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  • Tiki Bar’s Top 20 Christmas Movies & Shows, for Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on December 13th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 7 comments

    Christmas Tiki Stocking stuffed with Tropical FruitMele Kalikimaka!

    With Christmas around the corner I thought it would be fun to post Colleen and my favorite Christmas movies and TV shows. I know many of you kats and kittens drop by to find new (old) flicks to favor, but I think today’s post will be more about remembering all of our favorites that we’ve loved for years. So pour yourself a bourbon egg nog, log on to Netflix and get ready for…


    Tiki Lounge Talk’s Top Twenty Christmas Shows!

    rudolph-new-year20. Rudolph’s Shiny New Year, 1976: Not exactly a Christmas show, but close enough. Our old Friend Rudolf The Red-Nosed Reindeer finds himself trying to save the Baby New Year. Long story short, it’s more of that great old stop-animation stuff that we loved as kids. Computer generated imagery just doesn’t have the same old-fashioned, homey Christmas feel that these shows did. And the toys were real!

    year-without-santa19. The Year Without A Santa Claus, 1974: Another stop-animation goody from the same guys who gave us Rudolph’s Shiny New Year and Santa Claus it coming to town, Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. Santa (Mickey Rooney) catches a cold, and believes nobody cares if he comes to town anyway. This is the one with Heat Miser and Snow Miser. Classic, wonderful show, except for a whiny version of “Blue Christmas” from a little girl. Oh, and every time it dips below 40 here in South Florida, which isn’t often, we joke, “It’s gonna snow in South Town!” You’ll have to watch the show to get it.

    2003_elf_00318. Elf, 2003: Not an oldy but definitly a goody, this Christmas flick is about a man (Will Ferrel) who was orphaned and adopted by Santa’s elves and brought up at the North Pole. Sometime in his 30’s or 40’s he decides to find his real father, James Cann, in New York City. Hilarity ensues. Add in cute-as-a-button Zooey Deschanel and Bob Newhart, and this goofy comedy can’t miss. Plus it’s packed with the koolest Christmas music by Ella, Frank, Les Baxter, etc. etc.

    scrooge-mcduck17. Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1983: Scrooge McDuck. Need I say more?

    16. White Christmas, 1954: Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney team up in this post-WWII musical. Bing & Danny play ex-GI’s who form a song & dance team (yeah, that happened a lot after WWII, right?) They go to play a B&B in Vermont, find it’s owned by their old commander who’s not doing so well financially, so they help him get the place hopping again while falling for a couple of dames in the outfit. Of course, Bing sings White Christmas.

    homealone15. Home Alone, 1990: It’s hard to call this one “new” as it is officially 20 years old now. Krazy, huh? The first really good Christmas movie to come along in years (1989’s Christmas Vacation gets an Honorable Mention), this movie re-defined what Christmas was all about, while sending us the same, time-honored message: There’s no place like home for the holidays, even if you bludgeon would-be burglars with gallons of paint and a clothes iron.

    silent_night_deadly_night14. Silent Night, Deadly Night, 1984: “You’ve made it through Halloween, now try to survive Christmas” was the tagline for this early 80’s-style slasher film. Forget the plot, it’s SANTA murdering half-naked women. Put this one on after the kiddie’s hit the hay.
    13. A Christmas Carol, 1951 with Alistair Sim: There are about 400 version of this movie, dating back to the 1890’s when Scrooge was drawn on a notepad and flipped through. This particular one is the one my family watched every year, and so it’s my favorite “live action” version. (Rich Little’s version was funny as hell, but is impossible to find.)

    the_santa_clause12. The Santa Clause, 1994: Another one that’s hard to call “new”, this very original movie was both funny and heartwarming. Tim Allen makes a great Santa, and the way he gets the job is a fantastic example of originality and creativity to make this flick lots of fun. The second one was pretty good too. Don’t really remember the third one. Might not have even seen it. Sequels, you know…FROSTY THE SNOWMAN

    11. Frosty The Snowman, 1969: One of the few cartoons that made it big in the era of stop-animation, Frosty lives on as one of the favorites among favorites. With Jimmy Durante narrating and Jackie Vernon as the voice of Frosty, no one will ever forget (or forgive) that bad magician, Professor Hinkle. (Bizzy, bizzy bizzy!!!) and what he did to Frosty. Whew! Santa comes by to save the day!

