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So here’s a ‘Yellow Submarine’ bass and of course WE WANT IT
06.14.2017
09:33 am
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The Painted Player Guitar Co. is a British team of luthiers and artists located in Basingstoke. They do some truly elite work, making dazzling guitars and modifications, offering instruments with vivid pop-art paint jobs, gorgeous custom refinishes, and relic work that closely matches the worn finishes of famous individual guitars played by the likes of David Gilmour, Rory Gallagher, and Andy Summers. The galleries on their web site are a droolworthy trove of guitar porn, but there’s one item in particular that amazes above all others: this bass themed after the titular vessel in the triptastic 1968 animated Beatles film Yellow Submarine.
 

 

Truly amazing in every way, this original concept from The Painted Player puts the legendary ‘Yellow Submarine’ quite literally in your hands!  Beautifully hand crafted, this stunning bass guitar utilises a combination of a fully hand-crafted Alder body with Precision Bass influences while featuring hand-painted artwork that brings the whole piece to life.  A musical icon as well as an animated legend, the ‘Yellow Submarine’ Bass is a must for the dedicated Beatles fan and the avid bass player alike, those who dare to stand out on stage.

 

 

 

 
The bass’ body is a custom build, and its neck, bridge and electronics are harvested from Fender Precision Basses—and BOY, I’d sure love to find the dumpster where they chuck the discarded bodies. Thoughtfully, Painted Player offers budget-minded players and enthusiasts who just want these as objets d’art and so don’t care if the electronics are top-notch the option to have their submarine made from a less expensive bass, though due to the custom built body and hand painting, even the entry level version is hardly cheap—low end models start at £1,299 (about $1650 USD).

Painted Player also offer much less elaborate but still quite stunning Yellow Submarine themed Les Pauls.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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06.14.2017
09:33 am
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Blood and Steel: Punk meets skateboarding at the Cedar Crest Country Club
06.13.2017
09:30 am
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The invention of the polyurethane wheel in 1972 literally reinvented the wheel for the modern skateboard. While Team Zephyr etcetera were tearing up the empty pools of the west coast, it wasn’t for another decade that underground skateboarding began to seep into the cul-de-sacs of suburban America. More than just a surfer fad, skateboarding echoed the defiant self-expression of the nation’s youth subcultures. So it was no surprise then, that the sport often gravitated toward the thriving punk movements of the era. Ever the locale for political discomfort, Washington DC under Reagan was a mecca of punk and hardcore, with bands like Minor Threat and Bad Brains setting the nation’s pulse. Obviously, the skate culture came along with it.

The only problem was, in DC there was nowhere to skate. The short-lived scene saw a demise in the mid 80s, with the closing of the city’s only parks and backyard ramps. That was, until the Cedar Crest Country Club. Located in the middle of a forest in Centreville, Virginia, the half-pipe was built in March 1986 on the property of a golf club. The property owner’s son was given free-reign on expenses, resulting in the construction of a ramp like none other. Besides its behemoth-like qualities, the most notable feature of the ramp was its steel bottom, which ensured maximum speed and higher air time. There was nothing else in the country like it at the time, and it was free to ride if you could make the hour trek outside of the District.
 

Tony Hawk skates Cedar Crest
 
Before long, people from all over the world were dropping in at CCCC. Some of the world’s greatest skaters, like Tony Hawk and Bucky Lasek, all came out to skate. Camping was allowed, and people started showing up for the punk shows they had on the ramp. Bad Brains played, along with Government Issue, GWAR, and Scream (with a young Dave Grohl on drums). Fugazi was scheduled to play CCCC for one of their earliest shows, but the cops broke it up during the opener’s set (evening skating resumed, however).
 

 

 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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06.13.2017
09:30 am
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‘The Bird with the Crystal Plumage’: New trailer for 4K restoration of Dario Argento’s dark debut
06.12.2017
03:25 pm
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Dario Argento’s impressive directorial debut, the 1970 Italian giallo, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, has just been given the 4K restoration treatment by Arrow Video, and on June 20th, Arrow’s limited edition Blu-ray/DVD set will be released. The package is well on its way to being sold out, but more on that in a moment.

In addition to this being his first time behind the camera, Argento also wrote The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. Inspired by the 1949 pulp novel, The Screaming Mimi, the film concerns an American writer working in Italy who randomly witnesses a woman being stabbed by a mysterious figure clad in black—but is that really what he saw?
 
