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  • Happy Valentine’s Day from the Tiki Bar! Here’s An Affair To Remember, from 1957 for Mod Movie Monday

    Posted on February 14th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    affair_to_remember-posterHere’s a special edition of Mod/Noir/Retro/Vintage Movie Monday for Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air, and it’s contageous…so grab your favorite guy or doll and watch

    An Affair to Remember

    from 1957 starring Carry Grant and Deborah Kerr. Absolutely one of the most romantic movies ever made, even hardened tough guys dig this flick. The plot is simple: Grant and Kerr meet by chance on a cruise ship and fall in love. They know their love is taboo, since they are both engaged to other people. But their love is strong, and they agree to meet six months later at the top of the Empire State Building.carry-grant-deb-kerr-1 If I say one more word on the story I’ll give away the whole thing, so I won’t. I can tell you this is a beautifully made movie, with a fantastic score and lavish settings. Although Grant is in his early 50s (and Kerr in her early 30s) the romance works perfectly as Carry charms his way through the movie. Interesting notes: • The two lovers make their vow to meet at the Empire State Building at exactly the halfway point of the movie, 59-1/2 minutes into the 119-minute flick. • An Affair To Remember is listed as the #5 greatest romance of all-time by the American Film Institute. • This is the flick that was referenced in 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle. After the release of that film, a renewed interest in An Affair To Remember resulted in over two million video tape sales. affair-boothsMy Take: I’ve never been one for romance flicks. My mother suggested I watch this movie many moons ago, and I guess she knew me well, because I loved it. I don’t exactly why…but it’s the kind of movie that appeals to everyone, not just chicks. cary_grant-party-affairFood & Booze: This is the perfect movie to watch while sharing some fondue and wine. Here’s a quick and easy recipe for perfect fondue: 1 lb shredded cheddar, jack, and/or Swiss cheese 1/4 stick butter 3 cloves minced garlic salt & pepper 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce flour 1-2 cups beer Toss the shredded cheese with some flour, just enough to coat lightly (this helps with the melting). Flatten one cup beer (by swirling) and add to heated fondue pot. Toss in the butter, garlic, and Worcestershire, and stir until butter is melted. Add a pinch or two of salt and a few shakes of pepper. Then add the cheese a little at a time, stirring constantly till you get a nice, smooth, cheesy fondue. Add a little more beer or more cheese as needed. If you put too much beer, you’ll get cheese soup. Too little and your fondue will be glorpy. Serve with toast points, apple slices, or fresh vegetables for dippin’. Mmmm mmm.

    For a nice Valentine’s Day drink, try the Lover’s Cocktail here.

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Here’s the Trailer…

    -Tiki Chris & Colleen reporting from the very romantic lanai at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar.

  • Living the Retro Life: Driving Around in a ’56 Caddy

    Posted on January 20th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    For many of the kookie kats and kittens that dig deep into retro culture, sportin’ around in a classic car is a must. Some kids are hardcore, and travel in their vintage rods exclusively. That was me, up until a few years ago when distance forced me to trade-up my ’74 Eldorado Convertible for a retro-rod PT Cruiser. (I still have my ’53 Chevy custom, of course). Anyways, For the kats that have the means and the beans to travel in style, a true classic really puts the fedora on the retro-tastic outfit.

    For your consideration, a true-blue 1956 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60 Special, in near-mint original condition with only 75,000 miles showing on the O-doe. Here’s a few pix to get your juices flowin’.

    Original 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Hardtop Sedan

    Original 1956 Cadillac Series 62 Hardtop Sedan

    These cars were known as “hardtops” or “hardtop convertibles”. That meant that when you put all the windows down, there was no center post (or “pillar”) visible above the doors. The whole car looked “open” like a convertible. The top, however, did not go down. Note the massive, bullet-shaped bumpers and gold-tone grille.