    scrooge-muppet-christmas-carol10. The Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992: Coming years after the success of the Muppet Show, this welcomed Muppet movie starred Micheal Caine as Scrooge, in a damned good performance too, considering his co-stars were a frog, a pig, a bear, and a whatever. Puns galore. Muppets. Music. Rats. Who could ask for anything more?

    muppet-christmas-bob-fam


    astair-santa-claus-is-comin9. Santa Claus is Coming To Town, 1970: Hard to believe this Rankin/Bass stop-animation favorite came out 40 years ago. I mean, it was new the first time I saw it! (I was two). Fred Astair, Mickey Rooney and Keenan Wynn lead the starring voices for this story of Santa’s life, from when he was an orphan to when he started bringing toys to children. When I was a kid, I looked at it as a biography…which it is. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently. santa-comin-youngListen for the voice of the Burgermeister – his name is Paul Frees, and he’s done voices on almost every cartoon and stop-ani show EVER made.

    rudolph-hermie8. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, 1964: As far as original, old stop-animation goes, this one is the tops. I mean, come on, it’s Rudolph! The Island of Misfit Toys, great music, an elf who wants to be a dentist, 1940’s cars and a Bumble. If you’ve never seen it, well, you’re a dork.rudolph-santa

    nightmare-christmas-jack17. The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993: Everyone knows that Tim Burton is bat-ass crazy. His dark, twisted mind gave us a glimpse of his warped version of Christmas with Edward Scissorhands, and he took the money from that to make his real movie, The Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s just this: You take Halloween, and you take Christmas, and you collide them at 180 miles per hour with some LSD and a fog machine. Then you film it in the most expensive, most time-consuming and hardest to shoot stop animation ever, invented just for this movie.

    nightmare-christmas-jack2A giant, skinny skeleton, Jack Skellington, accidentally discovers Chrismastown after taking a long walk away from Halloweentown. He falls in love with the colors, the lights, the pies, the toys, so different from his gray and orange home. He decides to give Santa a night off, and take his place with some horrific toys and a sleigh built from a coffin (the skeleton reindeers are creepy). It’s an opera-style musical, but the music is boss. Especially The Boogieman’s Song, where he sings and dances á la Cab Calloway.

    christmas-story-leg-lamp6. A Christmas Story, 1983: If there’s still anyone out there who hasn’t seen this flick, as it’s been broadcast 24 hours on Christmas Day for around the last 15 years, I think I’d faint in my egg nog. “You’ll shoot your eye out” is probably one of the most quoted (and imitated) lines in pop culture. That, referring to the Red Ryder BB gun (I got one!) and that crazy leg lamp (I got one’a those, too) make this movie one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time. christmas-story-ralphie-bunny“Messy Marvin” did a great job as the clueless kid who didn’t care about anything in the world except getting that BB gun. We’ve all been there – with me, it was getting a slot car track when I was a kid (then later in life it was about getting this blonde stripper I knew and bottle of Johnny Blue, but that’s another story). And of course, this is where you learn what Chinese Turkey is.

    wonderful-life-ending5. It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946: Jimmy Stewart almost didn’t make this movie. He had been overseas during the war, and thought it was too soon after he came back to make a movie. Lionel Barrymore talked him into it, and Stewart later said it was his favorite movie he ever made. Another “There’s no place like home for the holidays, no matter how screwed up things are” movie, it didn’t do so well at the box office first time around (even though it was nominated for five Oscars). It wasn’t until later TV and video releases that the film was realized as one of the top 100 films (American Film Institute) and given the honor of the #1 Inspirational Film of all time by the AFI. wonderful-life-potterThis was always one of my favorites from when I was a little kid. After all, don’t we all want to believe there’s an angle looking out for us? Or maybe an angel?