Bleeding
 
At this early stage, Argento was very much influenced by the films of Alfred Hitchcock, particularly Psycho (1960), though Hitch’s The Birds (1963) gets a few nods here, too. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a mystery thriller/crime drama, with elements common in later slasher films—all characteristics of the giallo genre. The idea of being trapped, like a bird in a cage, is a frequent theme, resulting in a claustrophobic, tense atmosphere.
 
Knife
 
Some Argento trademarks are already on display here, like the framing of brutal murders at the hand of a mysterious killer, and the use of vivid colors—especially red. He’d really come into his own with the supernatural horror movies, Deep Red (1975) and Suspiria (1977), but The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a praiseworthy first outing for the director and very much worthy of your film library.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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06.12.2017
03:25 pm
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Before ‘Dolemite,’ Rudy Ray Moore was an accomplished early rock and roll singer
06.09.2017
09:33 am
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Rudy Ray Moore is best known for his Dolemite character which appeared in a string of low-budget 1970s blaxploitation films. His jive-talking, rhyme-spitting comedian/pimp/martial artist character has become a cultural icon and has been homaged by Mad TV and in the loving blaxploitation tribute, Black Dynamite.

Moore’s best films, Dolomite, The Human Tornado, Disco Godfather, and (my personal favorite) Petey Wheatstraw have all been recently reissued in gloriously fully-loaded, ultra-deluxe Blu-ray editions by boutique label Vinegar Syndrome, and I can’t recommend them enough for fans of ‘70s so-bad-it’s-good grindhouse fare.
 

Rudy Ray Moore, straight pimpin’, in “Petey Wheatraw, The Devil’s Son in Law.”
 
Though Moore, who left this mortal coil in 2008, sold thousands of spoken-word “party records” as a comedian, he is not widely remembered for the dozens of records he released as a musician. Moore is considered by many to be “the Godfather of rap,” as his rhymed “toasting” storytelling style is often cited as one of the great inspirations on that musical genre; but Moore’s own musical recordings are, by and large, straight r&b and early rock and roll affairs, with many of the early singles demonstrating obvious Little Richard and Chuck Berry influences. 

His talent as a singer rivals his talents as a comedian and martial artist—and depending on your level of Rudy Ray Moore fandom, that is either a slight or high praise.

I’ll let you be the judge.

Have a listen after the jump you no-good, rat-soup-eatin’ motherfuckers…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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06.09.2017
09:33 am
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Brain-melting video mix documents insane cultural responses to ‘Star Wars’ in the ‘70s and ‘80s
06.08.2017
10:44 am
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Cinefamily has been programming films and events at L.A.’s legendary Silent Movie Theater for almost ten years. They’ve also created deep dive video mixtapes assembled entirely from found footage, on subjects including but not limited to cults, Bigfoot, Christploitation, video games, David Bowie, and cats—but those have always been screened for Cinefamily’s theatre audiences, and have never been shared online until now, with the YouTube release of Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars.

Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars is exactly what the title says—a feature length collection of found footage from the 1970s and ‘80s, all related to the utterly seismic phenomenon that the first Star Wars movie became, but with no footage from Star Wars itself. There are goofy news segments, character costume dance numbers, commercials, clips from talk shows, clips from Star Wars actors’ pre-Star Wars films, including then-teenaged Carrie Fisher’s immortal query of Warren Beatty in Shampoo. There’s a completely bonkers bit from Sesame Street showing Big Bird attempting to communicate with R2D2. There are Star Wars disco crossovers. There’s Gary Coleman as a Jedi. There’s an ad for Chewbacca gum, because GET IT? CHEW? OH, THAT IS RICH!

There’s a disquieting and baffling clip that seems to show a Tusken Raider watching a woman in a chicken mask getting fucked from behind.
 

Seriously, WHAT?

The effect, in the end, is kind of a documentary film about the ubiquitous sensation that movie became, the ridiculous responses people had to it, and all the ways in which it was embraced. The story is told entirely with a barrage of clips—every single one of them fascinating in its own right—that resembles underground video compilations from the ‘80s.

