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Archive for July, 2009

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A Nightmare on Elm Street

Posted by Big Boo on July 31st, 2009

freddy kruegerOne of the rites of passage when you’re a teenager is to try and sneak into the cinema to see a film that has a rating older than your actual age.  Once you can legally see a 15 certificate film you set your sights on getting into an 18 certificate, which generally means going to see a horror film.  In the eighties, chances are said horror film would have been one from the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

Created by Wes Craven, the Nightmare on Elm Street films are about the hideously faced, stripey sweatered villain that is Freddy Krueger, portrayed so well by Robert Englund.  Topped off with a fedora hat and the famous long bladed glove, even if you’ve never seen one of the films you surely must know who Freddy Krueger is.

The first film in the series tells the story of how the teenagers of Elm Street start to suffer nightmares where a shadowy figure stalks them.  When they awake they find these bad dreams may have been more than just nightmares, as they find cuts in their clothing and even on their bodies.

One of the first to be affected is a young woman called Tina, who is so petrified about going to sleep she convinces her friend Nancy and Nancy’s boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp’s first movie role!) to sleep over to calm her down.  Tina’s boyfriend Rod also comes along, and as the evening progresses he convinces Tina to go to bed with him, something which he regrets later when he awakes to find her being gored to death and pulled across the ceiling of the bedroom.

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Animal Magic

Posted by Big Boo on July 29th, 2009

animal magicAnimal Magic is yet another example of a BBC children’s TV show that ran for absolutely ages.  It first came on air in 1962 and lasted 21 years, finishing in 1983.  It came to an end because the BBC deemed it “not educational enough” which considering it was a programme telling kids about different kinds of animals I find quite amusing.

The programme will forever be linked to two things.  One is Bristol Zoo, where a lot of segments were filmed, although Bristol Zoo was not the only place used.  The other link is the late Johnny Morris, who was the main presenter of the show and the reason many watched.  Most often dressed as a zookeeper he would introduce various animals, but more importantly would provide voices for them too, which always seemed to match the animals perfectly.

Johnny would have little conversations with the animals, for want of a better word considering he was doing all the actual talking, asking them how they felt about things and the animals replying with very humanised responses.  I particularly liked the more stuck up animals, who would almost treat Johnny with contempt as he asked them what they thought were stupid questions.

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Airfix Kits

Posted by Big Boo on July 27th, 2009

airfix kitsBy the time the early 1980’s came around I was around about the right age to start making model aeroplanes such as those made most famously by Airfix.  I can’t claim to have been very good at it, but it was good fun and the finished models looked great on my shelf or hanging from the ceiling.

These kits came with all the various little pieces attached to plastic frames.  The pieces were supposed to be removed using a craft knife and the little extra blobs of plastic sanded off.  More often than not I just used the “wiggle it about until it falls off” technique and then lived with the plastic nobbles.

Following the numbered  instructions carefully you got the required pieces for the step you were on, then glued them all together with polystyrene cement.  I used to hate that stuff.  You’d gently squeeze the tube and nothing would come out, so you squeeze harder and harder until it suddenly shot out a great dollop of the stuff all over the piece, your fingers, the table and anything else within squirting distance.  This invariable meant that the fuselage of the plane ended up with gluey fingerprint marks all over it.

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Potatoes – The Perfect Accompaniment To Any Meal

Posted by Big Boo on July 25th, 2009

Mentioning the “We hope it’s chips” adverts used by Bird’s Eye in the 1980’s made me think that a fun little survey for this week would be to find out how people like their potatoes served with their meals.  Somehow a good home cooked British meal doesn’t seem quite right without something involving potatoes sitting on the side of your plate, so how do you like your spuds done?

What will it be for tea tonight?
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OK, I know this isn’t particularly eighties related but do I care?

Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Cloppa Castle

Posted by Big Boo on July 24th, 2009

cloppa castleSome kids TV shows will forever remain stamped in your memory, but some end up buzzing around the a fly against a window, where the more you struggle to remember them the more annoyed you get with yourself.  Cloppa Castle is a perfect example of just such a show for me.

