RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Scary Movie Monday: The Exorcist, 1973

    Posted on October 15th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    exorcist-posterThere are some vintage horror movies that are so obviously a “must see” that it seems silly to write about them on a retro blounge, but I will make an exception for The Exorcist. Why? Because it’s THAT GOOD, and if you haven’t seen it, you…well, you must see it.

    (Don’t worry…No spoilers, just some references to the things you’ve already seen in pop culture even if you’ve never seen the movie.)

     What: The Exorcist is a psychological horror movie centered around a young girl who becomes possessed by a demon. A priest – one who has recently questioned his faith, is asked to help the girl. At first he believes her outbursts and episodes are psychotic. Then he sees her head twist all the way around and it’s full steam ahead from their.

    That’s the story in a nutshell, but not the reason to watch this flick. Reasons to watch it include the fact that it was the first mainstream horror movie to realistically show a child possessed by a demon, cursing, convulsing, spewing green vomit in the face of a priest. Where most horror movies of the time (or before) relied on monsters, ghosts, or murderers for effect, this movie took an entirely realistic approach to horror, capitalizing on an evil you never really even see (as it is manifested in the girl). Remember, movie-goers in 1973 weren’t used to much cursing, blood or psychological horror. They were used to Hammer films with Christopher Lee as Dracula (although great, not on the same level as this) and had just recently been exposed to Night of the Living Dead, which was shot in black and white. Now audiences were seeing a child turn into a demon, in full color, cursing like the devil himself, acting out in horrific ways (I don’t want to give them away) with brutality and absolute…well, horror. To this day, this movie remains one of the most difficult to watch because of its realism.

    Why: Where as movies like The Woman in Black are creepy, Paranormal Activity is jump-out-of-your-skin scary, and House of 1000 Corpses is grossly bloody and nerve-shredding, The Exorcist is all of those combined. The cinematography is impeccable, creating an atmosphere of mental anguish and unease that sucks you in and keeps you there. The acting is, of course, incredible, and some of the reactions were real – including the reaction by Father Karras when he gets pelted in the face with vomit (it was supposed to hit his chest!). The movie is a masterpiece of suspense and horror, period.

    Beyond that, it’s hailed as one of (and often the) best movies of all time. Adjusted for inflation, it is Warner Bros’ highest grossing movie of all time.

    My Take: I’ve seen this move at least two dozen times. I first saw it when I was around 12, edited for TV, and even with the cursing and the more explicit scenes cut it still left a last impression. When I saw it uncut as a teenager, I found myself twinging during the scene with the girl and the cross (won’t spoil it here) and still do today. The “version you’ve never seen” that was re-released a few years ago adds a few scenes that make the movie even sicker.

    Food and Booze: I usually give recommendations for dinner with your movie, but for this one, forget it. You won’t be able to keep anything down. If anything, have some pea soup.

    Warning: Clip is R rated.

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the screaming room – I mean the screening room – at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar

  • Tucker: The Man and His Dream for Retro/Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on August 12th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    tucker_the_man_and_his_dreamIt was 25 years ago to the day (August 12) that “Tucker” debuted on the silver screen. I remember seeing that movie with my father, in the theater…we were both huge antique car fans and the mystique of the Tucker wasn’t lost on us. Two hours later we were driving home in his vintage Buick Electra 225, discussing what American cars would have been like if Tucker had succeeded with his dream. Our conclusion: Detroit iron would be 10 to 20 years ahead of its time from 1948 on.

    Tucker: The Man and His Dream, 1988

    Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
    Executive Producer George Lucas
    Starring Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landua, Christian Slater, and the 1948 Tucker Torpedo

    The Movie: This flick was based on the true-life engineer Preston Tucker, who had a dream to start a new, technologically advanced auto company. Using designs he had been perfecting since before WW2, he managed to secure funding to start the Tucker Automobile Company. 50 Tucker Torpedos were built (plus the prototype), but the company was doomed to failure (you’ll have to watch the movie to learn why).

    The Car: As much a character in the film as any of the actors, the 1948 Tucker Torpedo was stylistically and technologically way ahead of its time. The low-slung vehicle utilized a flat airplane, rear-mounted six cylinder engine, giving it a sleeker look than most late ’40s cars, and came standard with safety features like a padded dashboard and seat belts (stuff that wouldn’t be found on most conventional cars until a decade later). It even sported a “Cyclops eye” center headlight that turned with the front wheels. Kookie.

    tucker-sedan-1948

    Before this flick hit the screen, Tuckers were rare but still could be bought for around $40k if you could find an owner who wanted to part with it. After the movie, the price shot up to beyond $400k. Today, millionaires use them as toys to trade back and forth with their millionaire friends, usually in the $1.5 Mil range. Jerks.