Cinefamily’s creative director Marcus Herring talked to DM about it in an email exchange:

My creative partner Tom Fitzgerald and I made the mix for the theatre. We kinda wanted to get back to a time when Star Wars was new and fresh and rare, especially in light of the fact that a new Star Wars movie will be coming out every year from now until the end of time. It’s easy to forget that there was a time when Star Wars was new, before the Comicon empire, before Wookiepedia, and before the very idea of being a Star Wars Fan became a sort of codified identity. We’re not getting into the mythology about the universe, character backstories, the extended universe, the gravitational orientation of the gun turrets on the Millennium Falcon or any of the boring stuff that turns normal people off of Star Wars. This mix is more about lots of different kinds of people from all around the world having pure fun with Star Wars, whether it’s the bizarre interpretations of the iconography on Euro TV or the early homemade versions of Star Wars made by American kids back in the 70s/80s. There is a sort of edutainment aspect to the mix as well, because it’s also the story of the films and the filmmaking, all told without taking it too seriously.

Most of the mixtape footage is very rare, or at least buried by time and the sheer volume of video material devoted to Star Wars. We’ve been collecting this stuff for a long time, collecting weird and rare video about all kindsa subjects is what we do. We think fans will love it of course, but really it’s Star Wars for people who might not necessarily even care that much about Star Wars. We wanted to make sure that it’s coming from a place of love and fascination, even if a lot of the clips are gonzo. A lot of people dish on Lucas these days, but I think the audience will be refreshed to see him in our mixtape presented as the young, techy, artsy, and interesting guy who gave the world this awesome gift.

 
Watch ‘Star Wars Nothing But Star Wars’ after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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06.08.2017
10:44 am
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‘I’m Now’: The Mudhoney documentary
06.07.2017
12:23 pm
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Without Mudhoney, there’s no grunge scene writ large and so therefore there’s no Nirvana either. A bold claim to be sure, but not too controversial when you consider that Mudhoney was the first band from Seattle during that era to make a major splash outside of the Pacific Northwest, which had the effect of attracting area musicians to the city while also putting the world and major record labels on notice.

If you were a fan of the grunge movement as it was happening, you’ll be sure to enjoy the 2012 documentary I’m Now: The Story of Mudhoney, directed Adam Pease and Ryan Short. It’s chock full of amusing tidbits.

For instance: Mark Arm’s day job is managing the Sub Pop warehouse. When you order something from Sub Pop, there’s a decent chance that Mark Arm himself is the person who seals it in cardboard for shipping.

The movie covers Mudhoney’s origins as a high school band called Mr. Epp, in which both Arm and Steve Turner played. Later on, Arm’s band Green River, whose LP was Sub Pop’s first release, broke up, and Arm instantly got on the phone to cajole Turner into forgoing his studies and joining forces.

Arm is touted in the movie as the originator of the term grunge but with typical humility he hastens to point out that the word was originally applied to Australian bands such as the Scientists and Beasts of Bourbon. In voiceover, a band member acutely observes that the term was really “a different way of saying punk rock.”

Legendary Seattle producer Jack Endino mentions that his only comment upon hearing the band play was, “Are you sure you want the guitarist to be this dirty?”

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.07.2017
12:23 pm
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If ‘Get Out’ and ‘Logan’ and ‘Stranger Things’ existed as VHS tapes in the 1980s
06.01.2017
08:32 am
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It seems like yesterday, but it was actually more than two years ago that we presented readers with some recent TV and movie hits done up most excellently as old-school VHS covers. At that time the featured titles were Game of Thrones, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad.

Today we bring you the very similar output created by a shadowy figure named Steelberg, whose wildly entertaining Instagram account uses the handle iamsteelberg. The only things we really know about Steelberg is that he or she lives in California and really, really loves old VHS rental tapes from the 1980s. The cheesy details on these fanciful re-creations are priceless, from the ragged and sometimes splintered edges of the plastic casing to the gratuitous non-sequitur stickers some clerk popped on there years ago to the uninspiring typefaces.

It almost makes you want to reach for the tracking button to clear away some of the “snow” off the TV screen.

I must say that I dig Steelberg’s taste in movies. Many of my recent faves are accounted for—I was especially pleased to see The Lobster, Blue Ruin, Bone Tomahawk, and It Follows represented.
 

 
Much more after the jump….....
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.01.2017
08:32 am
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Zoë Mozert: The pinup model and artist who painted actress Jane Russell’s most iconic image
05.31.2017
10:44 am
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Artist Zoë Mozert painting actress Jane Russell for the iconic image used for the 1941 film ‘The Outlaw.’
 
