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¡Películas muy locos, ay caramba! The awesomely lurid art of Mexican B-movie lobby cards

I don’t think I’m too far out on a limb in assuming that John Cozzoli probably has a completely amazing house. Cozzoli collects 20th Century monster movie ephemera, and he’s the best kind of collector—the kind who shares. He curates the online archive Zombos’ Closet, a vast trove of endearingly cheap thrills, including movie and book reviews, and scans of his collections of cinema pressbooks, goofy paper-cutout Halloween decorations, and his amazing collection of Mexican lobby cards from B-grade films. If you have time to descend into a serious rabbit-hole of marvelous trash-culture nostalgia, visit that site just as soon as you possibly can and revel in its contents. And if that’s not enough for you, Collectors Weekly ran a terrific in-depth interview with Cozzoli in 2012. But for now, enjoy some samples from his lobby card collection. This barely even scratches the surface of what he’s got to offer on his site. I went mostly for lurid horror, but he’s got TONS of luchador movie art, as well.

Cozzoli:There’s a mistaken belief that having a big budget guarantees a good movie: It doesn’t. Many movies with modest budgets have outdone movies with bigger pockets to draw from. I love seeing how creative a director and set designer can be when faced with limited resources to work from. Horror movies were originally A-listers, drawing notable actors and production teams. Over time they switched to B and C status as the studios realized they could still make a profit on a cheap movie. Even the bad movies sometimes show a sparkle of wit or style or dramatic directness that makes them enjoyable to watch.

While many Mexican lobby cards promote American movies, they also made cards for Spanish-language movies, often illustrated with vampires, witches, and mummies; Japanese movies, like those made by Toho Studios; and other non-Spanish-language movies. Really, just about any movie that could be shown in a local theater, foreign or domestic, had cards done for it. If the lobby cards were done for American or other non-Spanish-language movies, the compositions usually derive to some degree from the movie’s poster campaign, so these cards tend to be more, let’s say, sedate, and tone down the sex and mayhem. Spanish-language lobby cards are usually more vibrant and suggestive.

Monster kid and movie historian Professor Kinema (Jim Knusch) was the person who turned me on to these wonderful examples of movie promotion for theaters. It was while perusing his collection of lobby cards and pressbooks that I fell in love with both. One reason I focus on Mexican lobby cards is because at $5 to $10 a pop, they’re a lot cheaper than American cards, making them easier to collect. Additionally, Mexican cards for native Spanish movies are usually more colorful and dynamic, and the Mexican cards come in larger sizes, which make them more interesting and displayable.


Devil Bat’s Daughter, 1946

She Demons, 1958

The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues, 1955
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Pattern Behavior’: The funniest site you’ll see on the Internet today
06:28 am



Chicago comedian Natalie Kossar’s Pattern Behavior is the current hot-shit Tumblr blowing up the Twitterverse, and for good reason. Go there right now and laugh your ass off at her cleverly détourned sewing pattern packages.

According to Kossar:

After my mother insisted that I help her “use Google” to find a particular sewing pattern from 1989, I became fascinated and inspired by McCall’s vintage sewing patterns. Only instead of using them to make clothes, I decided to make these cartoons.

Kossar’s captioning style plays on the inherent dated tackiness of the painted models, creating modern “truthful” scenarios that apply snarky realism to the absurdity of the poses and positions—which are virtually crying out for explanation. She manages to do this without taking cheap, obvious shots. The results are hilarious, as you will see.

We dare you to find anything funnier on the Internet today.


More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
When Joni Mitchell recorded with Cheech & Chong…
06:19 am


Joni Mitchell
Cheech & Chong

Not that I need to hear another word about what a magical place California was in the 1970s for the rest of my life, but I guess it must really have been something if it could bring Joni Mitchell together with Cheech & Chong. In Cheech & Chong: The Unauthorized Autobiography, Chong says that Mitchell was romantically involved with Cheech, and that she witnessed the conception of the duo’s immortal teen rebellion anthem, “Earache My Eye.” The place is Malibu, the year 1972:

Cheech rented a house in the Hollywood Hills and became the party guy in town. Without [former girlfriend] Barbie he was a free man. While he dated a bevy of eligible Hollywood ladies, one in particular fed my admiration for the Cheech charm. Joni Mitchell, the genius Canadian songwriter, was entangled with Cheech for a while. Gaye Delorme, the guitarist, was staying with Cheech when Joni was over with David Geffen, who was Joni’s personal manager at the time. Gaye was trying to convince Joni to buy a Canadian-built acoustic guitar, but David Geffen shot the deal down when he said he didn’t especially like the guitar. David knew the music business and Joni respected his opinion, so she passed on the guitar. This did not stop the Canadian from trying. Gaye wrote the music and the riff for a tune soon to be known as “Earache My Eye”... or “Mama Talking to Me.” Gaye came up with the music and the first line, “Mama talking to me,” and I added, “trying to tell me how to live, but I don’t listen to her cause my head is like a sieve… My daddy he disowned me cause I wear my sister’s clothes. He caught me in the basement with a pair of panty hose.”

