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  • Guys and Dolls, 1955 for Mod Movie Monday!

    Posted on January 31st, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    guys-and-dolls-movie-posterI figured we’d take a little break this week from Noir Movie Monday and get back to the colorful stuff. And dare ain’t no movie more fulla collah den

    Guys and Dolls

    from 1955, starring Frank Sinatra, Marlin Brando, Jean Simmons and Vivian Blaine.

    Without a doubt this flick ranks in my all-time top favorites. The crazy characters, the oddball accents, the music, the floating craps game, the hats, the dolls…there ain’t nothin’ about this movie I don’t fully enjoy with a capital “E”, see?

    This was one of the first (good) movies to use non-musical talent (Brando, Simmons) in a musical. Surrounded by actual singers (Sinatra, Blaine), the two leads pulled it off pretty well and paved the way for later musicals to star non-musical talent (all the way up to 2002’s Chicago, forcing notes out of Renne Zellweger, Cathrine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere).guysanddolls-frank-vivian

    The story, adapted from Damon Runyon’s original short story, is about a collection of gamblers, showgirls, Salvation Army workers and other fringe characters inhabiting the nights of New York City around 1950. Two gamblers in particular, Nathan Detroit (Sinatra) and Sky Masterson (Brando) are focused upon as Detroit tries to find a new venue for his famous floating craps game. A “chance” meeting over cheesecake has Detroit attempting to con Masterson out of some dough in the hopes of using said dough to bribe a certain garage owner to allow the dice to roll. Masterson, a sharp character, sees through this rouse and tells Nathan no dice. He does however boast to Detroit that he can take any doll, no matter how pretty, to Havana for the weekend. Nathan accepts this challenge and the game is on.

    As usual, I won’t give away any of the fun stuff in case you haven’t seen the flick. Let’s just say that great music, funny lines and people who speak in the vernacular of the above said paragraph are what you will find in this charming and thoroughly swinging film.

    guys-dolls-marlonFood & Booze: These guys are deli-style eaters from the city. Try making these stupendous roast & corned beef sandwiches, nicknamed

    The Runyon Special

    Pile it up in this order:

    • Thick slice pumpernickle/rye swirl bread
    with deli-style spicy mustard
    • Lettuce
    • Munster cheese
    • Thick tomato slices
    • Roast beef
    • Thick slice pumpernickle/rye swirl bread with deli-style spicy mustard on one side,
    Thousand Island dressing on the other
    • Corned beef
    • Sweet chopped coleslaw
    • Swiss cheese
    • Tomato
    • Thick slice pumpernickle/rye swirl bread with Thousand Island dressing

    Cut this triple-decker in half, top with green olives on toothpicks and side with chips, more slaw and kosher pickle. For dessert, cheesecake (or strudel).

    The drink: Dolce de Leche, Cubana style

    (According to Sky Masterson, “Dolce de Leche” means “Sweet of Milk”. It’s a kind of milk shake made with Bacardi…but just enough to act as a preservative. Here’s the modernized version of this classic cocktail)

    1 oz Bacardi Silver
    1/2 oz Godiva Mocha Liquor (or chocolate liquor, or even Kahluha will work)
    1/2 oz sweetened condensed milk

    Shake it all up in a shaker with ice and strain, preferably into a coconut. Top with shaved chocolate and a pinch of cinnamon.

    Here’s the opening sequence with “Can Do”. See you at the races, kids!

    -Chris “Mack the Knife” Pinto reporting from the starting gate. They’re off!

  • Mod Movie Monday: The Wizard of Oz, 1939

    Posted on November 22nd, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments

    oz_posterI think we’d be hard-pressed to find anyone over the age of 12 who hasn’t seen (and loved) The Wizard of Oz. So this week’s Mod Movie Monday isn’t really a recommendation for something you’ve probably already seen, it’s a celebration of one of our favorite movies of all time. Dig some trivia, a story or two, and some groovy pix and video here at Tiki Lounge Talk. From 1939, here’s one of our top favorites,

    The Wizard of Oz

    Back in the old days, ya know, the 70’s, when there were only three networks and a few UHF stations on the tube, TV stations would show old movies just once a year, and they’d make a big deal about it (remember?). Every Thanksgiving my parents would drive us up to Philly to have a giant Italian Thanksgiving dinner with our giant Italian family. Football would be on the TV in living room until eight o’clock, when my uncles would be shooed away to the upstairs bedroom so the rest of us could watch that spectacular of spectaculars, The Wizard of Oz.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • 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.

  • A Collection of Fun Old Scary Movies for Halloween

    Posted on October 18th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    ghost-stories

    The Halloween Season is a very busy one for Ole Tiki Chris P. I’ve been going bananas decorating every day for our big Halloween bash, and have been too beat to lay down some groovy stories. So I’m cheating a little…here’s a kool post from last year with some great movie ideas. Tomorrow I’ll post two new horror flicks and a couple of drink recipes too!