Zoë Mozert was not only one of the most well-known pinup model painters of her day, she was also a pinup herself and her work and image have appeared in hundreds of magazines and on film posters. Though there was no shortage of female models willing to pose for her, Mozert often used herself as a subject and why not? Mozert was gorgeous—the perfect embodiment of the quintessential blonde bombshell—and her successful modeling career helped to fund her art school education at the Philadelphia School of Industrial Design. Mozert would later head to New York City to start her long career as an artist.

Mozert’s work was unquestionably on par with her male peers. She would go on to become part of an exclusive all-girl artist “club” that included two other prominent female artists—the creator of the “Coppertone girl” Joyce Ballantyne and Pearl Frush whose photo-realist paintings broke sales records due to their popularity. In the early 30s, Mozert’s work was everywhere including ads for popular products like Kool Cigarettes and Dr. Pepper. She scored a lucrative long-term contract with Brown & Bigelow, who in the 1940s were the largest publisher of calendars in the world.

Mozert would also work as an artist for Warner Brothers where her art was used not only for movie posters but for props that appeared in the films themselves. Her artwork associated with two films that would add more noteworthy credits to Mozert’s expansive resume: the poster artwork for Carole Lombard’s 1937 film True Confessions and the notorious image of Jane Russell for the 1941 film The Outlaw. The sessions with Russell were thankfully photographed for prosperity (pictured at the top of this post).

I’ve included a mix of Mozert’s stunning work as well as a few photographs of the artist in action below. Some are NSFW. Just like Jane Russell and a gun.
 

Mozert’s portrait of Jane Russell that was used for the movie poster for ‘The Outlaw.’
 

 

The gorgeous and talented Mozert modeling for fellow pinup artist Ed Moran.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.31.2017
10:44 am
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‘The Dark Rift’: New music from Jim Jarmusch’s SQÜRL
05.31.2017
08:54 am
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Photo: Sara Driver

Before his landmark feature Stranger Than Paradise etched his name into the indie-cinema firmament, Jim Jarmusch was a student and a musician in NYC during that crucial late-‘70s period that incubated punk and No-Wave, and spent part of the early ‘80s playing in the Del-Byzanteens, and in Dark Day with fellow Ohio expat and DNA founder Robin Crutchfield. In recent years, Jarmusch has returned to active music making, releasing the albums Concerning the Entrance into Eternity, The Mystery of Heaven, and Apokatastasis in collaboration with minimalist composer and lute player Jozef van Wissem.

Jarmusch has also been playing rock guitar as a member of SQÜRL, with producer/composer Carter Logan on drums, and sound engineer Shane Stoneback creating loops and arrangements. Fittingly, their music is often cinematically spacious, with droning passages that most readily recall bands like Earth, Growing, and Boris. Originally named Bad Rabbit, the band was formed to contribute music to Jarmusch’s film The Limits of Control. Their 2009 EP of the same title was the band’s first release, and after changing the name to SQÜRL, they continued to release EPs almost exclusively—a good idea for this kind of music, really, the shorter format keeps excesses in check. Jarmusch had this to say on the matter four years ago in The Quietus:

We like EPs because the length of a 33rpm 12” LP is an arbitrary thing that was developed by commercial concerns. How much can fit on that piece of vinyl. In a way, that’s becoming as out of date as feature-length films, which were also arbitrarily designed for a certain number of screenings in a theater per day. So it was 90 minutes to 120 minutes, the average for a while. Those things are now gone in the digital age. They’re passé. I don’t think in the future people are going to care if a film is 10 minutes or four hours. It’s going to be what is it that they’re interested in. Feature-length films and LPs are still a nice form, but they were kind of arbitrary.

Having released EPs with the get-to-the-point titles EP #1, EP #2, and EP #3, SQÜRL released Only Lovers Left Alive in 2014, another collaboration with Van Wissem, and another Jarmusch film related release. Last year saw Live at Third Man Records, a full-length that included surprising covers of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and Elvis’ “Little Sister.” Today, they’re announcing the forthcoming release of yet another EP, featuring three new compositions, and two remixes—one each by Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe and Föllakzoid. The title is EP #260. When we asked “Huh?”, Jarmusch provided us with this:

Contradictions embraced: Although SQÜRL’s music is anti-mathematic, SQÜRL loves mathematics. We love the Fibonacci numbers. And magic numbers. Perfect numbers. Bell numbers. Catalan numbers. 260 is none of these. It isn’t a perfect number, and not factional of any number. It’s not even a regular number. 260, though, is the number of days in all Mesoamerican calendars. The Mayan calendar. The Tzolkin calendar. 260 is also the number of days of human gestation. (Orangutans also). 260 also has an elliptical connection to the dark rift; a series of molecular dust clouds located between our solar system and the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way. And although not a magic number, 260 is the magic constant of the magic square investigated by Benjamin Franklin, and part of the solution to a famous chess problem; the n-queens problem for n=8. 260 is also the country code for Zambia. And the US area code for Fort Wayne, Indiana.