The story ends abruptly in the book, but Chong picks it up again in this recent interview with Rolling Stone:

That was a trip, too, because [Gaye] was staying with Cheech at that time, and Cheech was dating Joni Mitchell—or at least he went out with Joni Mitchell one time—and there was Joni Mitchell and David Geffen, and Gaye Delorme came out of the bedroom, and he said “Listen,” and he played the [“Earache My Eye”] riff.


On Court and Spark, Mitchell enlisted Cheech & Chong to contribute a few spoken lines to her rendition of “Twisted,” a jazz song by singer Annie Ross and saxophonist Wardell Gray. Ross recorded the song with the vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, a group Mitchell refers to as “my Beatles”:

In high school, theirs was the record I wore thin, the one I knew all the words to.


Biographer Mark Bego writes that “Twisted” was the first song Mitchell recorded that she had not written herself. She paid Cheech & Chong a high compliment, so to speak, by inviting them to fill in for the other two members of the trio she idolized as a teenager. If this jazz thing is too sophisticated for you, fast forward to 1:47 to hear Cheech and Chong’s cameo.

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘Window-Shopping through the Iron Curtain’: Stark images of scarcity under communism
02:49 pm



Moscow, 1990, Lipstick
One of the things people tend to overlook when skimming (or pretending to have read) Marx is his appreciation for the pleasures that industrial capitalism has bestowed upon us. The factory, for all its horrors visited upon the working class, also brought with it the mass production of food, valuable time-saving devices and more affordable basic comforts. Capitalism’s “invisible hand” made things quicker, and cheaper. The goal of communism was never to reverse that progress, but to socialize the means of production so that workers actually benefited from the wealth they produced.

Experiments in state communism tended to fail spectacularly on that front. Communist countries often dealt with shortages—some of them quite dire—due to blockades, mismanagement of resources, the limitations of their own geography, a poverty of resources and often simply the inability to industrialize fast enough (you’re not going to turn a rural region of Kazakhs into Detroit overnight). Photographer David Hlynsky’s fascinating new book Window-Shopping through the Iron Curtain is a stark look at life under communism from the POV afforded by the often threadbare, low rent storefronts of Poland, the USSR, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and East Germany. A far cry from the window-shopping most of us in the West are familiar with, the (usually) spare window displays don’t exactly inspire a consumerist frenzy—not that most citizens could indulge in a ton of casual consumption anyway. Some of the windows were actually so bare of goods that the businesses apparently attempted to distract the eye with cheerful, often quite dynamic decor, but the effort is a bit transparent, and it does little to alleviate the austere effect.

Moscow, 1990, Uniforms

Crakow, Poland, 1989, Vase with small shoes

Moscow, 1990. Poultry and eggs
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Shitty toupée could land man in jail
02:17 pm



No, this isn’t the offending toupée.

A Norway man is finding himself in hot water and could possibly face jail time after cutting off his own hair and beard and then gluing it another man’s head in an attempt to create an awesome looking toupée.

According to attorney Harald Bilberg, everyone involved consented to this rather peculiar method. “He was bald, so the accused claims that they had agreed to create a toupée for the aggrieved party,” said Bilberg.

Bilberg admits this is one of the most unusual cases he’s ever taken on.

The man responsible for the shitty toupée is only being described as someone in his 40s who has done some other petty crimes before.

The Local did say that the offending toupée maker, “was arrested once again on Friday after breaking the restraining order imposed to protect the recipient of the home-made toupée.”

via The Local and Arbroath

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dainty teacups filled with Cthulhu and other eldritch creatures
12:40 pm



Brisbane-based artist Michael Palmer creates these fierce looking sea-dwelling creatures that sit within a dainty teacup full of “tea.” The “tea” is actually resin, so you can’t drink out of these. Bummer.

More than anything, they’re just awesome to look at and would make a cool gift for someone.

Even though an Ood from Doctor Who doesn’t technically live in water, I’d like to see one of those within a teacup.

You can purchase these cups from Voodoo Delicious on Etsy. Each (nonfunctional) teacup will run you about $45.



via Bored Panda

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
You can have your very own doorknob from ‘Alice in Wonderland’
09:50 am



Now you can outfit your entire house with the doorknob from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. If you recall, the doorknob is the one responsible for advising Alice to drink and eat all those funky drugs.

Item is made with a real doorknob and are sculpted of very strong, chip proof, polyurethane resin painted gold\brass.

