1. Original Total Recall Concept Art – My love of the original Total Recall is well documented here. As a sci-fi movie, it’s great. As an action movie, it’s pretty much perfect. I even read the Piers Anthony novelization of the movie (several times) and prefer it to what ended up being the movie, even though it’s pretty terribly written. I even enjoyed the heck out of the 2012 remake – come on, it was fun!
Before Paul Verhoeven became the director of the 1990 Total Recall, David Cronenberg (The Fly, Scanners) was exploring the project. Here’s some concept art that Ron Miller came up with for Cronenberg’s version – a version that would have had a lot more Kuato screen-time, and that alone makes me pine for what could have been.
Here’s Cohaagen’s office – check the link for more great art.
Also, Kuato turned into a Sphinx! Way better than the Pyramid Mines!
2. Showbiz Pizza – The Professor Moriarty to Chuck E. Cheese’s Sherlock Holmes, Showbiz Pizza was a Pizza/Video Game establishment in the ’80s that featured animatronic entertainment, the latest arcade games, mediocre pizza, and plenty of headaches for parents. I loved it. The distinguishing feature of Showbiz was the Rock-afire Explosion, a band made up of several different animatronic animals.
There was Fatz Geronimo, a terrifying keyboard-playing gorilla; Dook LaRue on the drums, and the Sun even stepped down from his celestial duties to join in on a song or two. The leader of the bunch was Billy-Bob, the mascot of Showbiz Pizza. He didn’t really perform with Rock-afire, though, if I remember correctly; he was a solo act.
ANYWAY, Showbiz Pizza was some bizarre alternate reality tavern for kids. There were pitchers of soda, thick carpets, barstools, animatronic entertainment, and video games. It was also pretty poorly lit. Here’s a glimpse of the insanity:
And a 1981 ad:
3. Moon Zero Two – I was turned on to this movie by Mystery Science Theater 3000, and it’s one of a handful of movies featured on that show that intrigue me outside of the riffing.
For one, it’s got great design of a moon colony – the architecture, outfits and even the goofy-looking vehicles are awesome. Also, it’s got a fun idea for a plot – a heist of a valuable meteor that involves knocking off prospectors on the moon frontier. That’s pretty rad. And there’s a super-loose free jazz soundtrack! Unfortunately, it’s really slow and poorly acted and doesn’t really make for a very good watching experience. Perfect for MST3k, though!
Here’s a great example of all the best stuff about this movie:
4. Logan’s Run Television Series – So naturally, since Logan’s Run the movie was such a hit, plans were made to make it into a series.
I’m pretty fond of the movie’s take on futuristic architecture and the ambient soundtrack. The series has little to none of this. It basically re-makes the movie in its first episode and then sends Logan and Jessica across the country, scraping up the dredges of civilization. It sounds like a really awesome premise, but the series is just awful. The intro illustrates this well – it takes the subtle, pristine future that’s laid out in the movie’s dome city and ’70s-action-shows it up:
5. Jack and the Beanstalk View-Master – Another gem from View-Master World, this one features a claymation Jack and the Beanstalk.
Awesome. I always thought of View-Master slides as being photographs – the claymation is odd, but great! Check out the rest here.