My 6th grade classmates and I would have gone to Adventureland even before this ad was made. (I am linking here to Jay Lifton’s Youtube channel; he writes that this ad aired around 1987 … my friends and I went there after graduating from grade school into middle school.)
I’ll never forget the fun we had. I rode The Gravitron! But those giant rotating swings — the kind you can find at just about any carnival — were my favorite.
Adventureland is still around. It hit its 60th birthday this year.
Tragically, Wikimedia informs me that there were two ride-related deaths — which really surprises me, because I remember the rides as being pretty tame stuff. Both deaths occurred within a week of each other in 2005, and the details are pretty horrifying. Wow.
DC Comics. The actual title of the comic series is indeed “Doctor Fate.” I’m not sure why it is abbreviated on the cover.
DC Comics. I honestly can’t tell if there is a joke here about Carmen Sandiego.
From time to time I’ll find an artifact from the old days of broadcast television on Youtube, and I’ll share it in a Throwback Thursday blog post — people really seem to enjoy the clips. (And the credit for that belongs to the Youtube users who originally uploaded them, not me.) One of this blog’s readers asked me about the intro for WOR-TV’s (Channel 9) “Fright Night” movie series.
Here it is below, courtesy of FrightNight7387 on Youtube. (Unless I’m mistaken, this would have been seen only by viewers in the New York metropolitan area between 1973 and 1987.)
I’m … actually not sure I remember this program. The music feels more familiar than the (pretty neat) visuals, and I think I’d recall a montage like that. I’m running it here for those who do remember “Fright Night” and might enjoy the clip.
Anyway, if you want to know more about Channel 9’s show, Jim Arena developed a terrific rundown on it over at DVD Drive-In.
It should not be confused with that other “Fright Night” of 80’s lore, the 1985 film starring Jonathan Stark, Chris Sarandon and Roddy McDowell. That movie also depicted an in-universe movie series named “Fright Night,” which … apparently bears no relationship to the very real eponymous series that ran in New York. (Kinda weird.) The 1985 movie was a lot of fun back in the day, though if it feels mostly forgotten today — even after it spawned a a damned cool 2011 remake.
Capping off the Halloween watchlist this year was Hwang Dong-hyuk’s “Squid Game” (2021) which was (mostly) worth the hype. Don’t be discouraged by its campy visuals or its familiar premise. (Deathtrap game shows have been with us since at least the 1987 adaptation of Stephen King’s “The Running Man.”) This miniseries is truly good enough to be bingeworthy.
After a bit a slow start, there are visceral, inventive action-horror sequences and surprisingly effective character development. There’s some good acting too — most notably by Yeong-su Oh, as an ostensibly disadvantaged older contestant in the miniseries’ eponymous contest.
The “twists” and “layers” you might have heard about might be a bit overhyped. I predicted most of the big reveals, and I am no goddam Copernicus. (Ask anyone.) I actually wasn’t happy with the final reveal — I thought the story was stronger without it.
But “Squid Game” shines nonetheless, because it expertly capitalizes on the heartrending human drama that its premise allows for. It’s an unflinching (and occasionally touching) snapshot of its creators’ view of human nature — and that’s why it’s a superior horror thriller.
“One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language. That is our country, our fatherland – and no other.”
— Emil Cioran, Anathemas and Admirations, 1987
A good friend of mine disclosed publicly yesterday that he had never seen “The Lost Boys” (1987). The poor, benighted soul. And this is one of my Mary Washington College alums too!! (Even his wife was taken aback at the glaring omission in his 80’s pop culture experience.)
I habitually break my reading glasses by either stepping or sitting on them. So I stocked up on a bunch of cheap pairs at the start of the Covid pandemic, because I am totally not down with any of that “Time Enough At Last” horseshit.
I even fell into the habit of tossing the broken pairs into the same drawer, in hoarder-like fashion. (Am I supposed to repair them someday, maybe? Glasses repair is not really a thing with me.)
Anyway, that drawer has reached the point where I look like a serial killer who bludgeons nerdy, frugal, fashion-blind men over the head and then takes their glasses as trophies — like some pathetic riff on the alien “Predator” (1987).
I need to leave a note in that drawer to exonerate myself to the police — in case I die in my sleep or something.