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  • The Trip, 1967 – Mod Movie Monday at the Tiki Bar

    Posted on April 19th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    the_trip_poster From the file marked ‘weirdos’ comes this week’s Mod Movie Monday…

    “The Trip” from 1967

    Starring Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg, Dennis Hopper & Bruce Dern, Directed by our old pal Roger Corman and written by…written by…Jack Nicholson? Huh.

    The Trip is a not so much a movie, as it is an 85 minute LSD experience. It was Hollywood’s attempt (one of many) to give the squares a taste of what being on acid was all about, good or bad. It even starts with a DISCLAIMER warning everyone that they might not like what they see, and that (say this with Mr. Mackey’s accent) ‘druhgs are bay-ed’.mod-movie-mondays

    Nevertheless The Trip is a fun psychedelic movie to watch, because it’s like a time capsule back to the hippy-dippy days of the late ’60s, when the generation gap was at its widest and the country was split between young baby-boomers trying to find the meaning of existence, and the old guard just happy that WWII was over and their Fords ran great. The main theme of the flick is that even uptight corporate squares (Peter Fonda’s character) could find the true meaning of reality (almost scientifically) through the magic of mind-altering drugs.

    the-trip-acid There are groovy ’60s pads, groovy ’60s chicks, groovy ’60s music and all kinds of crazy stuff going on. By the end of the movie (if you make it that far) you’ll actually feel like you’ve been on a trip (or at least I felt as close to one as I’m ever gonna get). Oh, and in one scene, there’s a fondue pot that’s exactly like the one I have. Just wanted to toss that in.

    According to most accounts, Corman, Nicholson, Hopper and Fonda all took LSD “to prepare for the movie.” Mighty dedicated to their craft, huh?

    I’ve got no idea what to suggest for drinks & snacks with this flick. I dunno…waffles with faces made of strawberries and whipped cream, so you can imagine them coming to life and eating you? No clue. You decide. Here’s a clip to help you get in the groove, diggit?

    -Tiki Chris flying in on a white tiger from the Tiki Bar

  • Working on the 53 Chevy Hot Rod

    Posted on April 17th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    car-club-tikiOne of the things about being into the retro scene is that you pretty much have to have a vintage car, or at least you’ve got to have a strong desire to have one and maybe a few pix of your dream machine tacked to your office wall.

    StarDust, my 1953 Chevy Bel Air Wild Custom Hot Rod

    StarDust, my 1953 Chevy Bel Air Wild Custom Hot Rod

    Well, I’ve got the real deal, and let me tell you, unless you’ve got a bag of lettuce to throw around and let some other poor sap do all the work for you, owning a 57-year-old Dee-troit casket can be the cat’s ass, or it can be a pain in the ass.

    Case in Point: This week I decided to finally, after putting it off for 20 years, replace the brake master cylinder. In case you don’t know, that’s the main gizmo that makes the car stop. Mine’s had a leak in it since day one, back in May of 1990. I did a lot of work on the brakes over the years – new wheel cylinders, new brake drums and shoes, new rubber lines – but haven’t wanted to do this particular job because A) the MC is located UNDER THE FLOOR of this particular model and B) I knew it would be hell trying to change it out. Well, after realizing my 57-year-old brake lines were so rusty the car was basically a rolling death trap, I decided it was time to replace the entire hydraulic system. That means new lines, new wheel cylinders…and rebuilding the master cylinder. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Loads of Laughs – VIP Matches from 1957

    Posted on April 14th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    retro-fun-stuffBack in the ’50s and ’60s, people were really into these little gag gifts. They’d pick them up at the Five and Ten, or at joke shops, or for the racier stuff at dirty book stores. They were often usable (like matches) and made great conversation pieces sitting on a bachelor pad’s coffee table or swinger’s corner cocktail bar.

    If you click on the pix you can see a larger version where you can read the kookie stuff printed on them. I think my favorite is Alcoholics Unanimous, for obvious reasons. And of course there’s the Opium Den, The Golden Navel Dance Hall, and Mabel’s House of Ill Fame. There’s loads of puns built into these beauts if you look hard enough. Lots of laughs at the cocktail party, great conversation pieces.

