Published March 8, 2016
Ads , Unproduced Films
I recently talked about Milton Subotsky’s Thongor: In the Valley of the Demons, scheduled for a 1979 release and nearly the first sword and sorcery film, and now I find out that Paul Morrissey had plans along the same lines in 1977. Of course, plans for a live-action The Lord of the Rings film go back to 1969, and there were several earlier films (Harryhausen’s fantasy output, notably) that are true to the spirit of sword and sorcery, all the way back to Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen (1924). However, the phrases “sword and sorcery” and “heroic fantasy” weren’t coined until 1961 and 1963, respectively, and were meant to describe a very specific genre descended from the pulps.
Paul Morrissey is best known for directing a number of barely watchable Andy Warhol vehicles in the late ’60s and early ’70s, and I’m not sure Torc would have been any better. The Variety ad, meant to garner interest at Cannes, is clearly trying to emulate the underground fantasy comics of the time, including Heavy Metal and Richard Corben’s Fantagor.
(Image via Temple of Schlock)
Tuck those t-shirts in, nerds. You wouldn’t want to get beat up or anything.
(Photo via SA_Steve)
The ads are via Roboplastic Apocalypse, the most comprehensive robot toy site on the internet. Notice that Santa is riding the Viper in the first ad, followed by his other outer space reindeer. Very clever.
The last ad features Combatra, the priciest item on the Shogun Warriors menu, selling mostly at high end department stores for $49.99 or more. There’s a great entry on the toy at CollectionDX, where I got the pictures below. Click on the link to see all five vehicles combine into a giant robot, long before Matchbox’s Voltron entered the fray.
The artist is Terre, who is closely associated with Haight Ashbury’s Straight Theater, which is identified on the middle left of the map. The exotic fruit hanging from the various branches, as well as the mountains at the bottom of the ad, are direct allusions to Barbara Remington’s cover art for the first authorized paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings.
According to SFist, in 2013 the awning of a beauty salon was removed in North Beach, San Francisco, revealing a beautiful, hand-painted sign (below) of what was once a second Middle Earth Clothing location.
See also A Change of Hobbit Bookstore.
(Images via eBay and SFist)
Beautifully illustrated ads that originally appeared in the comics section of the Sunday paper. They sold recently on eBay for a large sum.
50 pieces of Bazooka bubble gum for 79¢? A Spider-Man costume for $1.98? Speaking of which, the Ben Cooper Spider-Man costume is probably the first Marvel licensed product, originally appearing in 1963, just a few issues into the comic’s run. It’s got a very interesting story that you can read at Hero Envy.
The Quest of the Magic Ring board game, seen below, was published in 1975 by Land of Legend, the placer of the ad on the right. You can see more photos at Board Game Geek. The first board game based on Tolkien’s work is probably Conquest of the Ring (Hobbit Toy and Games, 1970).
The ad image is via Butterfly Mind, where you can see more of the Rolling Stone issue. “Come to Middle Earth” and “Frodo Lives!” were slogans adopted by the counterculture starting in the late 1960s.
Look at that Grand Prize, nerds! A “futuristic video room,” an Atari 800, and Atari’s Star Wars coin-op! I also dig the Darth Vader Speaker Telephone, even though it looks like a blender.
I love how the entry form requires at least some rudimentary knowledge of the movie and the game (which I never played). The ad art is very Berkey-esque.
Ad is from Starlog #76 (November, 1983) via Martin Kennedy. (If you’re not following Kennedy’s Tumblr, you’re really missing out.)
- The Frank Zappa poster (he was an outspoken atheist)
- The young lady who’s demonstrating the scale of the trippy “wall n’ ceiling” poster
- The headbands
- The hefty price of the black light fixtures ($17.95 is about $105 in today’s money)
The ad is from a 1971 Co-Ed magazine via Phoney Fresh.
Models in the first four ads are, from top to bottom, Morgan Brittany (Dallas, Glitter), Lauren Hutton (Lassiter, Once Bitten), Tom Berenger (eating spaghetti, for some reason), and Bruce Jenner. Brittany and Jenner hosted the second season of Star Games (1985-1986), a sports competition show featuring teams of celebrities.
The Swatch craze was absolute madness, and probably the first time I had a real conception of economic class. There were so many fashions and fads going on at the same time, and only the kids with money could keep up with them. The idea was to wear as many Swatches as possible (wrists, arms, ankles), and the gluttonous, neon ’80s did not disappoint.
(Images via Wishbook)
Published May 5, 2015
Ads , D&D , TSR
The back cover of Fantastic Films #17.