Anyway, the doorknob is a kit you put together. It looks pretty easy to do. It’s $85 + shipping by Esty shop Prop Sculptor.



via Geekologie

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Astonishing matte paintings from ‘Ghostbusters’
09:37 am


matte paintings

Ghostbusters is one of the most iconic movies of all time—it was the most successful comedy of the 1980s, by far, and that’s an objectively true statement—it was the #6 grossing movie in that decade, behind (in order) E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Return of the Jedi, The Empire Strikes Back, Batman, and Raiders of the Lost Ark (box office figures from Box Office Mojo).

The question arises, Why was it so successful? Strictly considered as comedy, it doesn’t hold a candle to other movies of the era, such as Night Shift, Better Off Dead, Vacation, Airplane!, just to name a few. Aside from the obvious charm of its lead actors, Ghostbusters succeeds because of its scale, its status as a movie that’s both scary and funny (like Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein) in which all of Manhattan Island takes a righteous beating.

As it happens, Ghostbusters employed the talents of two of the nation’s leading matte artists, being Matthew Yuricich, a veteran of the trade who had worked on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Logan’s Run, Point Blank, Blade Runner, and North by Northwest, and Michelle Moen, called by Richard Edlund, the movie’s visual effects supervisor, “one of the best, if not the top, matte painters in the business.” A movie as successful as Ghostbusters benefits from key contributions from every corner, but if you wanted to argue that the movie’s matte artists were as responsible for its success as its actors, I wouldn’t argue.

Film is obviously a 2-D medium most of the time, which is what allows for the possibility for jaw-dropping visual trickery such as this. Taking in scenes like this, or scenes from Star Wars and Blade Runner, the mind knows that the images aren’t actually possible but it never occurs to the viewer that maybe somebody could paint a landscape that detailed and specific. But people can do that very thing—they’re visionaries who are responsible for some of the most indelible images of cinema history.

Many of these photos come from the indispensable blog Matte Shot.







Here we see how the shot is a combination of three different elements.


Here’s Yuricich working on the painting directly above.

via Tombolare

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
This is your brain on ‘shrooms: Why magic mushrooms make you trip
07:12 am



Speaking (writing?) as a longtime, er, aficionado of the fabulous fungi and the veteran psychonaut of many a wild psychedelic experience (I’ve had some doozies) I enjoyed watching this short animatation that explains the how and the why of tripping on psilocybin mushrooms.

There’s only really one way to do mushrooms properly, if you ask me, and that’s what Terence McKenna called a “heroic dose”—five grams of dried cubensis taken in the dark with no music (and the doors locked and the phone turned off). When you come out the other end, you’ll be… uh… reborn.

Or something like that. It’s probably the single most direct route to a spiritual experience available to human beings, like tapping into the engine room of the universe and meeting God (or gods!). Quantum physics will start to make a lot of sense afterwards, trust me on that one…

Imagine being the first person who discovered them, right?

via Raw Story

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Wrecks: Raging early 80’s proto-riot-grrl hardcore band’s demo, gloriously resurrected for you
07:10 am


The Wrecks

The Wrecks were a raging early ‘80s, all-female, hardcore band from the “Skeeno Hardcore” scene of Reno, Nevada. Considered by Seven Seconds to be a “sister band,” they were a bit of an anomaly at the time—four teenage girls playing ultra noisy, brutal hardcore. Certainly, they were mining similar musical and thematic territory that Bikini Kill would become famous for ten years later. Their “claim to fame” was a single song, “Punk is an Attitude”, which was included on the widely-distributed Not So Quiet on the Western Front compilation LP, released by Maximumrockandroll magazine in 1982. Their drummer, Lynn, went on to play with hardcore gods, The Dicks. Watch some incredible footage of her Dicks tenure here.

Lynn of Reno’s The Wrecks. Touch and Go #19

The excellent blog One Chord is Enough has a detailed post compiling several vintage reviews and interviews with The Wrecks:

“This band hails from Reno, Nevada and is composed of four teenage girls that do mostly all hardcore material. The nine songs on this tape are definitely not of the slam’n'thrash variety but are more akin to art damage, sorta like Flipper. Anyway everything here is original and well, kinda weird. Broken-up rhythms and strange singing abound but this stuff really does grab ya after repeated listenings. Also the lyrics are top notch and these girls definitely have something to say! They deal with subjects such as high school, Cuban refugees, and the all important question about drug use. What ya got here is a fairly rewarding tape from a rebellious crew of teenage girls ready to shake up the system.” Frankie DeAngelis (Ripper #7, May 1982)



“The Wrecks were one of the first all-female hardcore punk bands. They rocked Reno from 1980 to 1982. Two of the members went on to form the still-active Imperial Teen: Lynn Truell and Jone Stebbins. Lynn was just named one of the 100 best alternative-rock drummers by Spin magazine, which neglected her time in The Wrecks but included her drumming in The Dicks and Sister Double Happiness.” Mark Robison

Hear the Wrecks after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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