There’s A New Kid in Town: RETRO FAN Magazine


I frequent a place called Newsbreak, which has virtually every type of magazine you could ever ask for, from your tried-and-true legacy mags (TIME, PEOPLE, READER’S DIGEST) to the more esoteric (dedicated to things like raising chickens, bluegrass music, and mysticism). There are a few I pick up on a regular basis, mainly dealing with old movies: FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE, SHOCK CINEMA, and PHANTOM OF THE MOVIES’ VIDEOSCOPE, (along with my monthly fix of REASON, the magazine of libertarian thought). While browsing last week, I came across something new – the 1st issue of RETRO FAN, published by TwoMorrows, who are also responsible for publications like ALTER EGO (covering the Golden Age of Comics and edited by Roy Thomas), BACK ISSUE ( Bronze Age Comics), and JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR (’nuff said!).

The animated crew of The Enterprise

RETRO FAN is for people interested in pop culture past, and if you’re a reader of this blog, you’ll love it! The first issue is chock full of great articles. There’s an interview with Lou “The Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno, a piece about The Phantom on the Silver Screen by comic and TV writer Martin Pasko, a look back at STAR TREK: THE ANIMATED SERIES, Emmy-winning SPFX artist Ernest Farino’s childhood encounter with Lon Chaney Jr., and a trip to Mayberry (actually Mt. Airy, NC) complete with an interview with Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou). There are articles on collectible comics and toys as well, the whole gamut of retro nostalgia packed into 80 slick, colorful pages.

Editor/author Michael Eury

Editor Michael Eury has assembled a terrific new mag for fans who are into “The Creepy Cool Culture We Grew Up With”, including Yours Truly. Upcoming issues will feature horror hosts Zacherle and Elvira, Saturday mornings with Aquaman and The Groovy Goolies, an interview with SUPERMAN director Richard Donner, The Green Hornet, Ray Harryhausen, Thunderbirds, and a whole lot more. RETRO FAN is for the retro geek in all us, and has made my list of quarterly mags to purchase. If you’re into this sort of thing like me, you’ll want to pick up a copy, or go to TwoMorrows’ website and subscribe. And if you’re not… well, you’re missing out on some cool stuff, bunkie!

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Cracked Rear Viewer’s 3rd Anniversary!

Cracked Rear Viewer burst forth upon the blogging world on June 26, 2015. It doesn’t seem like three years have come and gone, and I’ve been grateful and humbled by the response, as this little blog dedicated to classic films and retro pop culture has grown by the proverbial leaps and bounds to 1,891 followers and counting via WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and emails subscribers!

More Stats

Many bloggers don’t like to admit it, but as for me, I’m an unabashed stat geek. I put a lot of time and efforts into my posts – between watching a film, doing research, looking for pictures, and first, second, and sometimes even third drafts – it can take up to eight hours to create one post! Not all at once, but you get my drift. So I like to see the fruits of my labor, and watching stats are a vital part of that. This is my 782nd post, with over half a million words written. Holy Thesaursus, Batman! There have been 84,645 views by 54,392 visitors, with the U.S.A the largest contingent, followed by the U.K., Germany, Canada, France, Australia, Brazil, India, Spain, and Italy. All told, Cracked Rear Viewer averages 77 views a day, which may not sound like a lot, but isn’t too shabby for someone who didn’t know the first thing about blogging three years ago.

THE TOP TEN

And now, here’s something that really piques my interest – Cracked Rear Viewer’s All-Time Top Ten Posts. It’s an eclectic mix, to be sure, reflecting the diversity of both the blog’s content and it’s viewership:

