Archive for vintage

Thumbing through a SkyMall catalog from 1996

Posted in magazine, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , on August 25, 2014 by Paxton

Right after college I joined an IT consulting firm. Our business was based on clients. So I traveled 100% to client sites all over the country implementing a corporate financials software suite called PeopleSoft.  So, during my eight years as an IT consultant I became very familiar with airplanes and flying across the country.  Because I was flying nearly every week I picked up one of the first commercially available portable DVD players on the market back in 1999, the Panasonic DVD L-50.  I still have it and it still works.  I literally just let my nearly 4 year old son use it a few weeks ago when the family flew to Colorado.

Because I was on planes 50 weeks out of the year I also became intimately familiar with the in flight magazines.  Namely, the SkyMall Catalog.  It offered interesting products the likes of which you wouldn’t see unless you walked into a Brookstone in the mall.  It was fascinating every month to check out what oddball items were being offered that you could order directly off the Airfone.

During my recent family trip to Colorado I thumbed through the current magazine and thought back longingly to the old catalogs from back in the day.  What would they look like now?  Well, I got an old copy of the catalog so let’s take a look at the treasures contained within.

The SkyMall copy I have is from mid 1996 and is stamped Southwest Airlines.

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Each airline had their own version of SkyMall, the main difference being that there were a few pages in the back that sold clothing and items emblazoned with the airlines’ logo.  But they all had the same awesome merch and (now) vintage technology.

So let’s get started.

Les Concierges
This ad for a concierge company looks like the cover of a 90s video game simulator called something like Rich & Famous where you play as a wealthy CEO.  I imagine it’s a game like Aerobiz.

Health Rider
There are several things that are guaranteed and written into the laws of nature. Death, of course. Taxes. And companies will never stop trying to develop the “perfect” exercise machine. And they’ll all make you look equally ridiculous when you use them (I’m looking at you, Health Rider).

Bolle Sport glasses Auto Tint Sunglasses
Another guaranteed truth. Companies will always try to design new “gimmick” sunglasses that vaguely perform some “new, cool” function but they look like rejected props from a DEVO video.  Or any 60s movie that features people from the future.

Pop Up Hot Dog cooker
This pop up hot dog cooker/bun warmer is STILL sold in SkyMall magazine today. With nearly the exact same picture. Either it’s a best seller or they sold out 20 years ago and just forgot that it was still in the catalog.

Golf Club flask
This is straight up Rodney Dangerfield from Caddyshack awesome.  I would play golf just so I could use this.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: Four vintage Fangoria magazine ads

Posted in advertising, Fangoria, Halloween, holiday, magazine, movies, music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2013 by Paxton

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Fangoria had a lot of great merch that you could purchase directly through the magazine. We saw the masks/costumes collections yesterday. Now let’s take a look at some of the other awesome items you could buy through the pages of Fangoria.

Fangoria Back Issues
One of the first places I’d usually go, and the place I usually lingered on after I’d read the magazine, is the two page back issue order form.  Checking out previous issues and what movies were covered was amazing.  I love that they included many of the covers as well.  You can see in the lower right I filled out the order form back in the day.  I was optimistically hoping my parents would let me send away for some of the issues.  I checked off issues #50 and #55 in the form.  Issue 50 was the issue featured in the picture on the right with Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund).  I always lusted after that issue and never got it.  The other issue, #55, I’m less sure why I wanted.  The cover pic is above the description with the Invaders from Mars remake on the cover and some first looks at Psycho III.

TX Tshirt Massacre
This ad showed up in Fangoria for many years.  One of my favorites.  I never wanted to own any of these shirts, I just liked the idea that they existed.  I would never have been able to wear one of these shirts to school, so what was the point?  Plus the shirts were $25 which was A LOT, even then.  But the ad was very eye catching and fun.  I like the guy in the luchador mask.  WTF?!

Music for Maniacs
Fangoria sold everything to make money within its pages. Here are some horror movie soundtracks for sale.  Some of these I would imagine are pretty rare now.  Some of these might possibly have been made custom.  That Troll soundtrack couldn’t have sold too well.  The Return of the Living Dead soundtrack is pretty great.  But check out that list of eclectic movie soundtracks on the right.  Teen Wolf?  Warhol’s Dracula?  The first Evil Dead? Transylvania 6-5000?!  Wow.

The Gore Store
The Gore Store was always a great stop in the magazine to see what cool books and props were being offered. This particular Gore Store is from 1987.  Some cool film books about Night of the Living Dead and Stephen King.  Also this page was a chance to order the annual Bloody Best of Fangoria issues.  In this one you could order all the current 5 volumes of Bloody Best right there for $18 plus shipping.  A little over $3 each.  Not bad.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: Vintage Fangoria mask ads

Posted in advertising, Fangoria, magazine with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2013 by Paxton

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I’ve said before I’m a huge Fangoria fan.  I still have all my old issues.

Here are some awesome mask ads from Fangoria magazine.  Let’s put them in chronological order shall we?