    56caddyback

    The tail-end of this car was as impressive as the front. The factory dual exhaust exits through the rear bumper ends. The gas tank filler is located under the driver’s side fin. The trunk can comfortably fit a family of four.

    56caddyventA nice shot of the rear wrap-around window and vent system. The vent inside the back window is a rear defogger.

    56caddydash

    The driver’s control center is patterned after an airplane’s cockpit. Luxury features like automatic transmission, remote mirror, electric door locks and windows and air condition set the Cadillac apart from ordinary cars.

    56caddyac

    The factory-installed air conditioning was a must-have for cruisers who lived in subtropical climates such as Miami.

    56caddydashchrome

    And just in case you weren’t sure, the fine folks at Cadillac proudly display the year of the car on the passenger side of the chrome-laden dash. Notice the brocade material on the door and kick panel…the seats match.

    56caddygrille

    This rod rides like a dream on a cloud. It just floats along as only a 20-ft long Cadillac with a V8 can do. This Detroit beauty was built mainly by hand by big, strong, American car builders who took a lot of pride in what they were doing. 56 years later, this classic cruiser still wears that dignity with the same pride it did when it was new. This is not my ride, but with the cars I’ve owned I’d feel right at home cruising this bad girl down I95 every day.

    Want one? They ain’t easy to find in this condition, but when you do…believe it or not you can pick them up in the $20,000 range. Just don’t try to find a convertible that cheap.

    -Tiki Chris P reporting from the garage next to the Tiki Bar. Tiki Lounge Talk…the B’lounge for retro kats and swingin’ kittens. Dig it, daddy-O!

  • 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.

  • Plan 9 from Outer Space, 1958 and Ed Wood, 1994 for Mod Movie Monday’s Creature Double Feature

    Posted on October 29th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    plan-9-from-outer-space-one-sheet

    It’s Halloweekend at the Tiki Bar! From one of the worst directors to one of the best, on this week’s Mod Movie Monday we’ll look at two kats who changed the way we look at movies forever.

    Let’s start with our favorite bad director, Ed Wood, Jr. Ed brought us some of the most poorly written, directed and produced films of all kind, with the zenith (or basement) of his work being Plan 9 from Outer Space. I feel bad for this kid. He just wanted to make movies that people would enjoy. Unfortunately for him, nobody really dug his stuff until years after his alcohol-soaked death. Now, we can love these lowest-budget flicks for what they are: So incredibly bad they are great. Fun to watch, fun to make fun of, fun to imagine yourself on the set 50+ years ago as walls shook and gravestones fell over.

    Plan 9 is actually an interesting premise. Originally entitled “Grave Robbers from Outer Space”, the title was deemed too gory for the film’s religious backers. So it’s about space aliens who come to earth and resurrect dead people to do stuff like slowly walk into people, killing them. Or something. Actually, I’ve seen this movie several times and I’m still not sure what it’s about. Maybe because I can’t get through it sober.

    plan9zombiesEd Wood extensively used free, stock footage to fill in the holes in his films. Scenes of cattle stampeding, WWII footage, and people walking around get spliced in at the strangest places. Add Bela Lugosi, who died during filming, Tor Johnson and Vampira to the cast. Then add in a stand-in for Bela, a guy who had the same shaped head, skulking around with a cape over his face for the rest of the flick. Tin pie plates on strings attacking California. Car chases where the cars change to different models when showed in different angles. A shower curtain in the cockpit. Are you confused? Wait’ll ya see the movie.

    edwoodposterBut it’s fun to watch, for certain. So much fun that one of Hollywood’s top weirdos, Tim Burton, made a film about Ed Wood, Jr. and his repertoire of canned junk. Shot in black and white and starring Johnny Depp (of course), Ed Wood is a thousand times better-made movie than any of Wood’s movies ever were. Martin Landau steals the show with his Bela Lugosi character. Vampira looks and acts like the original Vampira. And Ed Wood is so goofy, so much fun you have to wonder if he was really like that, or if that’s how Burton envisions how he must have been.