  1. Top Ten Reasons CASABLANCA is The Greatest Movie Ever Made!  (first published 8/28/18): My all-time favorite movie is Cracked Rear Viewer’s all-time champ! Though I’ve done several other pieces on the film (seeing it on the big screen , a new book review ), this one remains the most popular.
  2. Victim of Love: Clint Eastwood in THE BEGUILED  (4/12/16): I’ve done more than my share of posts on Cool Clint, like his trilogy with Sergio Leone , but thanks to the Sofia Coppola remake, THE BEGUILED has outperformed them all.
  3. Why I Think ERASERHEAD Sucks!   (11/10/15): I don’t pan many films, preferring to watch things I enjoy, but I’ve never been able to get into this David Lynch-directed mess. It’s just not for me.
  4. I Wish I Were A Fish: Don Knotts in THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET  (2/4/16): I didn’t think my love for Don Knotts comedies would do well, but this post just gains in popularity with each passing year. Go figure!
  5. (tie) Ride Away: John Wayne in John Ford’s THE SEARCHERS  (9/9/17) and Have a Bucket of Fun!: THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE  (8/9/15): Talk about diversity, you can’t have two films as different as these, both in a tie for 5th place all time. Call it The Duke meets AIRPLANE!


6 From the VHS Vault 2: THE VIOLENT YEARS  (4/22/17): Teenage girl gangs and a script by Ed Wood – how can you beat that combo?

A Star is Born in Monument Valley: John Wayne in John Ford’s STAGECOACH  (1/23/16): Duke and Ford again, the only star and director to repeat in the Top Ten. Simply one of the greatest Westerns ever made.

8 Cleaning Out the DVR Pt. 4: B-Movie Roundup! (11/8/15): One of my many  ongoing series posts (That’s Blaxploitation!, Rockin’ in the Film World , Creature Double Feature , Pre-Code Confidential ), this entry has capsule reviews of five B-films: KING OF THE UNDERWORLD, GO WEST YOUNG LADY, BAYOU, TWELVE HOURS TO KILL, and WANDA.

9 The Horror Stars of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (4/1/18): After watching the annual Easter broadcast of this Cecil B. DeMille epic, I dashed off this pictorial post highlighting the horror movie stars featured in the film. Much to my surprise and delight, it became the most popular post of 2018 so far!

10 Flesh & Blood: Marilyn Chambers in RABID (4/15/17): Take director David Cronenberg, add porn icon Marilyn Chambers, sprinkle liberally with plenty of gore, and you’ve got a movie people obviously still love. Another pleasant surprise!

WHAT’S NEXT?

What does the future hold for Cracked Rear Viewer? Quite frankly, I don’t know for sure. There may be some changes coming, it all depends on what happens in my personal life. I know for now the blog will continue to bring you “Fresh Takes on Retro Pop Culture” in some form or another, but what form that will take is uncertain. As always, I’d like to thank Lisa and the crew at Through the Shattered Lens  for allowing me to repost my musings, and especially to thank all you Dear Readers for your continued support. Here’s to you, and to another year of Cracked Rear Viewing!:


 

 

A Public Service Announcement

That mysterious respiratory ailment I had a couple weeks ago is back with a vengeance, with my fever spiking at times to 102. In order to beat this thing once and for all, I’ll be taking a (hopefully very brief) hiatus from the blog and it’s Facebook page. While I’m gone, feel free to scroll around the site – with 762 posts to choose from, I’m sure there’s something that’ll grab your interest!  –  Gary Loggins

The Secret Batman-James Bond Connection – Revealed!

FLASH! This breaking news story is brought to you by Cracked Rear Viewer, serving the film community since 2015!

It’s the story America (and the world) has been waiting for – the hitherto secret link between The Caped Crusader and Secret Agent 007. Proving once again this blog will go to any lengths to create some content  bring you the truth behind the Hollywood scenes! Our trail begins in the year 1943. WWII was raging across both oceans, and America needed heroes to defend the homefront. Columbia Pictures secured the rights to the popular comic book BATMAN, and presented a 15-chapter serial starring one Lewis Wilson (1920-2000) as Bruce Wayne/Batman, battling the evil Japanese saboteur Dr. Daka, played by the villainous J. Carrol Naish:

Wilson was married to the former Dana Natol (1922-2004), and in 1942 they had a son named Michael. Though the Wilson’s film career went nowhere, they did manage to costar in the 1951 camp classic WILD WOMEN (also known as BOWANGA BOWANGA) :