I remember the name, and I remember it being a puppet show with some very strange looking puppets.  As the name suggests it was set in a castle, and I remember it being vaguely medieval in era.  I even remember it had a really bouncy theme tune that went “It’s Cloppa Castle” at various points.  I also remember it was shown as part of the ITV lunchtime kids shows and that I would be really excited when it came on, but sadly that’s about all I remember.

So thank God then for the Internet.  A quick Google search and the blanks start to get filled in.  The show featured two warring clans, the Hasbeenes and the Byegones, who were fighting over an oil well that had been discovered within the grounds of Cloppa Castle.  The two factions may have fought tooth and nail over the oil most of the time, but at teatime they call a temporary truce and sit down together for a cup of tea.  How very British!

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Twinkle

Posted by Big Boo on July 22nd, 2009

twinkleWhen we were growing up my sister and I used to enjoy reading our weekly comic very much.  I tended to flit between the Beano, Dandy, Nutty and Wow, basically the funny comics, depending on which had the most interesting piece of free plastic tat sellotaped to the front cover.  My sister on the other hand tended to stick with her favourite, which was Twinkle.

Twinkle was published by D.C. Thompson (better known for The Beano) and was aimed squarely at young girls, being dubbed “the picture paper especially for little girls”.  Twinkle was also the name of the little girl who graced the front cover of every issue, where she would be seen doing something fun but incredibly sweet and good, such as bathing a puppy in her dolly bath, or dancing round a May Pole.  Remember the May Pole at the school fete, with all its ribbons that got twisted together when the kids skipped round it?  When was the last time you saw a May Pole?  Sorry, gone off topic…

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We Hope It’s Chips!

Posted by Big Boo on July 20th, 2009

we hope its chipsHere’s a little bit of a poser for you.  Remember this TV advert from the early 1980’s?  A van is leaving a building site.  Inside the front seat passenger starts to sing:

Will it be chips or jacket spuds?  Will it be carrots or frozen peas?

His mates in the back of the van, a scary looking bunch it has to be said, then start to join in:

Will it be mushrooms?
Fried Onion Rings?
You’ll have to wait and see.
Hope it’s chips, it’s chips.  We hope it’s chips, it’s chips.

I’m sure you must recognise the advert by now, but do you remember what it was advertising?

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Ghostbusters 3? Yay or Nay?

Posted by Big Boo on July 18th, 2009

And so with our Ghostbusters week drawing to a close we look to the future rather than the past. There have been rumours of there being a Ghostbusters 3 film for many years now, but every time it looks like something is going to get off the ground it sinks without trace. Dan Aykroyd has mentioned many times his idea of “Ghostbusters In Hell”, an idea which seems to have been put to use in both a graphic novel and the most recent video game (although having not got that far in it yet, I don’t know if this is true).

There has also been a lot of noise about Bill Murray not being that keen on making a third film having not enjoyed making Ghostbusters 2, and Ghostbusters without Venkman would be inconceivable. At one point he claimed he would only return if Venkman was killed at the start of the film and came back as a ghost.

However, recent reports would suggest that interest in making a new movie is high, with the plan being for the old Ghostbusting gang to hand over to a team of new young recruits. Ben Stiller is one name that keeps cropping up with regards a possible new cast, and another is Eliza Dushku, Faith the “evil” slayer from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and more lately Joss Whedon’s new series Dollhouse.

But should they make a new film? I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan but I think that a new film made today would end up weighed down by special effects and the comedy would end up taking a back seat. Of course, if they do make a new film then I would play straight into their hands and rush out and see it, but I have a feeling I would come out disappointed.

Anyway, all of this is a rather long winded way of asking you all out there, should they make a Ghostbusters 3? If anyone has any strong opinions then I’d love to hear them by way of a comment.

Should they make a Ghostbusters 3 movie?
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