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  • Mod Movie Monday: Logan’s Run, 1976

    Posted on July 19th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments
    Logan's Run

    Logan's Run

    If you watch this movie and think, “Hey, this looks like it was filmed in a mall!” you’d be right.

    Swing back to 1975, when America was proud of its upcoming Bicentennial celebration and sci-fi films were still using stop animation and model rockets on strings.

    logan-jessica-logan

    Somewhere in Texas a film crew was shooting a movie with a $9 million buck budget and a lot of hope. What they ended up with is a somewhat cheesy looking but still fantastic movie.

    Logan’s Run, 1976

    Starring Michael York, Richard Jordan, Jenny Agutter, Roscoe Lee Browne, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov.

    logan-loveshop4

    Logan's Run - The Love Shop. Groovy.

    This was ’70s sci-fi at its best (before Star Wars came along and set the new standard). A futuristic, post-apocalyptic world where people had ’70s hair and polyester clothes, and the buildings’ interiors looked like the mall you went to when you were a kid. All they needed was an Orange Julius and a Copper Rivet to make it complete. You probably already know the plot – in this futuristic society, people are cared for by machines which supply food, clean air and water. The family unit is non-existent; sex is for pleasure and babies are mysteriously incubated by machines. To keep the (un)natural balance, everyone has a “life clock”, basically a plastic gem from Woolworth’s embedded in their hand which tells them when it’s time to die (age 30). But everyone gets down with this plan, because they don’t believe they are dying, they believe they are being renewed. Groovy.

    This always reminded me of the Monorail at Disney World.

    This always reminded me of the Monorail at Disney World.

    Here’s the catch: Some kats don’t buy this “renew” jazz that’s laid on them, and believe there’s a much better place to live called “Sanctuary”. Yes, that’s right, they believe there’s a much better place than the place where you pretty much don’t have to work, don’t have to worry about finding food, or getting sick, where you can have all the sex you want without consequences and where you never have to worry about getting old…yeah, I guess some people might not dig that life.

    The Life Clock.

    The Life Clock.

    So these kats are always trying to skip town, get away through some crazy underground system of tunnels that looks like a sewerage plant, to the outside world. They keep trying, and the police (known as Sandmen) try to stop them. This happens a lot.

    Now, I won’t give away the whole story, but I’ll tell you this much: The adventure begins when the computer that runs society has a great idea to turn a Sandman into a runner by advancing his alarm clock several years to 30. Now he will die if he doesn’t infiltrate the runners’ gang and find this “Sanctuary”. Hence the name, Logan’s Run.

    The "active pool" of the Water Gardens located in Ft. Worth, Texas

    The "active pool" of the Water Gardens located in Ft. Worth, Texas

    Why bother watching this flick: It’s pure fun, ’70s style, and it actually was filmed in a mall (see pix below) From the obvious toy model of the city to the toga-like clothes to the 35 year-old-style holograms, this movie is full of the stuff we loved back in the day. They even have laser guns. The imagery is very kool in many parts of the movie, and even with the low-budget effects it’s still a good flick with an original story. One thing really neat about using malls and other existing yet future-looking sites to film at is the illusion that this world isn’t really much different from ours, and that this future isn’t too far off from our own.

    Here’s the Logan’s Run trailer from 1975:

    Logan's Run - The Great Hall

    Logan's Run - The Great Hall

    On Location: The Texas Apparal Mart, a mall build in 1964, scene of Logan's Run

    On Location: The Texas Apparel Mart, a mall build in 1964, scene of Logan's Run

    My story: I first saw this movie in 1976 on a brand new TV channel called “Prism” (Philadelphia Regional In-Home Sports and Movies). Prism came in on a big black plastic box with a clunky knob that you turned from “TV” to “PREMIUM”. Prism was off the air most of the day, and usually came on around 8pm. It mostly broadcast Phillies games with a couple of movies in between. For what seemed like months, the only movies it showed were That’s Entertainment! parts one and two, and Logan’s Run. I think we watched each of these movies a thousand times. No wonder I like sci-fi and old musicals. For years I used to kid with friends that the world of the future looked like the Searstown Mall in Pleasantville, NJ. Then 25 years later I looked it up on the internet, and lo and behold, the thing was filmed in a mall.

    Well, that’s that on this oldie but goodie. I can’t give it five stars for great acting or special effects, but as a testament to its grooviness, there hasn’t been a remake of it in 35 years…at least not yet.

    -Tiki Chris 9 reporting from the Great Hall. Renew! Renew!

  • Weekend Cocktails at the Tiki Bar: The Frozen Summer Slush

    Posted on July 16th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    tiki-bar-drinksThis recipe first caught my eye because I thought it said “Frozen Summer Lush”, which would have completely described a chick I knew back in my college days. Anyhoo, I thought we’d go for a thirst-quencher during this blazing hot summer weather. (Sorry to you people down-under where it’s winter).retro-drinks-cocktails-hi-and-low

    I found this same recipe on several sites so I don’t know who to give credit to for inventing it. Apparently many people are making this claim. Then again, I recently saw a T-shirt company who was claiming to have brought Tiki Culture to southern California. Recently. Like, uh, dood, get your head out of your

    As for me, I think I’ll say I brought Tiki Culture to South Florida. I’ve tried this claim on twitter and got wildly mild support. So yeah, ME, I did it. Not the guys at the Mai Kai, not the Mermaids at the wreck bar, not Elvis in Clambake, lil ole me has created the Tiki Ferver in South Florida. There.