It’s Dangerous Minds’ pleasure today to debut the first track to be released from EP #260, “The Dark Rift.”
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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05.31.2017
08:54 am
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Before he was ‘Freddy Krueger’ actor Robert Englund was a surfer & super hunk
05.30.2017
01:18 pm
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A photo of a young Robert Englund aka “Freddy Krueger” from the ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ film series giving Paul Newman a run for his money sometime in the early 1970s.
 
You may not always agree with everything I write about here on DM but one thing is for sure—actor Robert Englund was a super-fit surfer/actor back in the in the 1970s who appeared in films alongside Jeff Bridges, Charles Bronson, Richard Gere, Sally Field, and Henry Fonda. Now let that sink in for a few minutes before you say the words “no fucking way.” 

It’s actually pretty easy to express disbelief about this revelation. Mostly because Englund—an experienced and classicly trained actor—spent so much time in front of the camera in heavy makeup and prosthetics as “Freddy Krueger.” Englund was only 37 when he took on the iconic character in 1984’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, and he was still quite the looker when he embarked on the career-defining role that would make him a massive star. But most people don’t really think about that kind of thing when it comes to Robert Englund because for nearly twenty years he spent most of his time looking like his face was melting off while slicing up sleep-deprived teenagers on the big screen. However, during his days doing theater in the 60s, and the films he appeared in during the 1970s, we got to see a much different version of Englund, sometimes shirtless and gorgeously brooding in early publicity stills where he looks remarkably like a young version of the late Layne Staley of Alice in Chains. Once I got to digging around for images of Englund in his younger days, I couldn’t stop because the more I searched, the more I found and the more fascinated I became with Englund’s pre-Freddy Krueger life.
 

Robert Englund or Layne Staley of Seattle band Alice in Chains? It’s hard to tell but this is, in fact, one of Robert Englund’s head shots taken during his regional theater days in the late 1960s.
 
Englund honed his acting chops doing regional theater around California as a child, something he continued to pursue all through high school. After three years as a student at UCLA, he left California to study at the Meadow Brook Theater in Michigan where he would perform in classic stage productions written by Shakespeare and Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. In 1974 Englund would appear in his first big Hollywood role in the film Buster and Billie with actor Jan-Michael Vincent. A few years later and with nine films already under his belt, Englund would audition for the role of “Lance B. Johnson,” the reluctant soldier and LSD-dropping surfer in Apocalypse Now. According to Englund, who was born in 1947, he was told that he was “too old” for the role and the casting crew sent him across the hall to read for the role of Han Solo in Star Wars where he was told he was “too young looking.” Englund headed home and after drinking a bunch of beer he got in touch with his friend Mark Hamill and ended up being one of a few of Hamill’s young actor friends who suggested that he go try out for the park of Luke Skywalker. The rest is history as they say. Englund has done more than his fair share of films (almost 50) and it is that kind of rigor that helps separate the wolves from the pack in this game.

Full disclosure: I’m an unabashed fan of Englund’s, and bonafide horror film junkie to the core and this discovery was sort of like winning the horror-nerd lottery for me. I mean, the images of Englund, a native of Glendale, California, waiting for a wave along with fellow surfer and screenwriter Dennis Aaberg during some downtime on location for the 1978 film Big Wednesday (which is fantastic in case you’ve never seen it) is everything. As are images of Englund from his appearance in director Tobe Hooper’s 1976 film Eaten Alive (which is also pretty great), where he plays a womanizing lothario named “Buck” with a tanned, chiseled physique. Zowie. If all this sounds awesome and unbelievable to you then I’m sure you’re going to enjoy this unexpected trip down memory lane by way of Elm Street.
 

Englund (pictured first in this photo with the baseball hat on) headed out to catch some waves during a break in shooting the film ‘Big Wednesday’ in 1978.
 

FREDDY CAN SURF!
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.30.2017
01:18 pm
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