    If you’re into old movies, I don’t have to speil about the wonders of the original Dracula, Frankenstein & Wolfman. You’ve probably seen them, or they’re already on your list. So here’s a few creepy flicks that may have escaped your radar…some you’ve heard of, but maybe never got around to witness. Some you’ve probably never heard of, but take it from this kat, they’re fun to watch and might even give you the heebee-geebees. I’ve included the IMDB link so you can get more info. So here goes, in no particular odor (I mean order. Damned spellchecker.)

    The Haunting (1963) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057129/the_haunting_poster
    One of the first ghost stories I ever saw as a kid, this black & white thriller sets three unsuspecting volunteers in a secluded, creepy mansion with a scientist conducting an experiment on sleep deprivation. Secretly the well-intended scientist believes the mansion to harbor spirits, and his volunteers have been selected for their apparent sensitivity to the spirit world. The spirits come. It’s krazy. A well-crafted movie from a well-written book, you’ll want to watch this one with the lights off and some spiked hot chocolate.

    The Uninvited (1944) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037415/
    Ray Milland leads this Noir thriller centering around a haunted house on the English coast. He and his sister move into the lovely old home only to find there are skeletons lurking in every closet. A well-written and well-acted movie, this one is at the top of my ghost movie list.

    Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081505/
    Jack Nicholson at his craziest/finest. Stephen King may have hated this adaptation, but there’s no denying this is one of the creepiest, scariest, most disturbing movies ever made. From blood pouring out of the elevators to butchered children to eerie music from a not so distant past, The Shining will leave you with chills and craving for more. The sets of the Overlook Hotel are so evil and creepy looking that the hotel itself becomes one of the main characters (as intended). Even the opening credits are scary!

    A Bucket of Blood (1959) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052655/
    Beatniks, jazz, pretty girls and ‘innocently’ unintentional murder for the sake of art. This early Roger Corman film is as dark as dark comedy can get. Creepy, BW & even an actual bucket with blood in it. This is one of those movies where you’ll be saying “They got away with THAT in 1959?”

    House of Wax (1953) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045888/
    No Paris Hilton, but plenty of Vincent Price at his best. Murder, wax and insanity. Need I say more?

    mark_of_devil_posterMark of the Devil (1970) (aka Hexen bis aufs Blut gequält) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065491/
    Hot 60’s European chicks getting tortured as witches. Amazingly realistic and gory for the time, the plot centers around Inquisitors using their power to satisfy their sadistic lusts. Pretty damned disturbing, actually. The American version is dubbed pretty well, so you don’t have to read subtitles. Lots of torture devices, dirty villagers, and torture of pretty medieval women that borders on a snuff flick. Don’t let the kids near this one.

    Young Frankenstein (1974) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072431/
    It’s not easy to pull off a really great spoof of a really great movie, but they really nailed it with this one. Mel Brooks in his heyday with Harvey Korman, Peter Boyal, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn, a cameo by Gene Hackman and Gene Wilder at the reins. Wilder plays the grandson of Victor von Frankenstein. He refuses to believe his grandfather’s work had any merit until he visits the ‘old country’ and finds his journal. When he decides to try the experiments himself, hilarity ensues. Shot in black and white with the same techniques as movies from the 30’s (and with some of the same sets as the original “Frankenstein”) this flick is timeless, with great gags, great writing, and Teri Garr looking like a real honey.

    The Exorcist (1973) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070047/exorcist_poster
    Speaks for itself. If you ain’t seen it, see it. It’ll blow your mind. Scary, evil, disturbing. Interesting note: Max von Sydow played Father Merrin, the old priest. He was only 43 at the time. He also played the role of Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), and Director Burgess in Minority Report (2002). Talk about a career!

    the-changeling-posterThe Changeling (1980) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080516/
    Probably the best Ghost Story I’ve ever seen on film. George C. Scott stars as John Russell, a music composer who moves to a secluded vintage mansion outside of Seattle, hoping for some peace and quiet. What he gets are strange noises, visions, and visitations. As he unravels the mystery he gets drawn deeper into the web of the strengthening spirit. I don’t want to give anything else away! This has been one of my favorites from when I first saw it as a kid. Even though it was released in 1980, it has that old 60’s-70’s production style that makes it even creepier than any of the newer flicks can go for. Sure, new movies have great effects, but when they’re too slick they just don’t have that gritty creep factor.