    Huh? The drink? What drink? Oh yeah, the recipe. Sorry, already knocked back a few.

    frozen-drinksThe Frozen Summer Lush.
    Eh, Slush.

    • 2 C. white sugar
    • 7 C. water
    • 4 tea bags
    • 2 C. boiling water
    • 1 12 oz. can frozen lemonade concentrate
    • 1 12 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate
    • 2 C. gin (may substitute vodka)

    How to concoct it:

    Put the seven cups of water in a saucepan, and boil it up. Throw in the sugar and stir it in until dissolved; set aside to cool.

    Now put the teabags in two cups of (more) boiling water, and let steep until the bags scream “let me out!”. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar water, tea, lemonade concentrate and orange juice concentrate. Take a sip of gin from the bottle. If it tastes good, Stir in gin. Take another sip just to be double sure.

    Put the mixture in a freezer container and freeze overnight. To serve, scoop some into a tall, kool glass, and fill it up with club soda. mmmmmm. good stuff.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the frrreeezer at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, home of Tiki Lounge Talk, the Tiki Life & Tiki Culture Blog for jetsetter kats and cream-puff kittens.

  • Michael Bublé – The New Bobby Darrin?

    Posted on July 14th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 14 comments
    Michael Buble

    Michael Buble

    The kid from Canada, Michael Bublé (Pronounced ‘booble’ at the Tiki bar) has been swingin’ it up on the scene for a few years now…you’ve probably heard his tunes somewhere, at the mall, in Starbucks, in Canada, or on TV. He dresses vintage, looks like he stepped out of the early ’60s, can croon in the style of Dino and Frank and is just as laid back singing an R&B or corny modern pop tune. The kids like him, the grays like him, and the swingin’ kats and kittens in between like him.

    Sound familiar?
    Remember a kid named Bobby Darrin?

    In the ’50s Bobby Darrin made a big splash with hits across the charts, from swingin’ tunes like Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea to Rock ’n’ Roll hits like Splish Splash. One of the original “crossover” singers of pop music, anything Darrin touched (for most of his career) turned to gold.

    Bobby Darrin’s Mack the Knife vs. Michael Bublé’s Mack the Knife

    Bobby Darrin

    Bobby Darrin

    Bobby had class, he had style, he knew when to throw around a joke and knew when to get serious and not goon up the act.

    We retro kats are always looking for someone to fill the openings left by the Rat Packers, Jazz giants and kids like Darrin. We’ve got Harry Conick, Jr. who fits nicely into the crooner slot. We’ve got chicks like Diana Krall who can sing and swing with the best of them and show them a thing or two. Even Natalie Cole has done her part to keep the old fires burning. So what about this Booble kid?

    Requirements: In order to really, truly swing with the big boys you’ve got to have the main ingredients for the swinger’s cocktail.

    1. Real Talent
    2. A smooth, kool style.
    3. Must be a hit with the ladies.
    4. Must be funny, in an easy, off-the-cuff way.
    5. Gotta look the part and look good doing it.
    6. Gotta live the part.
    7. Have to find that perfect blend of swinging the standards while maintaining that oh-so-important originality.
    8. Gotta have a hat.

    I’m not so sure about the hat, but I think the kid has many of the requirements needed to be accepted into the retro crowd. I’ve seen him sing live on SNL (not lip syncing) and he sounded good. He was also in a skit and was pretty damned funny, better than I expected. The only thing that will keep this kat from attaining Sinatra-esque status is his choice in songs. For every standard he croons, he adds some new, popbage (pop+garbage=popbage) to his act. Sure, that’s what he has to do to bring in the bigger crowds, get the kids’ attention, make the big bucks. I understand completely…Hell, I’d play a few crap tunes on the tenor if it made me the clams to be able to play the stuff I want, too. But you won’t catch me at a Booble concert, ’cause I just ain’t hip to the neo-jive the kat lays down for the 13-year-olds.

    Michael Booble

    Michael Booble

    So the real question is, does he have the style?
    Of course no one could take Bobby’s place. But some kats come close. I’ll ask you kids…yay or neigh on Booble? Can he really pull it off? Does he make the cut as a real, happinin’ retro-swinger, or is he just another pop music kid trying to be slick and falling short?

    You at least have to give the kid credit for getting this famous on 60-year-old songs in the age of hip-hop fever and pop-tart mania.

    Comments welcome, let’s hear what you have to say.

  • It’s Mod Movie Monday! From 1971, Here’s Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory!

