Tag Archives: Film

Speedbump The Roadkill Possum

Speedbump The Roadkill Possum is a very whacky animated series of short cartoons produced by Greg Harrison and David Powers for MTV’s Liquid Television series. The animations feature the voice of Mike Geier as Speedbump and the sounds of the Useless Playboys for the soundtrack.

Speedbump The Roadkill Possum in “Buck-A-Roost” (Aired on 11/12/92)

Speedbump The Roadkill Possum in Batt’ry Filed (Aired on 10/29/92)

Speedbump The Roadkill Possum in Slippry When Wet (Aired on 10/8/92)

Stop Making Sense And Interview Yourself

Stop Making Sense is a highly praised concert film that features the Talking Heads live on stage in 1983. The film was directed by Jonathan Demme and was shot over a period of 3 evening concerts in December 1983. The Talking Heads album that was being promoted during this concert tour was Speaking In Tongues. The movies is most known for its 100% use of digital audio recording techniques.

In this rarely seen video for the promotional video for Stop Making Sense, David Byrne pulls off the impossible and interviews himself as only he could manage. Please note that Mr. Byrne is wearing his signature “big suit” so constructed as to “make his head appear smaller.” David Byrne’s style and delivery is reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s clever but seemingly disinterested interview style from the 1960s. Just stop making sense…please.

“Never underestimate the power of a good hairdo.”

Remembering Kodachrome

Launched in 1935 by Eastman Kodak, Kodachrome would soon become a very successful product for its maker. Kodachrome is a type of film that is called “color reversal film,” which is a photographic film that would produce a positive image on a transparent base. The end product of this process gave us transparencies which came packaged in the form of 35mm slides. The film was also produced in film camera (movie) formats for cameras of the 8mm, 16mm, 35mm, 120mm and large format varieties.

Many of the print images appearing in magazines over the years were shot on Kodachrome. Magazines and other printed materials back then had a special colorful and memorable look to them because of Kodachrome. Some of the most memorable and important photographs of the 20th century were shot on Kodachrome. If you’ve ever seen a 35mm slide show projected onto a screen, then you know what we’re going to miss here. The early years of many people’s lives were recorded on the colorfully saturated and vibrant medium that is Kodachrome.

Kodachrome was appreciated for professional and archival usage because of its extremely good color accuracy and you could store the film for long periods of time. Because Kodachrome was a color reversal film, it required professional processing and thus excluded the amateur photographer from developing the film personally. Originally, in the United States, the processing cost was included in the price of the film until that practice was disallowed in 1954.

Although Kodachrome was the first commercially successful film produced by Kodak, its use (and sales) have fallen over the years. The digital camera has now replaced film almost entirely these days. So, probably with a tear in its eye, Kodak retired our  old friend Kodachrome on June 22, 2009 – saying goodbye after a glorious 74 year run. We’re going to take a look at our old slides tonight and also say goodbye to everybody’s favorite color film – Kodachrome – but not the memories.

Mama don’t take my Kodachrome away.

The Unwild One: Eric Von Zipper

Beach movies. Those goofy attempts during the 1960s to portray a fantasy teenage lifestyle on film and then sell it back to the teenagers viewing the movie in a theater. Goofy yes, but what was even goofier was Hollywood’s caricature of the 1960s biker and their motorcycle gangs. Point in case – the character Eric Von Zipper and the comical members of his gang Ratz & Mice. This less than smart motorcycle gang appeared in six of the most famous 1960s beach movies (starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, of course).

Eric Von Zipper was played by the notable Harvey Lembeck who, at age 40 was the oldest cast member in the beach movies in which Von Zipper appeared. The Ratz & Mice were the arch-enemies of the cool surfer crowd that hung around on the beach. As bad as that sounds, the Ratz & Mice were never really a threat or a problem for the surfer kids. Think Three Stooges in biker jackets and hats. Now you’ve got the idea. At that time, America was scared of bikers, their gangs, their machines and their views on living life in general. The term biker in the 1960s did not have the same connotation as it does today.

So, Hollywood had to soft-sell the image of biker outlaw on the movie screen and they made convenient antiheroes for the simple comedic plots used in the beach movies. Harvey Lembeck designed his character, Eric Von Zipper, to be a parody of Marlon Brando’s character from The Wild One (1953) named Johnny Strabler. If the leader of this bumbling gang was clumsy and a little dim, then you can bet the rest of the Ratz and Mice were as well. Gone but not totally forgotten is this loveable gang of idiots who talked pretty tough but never really got tough. And, those crazy beach kids and surfers – dey get de ratz revenge!

Billy’s First Stag Reel

It’s a mid-century Saturday night and Billy’s father is hosting a “movie night” at the local Odd Fellows Lodge for fellow lodge members, a few city councilors, a few Civitans, a few from the Moose Lodge and several friendly police officers.

Billy's First Stag Reel

Billy’s father probably won’t be able to tend to the movie projector after a  few drinks with his friends, so Billy is learning his first trade – projector operator for a Stag Night at the lodge.

Tonight’s entertainment will include a showing of Naughty Girls Cheesecake Film (Episode 2) Silent dub, 16mm.

Bebe Zona Lou

Watch it here ….

Very mild by today’s standards.