Sunday, February 25, 2007


Hmmm, could do with one of these at the mo. A patented Spidey or, as an alternative, Incredible Hulk Bop Bag.

Myself and my fellow siblings did have a Superman one that was probably as old as this ad (from the back cover of Super Spider-man & the Titans UK comic #212, 1977), but it's long since disappeared into the dumpster of posterity. It was kept locked up in the garage and only allowed out for special occasions. The bottom was full of sand, which leaked, I seem to recall...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy - as Shelley Duvall once

On the other hand, non-stop slogging can also play havoc with your health if one isn't too careful - especially at the height of flu season. Which is most likely why the last few days in Poptique towers have been spent sniffing, sneezing and generally feeling somewhat under the weather.

It's not all bad news though - being unable to do much has afforded me the rare opportunity of vegetating in front of the TV, a once regular pleasure.

Soon realising there was small refuge in the UK daytime schedules (after welcome a half-term screening of the charming Kiki's Delivery Service)I swiftly opted for the recently arrived Hollywood Legends of Horror Collection(at least, as swiftly as a swaying, sweating, staggering mess of a man can manage to pop a disc in a drive...).

This is a great collection of art-deco deplorables, foremost amoung them the ludicrously camp The Mask of Fu Manchu, with evergreen Boris Karloff and ever-beguiling Myrna Loy. The great looking print includes a fistful of deviously ripe dialog exchanges removed from the original camera negative in the 1970s, but restored for a deleted laserdisc edition. There's no doubting its influence on the Raiders movies - the FX filled climaxes from both films being remarkably similar for a start.

The same disc also features MGM's oddball Mark of the Vampire and both have very decent commentary tracks. That's not all, though - for the divvy on the rest of this collection check out DVD Savant's review here. Highly recommended for the living and living dead alike.

So anyway, on the road to recovery today, which means back to the grindstone once again... Nonetheless, it's always nice to feel healthier and cleaner after felling like utter crap for a few days - which, stretching my already tattered credability, tenuously links to the clip below - a 1960s cinema advertisement from the legendary Richard Williams Studio.

Oh well, please yourself - I've been ill, you know...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Man. Hat. Back. New Indiana Jones.

Well, after endless arsing about it's been officially announced that May 22nd 2008 will see a brand spanking new instalment of the Indiana Jones franchise unleashed onto the world at large. Whether this is astoundingly good news, bad news, old news (or no news) is a matter of opinion, but let us not forget that despite Raiders of the Lost Ark remaining one of the finest rip-roaring adventures of it's kind, the original sequels weren't anything to get too excited about in the first place.

Rambling, screechy and self-satisfied, Temple of Doom is one of those films I can happily live without in hindsight, and although Last Crusade has it's moments (notably the return of Sallah and Brody from Raiders plus the addition of Sean Connery to the cast) it's also pretty under whelming viewing these days. Both have an over-reliance on blue-screen effects which nudge them in the direction of the gazillion Indy rip-offs that followed the original and there's little of the make-do, guerrilla tactics energy that made Raiders such a gem. They did at least have the easy charm of Harrison Ford at the helm, so the less said about the TV series the better...

Then again, despite the potential for the new adventure to be pummelled as too little too late, I've got a feeling this could really be something worth waiting for. I'd like to see exactly how they're going to slot a world-weary Dr Jones into the paranoid, post-war, red-scare 50s. Where else would we get the chance to revisit such an iconic action figure 25+ years after his glory days? It's hardly likely it'll stray into noirish, Dark Knight Returns territory, but I've got my fingers crossed for this one nonetheless...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Arrgh! Work! Wait. Good.
Poptique Hoover's Up

Non-stop fun here - no break from things to make, do and wrestle with. Sometimes best to get your head down and plough in. Finding a suitable soundtrack for slogging is a big help.

A newly arrived album proved to be a very poor way to start a day at the grindstone, but after swift removal, slaving became a palpable pleasure due to Hoover's Ooover's Collection (via random play).

First saw Hoover's Ooover on the great Adam & Joe go Tokyo. Lovely stuff.

And they've got a new album coming out. Their last one was pretty good too.

Hoover's Ooover. I like typing it even more than I like saying it.