    grinch-smirk4. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (original cartoon), 1966: The “new” Grinch live-action movie with Jim Carey was slick, over-the-top, extreme, and therefore dullsville compared to the understated excellence of the original cartoon. With Boris Karloff narrating, this made-for-TV special by master cartoonist Chuck Jones took the book to an incredible level while keeping the look and feel of Dr. Seuss intact. grinch-whosThe Grinch’s theme song is so absolutely perfect, the toys are so absolutely annoying, and Cindy-Loo Who is so absolutely cute that it all fits in perfectly with the absolutely abysmal Grinch. He even admits to being 53, which makes him a crotchety old man! He’s basically yelling at the Whos to get off his lawn. Perfection. (Note: Dr. House stole his look from the Grinch)

    mirical-34th-street-santa-n3. Miracle on 34th Street (Original Movie), 1947: Again, the “new” version of this movie is an over-the-top catastrophe. Stay far away from it lest your eyes melt in your head. But the original is pure magic. John Payne, Maureen O’Hara, Edmund Gwenn as Santa a little girl named Natalie Wood make this Christmas special a very special one indeed. An up-and-coming lawyer falls into a situation where he has to (wants to) prove in a court of law that not only does Santa Claus exist, but that he works at Macy’s. Natalie Wood is a little girl who’s taught not to believe in such silly things. Santa is determined to help everyone, even if it means he could be locked up for Christmas Eve. You’ll never guess how it ends! Well, ok, maybe you will. Still, it’s a fantastic movie.

    magoo-christmas-coins2. Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol, 1962: Credited as the FIRST Christmas Cartoon to start the trend of running cartoons on network TV every Christmas, Magoo’s Christmas Carol may not be as popular today as it was nearly 50 years ago, but it’s still considered one of the top by pretty much anyone who watches Christmas shows. Jim Backus of course voices Magoo as Scrooge, and the story is of course filled with Magoo-esque jokes like, (Ghost of Christmas Present) “Scrooge, have you ever seen the likes of me?” (Magoo) “I’m not sure I see you now!” magoo_christmas_futureThe Dickens’ tale is paraphrased down to about an hour (less commercial breaks) but keeps the original story mostly intact while giving it a sort of live-theater feel. The cartoon itself is pure early ’60s animation, kind of Bullwinkle-like in its art direction, and very clever. The music is great (ever had Razzleberry jelly?) and it’s loads of fun to watch. This is one my family and I would watch every year on TV, and on video tape (I still have the tape from 1980 when we taped it off HBO) later. It was my Mother’s favorite Christmas show ever, so it holds a special place in my heart.

    And of course, the number one Christmas show at the Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar and at homes around the world…

    charlie-brown-christmasA Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965: Seriously, nothing taught me more about the true meaning of Christmas than this show. When I was a kid, there were no DVDs, no video tapes, no computers. So you got the TV guide, found the date when CBS was showing it, and stayed home that night to make sure you caught it or you’d be out of luck until next year. And it was worth the wait. That incredible musical score by jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, the homey, home-made feel of the art and the edits, and the acting by actual kids…it was like watching Peanuts Christmas cards unfolding on the screen. charlie-brown-tree“A great, big, shiny aluminum Christmas tree”. “Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest”. Snoopy dancing to Schroeder’s jazz piano. Absolute perfection.

    Well kids, that’s our Christmas show wrap-up for 2010. Sure, there are dozens more, from Bob Hope Christmas specials to Saturday Night Live skits, but I had to limit it to the top 20. Hell, I started with 10! If you haven’t seen any of these flicks, I’m pretty sure they’re all available on DVD or for rental, and some may actually be on TV soon. So keep a lookout, have plenty of nog on tap, and Merry Christmas!
    Here’s some video clips, on the house…


    -Tiki Chris reporting from under the great, big shiny aluminum Christmas Tree at Tiki Lounge Talk, the Tiki & retro lovers blog for vintage-style fun.

  • Who Cares About San Francisco’s Tonga Room? I do.

    Posted on November 20th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 10 comments

    The Tonga Room as it is Today

    The Tonga Room as it is Today

    The historic Tonga Room at the  Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, one of America’s last surviving Tiki Bars from the golden age is slated for demolition to make way for – you guessed it, that dirty word – Condos. The Tiki community and a group of SF preservationists have been trying desperately to keep the owners from closing it down, but the owners (and unfortunately for people like us who would like to preserve the past) have every right to do with they want with the property, and I agree they should have that right. The owners are adamant to remove the Tonga Room from their property in order to build new hotel rooms and condos, but are willing to carefully dismantle the Tonga Room, store the artifacts and help move it to a new location. Personally, although I believe it should be preserved as-is and could be a major profitable attraction, this is probably the best compromise that can be made. It’s just a shame that developers like these owners don’t realize that places like The Tonga Room are what make an area desirable to begin with – and once it’s all gone, who cares about living in their condos?