    Ghost Story (1981) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082449/
    What happens when you get Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, Douglas Fairbanks and John Houseman together in their retirement years? A very creepy ghost story, that’s what. Add Patricia Neal, Alice Krige and a 50 year old bloody secret and you’ve got the makings of a very spooky film. 80’s production values are laughable, but if you can get past that it’s a fun flick to watch.

    christine_poster1Christine (1983) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085333/
    “She’s Death On Wheels” was the movie’s slogan. Another Stephen King adaptation, this time by John Carpenter. Nerdy teenager finds a beat to hell ’58 Fury “That’s uglier than he is”, spends all his time fixing it up and driving it, all the time becoming possessed by the demon car. It follows the book fairly well, but the way Carpenter translated the story to the screen has become legend. There’s even a Christine Car Club dedicated to restoring and preserving ’58 Plymouth Fury Christine clones (and a few real movie cars). With no computer graphics to help them, 25 Plymouths were used in the film, with about 15 of them being destroyed (which brought car guys like me to tears). It was later said that many of the destroyed cars were junkyard dogs anyway, didn’t run, didn’t even have engines, and were just painted rustbuckets used for the shots. A little Trivia: When my family and I went to see this in the movies around Christmas, 1983, we drove to the theater in my father’s ’64 Caddy. When we came out, people were pointing at his finned car and yelling, “It’s Christine!”…even though it was powder blue and didn’t look anything like a Fury! A few years later my Dad and I bought a ’59 Plymouth Savoy (with a ’58 front end on it) with the intention of making a Christine Clone. Turns out the motor was shot, and it was too much trouble to do it so we sold it back to the guy we bought it from for the same $200 we paid for it.

  • Creature Double Feature Movies for Mod Movie Monday: Satan’s Cheerleaders, 1977 and Cheerleader Camp 1988

    Posted on October 5th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    cheerleader-horror-posters

    It ain’t often I recommend a move I haven’t seen yet…but I truly dig Satan’s Cheerleaders, and needed another cheerleader horror flick to complete this week’s duo. I searched around and found a flick that looks like it will be a 10 on the cheesy, so-bad-it’s-good meter: Cheerleader Camp. So kats & kitties, without further ado, here’s

    Satan’s Cheerleaders from 1977

    and Cheerleader Camp from 1988

    What can be better than watching dim-witted cheerleaders get partially naked and wind up dead?

    Satan's Cheerleaders

    Satan's Cheerleaders

    How about them being victimized by a Satanic Cult-leading Lilly Munster? I first came across Satan’s Cheerleaders after discovering “The Cheerleaders” sort-of-trilogy from the ’70s. Satan’s Cheerleaders wasn’t part of it, but continued the cheerleader movie tradition in a very wicked way. It’s one of those late-70s, low budget movies where you just know the cutest girl was given and extra fifty bucks to do a topless scene. It features John Ireland and Yvonne De Carlo along with a small part by John Carradine, along with a bunch of jailbait that will make you wish the cheerleaders at your school were really like them. The special effects aren’t very special, and the movie doesn’t take itself very seriously which makes it lots of fun to watch. Poorly written, poorly acted, who cares; the girls are hot and you’ll be screaming at the ridiculousness of it all!

    Cheerleader Camp

    Cheerleader Camp

    Now this other flick, Cheerleader Camp…Haven’t seen it yet but I know it’s going to be a blast. It’s got a rating of two stars on IMDB which insures its absurdity. But how could you not enjoy a movie with Leif Garret and Teri Weigle (the porn star) from 1988? I would imaging the cheerleaders are loose and wear leggings even in the summer. Reviews point out that there is plenty of flesh and plenty of blood, and the plot is so bad you’ll have it figured out in the first five minutes…so you can sit back and enjoy the ’80s silliness without worrying about a plot!cheerleader-camp-betsy-russell-1

    Food & Booze: The cheerleaders at my high school drank Peppermint and Peach Schnapps, so I’d say take a shot every time someone gets slashed. Or your can try this recipe for

    The Bloody Cheerleader

    1 oz  Peach Schnapps
    1 oz  Coconut Rum
    1 oz  Silver Rum
    Cranberry Juice

    Fill a tall glass with ice and add the shots of peach schnapps and rums. Stir lightly, the way you’d softly touch a cheerleader on the third date, then add the cranberry so it looks like blood gushing in. Garnish with a cherry, of course.

    For food, I’m thinking camp stuff…hot dogs, burgers, pop corn, fries, maybe grill the dogs over an open fire. Finish things off with Devil’s food cake, of course. Or Devil Dogs. Or Deviled eggs. You get the idea.

    Here’s the trailer for Satan’s Cheerleaders:

    And for Cheerleader Camp (AKA Bloody Pom Poms, of course)

    Lilly Munster trying to be evil

    Lilly Munster trying to be evil

    – Tiki Chris reporting from the alter concealed behind the wall of the Tiki Bar.

    Tiki Lounge talk, you’re Halloween Headquarters for spooky movies all through October.

    Note: For the bloodiest, most disgusting murdered teenage cheerleaders ever put on mainstream film, see House of 1000 Corpses.