Tag Archives: 1980s

Sneak Preview – Put Up Your Spooks

Episode #1 – Pilot

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Here is a sneak preview of our new spin-off podcast, Put Up Your Spooks! Ryan and Jeff rate and review horror tv anthologies from the 80’s and 90’s.

put up concept tvs fixed

This week’s theme: Pilots

Our first contender, from the wintry north, is ‘The Phantom Cab’, the pilot episode of 90’s kid show ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?

phantomcabmirror

Next comes ‘The Man Who Was Death’, the pilot episode of 80’s adult horror TALES FROM THE CRYPT.

The-man-who-was-death

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Lovecraftian K-Hole

It has been a long time since I’ve demanded my MTV, but every now and again I’ll catch a glimpse of a music video with some great Sci-Fi and Horror elements.

Allow me to play VJ for a moment and introduce a few videos.

1. 1983 by Neon Trees

I am always on the lookout for vampires. Something about this video, with its Zoltar machine wish opening and Lost Boys style carousel setting made my Vamp-sense tingle. I did not expect a brief cameo (at 3:18) from a fully grown Edgar Frog!

If you do not know who Edgar Frog is, please leave.

2. Thought Contagion by Muse

This suite of videos off the band’s album Simulation Theory is a shot gun blast of awesome sauce straight from the 1980s. There are vampires, werewolves, robots, Tron style VR chases, time traveling phone booths, and Terry Crews taking out Critters with a proton pack. It’s madness.

3. Odd Look by Kavinsky

This one is a bit older but I think some people missed it. Kavinsky is the magic, Ferrari driving zombie altar ego of a french electropop musician. The concept album OUTRUN is like the movie The Wraith. Did you see that one? That’s how cool the album is.

4. Bonfire by Childish Gambino

Before Donald Glover made Atlanta or This is America he was making interesting, experimental videos like these next two. Bonfire is a self-contained horror story set at a summer camp with a great twist.

5. Telegraph Ave by Childish Gambino

This one is full of chill vibes and gorgeous visuals leading to a shocking turn (at 3:40).

6. Deep Down Low by Valentino Khan

Want to see something really tentacular?  Check out the video for this house music track that looks like something Junji Ito might experience tripping on ketamine in Innsmouth.

 

For more music curated for genre fans, try my Music Page.

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An open apology to KITT

I am sorry.

It is with a heavy heart, hat in hand and tear stained cheeks that I grovel before you. I have spoken irresponsibly, making wild statements such as “KITT from Knight Rider has no offensive capabilities, Airwolf would destroy it every time.”

Mea culpa.

I have searched my heart, the television archives and numerous fan made wikis to set the record straight.

Of course KITT has offensive capabilities. Not only does it have a flamethrower and tear gas launcher, it has a frikkin’ laser!

Aim_Laser

I don’t know why I forgot this, as everything in the 80’s had mandatory lasers. Had G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K. and Rick Springfield’s music video for ‘Bop ‘Til You Drop’ taught me nothing?

 

To be sure, the laser was rarely used. It struggled with its power supply, calibration and range. While it may have failed to destroy the evil KARR, it did bullseye a weakspot the size of a quarter on Goliath.

How could a horizontal mounted short distance, 3 shot capacity laser possibly take down a super helicopter like Airwolf? Let’s start slicing apples and oranges (not with a laser, though. We only have 3 shots).

Let’s start with Defense:

KITT has the vaunted Tri-Helical 1000 MBS, the ‘Molecular Bonded System’ that makes it indestructible. It has been claimed to be resistant to everything except for heavy artillery and missiles. This is largely true – it has even shrugged off rounds from a gatling gun and high speed head on collisions (RIP KARR).

With its upgraded super pursuit mode, KITT can travel at 420 mph.

In addition to physical defenses like magnesium flares, smoke screens and oil jets, KITT has a dizzying array of electronic warfare capabilities including long distance sensors, and an almost magical electronic jamming systems that could control other machines. In Episode 26, “Merchants of Death” the Microwave Jammer’s power has been increased 3 times than its normal strength, strong enough to bring down a helicopter, but only when KITT managed to jump over it.)

Airwolf is bullet proof and armored, though not to the extent that KITT is. It does have enough of its own electronic counter measures that we may assume that it would not be the deciding factor in a confrontation.

Airwolf has 30mm cannons, .50 cal chain guns, and dozens upon dozens of missiles, all sufficient to exceed KITTS threshold of invulnerability. With a cruising speed of 350 mph and the option to kick it up to Mach 2 (over 1,400 mph) there is no way KITT could outrun it. With a flight ceiling of 89,000 ft and up, KITT’s short range laser won’t be very useful.

military-aircraft-airwolf

If ‘The Firm’ orders Airwolf to destroy KITT from on high with extreme prejudice, it would be over in minutes. Even with KITT’s anti-heat seeking flares, smoke screens and faster than human reflexes, the battle would be determined by overwhelming air superiority.

But let us imagine that the Foundation for Law and Government gets wind of The Firm’s hostile intentions. What advantage could a car possibly have over a supersonic high altitude weapons platform?

Teamwork.

michaelknight

KITT possesses advanced, general artificial intelligence. In retrospect, the fact that this was used to drive a Pontiac instead of irrevocably transforming the fate of mankind is insane, but perhaps there is a long game here that has yet to be revealed. I digress.

The important thing is that Airwolf’s crew members are confined to one vehicle, while KITT and Michael can operate independently.

Why would Airwolf ever give up its decisive advantage and get close to the ground? That’s just how its pilot, Stringfellow Hawke, rolls. He’s not the type to use chainguns on a man fleeing on foot. His preference is always low and slow, map of the earth stunt flying.

Airwolf_ii

If KITT were to play dead, perhaps after a spectacle of smoke screens and evasive driving, Michael could get out and run from Airwolf.

airwolf on foot

If Airwolf took the bait and came down low, KITT could turbo boost upto 40 feet in the air and either use its laser or simply ram its indestructible body into the helicopter.

turbo boom.gif

If you really want to think outside the box, KITT could use his Surveillance Mode to hack into The Firm’s systems and then use his Voice Synthesizer and Voice Stress Analyzer to call Archangel to coerce, threaten and blackmail him into calling off the attack.

So the next time you are at one of your glitzy cocktail parties and a group of people are debating 80’s action properties and dismissing Knight Rider, remember the frickin’ lasers.

Will I ever get back the time I spent researching this? Will you ever get back the time you spent reading it?

No.

And for that, I am sorry.


If you do like to go deep on pop culture action, perhaps you’d like my dark superhero novel CRITERION.

CRITERION is available now in print and digital at

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