First up:

Monster Madness
A Monster Madness makeup kit ad from 1979 featuring several different types of masks.  Three space alien designs, but check out C, on the far right.  Does it look familiar?  Maybe a bit like Darth Vader without the samurai helmet?  The ad says the kits were designed by Dick Smith, but his name isn’t anywhere in the branding.

Don Post masks
Ad for Don Post masks circa 1980. With the gear up to Empire Strikes Back that year, it’s not surprising that there are several Star Wars masks in this collection.  Including a Bith cantina band member.

Massacre Masks
Massacre Masks ad from 1987.  A fun ad showcasing not only masks but gaping wounds.  It was always preferrable at the time to want to buy the goriest thing you could find in these ads and then wear them around your parents or other family members.

Nightmare Masks
Nightmares masks ad from 1987.  More gory, disgusting mask designs.  Even back in the day I really liked the Letcher mask/hands in the upper left.  I’m also in love with that “The Coffin” prop in the lower left.  And the full size “The Corpse”?  Yes, please.  In 1987, those two items would set you back $875 plus shipping.

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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: 7 Vintage horror movie on VHS ads

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, magazine, movies, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2013 by Paxton

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In the late 80s-early 90s I was a big horror fan. I watched all the slasher movies and I bought and read Fangoria magazine every month. For a while, it was my favorite magazine. I even still have a bunch of my original issues.

Surprisingly, Fangoria didn’t have a LOT of ads, but every issue there was at least 1 big ad for some movie that was either about to come out in theaters, or getting ready to hit VHS and Laserdisc. They are glorious full page color ads. And I loved them. Here are a few of those ads I still have.  You can click the images to see them BIGGER on Flickr.

Zombie Nightmare
Since my theme this year is zombies, I’ll start with a zombie movie. This ad is for Zombie Nightmare from 1987.  It stars Adam West (yes, THAT Adam West) and Tia Carrere. A youth is killed by a group of rampant teenagers. A voodoo priestess resurrects the youth to enact revenge on his killers so he can rest in peace.

TCM 2
Here’s another 1987 ad for the first sequel to Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The bottom of the ad includes mail away offers for 3D posters, 6 ft cardboard standees and t-shirts.  I love that they “suggest” you use a chainsaw to cut out the order form.

The Fly
And here to finish off the 1987 hat trick is an ad for David Cronenberg’s The Fly.  I love this image.  I don’t think they needed the image of the Brundlefly in the upper left, I wish they would have left that out.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: My Boyfriend’s Back (1993)

Posted in Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2013 by Paxton

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With all the mostly horror based zombie movies I’ve been covering this month, I thought I’d try a more comedy based zombie movie. I’ve never watched today’s movie. I remember it being released, but I never got around to watching it. Today’s little gem of a movie is My Boyfriend’s Back from 1993.

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The movie is about a boy named Johnny who is in love with a childhood friend from school named Missy. One night, Johnny intervenes in a robbery and takes a bullet to save Missy’s life. Johnny soon returns from the grave as a zombie so he can escort Missy to prom, but he discovers that he’s slowly disintegrating and must eat human flesh to survive long enough to actually go to the prom.

That’s the helicopter view of the plot. There’s also some not-so-subtle commentary on tolerance of people that are different. But let’s first look at some of the stars of the movie. Johnny and Missy, the main characters, are played by relative newcomers (at the time). Neither are really known for anything else. However, Missy’s douchebag boyfriend and his neanderthal buddy are both played by very well known actors.

Check out an impossibly young Matthew Fox and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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At this time, Matthew Fox had only appeared in the TV shows Wings and Freshman Dorm (with Teen Witch‘s Robin Lively). It would be another year before he’d land Party of Five.  Hoffman had had small parts in Steve Martin’s Leap of Faith, Pacino’s Scent of a Woman and John Cusack’s Money for Nothing.  It’s fun seeing these guys in very early roles.  And don’t get me wrong, the roles are small.  Especially Hoffman’s.

Another famous face that pops up, in essentially a cameo, is Matthew McConaughey.  He’s in the theater scene taunting our hero Johnny.

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Before this, McConaughey had only appeared in an episode of Unsolved Mysteries. This movie came out the same year as his breakout role in Dazed and Confused.  These are the most famous actors squirreled away in this movie.  Other notable appearances include Paul Dooley, Cloris Leachman, Austin Pendleton and Paxton Whitehead.

So, how’s the movie?  Honestly, it’s not very good.  A little too goofy.  A little too dumb.  The screenwriter, Dean Lorey, has written other stuff I liked like Major Payne and a bunch of the Season 4 Arrested Development episodes.  But this movie is not good.  It’s not garbage, but it’s not really good either, I’m sad to say.  I thought this would be a fun diversion from the other mostly horror zombies I’ve been covering but it’s sadly not a good distraction.

One bright spot is that the movie was sort of book ended with some cool comic art.  I’m not really sure what it had to do with the movie but the opening started off like you were reading a comic book called My Boyfriend’s Back.

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The artwork is done by Tony Gleeson who has worked with Neal Adams’ studio and is still actively drawing today.  But again, I’m not really sure what it had to do with the story in the movie.  It’s not like Johnny collected comics in any obvious way.

So, no, I don’t really recommend this and I don’t really have any plans to watch it ever again.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.