Archive for May, 2011

Vincentennial: 10 Vintage Vincent Price movie ads

Posted in advertising, movies, pop culture, Vincent Price with tags , , , , , on May 27, 2011 by Paxton

Cavalcade Gazette

It’s the Vincentennial! Vincent Price would be 100 years old this year, so people all over the net are celebrating the films of the godfather of horror. Strange Kids Club has been having Price-centric articles all week. I wrote one about Vincent Price and the origin of the Michael Jackson song Thriller.  Today, I thought I’d continue the celebration with a look at some awesome and vintage movie ads for some of Vincent Price’s films.

Some of these movies are his most popular (The Fly, Masque of the Red Death) and some may surprise you (Beach Party?).  Regardless, they are an awesome bit of marketing and movie history.  So without further ado, here are 10 vintage ads for movies starring Vincent Price.  I’ve put them in chronological order.

The Fly
The Fly (1958) – One of his most famous. And a suitably creepy movie on its own.

Return of the Fly
Return of the Fly (1959) – Rushed sequel that can’t really live up.

The Bat
The Bat (1959) – A serial killer called The Bat terrorizes the residents of a creepy mansion.

Beach Party
Beach Party (1963) – Yes, Vincent Price played Big Daddy in this Annette Funicello-Frankie Avalon beach comedy. I love the art and how busy this ad looks. The ad itself is huge, so click the image to see it FULL SIZE.

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Mt Dew Pitch Black’s Glorious Return to Store Shelves

Posted in Mountain Dew, Pepsi, pop culture, soda with tags , , , , on May 23, 2011 by Paxton


Back in March I mentioned that Pepsi was re-releasing the original Mt Dew Pitch Black to store shelves this Memorial Day. I was surprised they weren’t going to do it for Halloween, but whatever, that means we get Pitch Black back into our lives and there’s nothing more important than having that Black Grapey goodness back inside me.

Well, you may have heard the girlish screams coming from Jacksonville this weekend, because I found brand new 12 packs of the 2011 Pitch Black.

Mt Dew Pitch Black 2011

As a matter of fact, I’m drinking one of them right now. And it’s delicious. It tastes exactly as I remember. Mt Dew citrus + black grape = toe curling awesomeness. And the design of the 12 pack/cans are nearly identical to the original release. Pepsi really only updated the logo. Check it out compared to the original Pitch Blacks I and II (left to right).

Pitch Black family

I love that they kept the design of the can so close to the original. Even including the silver Limited Edition label.

I thought I would let another, possibly more impartial, person taste the new drink to see if it is, in fact, still tasty.  In a bid for parent of the year, I decided the impartial judge will be my 8 month old son, PJ.  He was certainly up to the task and tore into the can like he was Teen Wolf and Pitch Black was a can of beer.

PJ and Pitch Black 1 PJ and Pitch Black 2

I’m sure Pepsi will be thrilled that they passed the “8 month old boy” taste test with flying colors.

Like I said, it tastes awesome and I look forward to finishing my 12 pack. I’m going to stock up on these like a case of fine French Bordeaux because I don’t know how long they’ll be around. Maybe Pepsi plans on re-releasing Pitch Black II later in the year?  We’ll see.  Hopefully Pitch Black can be an annual release every year much like Cranberry Sierra Mist (which is also awesome).

Video Games in movies that I totally thought were fake…but aren’t

Posted in Atari, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, video games with tags , , , on May 18, 2011 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

So, the other day,  I was watching one of my favorite movies, Midnight Madness.

Midnight Madness

In case you didn’t know, it’s about a group of college kids that take part in a city-wide game of chase.  They are given clues that lead to specific destinations which eventually end up at the finish line.  It’s a great movie and is one of Michael J Fox’s earliest roles.  Anyway, about 3/4 of the way through the movie there is a great scene that takes place in a video arcade.  It’s always been one of my favorite scenes, especially now, because you can see a bunch of old school video games as the camera changes perspective.

So, after arriving at the video arcade (which is run by a young Paul Reubens in a cowboy costume), the players discover they must play the game Star Fire, and beat it, in order to get the final clue.  They gather around the machine with like a million quarters and start playing.

Star Fire 1Star Fire 2

For years, I thought this game was a creation of the movie.  The logo was obviously a rip off of Star Wars and the game play was disjointed and just looked manufactured.  You could even see images of TIE Fighters in the game.

Star Fire 3Star Fire 4

How could this crappy ass game be real?  Am I right?  However, just recently, while searching around the Internet I discovered that Star Fire was an actual video game.  It was manufactured in 1980 by a company called Exidy.  The graphics, game play and cabinet were slightly altered in the movie for the purposes of the script (which explains why it felt fake), but the game was most definitely real.  Not only that, it is considered a ground breaking shoot ’em up.  It was the first arcade game to use the sit down cockpit (however the movie used the stand up version) and was also the first game to keep track of player initials and high scores.  Here’s a flyer from 1979 advertising the Star Fire arcade game.

Star Fire

(Via the Arcade Flyer Archive)

I was blown away.  I couldn’t believe this was real.  I’d seen Midnight Madness thousands of times and I just assumed Star Fire was fake.  For me, this is nearly akin to finding out Mattel actually made hoverboards back in 1989.  Earth.  Shattering.  I’ll have to see if I can download an emulator ROM for it.