    Last month, the San Francisco Chronicle (online) published an article about the looming demise of the world-famous Tonga Room Tiki restaurant & lounge. The article, written by a staffer whose name I shall not dignify with posting here, caused an uproar of anger among the Tiki-loving community, as well as many San Franers. Why? Well to begin with, the name of the article is

    “Tonga Room Execution Stayed. Does Anyone Care?”

    The Tonga Room's history goes way back to the pre-war era when it was the SS Tonga

    The Tonga Room's history goes way back to the pre-war era when it was the SS Tonga

    Yes, the SFWeekly Blog staffer (not even sure if he’s on the payroll) who usually writes about sports or community events wrote a number of articles slanted heavily with his opinions about the Tonga Room and its impending doom. His slant was basically that it is nothing but an out-dated dump, a tacky catastrophe that should be plowed under and forgotten as soon as possible. A blemish on the nuevo-hipster world where clubs with numbers for names and cookie-cutter upscale condos rule. A ridiculous piece of grandpa’s past, an overpriced monument to crappy kitsch that interferes with progress.

    His last article, the one that asks if anyone cares, is a sarcastic, juvenile attempt to slander not just the Tonga Room but Tiki culture as a whole. Phrases like “historic preservation label slapped on postwar kitsch” and “tiki bars are relics of a bygone era” were cutting enough to enrage an entire population of preservationists and Tikiphiles…enough to foster 111 comments in just a few days, 99% of which were from people opposing his opinions.

    Now, let’s take a minute to be fair. The guy has a right to his opinion. The post was on a blog, not the front page of the SF Chronicle. He has the freedom to say what he wants, just like I do here. That said, let’s also be fair by saying that even though the article is published on the SF Chronicle’s blog, it’s STILL the SF Chronicle, a reputable newspaper that is committed to publishing real news along with editorial opinion – but traditionally, those opinions are based on well-researched facts, not the ramblings of some kid who just doesn’t care – or doesn’t get it. And that is the tragedy of this article; the writer doesn’t care because he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

    He assumes that because he doesn’t like original Tiki bars, that no one does. He assumes that because (possibly) his circle of influence is content to drink Vodka made in France (France???) and chain-store lattes, eat overpriced food at “trendy” restaurants and brag about it, and go into debt paying for cookie-cutter foreign cars just to show off, that the rest of us do.

    Over the years the SS TONGA began taking on more and more Tiki decor

    Over the years the SS TONGA began taking on more and more Tiki decor

    He should have done his homework. He should have done a few minutes of research on the net, and he would have realized that yes, there’s a big revival of Tiki Culture, and it shows no signs of slowing down. A few keyword searches would have shown him The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale, still thriving even in this recession, packed to the gills with people who come just for the experience along with people who are avid regulars. He would have found Trader Vic’s and Don the Beachcomber, and their world-wide success. He would have found Otto’s Shrunken Head in Manhattan, or Taboo Cove and Frankie’s Tiki Room in Vegas, newly-constructed Tiki Bars built in the traditional way. (Taboo Cove had a great run at the Venetian. It doesn’t get ‘hipper’ than that).

    This individual, like so many people today, is using his platform to push his misinformed opinions and beliefs on the rest of the world. Well, 100+ comments on his blog show that the world is pushing back. If he wanted to make the point that the owners of the Fairmont Hotel are entitled to do with they want with the property, then he could have done so in a much more responsible manner. Instead, he blurted out his opinion as if the entire city of San Fran (and basically the rest of the world) agrees with him. That’s what we professional writers call ‘bad journalism’.

    By the 1960s The Tonga Room was transformed into a full-fledge Tiki Bar complete with mid-pool bandstand, hurricane bar and a real tropical storm

    By the 1960s The Tonga Room was transformed into a full-fledge Tiki Bar complete with mid-pool bandstand, hurricane bar and a real tropical storm

    Now, some of you may be saying to yourselves, “Hey Tiki Chris, ain’t you just blurtin’ out your opinions here? Ain’t that, like, the same gig?” Well, it’s a little different here, kids. First of all, this is a site for people who love Tiki, not a newspaper’s blog. Second, I’m not saying anything here that’s not based on fact. Millions of people enjoy Tiki bars around the world. Many of them would be sad to see our history pushed away to make room for condos. The owners of the Fairmont do have the right to plow it down, if they want. And the guy who wrote the article doesn’t seem to think anyone in the world likes Tiki Bars anymore, and that they should all be forgotten and turned into TGI Friday’s. Well, ok, I made up the TGI Friday’s, but it gets the point across.