    Posted on July 12th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 7 comments

    willywonka-posterThere are few kid’s movies that transcend generations, honestly enjoyable to the little buggers today who are jaded by flashy video games and unbelievable 3-D computer animated gems. One of the best is the originalwilly-wonka-in-chocolate-factory

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, from 1971

    Starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe and Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket.

    Not to be confused with the psycho-wacky 2005 Tim Burton “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, this flick is pure late 60s-early 70s craziness at its finest, from a psychedelic boat ride to the geese that lay the golden eggs.

    oompaloompacrewIt amazes me how many kids (and even how many kids in their 20s & older) have never seen this flick. I”m sure my old lady and old man took me to see it in the movies (even though I was only three when it came out), and seeing it on TV once a year was a big deal for us which included feasting on lots of chocolate during the show. I dunno, maybe I was just lucky.

    For you kids who haven’t seen the flick, here’s why it’s worth posting on Mod Movie Monday… First off, it’s pretty mod with lots of crazy swirly colors and those strange, orange Oompa Loompas.

    Most of the songs are absolutely fantabulous, with The Candy Man becoming a pop standard and Pure imagination, I’ve Got a Golden Ticket and The Oompa Loompa song becoming some of the most recognized tunes of the 20th century. Then there’s the wicked kids, so bad that you just want to tear their little heads off. And of course Wilder who really turns what could have been a hokey kid’s flick into something amazing.

    There’s really no way to explain the magic that’s created in this movie. I can jabber about how great it is when kids find the golden tickets, or how kool Gene Wilder is at being the purple-suited Willy Wonka, or how incredible it is when you first get a look at the main factory and gardens and the chocolate river. You’ll just have to take my word for it and view it for yourselves.

    Some interesting Trivia:

    The movie was based on the book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The name was originally going to be The Candy Man, until the producers realized that the “Candy Man” was a jive name for a drug pusher.

    wonkabarThey changed the name to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory because the sponsor, Quaker Oats, wanted to use the film to launch a new line of chocolate bars. Neither the movie nor the chocolate did as well as they hoped. The chocolate brand was sold to another company and is still produced today.

    The chocolate making scenes during the opening credits were filmed at a real chocolate factory in Switzerland. The movie was shot in Munich, Germany. Charlie and his family are obviously American; characters on the streets and in the stores have a variety of accents. At no time in the movie is it said in which country the action is taking place.

    Joel Gray was considered for the part of Willy Wonka, and Jim Backus was considered for the role of Mr. Salt.

    chocolate-martiniSnacks and Booze: Well, this should be easy. Chocolate. Chocolate bars, chocolate cake, chocolate martinis. If you want to have a real dinner it will have to be cabbage soup and a loaf of bread, then lots of chocolate. Here’s a good chocolate martini recipe:

    1 1/2 shots Godiva® chocolate liqueur
    1 1/2 shots creme de cacao
    1/2 shot vodka
    2 1/2 shots half-and-half

    Throw all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

    On a personal note: Ok, there’s not doubt I’m a big Tim Burton fan. The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands are two of my favorites. But I gotta say, I was just a little disappointed in his version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not that it wasn’t great; Johnny Depp made a terrif Willie Wonka, the sets were incredible, the songs went with the style of the movie and they apparently followed the book pretty well. My disappointment was in the fact that they used absolutely nothing from the original movie. Apparently, the writers had never even seen the original, and decided not to so their movie would be original. Ok, that’s fine and admirable. But I think I, and everyone else who had seen the original and loved as much as I, would have been a lot more pleased if there were something…perhaps the song “Pure Imagination”…included in the new. If you see the new version, imagine how much better it would be if Depp started in with “Pure Imagination” when they first enter the chocolate waterfall room.

    goldenticket

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from the screening room at the Tiki Lounge, covered in chocolate and looking for more.

  • The Manhattan: Weekend Cocktails at the Tiki Bar

    Posted on July 9th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tiki-bar-drinksReady for the weekend kids? We sure are at the Tiki Bar! Since out last post was on some sophisticated Latin Jazz, lets Jazz the weekend up with some sophisticated cocktails…

    The typical Manhattan calls for rye whiskey and sweet vermouth. Here are two twists on the original:

    Bourbon Manhattan

    3/4 oz sweet vermouth
    2 1/2 oz good bourbon whiskey (I’d go with Maker’s Mark)
    1 dash bitters
    1 maraschino cherry
    1 twist orange peel

    Pour the booze and bitters over the rocks and stir gently. Add the Cherry; twist the orange into the drink and ditch the peel. A little sweeter and smoother than the traditional drink.

    The Manhattan Cocktail. Old-style is served in a rocks glass.

    The Manhattan Cocktail. Old-style is served in a rocks glass.

    Southern Comfort Manhattan

    1 1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
    1/2 oz dry vermouth
    dash bitters
    Cherry

    Stir with cracked ice, strain into a glass (also good on the rocks). Drop in the cherry and you’re good to go with a ’60s style cocktail that will make the southern belles melt.

    Either of these splashes would be a great accompaniment to the sultry tunes presented in our previous post.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the Tiki Bar