    Several original cars were used in the movie…and some fiberglass molds, for the “crash” scenes. No actual cars were harmed in the filming of this movie.1948-tucker-torpedo

    My Take: The movie itself is very cool, with a great 40s vibe throughout. Unfortunately 1980′s audiences weren’t “hip” to anything vintage, and unless it had a DX-7 doing the soundtrack, got panned. The movie originally grossed a few mil less than it cost, labeling it a flop. But don’t let that deter you from digging this thoroughly enjoyable flick.

    Dinner & Drinks: I’m thinking Iron City Beer and burgers for this one. Real workin’ man’s food.

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from the screening room at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, Fort Liquordale, FL

  • Huge Tiki Party in Fort Lauderdale – Benefit for Preston Weber – Jr. World FireKnife Champion

    Posted on April 27th, 2013 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    Preston Weber performing his FireKnife routine.

    Preston Weber performing his FireKnife routine.

    If you’re in the Fort Lauderdale area on Sunday, April 28, swing by the 5-Points Lounge for a very special Tiki fundraiser.

    Dubbed the “Sunday Aloha Fun-Raiser”, proceeds from this show put on by Polynesian Proud Productions will benefit Preston Weber, 14 year-old Jr. World FireKnife Champion and Fort Lauderdale local. Preston will be flying out to Hawaii in May to defend his title, and this fundraiser is to help him get there.

    The event will feature Polynesian music, live Tahitian drumming of Uhi Api, PolyProud performance, beautiful Hula, RONIN TAIKO (Featuring Marina The Fire Eating Mermaid drumming), special guest performers, $5 Hawaiian Plate Lunch sponsored by the NEW Florida Hawaiian Civic Association, island treats by way of Kauai, from DelaCruz Delights and Onolicious Cakes by Kathleen.

    This event is open to the public, and any donations at the door are greatly appreciated. There will also be raffles and prizes, so throw on your best Aloha shirt and swing down to the 5-Points Lounge, 2608 South Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, Fl. There is Free parking in back of building.

    5-Points is located at the KREEPY TIKI PLAZA, “Home of South Florida’s only 20ft. Hula Girl landmark”. Kreepy Tiki Tattoo is a very kool place for vintage & Tiki lovers. They are not only kool kats and kittens who ink some very impressive tattoos, they also carry some vintage clothing and goodies, and have Tiki-esque art by local artists including one of my favorites, De Tiki.

    PRESTON WEBER has been performing since he was 10 years old at the Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale. He won his first Jr. World FireKnife Championship at 11 (2010), then skipped a year to audition for America’s Got Talent where he placed 49th out of 100,000 auditioned acts. Preston won his 2nd Jr World Championship title at 13 (2012). He is now 14 and looking for his third win! Congratulations and best of luck to Preston…break a leg!

    -Tiki Chris P, Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Your Mod Movie Monday Movie Suggestion: Tough Guys, 1986

    Posted on December 4th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tough-guys-posterI’ve always been a fan of gangster films, from The Public Enemy to Johnny Dangerously. There are dozens of great gangster/crime comedies, but one that’s often overlooked is a gem from 1986,

    Tough Guys

    Starring Kirk Douglass, Burt Lancaster, Eli Wallach, Charles Durning, Alexis Smith, and Dana Carvey.

    It’s a great concept: Two big-time bank robbers (Douglass and Lancaster) get busted robbing a train in 1956, and serve a 30 year stretch for their trouble. They get out in 1986…at the ages of 68 and 72, but it tip-top shape. (This is attributed to years of being…you guessed it, tough guys in prison). They’ve been totally disconnected from modern life, and once paroled the have to try to adjust to a 1980′s world of wimpy street gangs, rap music, strange fashions, and the “old neighborhood” not being what it used to be.

    If life on the outside ain’t bad enough, they’re hounded by the cop who busted them in ’56 (Durning) and are followed relentlessly by a hit-man bent on fulfilling a 30-year old contract (Wallach). In between crappy jobs and bad rest home grub, they manage to score a couple of broads…and with the help of their P.O. (Carvey), even try their hand at a few jobs they’re good at…

    TOUGH GUYS, Eli Wallach, Dana Carvey, Alexis Smith, 1986

    TOUGH GUYS, Eli Wallach, Dana Carvey, Alexis Smith, 1986

    It’s not the most well produced film (it’s filmed in that kind of “flat” style that was too common in the 1980s, with no real “style”) but the acting is top notch, and watching these two old time tough guys act like they’re 30 years old again is great. There’s even a small part by Billy Barty (no pun intended).

