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  • Mod (Retro) Movie Monday: Speed Racer, 2008. Wait, what?

    Posted on November 15th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    speed-racer-movie-psp-wallpaper2008? Ain’t that too new to be played at the Tiki Bar?

    Well kids, this flick is actually bursting with nostalgia, retro-ness, and mod-a-ramic moods. It’s not just a kid’s flick based on the cartoon we all loved once upon a time – it’s a sort of a time capsule, throwing period stuff at us that will have you saying, “I remember that! We had one of those!” Here’s

    Speed Racer, 2008

    Let’s start, of course, with the car. A full-scale, drivable model of the original Mach 5 from the cartoon is featured in scene after scene. It’s unbelievable. It even has the push-buttons in the steering wheel, and the shark fins on the back fenders. Then there’s Speed’s family’s house. A cartoon-stylized mid-century modern-palooza, the interior of the house crams in everything from big flower patterns to bamboo to star clocks and bright, mod colors. And the outside – well, it looks like it would be on a 1950’s Plasticville train platform, for real. It’s a dream house for kats like us.

    Tell me you wouldn't live here if you could?

    Tell me you wouldn't live here if you could?

    Then there are the race tracks that Speed Racer flies around on. It didn’t take me long to realize these CGI tracks and cars are, in fact, based on the slotless slot-car tracks from the late 70s-80s (also incorporated into the video game).  You remember, the ones where you could cross lanes and knock other cars off the track…yeah, the do that in the movie.

    The clothes are kind of kookie too, reminding me of the Roaring 20’s revival of the late 60s-early 70s (I still have a few suits from that era that belonged to my Uncle in Philly). Sure, the movie is all CGI backgrounds and most was filmed on a green screen, but let me tell you the effect is A-OK.

    I always wanted a Mach 5. Maybe I'll build one myself.

    I always wanted a Mach 5. Maybe I'll build one myself.

    But what about the movie? Is it any good? Well, that’s going to have to be for you to decide. I dug it, a lot. To see that car and those characters come to life was enough for me. I don’t even know if the acting and writing was any good or not, honestly. The visuals had me from the minute it started. The visuals, and the theme song, of course. Some people dig it. Some think it’s stupid. Some think it’s ok. Whatever, it’s worth $3 to rent it just to see that car come to life.

    Food & Booze: There is a big to-do about pancakes, and of course Spridel & Chim Chim eat as much candy as they can get their hands on. So pancakes and candy for dinner. No? Hmmm. Well, since the original cartoon was from Japan, how about some Japanese food? You’re right, I don’t eat sushi. Ok, then let’s go with something sort of in between. A California Salad with bright, red cherry tomatoes and yellow peppers, chicken satay over white rice, and blueberry pie for dessert. At least the colors will match the movie. For booze – How about a

    Mach 5 Shooter

    1/2 oz. 151 Proof Rum
    1/2 oz. Crown Royal
    1/2 oz. Goldschlager
    1/2 oz. Jagermeister
    1/2 oz. RumpleMinze

    Layer and drink it down fast. This doesn’t sound like the tastiest drink, but I’ll bet it will knock you on your ass faster than five times the speed of sound!speed-racer-kitchen

    One more thing: I think Racer X might secretly be Speed Racer’s older brother. But I’m not sure. Maybe you can solve the mystery.

    -Tiki Chris P reporting from the garage next to the Tiki Bar at Tiki Lounge Talk, the swingin’ pad for mod-men and kookie kitties.

    speedracer-oldHey! Since you’ve come this far, here’s a couple’a video for you…

    The Movie Trailer…

    And the original opening from the Cartoon…

  • The Party, with Peter Sellers, 1968 – Mod Movie Monday at The Tiki Bar

    Posted on March 7th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    sellers-sitar-theparty Get out your Naru jacket, tune up the sitar and get ready to watch a truly mod movie from the psychedelic ’60s, baby! Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards got together only once to make a comedy that wasn’t about The Pink Panther.  The Party, 1968 is a crazy, mod, very ’60s flick about Hollywood craziness of the day, and spoofs a big hippie-era Hollywood party so well you’ll wish you were there.

    Peter Sellers plays an Indian actor named Hrundi V. Bakshi who is trying desperately to get his big break in American films. As you might expect, mod-movie-mondayshe does more harm than good on the set and gets himself put on the black list, only to be accidentally put on the invitation list to the big Hollywood shindig instead. Add every 1960s mod movie gag in the book, hot women, pot smoking musicians and a baby elephant and you can’t miss. And I guarantee, for the rest of your days every time you see a parrot, you’ll want to call him Birdy Num Num.

    You’ll have to put yourself in the era to enjoy this flick – it’s not exactly action-packed, theparty-girl-sellersand there’s no real story, just one funny scene after another. (According to IMDB: “This film was improvised from a 56-page outline. Each scene was shot in sequence, and built upon the previous scene. To aid in this experiment, the film’s producers had a video-camera tube attached to the Panavision camera and connected to an Ampex studio videotape machine, allowing the actors and crew to review what they had just filmed.”)theparty_elephant

    Since the movie is about a big swingin’ Hollywood party in 1968, suitable fare should include fondue, caviar, California salad and cucumber sandwiches. For drinks, Champagne would be grand, or Beefeater Martinis for the cocktail set.


