, in the late eighties O'Rourke developed a bowel obstruction which could have been cured by a simple operation.  Unfortunately, her symptoms were misdiagnosed as Crohn's disease.  The medication caused the big puffy cheeks you see in Poltergeist III; and sadly the untreated bowel obstruction ultimately caused a fatal heart attack.

The advertisement above is from 1981, shortly before filming on Poltergeist.  It is said her ghost still haunts the set where she filmed 12 episodes of Happy Days (Paramount Pictures State 19).  Believe it.... or Not!  


Mini Skirt Monday #154: Bewitched Minis (Part 2)

So, what did we learn from last week's Miniskirt Monday? Well, for starters we learned that I have too much time on my hands.  Also, that Darrin is giant douche bag.

Moving right along....


Tech #26: Cracked Magazine 1983

In November 1983, Cracked magazine had a piece called "Signs that it's the Computer Age." I thought it might be fun to take a look roughly thirty years later.

In regards to the image above, there was a time when Casio and the like were putting whistles and bells on their watches, much to the amazement of consumers.  Who could have predicted that watches have more or less gone back to being what they originally were - just timepieces   Of course, who even needs a watch anymore?  People are so intimately linked to their phones, which do more than a watch could ever dream, that watches have been rendered obsolete.


Album Covers #39: Top Hits!

Way back in 2008 I posted on album cover cheesecake and gave some examples using those Top Hits / Top of the Pops records as examples.  Well, here we are nearly five years later, still talking about the same damn thing.  I guess that means the next one's due in 2018.

Anyway, when you have a "top hits" album you have basically two options:  (1) You can opt for the K-Tel route aimed at kids and give them little pictures of the various artists or (2) You can opt for the Tops of the Pops approach aimed at teenagers and up and give them plenty of titillating eye candy.

Herein are a little of both. Enjoy.


Retro Film Report #27: Deadly Friend

Note: This review contains spoilers.  Here's the first spoiler - Deadly Friend is the most batshit crazy movie I have ever seen.  Wes Craven has disowned it, claiming it started out as a worthy project and disintegrated into a blinding mess of historic proportions.  Multiple producers and multiple changes before and after test audiences booed it, turned this would-be family friendly fantasy movie into a schizoid bii-polar mess that is crazier than a shit-house rat.

But it's not crazy in good way - like say Dr. Strangelove.  No, it's the bad kind of crazy - the kind where you wish you'd done something productive with yourself instead of wasting your life watching movies like Deadly Friend.  But, given the fact that it is among the most insanely awful movies I've ever seen in four plus decades of life, I felt I had to share...

Mini Skirt Monday #153: Bewitched Minis (Part 1)

From 1969-1972 miniskirts were rampant on television; before and after there was a tapering effect.  How do I know this? Well, let me just point out that we're on Miniskirt Monday number 153.... that translates to 153 weeks of minis - that's roughly three straight years of week after week of miniskirts.  It would be an understatement to say I've learned a thing or two.

A couple things I didn't need to learn because I've known them roughly my whole life:  Elizabeth Montgomery is a stone cold fox and her Darrins are both douche bags.... and Larry Tate is no prize either.

Anyway, there's lots to cover - so let's get going!


Comic Books #57: Binky

Super DC Giant Presents Binky No. S-13 (October 1970)

Well, what do we have here?  I'm not even going to comment on the fact that this looks borderline pornographic at first glance.  Not even going to say it.

But let's read on in this Archie clone called Blinky, shall we? It's simply too good not to share.


Vintage Gams #3: Fems and Phones

You know me.  I've got to have a frickin' theme.  Can't just throw up a bunch of pictures of gams.  No.  I've got to have a grand unifying concept.  This time it's the humble telephone. Enjoy.


Needlework A-Go Go #32: 1972-1973 Good Housekeeping

So, I had a stack of vintage needlework magazines that were just itching to be scanned.  As always, I share my hard work with the world in the hopes that, one day, I will be honored for my works in vintage preservation.  I'm still waiting for the following email to land in my inbox:
"I am anonymous billionaire who just deposited a million dollars in your paypal account in thanks for the amazing service you provide to humanity."
Hey - it could happen. Anyway, enjoy some pages from Good Housekeeping Needlecraft magazine Fall-Winter 1972-1973


Vintage Scares #32: Werewolves!

Favorite monster? That's easy - Wolf Man.  He's not a sociopath like Dracula, and not a blithering idiot like Frankenstein and the Mummy.  He's kind of like the Hulk - instead of Banner it's Talbot plagued by his bestial side.  Plus, it's got the time honored "duality of man" thingy going for it - a la Jekyll and Hyde.  Yes.  It's settled. The Wolf Man wins.

I know, the poor lycanthropes were tainted by Twilight, but they'll weather the storm; there's a rich cinematic history that spans a hundred years which ensures that not even "Team Jacob" can destroy its legacy.

I'm going to give you the rundown of the werewolf in pop culture - I'll cover movies, TV and comics (with the painful omission of music - I just don't have the time).  So, it's by no means comprehensive, but I think you'll find it interesting nonetheless.

Mini Skirt Monday #152: Star Trek Minis

Please consider this a companion post to the much heralded "Babes of Star Trek" posts one and two.  I'll try to not have any image repeats, but it'll be the same gals and similar information.  Despite the redundancy, this post simply had to be made.  The original Star Trek is the crown jewel in the world of miniskirts.  It says: in the future, when we are more advanced and enlightened, women will wear short dresses.  Gene Roddenberry is the Patron Saint of miniskirts, and this post is a tribute to his grand contribution to the mini.  We can only hope that his vision of the future will be so leggy.



Tech #25: Photography

They say that our modern day home movie systems wouldn't be in your living room if it weren't for the male libido.  When VCRs initially became available, they were super expensive; simply not affordable to the average American.  Fortunately, men are perverts and will pay any price to see naked women.  Men bought enough VCRs to drive the price down..... and the rest is history.

Why do I bring this up?  Well, I happened across a handful of old photography books and couldn't help but notice lurking behind every page was that male libido.  Yes, the camera seemed a flimsy excuse to get the ladies, and some of the text was just too awful to keep to myself.  I simply had to share.

Plus, the very nature of photography has changed beyond measure.  The technology has experienced a titanic shift which simply must be explored.  Let's look at some books and talk about certain aspects - it's a lot to cover, but I think I'm up for it. Let's go.


Ads #67: 1981

Don't hate on me for saying this, but Mrs. Clooney looked like a man in 1981.  Look, I wasn't exactly Cary Grant in '81 either, so I won't pass judgment - we all have our awkward looking years.  Clooney was a good looking gal in her prime - in 1981 she was 53.


Opinions and Rants #44: Sports

Ah, yes. The Cincinnati Reds - I knew them well.  I lived in Ohio during the late seventies-early eighties, and followed the Reds like crazy.  The Big Red Machine was basically over and done by the time I came on board, but I still lapped up each and every game.

I don't blog much on yesteryear's sports on Retrospace; I guess that because I've sort of found my niche and expanding on that might just make the scope too big.  Or maybe it's because baseball lost its mojo for me, and I can't conjure up enough enthusiasm to write about it.  But let me wax nostalgia on baseball and other sports if I may, just this once...