This got me thinking about other movies with awesome video game machines that I assumed were fake but are, in fact, real.

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Looking at some movie branded food stuffs

Posted in advertising, Ghostbusters, movies, pop culture, Twilight with tags , , , , , , on May 12, 2011 by Paxton

If you read this blog you know I love both movies and promotional food stuffs like new soda flavors and candies. I love it even more when they are combined.

Here are some candies, pastries, etc that were re-branded to promote a movie. I’m going to exclude the Star Wars saga from this article because, honestly, I could do a series of articles on Star Wars and food branding.  Images are from my own Flickr stream unless otherwise noted.  See all images BIGGER by clicking on them.

King Kong Twinkies King Kong muffins
King Kong Hostess pastries – Back in 2005, Hostess did a big promotion for Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake. They added banana to several of their products. In the pics you can see Banana Twinkies as well as Banana Walnut mini muffins. Interestingly enough, Twinkies’ original flavor was, in fact, banana.

Hulk Life Savers(Via Jason Liebig)
Hulk Sour Lime Life-Savers – A Hulk branded Sour Lime flavor promoting the 2003 Ang Lee Hulk movie. I don’t actually remember these at all, I just saw the wrapper pop up on my buddy Jason Liebig’s Flickr stream. Jason states that it may have been a Canadian only product.  I like this much better than I liked Ang Lee’s movie, and I haven’t even tried these.

Hostess Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pies – From 1991. This was sort of a dual promotion. The packaging used artwork from the cartoon, but it was released around the time of the second live-action movie. You can even see a movie promotion on the packaging.  Matt from X-Entertainment did a great write up of this product.  The pies were green and filled with vanilla pudding.  There were four package designs each featuring a different Ninja Turtle.

Incredible Hulk cup cakes(Via Jason Liebig)
Hostess Hulk Cakes – From 2008 to promote the Incredible Hulk reboot with Edward Norton.  These were a Scary Cakes promotion for Halloween that featured green frosting and sprinkles on top.  Hostess also added the Hulk to their regular cup cakes, donuts and Twinkies products, but left the actual cakes unchanged. There was also an Incredible Hulk branded Air Heads candy.

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Movie Man-a-thon: Piranha, sharks and martial arts masters

Posted in monsters, movies, reviews with tags , , , on May 2, 2011 by Paxton

Steph was away last week. So I did what I always do when left to my own devices…take the opportunity to catch up on awesomely bad movies that Steph would never watch.  Check out a previous man-a-thon article here.

So, here’s what I watched this past week.  I made good use of Netflix Streaming as well as some freebie Redbox codes.

Piranha 3D
Piranha (2010) – I talked about this movie in my very first On the Shelves over on Strange Kid’s Club.  I finally got to watch it.  And it’s good.  Surprisingly so.  I’m not a huge fan of the McQueen kid in the lead, but Elizabeth Shue (she’s still hot) is great as is Jerry O’Connell who is chewing up scenery like crazy.  I love they got Dreyfuss in a cameo reprising his role from Jaws.  Just a fun little horror flick.  Lots and lots of mayhem and gore.  I look forward to the sequel.  I’m a little pissed they gave away the final scare in the trailer, though.

Ip Man
Ip Man (2008) – I’ve been wanting to see this for years.  It hit Netflix streaming last year and I finally got a chance to watch it this week.  And it is AWESOME.  This movie contains a f**king avalanche of awesome ass kickings.  Donnie Yen is a BAD.  ASS.  I’m now going to have to revisit some of Yen’s previous movies like Iron Monkey, Once Upon a Time in China 2, Blade II (which he was only in for like 10 seconds), etc.  Yen has Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen coming up and there was a trailer for it on the DVD.  It looks AWESOME.

Ip Man 2
Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster (2010) – So after bathing in the awesomeness that is Ip Man, I rushed right out to Redbox and got Ip Man 2. However, it was a tad hard to find. I stopped by like 3 different Redboxes before I could find one that had it.  But it was worth it.  While not as good as the first one, this one is still pretty bad ass.  Yen is back and this time he brings Sammo muthaf**king Hung with him.  They both have a great fight scene at one point.  This movie has less of a story than the first, it’s mostly fight setup-fight-fight setup-fight.  Plus, there are only like 2 American characters in this movie and, of course, they are both insufferable douchebags.  But it’s a lot of fun and a worthy followup to the original.

Jaws 4
Jaws The Revenge (1987) – I had never seen this movie all the way through.  I was listening to Now Playing’s Jaws retrospective podcast and it got me wanting to watch this movie from beginning to end.  So I did.  And it’s terrible.  The acting, the story, the special effects.  Pretty much across the board this movie is awful.  Mario Van Peebles is in it and he speaks with a Jamaican accent.  It’s that bad.  And yes, it’s true, the shark has a vendetta against the Brody family so it follows them from Amity Island all the way down to the Bahamas.  But it’s not made clear what the vendetta is. Is he pissed about the other sharks the Brodys killed?  How’d he find out?  What about everyone else that has ever killed a shark…EVER?  They just get a pass?  It’s just really, really dumb.

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