    -Tiki Chris for Tiki Lounge Talk

  • Mod Movie Mondays: Casino Royal, 1967

    Posted on January 18th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    mod-movie-mondaysToday from the Tiki Bar, here’s a kookie flic that’s got so much insanity flying around you’ll have to watch it three times just to figure out what the hell is going on. Straight from swingin’ London during the heart of the Mod era comes

    James Bond 007 in Casino Royal

    This is a kinda-sorta real but not really part of the James Bond 007 series of movies…it was supposed to be the movie version of Ian Flemmings’ first James Bond novel, but Hollywood politics got in the way. Long story short, producer Charles K. Feldman decided to make it a spoof of the James Bond movies. Cut to Peter Sellers. Hilarity ensues.

    Casino Royale, 1967

    Casino Royale, 1967

    The Tiki-Time Scoop:

    This is the only James Bond film to offer multiple Bonds…David Niven stars as the retired James Bond, a somewhat stodgy fellow who is rather annoyed by the sexual antics of the new 007s. Peter Sellers stars as Evelyn Tremble, who becomes James Bond. Woody Allen plays Jimmy Bond. The list goes on…

    This spoof takes elements of the original story and twists them into an LSD-induced string of craziness that is fun to watch. The fact that Ursela Andress, Jaqueline Bisset and Deborah Kerr are in it don’t hurt. Throw in kats like William Holden, Orson Welles and George Raft, and you can’t miss.

    1967 Computer...hi tech stuff

    1967 Computer...hi tech stuff

    This truly “Mod” movie even includes original music by Burt Bacharach, much of it performed by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. “The Look of Love” is performed by Dusty Springfield behind one of my favorite 60’s Movie Scenes of all time, which includes glowing goldfish and a sunken living room.007-sellers

    I won’t try to give you a synopsis of the story…that would just make things more complicated. Just watch the silly film. It may be a little hard to take if you’re not into the scene. It’s strange, it’s odd, it’s a product of the times. It had six-plus separate directors. Sellers and Welles couldn’t stand each other and the scenes they were in together were shot separately using stand-ins.

    casino_royale_1967_gameSellers was so much trouble on the set he was fired before filming was over, and they re-arranged the ending of the movie around scenes he never shot. (There’s a lot of great trivia on the movie at IMDB, click here). It ran over budget and was one of the most expensive films produced up until that time. All in all, it managed to make it to the number 3 spot for 1967.

    How To Watch:casino-royale-bed

    I don’t dig drugs, but if I did, I’d want to be high on acid to watch this. Since that ain’t gonna happen, I’d suggest something a little far out there…for snacks, stuffed mushroom caps, escargot, assorted cheeses with pimentos and olives, you know, goofy 60’s stuff. For the booze, I think Martinis would be ok, but expand your mind for this groovy movie, try a Gin or Vodka Collins, a Harvey Wallbanger or maybe a nice Golden Cadillac.

  • OUR MAN FLINT – Mod Movie Mondays at the Tiki Blog, Baby!

    Posted on January 10th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments

    flintmod-movie-mondaysWell, it’s called Mod Movie Mondays at the Tiki Bar, and it don’t get any more mod than this!

    “Our Man Flint” 1966

    Are you hip to the swingin’ scene I’m laying down before you? Are you ready to get in the groove, and swing with the koolest kats and kittens in the galaxy? Are you ready to leave Dullsville and climb aboard the Mod-A-Rama express? Pull up a bean bag and get ready to be experienced with the grooviest, the ker-raziest, the most swinginest spy to make the scene…Derek Flint, the United States of America’s answer to to the Queen’s James Bond.

    James Coburn stars as Flint, the Renessance man/genius/karate expert/woman charmer spy who is, without doubt, the most unbelievable man in the world. He knows karate, designs and builds his own spy gadgets, and has a half a dozen groovy 60’s chick girlfriends living with him in his mod pad. He even speaks dolphin. And he always gets the bad guy. Or girl.

    ourmanflint-galaxyNot really sure why there were only two Flint movies, ‘Our Man Flint’ in ’66 and ‘In Like Flint’ in ’67. Maybe they were too Mod for the masses. Maybe they were too groovy to make the gravy. Maybe they were just a little too cornball, even for the ’60s. Whatever the case, After I first saw “Our Man Flint” years ago (by mistake, flipping through channels caught it on AMC back when they actually played old movies, without commercials) and fell in love with the whole idea. Apparently I wasn’t the only one…The Flint movies were to become the main fodder for Mike Meyers’ “Austin Powers” series. Hell, the cat even watches “In Like Flint” in one the AP movies! Watch the Flint Flicks, then watch the first two Austin Powers…you’ll see the inspiration, from the Fembots to the sound his two-way communicator makes. (Yes, ok, sure, Austin Powers movies’ plot lines are pretty much taken from 007 flicks and Matt Helm, but look for the details)flint-poster

    Watching this flick will really take you back to another time, a time lost in recent history, never to be seen again. The sets are so psychedelic you’ll think you’re on acid. The women are 1960’s sexpots galore. Even the restaurants are cool.

    The best way to dig this movie is with all the lights off and a couple of sand candles glowing softly. Burn some incense and dine on Welsh Rarebit and toast point while sipping burgundy wine, or serve Seagram’s 7 Manhattans and Wild Turkey on the Rocks (Flint is All-American, so British Gin and Russian Vodka is strictly off the list for this gig!)

    I hope this little rap has turned you on to some swingin’ fun. ZOWIE!