The Wilsons divorced a year later, and Lewis dropped out of show business. (The two events had nothing to do with WILD WOMEN!) However, Dana remarried in 1959 to a film producer named Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, who with his partner Harry Saltzman brought James Bond to the screen beginning with 1962’s DR. NO :

In fact, it was Dana’s recommendation that helped secure the lead for a semi-unknown Scottish actor named Sean Connery . Her son Michael, Cubby’s stepson, has produced or executive produced every 007 film since 1979’s MOONRAKER, and wrote the screenplays for FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, OCTOPUSSY, A VIEW TO A KILL, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, and LICENSE TO KILL. That’s right – the son of the original movie Batman is now the producer of the still-successful James Bond series!

As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know….. the rest of the story!”.

MONSTER KIDS CELEBRATE “THE SHAPE OF WATER” OSCAR VICTORY!

Fans of classic horror movies were dancing in the streets from Karloffornia to Transylvania when THE SHAPE OF WATER won the Oscar for Best Picture last night! After 90 long years, a genre-themed film was given the Academy’s top honor. Guillermo Del Toro, a lifelong fantasy and classic film fan, also received an Oscar as Best Director (and quoted Jimmy Cagney in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY in his acceptance speech!). Coincidentally, last night was the anniversary of the birth of William Alland , producer of THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, which served as an inspiration for THE SHAPE OF WATER. Somewhere in Hollywood heaven, Mr. Alland, director Jack Arnold, stars Richard Carlson, Richard Denning, Nestor Paiva, and Ben Chapman are all beaming with pride! (Happily, Julie Adams and Riccou Browning are still with us to join in the celebration).

More Oscar ramblings:

*The opening sequence, mixing old & new black and white footage, was a nice touch, as were the montage segments preceding the Best Actor, Actress, and Supporting presentations, brief though they were.

*Speaking of brevity, the show ran about three hours and forty-five minutes, way too long. Much as I enjoy Jimmy Kimmel as host (who even joked about the length of the Awards), maybe if they cut out some of the comedy bits, we film fans could get some sleep before Monday arrives!.

The delightful Eva Marie Saint

*Classic film buffs got a treat when 1954’s Best Supporting Actress winner Eva Marie Saint appeared to give out the award for Best Costume Design. The delightful Miss Saint had the line of the night: “I just realized something… I’m older than the Academy!” (She’s 93 years young)

*Sorry,  but Mark Hamill looked like shit, even in a tux. What happened, Luke Skywalker ? Sandra Bullock, on the other hand, is still a hottie far as I’m concerned!

*Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for GET OUT, another horror film. It was a great night for my favorite genre! Bravo, Jordan!

*89-year-old James Ivory, who has been making movies since 1953, won the Best Adapted Screenplay for CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. Bravo, James!

Blade Runner 2049

*Another veteran filmmaker, cinematographer Roger Deakins, finally copped an Oscar after 14 tries for BLADE RUNNER 2049. About damn time!

*Being the 90th anniversary of Oscar, I expected more classic film tributes than I got. Which brings me to the “In Memoriam” segment. Though Eddie Vedder did a fine job singing the late Tom Petty’s “Room at the Top” over the montage, once again the Academy omitted some true giants of the field. For instance, where was Anne Jeffreys? Tobe Hooper? Not to mention Lola Albright, William Peter Blatty, Don Pedro Colley, Don Gordon, Skip Homeier, Elena Verdugo, and so many others who contributed to the history of cinema? (For a more comprehensive list, click to my post IN MEMORIAM 2017: FILM & TELEVISION )

That’s all for now. See you at next year’s Oscars!

 

Cracked Rear Viewer is Now a Proud Member of CMBA

I’ve been accepted into The Classic Movie Blog Association, “a group of blogs dedicated to the celebration of classic cinema”, made up of film bloggers from around the Internet committed to keeping the memories of these great films alive, including many here on WordPress. I’m humbled at the honor, thank those who voted me in, and will do my best to uphold the standards of this fine organization of like-minded movie fans. Blog on!