    Can the Tonga Room be saved? Of course. Should it? Absolutely. Should the owners of the Fairmont Hotel included the Tonga Room in their renovation plans, and market it as a world-class attraction? Damn straight. But they haven’t, and they won’t. Hopefully the investors who’ve taken an interest in moving the room will be successful. Hopefully this piece of history and architectural wonder will be spared the wrecking ball and preserved for generations to rediscover and enjoy. Perhaps the kid who wrote that goofy article will learn a lesson from the comments.

    Comments welcome.

    (This article assumes the reader has already read up on the impeding closing of the Tonga Room in San Fransisco. If not, just Google it (Tonga Room news) and you’ll see all there is to know about the topic)

    -Tiki Chris P, a little steamed, reporting from the newsroom at Tiki Lounge Talk, the Tiki Blog for people who believe in preserving our past and enjoying it to the fullest.

    A Final Note: Last year, the Sheraton corporation decided to renovate one of Fort Lauderdale’s most famous landmarks, The Yankee Clipper Hotel. This seaside hotel, built in the 1950s, looks like a cruise ship moored at the beach. But it’s not only famous for its unique outer look, but for its lobby bar – called The Wreck Bar, this kitschy-fun lounge looks like the inside of a sunken ship. But what makes it truly unique is the portals that look out into the hotel’s pool, where people sitting at the bar can watch swimmers go by. For years this has been the site of the world-famous Mermaid show, where beautiful women with Mermaid tails swim by doing water acrobatics. When the plans to renovate were announced, everyone assumed this mega corporation would remove the Wreck Bar and replace it with a modern, more trendy and dull lobby bar. Well to everyone’s surprise and to the Sheraton’s credit, they restored the bar to its original glory, not changing a thing except the rugs and the upholstery. The Wreck Bar fits into the hotel’s new decor perfectly, and Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid and her pod of beauties swim their show to a packed house every Friday Night, year round. A true success story about blending the old with the new. Maybe the owners of the Fairmont need to take a trip to South Florida, huh?

  • Mod Movie Monday Gets Naughty – SINderella & The Golden Bra, 1964

    Posted on July 5th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    1964_sinderellaTime for some Nudie Cuties, and a little history lesson!

    SINderella & the Golden Bra, 1964

    Let’s swing back to the early 1960s, a time when “Adults Only Fun” usually meant drinking cocktails, putting lampshades on your head and telling dirty jokes sinderella-golden-brawhile the kids slept upstairs. Things got “out of hand” when your middle-aged boss had a few too many and made a pass at the housekeeper. For most people.

    But for some of those swingers, a party wasn’t a party without a little sex. (And for even fewer, a lot of sex, but that’s another story). Those kats and kittens had to spend the nine to five uptight and respectable. But when the weekend came, a few Martoonies and a couple of Pink Ladies was enough of an excuse to dust off the libido and get a little wild.

    sinderella-changing-braIt may be hard to think of your mother getting toasted and dancing on the dining room table to Ray Charles while twirling her bra in the air, but I guarantee you, some of your old ladies did. And flicks like SINderella and the Golden Bra would be playing on Dad’s 16MM projector while she did it.

    Ok, if I haven’t tripped you out yet, then read on…

    Back in the Atomic age, images of war victims and gangland murders were common, but nudity was strictly no-no. But the market was there, and a small group of enterprising men got together and started filming what they called “Nudie Cuties.” These were an off-shoot of the stag reels and “French” shorts that had been around for ages, showcasing nude women and being shown in very seedy and secluded places. The big difference was, armed with a small budget and a lot of energy, these kats made actual movies, with real scripts, sets, art direction and all. Ok, they may have not been the best movies ever made, but they were vehicles to showcase the most important part of the show: Boobs. These movies were all about boobs, all sizes, all shapes, and all natural. Oh, just for fun they threw in some butt shots and the occasional full-frontal, but always in such a way that they couldn’t get arrested for. Usually.sinderella-puppets

    As it turns out, almost all of these movies were filmed down in…you guessed it, Miami, where the weather was always warm (important for filming naked chicks) and the conditions were right. South Florida had long been a favorite of nude photographers and filmers (Bettie Page shot some of her most famous works down here), and models who were willing to strip it all off on camera for a few bucks were easy to find. (Interestingly, even after Nudie Cuties sort of died off, the industry remained in Miami. You may not know it but Miami is the second largest adult film producer in the country, next to L.A.)