    I have a few of these goodies, but by far my favorite is the “Very Important Places” Matchbook set. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Mod Movie Monday! This Week – Johnny Dangerously, 1984

    Posted on April 12th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    johnny_dangerouslyIt’s too new to be a mod movie, but it is retro, so what the hell, it’s one of the silliest, funniest movies I’ve ever seen, so here goes…

    Johnny Dangerously

    starring Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner, Maureen Stapleton, Peter Boyle, Griffin Dunne, Glynnis O’Connor, Dom DeLuise, Richard Dimitri, Danny DeVito, Ron Carey, Ray Walston, Dick Butkus & Alan Hale Jr. (Whew!)

    With a cast like that, it can’t miss! (Well actually it did miss; it was considered a box office flop. I don’t know why. I thought it was funny as hell then and it’s still funny now. I guess those mod-movie-mondayssophisticated 1980’s audiences were too high-class for such a silly flick. Ya know, the ones that dug such award-worthy movies as Ladyhawk and Summer Lovers). Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, and you like to laugh, give it a whirl.

    What can be funnier than a spoof on gangster flicks, with cartoonish hitmen, sleazy flapper dames and a foul-mouthed parrot? Not to mention this movie crams in more old-time sight gags and jokes than should be allowed in 90 minutes. This includes a classic “grapevine” where the end message is totally different from the beginning (Johnny and the Mothers are playing Stompin’ at the Savoy in Vermont tonight), and a line that’s still recognized and quoted today: “You shouldn’t grab me Johnny. My mother grabbed me once….once.” And of course, this is the movie that originated “You farkin icehole”. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Murder Behind The Closet Door – Now Available Online!

    Posted on April 10th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 5 comments
    Murder Behind the Closet Door by Chris Pinto

    Murder Behind the Closet Door by Chris Pinto

    Buy it here!

    I’m very proud to announce that the krazy book I’ve been working on for ever is finally available! I mean dig it, it’s a real book!

    In fact, it’s 600 pages of a real book. With a pretty color cover and all.

    For you kats and kittens that dig the retro stuff, you’ll love it. The whole thing takes place in 1979, with flashbacks to 1938 and 1957. And it takes place in one of the swingingest retro meccas on the planet, Wildwood New Jersey – a town that was built up in the 50s, and still retains ( and celebrates) a lot of its mid-century mod architecture, hotels, diners and boardwalk amusement piers.

    If you like reading Tiki Lounge Talk, I think you’ll like my Murder Behind The Closet Door. It’s full of fun references to the past, including the cars, music and places that are gone forever but not forgotten.

    What? What’s it about? Oh, yeah, I guess I should clue you into that, huh…Ok, it’s a murder mystery wrapped up in a ghost story. It’s about a young chick named Heather who is just starting out in life. She moves into a 70 year-old rooming house near the beach in Wildwood-by-the-Sea, and soon starts experiencing strange occurrences around her bedroom closet. It ain’t long before she realizes the odd happenings are being caused by an entity from another plane. This ghost in her closet is actually trying to communicate with her. She and her friends try to find out why this is happening, and discover a mystery that goes way back to 1938, and includes her mother, best friend’s family, and more people in her life than she thought possible. gun

    Meanwhile, her step-dad-to-be, Detective Bill Riggins begins his own investigation into a 40 year-old murder behind the closet door. Truths hidden for years are uncovered, and the more facts that are found, the more intense the hauntings become, until an unavoidable climax changes these peoples’ lives forever.

    From the book’s description: “A dilapidated house with an evil secret in the basement. An auto-wrecking yard with the devious, rusted remains of a murderer’s getaway car. An unsolved bank robbery with hundreds of thousands of dollars never found. A detective trying to solve an age old murder before his ticker runs out. A slow, agonizing death for an unfortunate victim and his soul reaching from beyond…”Murder Behind The Closet Door” keeps you engaged and guessing from the first paragraph. Creepy, riveting, this story reveals another existence, one just beyond our own, where the occult and the paranormal meet reality and everyday people find themselves swept into very extraordinary circumstances.”

    old-carCheck it out at the link above, or for more details including snippets from some of my favorite passages visit my StarDust Mysteries website at

    Comments welcome! I want to hear what you think! C’mon, it’s free to leave a comment. Don’t let the Tiki Bar Conversations be so one-sided! Have a highball, sit back and slide me your rap. I’m all ears.

    -Tiki Chris for Tiki Lounge Talk, The Hipster’s Hip Joint for Tiki Culture and Retro Digs