    Either of these films is great on its own. Back to back, they’re a riot. And speaking of Bella Lugosi…

    Dracula, 1931

    Turn this duet into a trio this Halloweekend with one of the movies that started it all, the original Bela Lugosi Dracula from 1931. Still scary and creepy today as it was 70 years ago, no vintage-style ‘ween is complete without this master of horror flicks. dracula_1931_poster

    Your Halloweekend Drinks!

    So here’s a few drink ideas for Hallowe’en Weekend, to sip with your movies or push at your party…

    Vampire’s Blood Martini

    1.5 oz Russian Vodka
    1 oz orange juice
    1 oz  cranberry juice
    1 small scoop raspberry sorbet
    seltzer

    Shake vodka, OJ, & cranberry in shaker with ice until well chilled. Strain into a large martini glass, add a small (about a teaspoon) scoop of sorbet and top with seltzer. You can add a few drops of red food coloring to make it really bloody.

    plan9The Zombie (Frozen)

    There are a few variations on the Zombie Cocktail. This one, close to the old version but frozen, is probably my favorite:

    1/2 oz 151 rum
    1 oz pineapple juice
    1 oz orange juice
    1/2 oz apricot brandy
    1 tsp sugar
    2 oz light rum
    1 oz dark rum
    1 oz lime juice

    Blend all ingredients with ice except the 15. Pour it into a tall Tiki mug and flloat the 151 rum on top. Garnish with a fruit slice, sprig of mint, and a cherry. To give it a real kick, add a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper into the mix. Yow!

    The Michael Myers Halloween Cocktailedwood-scene

    Yep, made this one up at the Tiki Bar. Not really an exotic drink, as there’s no rum, but it’s strong and will probably tear your guts out, so…

    2 oz Jack Daniels (or Jim Beam, which will be a little sweeter)
    1 oz Goldschlager or Cinnamon Schnapps
    1/2 Orange Curacau
    1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
    2-3 drops Bitters (optional)
    Apple and pumpkin, chopped into small cubes
    Cinnamon stick

    This can be served over the rocks, or warmed up in a mug. Stir all ingredients together. float small cubes of apple and pumpkin on top and garnish with a cinnamon stick stirrer. Like I said, strong as hell but krazy fun!

    plan9sceneWell kids, that’s all for this week. I know I haven’t posted much lately (This is my busiest time of year) and probably won’t get to another post until Monday, so Happy Hallowe’en to you kool ghouls!

    -Tiki Chris P, in ghost form floating around Haunted Tiki Island Resort. Reporting for Tiki Lounge Talk, the Tiki Culture Tiki Blog for retro lovers and Tikiphiles all over the world.

  • 1950’s Car Commercials…The Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

    Posted on August 26th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    A lot of you kats and kittens are big on the MAD MEN series. But are you hip to the ad jazz they were laying down? Here are a few Automobile TV commercials and print ads from the golden era of Advertising.

    I currently have a 1953 Chevy in my garage. Have had it for 20 years.

    This bat-winged beauty was marketed toward big business presidents and tycoons. It cost more than a Cadillac.

    There are few cars more elegant, beautiful and powerful as the 1963 Pontiac. Always wanted one. This commercial makes me want one even more!

    For fans of the “little” Fords…I love how they point out “no dog leg”. That’s a reference to the wrap-around windshields popular on GM models (esp Cadillac) through the early 1960’s.

    Ah, one of my favorite all-time rides, the 1958 Cadillac. We had one (already vintage) when I was a kid. I will have one again someday.

    An here’s some old print ads from ’50s and ’60s magazines (click on each to enlarge):

    Hope you kids dug this little trip down memory lane to the days when cars were made of steel and chrome and horsepower meant everything. My my how times have changed. Sorry kids, but after looking at ads like this, how could anyone ever get excited about a Honda Accord? bleh.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the showroom floor of the Imperial dealership down the block from Tiki Lounge Talk.