    OK, now for the movie. SINderella and the Golden Bra is just what you’d think it is…a spoof on the Cinderella story, acted out with lots of topless 60’s chicks. Long story short, SINderella’s fairy godfather gives her a shot at dancing at the ball, yada yada. She leaves just before midnight, but leaves behind her Golden Bra, instead of the customary slipper. You see where this is going, right? The prince then goes through the village getting every chick in town to slide off their peasant dresses and try on the bra. sinderella-and-godfather

    What makes the movie so much fun, is that the sets look like something from Mr. Rogers or some 50’s kids TV show, and the acting is so bad (intentionally of course) and over the top that it makes the whole joke work. It’s not laugh-out-loud funny, but very enjoyable on a “They were getting away with murder and being very risque for the day” level. Plus a lot of the girls are hot by any era’s standards. The DVD comes with a double feature of something called Goldilocks and the Three Bares, which doesn’t have anything to do with the fairytale but has a lot of scenes of Miami in the early 1960s. Plus the nudity is intentionally silly in parts, which makes it worth watching for the “This is pretty bad, even for then” aspect. It also includes some nudie shorts from the early 60s, featuring the kind of stuff they’d play before a feature in a stag house back in the day.

    Did I mention it’s a musical?

    This is what I saw on the big screen at the drive-in when I was 7. If you're over 18, click the pic to see the uncensored version

    This is what I saw on the big screen at the drive-in when I was 7. If you're over 18, click the pic to see the uncensored version

    My take on the movie: Funny how you remember things from way back. In the early 70’s we moved to a town outside of Atlantic City, which just happened to have a drive-in movie theater (The Atlantic Drive In). By most accounts the theater had been there since the early 60s. In the late 60s the state built the Garden State Parkway right next to it, and if you hit a nearby on-ramp at night you could see the giant screen up close and personal. I remember driving by with my parents and reading the huge marquis on the Black Horse Pike one day. I’ll never forget it: Flash Gordon, Cinderella and Goldilocks. I got all excited and said I wanted to go. I was around seven. I’ll never forget how my mother started laughing and then my old man too. I asked them what was so funny. They said, “That’s Flesh Gordon and SINderella. They aren’t kids movies. They’re for grown-ups”. Boy was I disappointed. I didn’t really understand why they’d be for grown-ups when they were obviously titled for kids. Just so happened we were heading for the Ocean City Boardwalk that night, and had to take the before-mentioned on-ramp to get on the Parkway. We came up the curved ramp, and what do you think I saw? The biggest set of boobs I’d ever seen in my life (even til now), bouncing in a zoomed-in closeup scene in SINderella! My parents, being beatniks didn’t get upset, they just laughed their heads off. I did too.

    sinderella-puppetsZoom up 25+ years later. Obscure, impossible to find movies are suddenly easily accessible on this newfangled internets thingy. Between 2001 (when I got a cable modem fast enough to research stuff) and 2005 I started combing the net for all sorts of oddball stuff I’d remembered from the past. One of the things I thought of was this movie, and sure enough I found the DVD from Something Weird Video. And sure enough, that scene with the giant close-up boobs was there, just as I remembered them 😉

    The sure had great sets on this movie. All puns intended.

    The sure had great sets on this movie. All puns intended.

    On a side note: I also found Flesh Gordon online, which turned out to be an actual medium-core porn version of Flash Gordon, with some crazy Mod stuff going on. They didn’t have ratings in ’64; today SINderella would probably get an R or PG-13. Flesh Gordon would definitely get an NC-17, and would probably have a few things cut to get that.

    Here’s the original trailer for the movie from 1964. If you’d like to see some of the nudie cutie scenes, (you gotta be 18 or older, I’m told) click here for some short video of 60’s chicks in all their glory.

    Just double click on the window to start and stop the video.

    -Tiki Chris P reporting from the cellar with the padlocked door under the Tiki Bar, behind the 16MM Projector with my Rob Roy in my hand and a bunch of Nudie Cuties on the couches

  • Bye Bye, Mercury

    Posted on June 3rd, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments
    1939 Mercury

    1939 Mercury

    It’s a sad day for retro-lovin’ swingers. One of our all time best-beloved, the MERCURY, is being shut down.