    Irony: One of Eli Wallach’s lines, is that if he gets locked up while trying to kill Lancaster and Douglass’ characters, that he’ll wait another 30 years and come after them again. It’s funny, because at their ages there’s no way they’d last that long.

    Kirk Douglas & Burt Lancaster

    Kirk Douglas & Burt Lancaster

    Well…as it turns out, it’s been 26 years since the movie came out, and although we said goodbye to Burt Lancaster in 1994, Kirk Douglass is still kickin’…at the age of 96, Durning is still going at 79, and Eli Wallach…according to IMDB…is still ready to pull that hit at the rip old age of 95.

    Maybe it’s time for a Tough Guys 2?

    BTW: For our “younger” readers, dig this: Dana Carvey is 57. Yeah.

    Here’s the trailer…

    -Tiki Chris P. reporting from Cell Block 8

  • Mod Movie Monday: Murder By Death, 1976

    Posted on November 26th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    murderbydeath-poster“2-2-Twain”. It’s puns galore in Niel Simon’s hilarious spoof of just about every murder mystery detective of the mid-20th century, the movie that uses more old-time gags and goofy plot devices than a thief has disguises…

    Murder By Death, 1976

    Starring David Niven, Truman Capote, Eileen Brennan, Peter Falk, James Coco, Alec Guinness, Elsa Lanchester, Peter Sellers, Maggie Smith, Estelle Winwood, James Cromwell, Richard Narita, and Nancy Walker. (Whew! That’s a lot of stars!)

    There’s no way to tell you much about the storyline without giving it all away…so I’ll give you the basics. Lionel Twain (Capote) invites each of the most famous mystery detectives of all time to “Dinner and a Murder”. With slightly-off names like Sam Diamond and Jessica Marbles, the guests reluctantly come to Twian’s mansion (address: 22 Twain), and are soon treated to exactly what they were invited for…dinner, served by the blind butler (Guinness), and a murder. Yes, Obe Wan is a blind butler, aided by the deaf made (played by Nancy “Rosie” Walker). It’s all about devices.

    The lights go out. Someone is stabbed in the back. Rooms change. The moose on the wall talks. People’s clothes disappear. There is thunder and lightning, the bridge is out, and everyone is a suspect. It’s up to the spoofish detectives to overcome their goofy lines and solve the mystery before it’s too late…but will they? Yes, they will. Or will they?murder-by-death-niven

    Directed by Robert Moore in a 1940′s Noir style (although it’s in color, which was probably also meant as a joke), Murder by Death is packed full of just about every cliché possible, from the “Milo Perrier” character (aka Poirot) mixing up English and French words:

    Marcel: Something isn’t right in all of this, eh. I can feel it in my buns.
    Inspector Milo Perrier: Your what?
    Marcel: My buns.
    Inspector Milo Perrier: Buns? Your buns? You bought buns and you didn’t tell me? Where are they? Where are the buns?
    Marcel: Oh! No, monsieur. The BONES in my body.
    Inspector Milo Perrier: You should not speak with an accent when you know I am so hungry.

    murder-by-death-movie-dinnerTo Sam Diamond talking like Bogie in a BW flick:

    Tess Skeffington: There’s nothing on him ’til ’46, when he was picked up in El Paso, Texas, for trying to smuggle a truckload of rich white Americans across the border into Mexico to pick melons.
    Sam Diamond : I think we picked ourselves a queer bird, angel.

    Because it’s by one of our favorite cats, Niel Simon, the writing is incredibly rich and intelligent, in spite of the crazy wandering and goofy puns. Just when you think the mystery is solved, something else comes along to throw the “Twain” off the tracks (sorry, couldn’t resist). There are more twists than a bag of Twizzlers. All this, plus the fantastic performances from some of old Hollywood’s brightest stars, makes Murder By Death a fun movie to watch any time.murder-by-death-sellers

    Food & Booze: This is a grand dinner, so go all out – roast turkey, baked ham, the works. Or, serve invisible soup (you’ll see). Vintage cocktails are in order: Martinis, Manhattans, and straight whiskey.

    My Take: I first saw this movie in the mid 1980s, then again in the early 1990s. It’s part of what made me decide to start my own murder mystery comedy dinner theater, and to later write Noir murder mystery novels. Even though it’s a spoof, I rank it up there with The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and Murder on the Orient Express.

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from the other dining room at Tiki Lounge Talk.