    Sure, Mercs of the past 20 years are kind of junk-like, with maybe the exception of the Marquis if you like that “I’m floating down the highway on my living room sofa” feel. But the old-school Mercs are second to none, baby.

    The Mercury was introduced in 1938 (for the ’39 model year) as line-up that could slip in between cheap, dependable Fords and luxed-up Lincolns. A beautiful car, the 1939 Mercury was the perfect blend of styling, power, and price to fit the mid-money market.

    James Dean '49 Mercury from Rebel Without A Cause

    James Dean '49 Mercury from Rebel Without A Cause

    Mercury stayed ahead of tech and styling through the ’40s, ’50s & ’60s. 1949 & ’50 Mercs became favorites of hot-rodders and customizers because of their low, sleek look. Late ’50s models stood out from the crowd with unique styling which still managed to incorporate trends of the day like tail fins and wrap-around windshield. The 1960s saw the rise of the muscle car, and Mercury kept up speed with the Marauder and Cougar. And of course no one can forget the “Baby Lincoln”, the Marquis of the late ’60s and early ’70s.

    1957 Mercury Montclair

    1957 Mercury Montclair

    Then everything went to hell in a handbag. The ’70s brought on tighter government restrictions on safety and emissions, gas prices went through the roof, and the American car suffered. Mercs like many other brands became boated and under-powered. The introduction of cheap, ugly little sub-compacts with irritatingly slow four-cylinders just made things worse. Prices went up, quality went down, and soon Mercurys were no longer in the mid-price niche, but were being overlapped by tricked-out Fords and low-end Lincolns.

    1973 Mercury Grand Marquis. My grandfather had one of these in burgundy. It was his pride and joy.

    1973 Mercury Grand Marquis. My grandfather had one of these in burgundy. It was his pride and joy.

    When you think about it, it’s amazing Mercury wasn’t phased out years ago like the Corvair or Rambler. If Ford had stuck to the plan…Good, strong, economic and dependable yet fun-to-drive cars for the Ford line; more interesting, more powerful and unique cars for the Mercury line; and high-luxury, top performance cars for the Lincoln line, there would be no reason to let the Mercury brand go daisies up.

    Henry Ford is spinning in his grave. RIP, Mercury.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the garage behind the Tiki Bar.

    PS: I’ve been around a few Mercs over the years. My grandfather had a 1965 Turnpike Cruiser with the roll-down back window, and a ’73 Grand Marquis that rode like a sofa. My old man had a couple over the years, including a ’92 Grand Marquis. I had the honor of owning a 1968 Mercury Park Lane Convertible with a kickin’ 390 that could shut down almost anything on the road. McGarret drove a ’68 Park Lane in Hawaii Five-O, and of course James Dean drove a ’49 Merc in Rebel Without a Cause. Mercs have a long, great history. And I’m pretty sure Alan Jackson will never start singing “Crazy ’bout a Subaru” or something like that.

  • Tiger Woods…who flips a beat?

    Posted on February 20th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    Converstaions at the Tiki Bar

    Converstaions at the Tiki Bar

    A perspective, ala Beatsville

    This riff is a little off topic for Tiki Lounge Talk, but it has been a conversation at the Tiki Bar between my old lady and I, so it gets laid down on the score, ya dig?

    Who the hell gives a flip what scene Tiger made, except for maybe his old lady?

    Oh sure, we all dig ripping on some cat who got caught with his paw in the cookie jar. And dig it, Tiger Man did bust up on one of the 10 Commandments: Thou shalt not swing with another hip chick while the hen is roosting in the coop, unless of course thy old lady riffs to that krazy scene.

    So the flipsters and spinners that hit the airwaves are making big bones about this cat’s high-infidelity. Soakin’ up the green, that’s all they’re in it for, no matter that it splatters the cat’s rep like a frog in a blender.

    As the Big Man once said, “let ye who has not blown a sour note or riffed a bad scale cast the first stone, baby.” I say, if the man wants to goof on golf balls and knock around with some chicks, that’s nobody’s jazz but his own. Leave the cat alone and let him swing, both with golf club and kittens.

    Are you hip?

    – Darrin C. M. Buckley, for the Tiki Lounge Tiki Blog