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‘Arcade Attack’: It’s pinball vs. video games in AWESOMELY WEIRD 1982 animated sci-fi short
08.21.2017
08:47 am
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Arcade Attack
 
Arcade Attack: Silverball Heroes verses Video Invaders is a very strange short film. Part documentary, part animated sci-fi fantasy, this mini-movie also shines a light on technological obsolescence. Arcade Attack is entertaining, odd, and surprisingly thought-provoking, complete with a totally awesome synth score. It’s a little gem of a picture.

Arcade Attack is a UK production from 1982. It aired on HBO back in the day, acting as filler during the downtime between full-length movies. The short has a couple of connections to punk rock: It was produced and directed by Mike Wallington, who co-directed Dressing For Pleasure, a 1977 documentary on British folks with a rubber fetish (we told you about it), which greatly influenced punk fashion; the Arcade Attack animators, Phil Austin and Derek W. Hayes, worked on the animated sequences for the Sex Pistols movie, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle

Arcade Attack is strange from the get-go, with an unsettling opening that features a laughing mechanical dummy amongst a collection of old-timey games in an empty arcade on a lonely pier. This is followed by the peculiarly animated (but also super-cool) sci-fi title sequence, before settling into a standard documentary format—or so it seems. A pinball vs. video games narrative develops, with whizzes on both sides showing off their skills and talking about why one form of gaming is better than the other, but something just feels a bit off. Two-thirds of the way through, it shifts gears again for an animated showdown that really needs to be seen to be believed. It’s better first-time viewers don’t know much more about Arcade Attack—and I’m not going to be the one that spoils it for you.

We’ll leave you with an impressed IMDb user:

I was totally flabbergasted and so was the friend who showed me the documentary, who was under the impression it was a timepiece documentary on arcade games. But it was so much more. It turned into an unbelievable trip. Go watch it…NOW.

 
And you can do just that, after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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08.21.2017
08:47 am
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Amusing ‘Punk!’ pinball machine from the early 1980s hints at certain bands to avoid paying them
03.27.2017
10:21 am
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I’ve never liked arcade video games much, but I’ve always been really into pinball machines. So much so that in the last few years I’ve joined a local pinball league (great fun!) and visited a few pinball conventions. I’ve even driven way out of my way to visit specific coffee shops and pizzerias just because some model I hadn’t played before was available to use.

So over the weekend I come across an amazing image of a “Punk!” pinball machine from D. Gottlieb & Company, universally known as “Gottlieb,” that dates from the year 1982. I’ve never even seen an image of this game before, much less played it. Every DM reader is aware of the cross-pollination involved between punk and new wave, there’s a lot to be said on that subject, and yet….. there’s something off about this game.

It’s amusing to see how some of the major punk acts are “implied” in a non-licensed way by having scrawled graffiti with certain letters blocked out so that nobody could really say which band starting with “S-I-O” is being referenced.

So you can spot Siouxsie Sioux being invoked on the right-hand side; at the bottom you have “EAD BO” which is surely the Dead Boys. At the top you’ve got the Ramones and the Jam and the Clash being signaled. Interesting to see Joy Division tucked away up there as well. On the backglass, behind the guitarist’s left leg, you have what appears to be the word “DAMNED” partially blocked, all the more enticing to a teen demographic because it involves a curse word.

But wait—what’s that on the left-hand side there? “PECH—M—”? How did Depeche Mode get involved with this?? They are definitely not punk!

Remember, 1981 was the high point of the synth-pop movement, with Soft Cell, Ultravox, and OMD all in their prime. This machine may say “Punk!” on it but it mainly has me thinking of Square Pegs and Valley Girl.

On this Pinside forum there’s a lively discussion about the game—not surprisingly, Punk! is a very difficult game to find from a collector’s perspective. One observer comments that “it is among the most difficult and nearly impossible pins to aquire.” Fewer than 1,000 were made, and even though the gameplay does not look all that interesting, it’s such a great item to have around that people who have it probably seldom let it go. 

Price estimates run around $800, which is a fairly ordinary price for a machine of this type. Given its rarity, if the gameplay were actually engaging the sky would be the limit here!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.27.2017
10:21 am
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Pinball machine featuring the Stones, Elton John, The Who, AC/DC, KISS and many more
09.06.2016
10:17 am
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The pinball arcade was where the boys in leather jackets hung out. The guys into Heavy Metal, Hell’s Angels and books by Sven Hassel. That’s what I recall from growing up. The pinball machines were always situated at the far end of the arcade—past the lines of slot machines with itchy-fingered retirees spending their hard-earned cash and the whey-faced office clerks on their lunch break in off-the-peg suits and white socks.

In those days smoking was permitted indoors—so the back of the room where the pinball machines and the boys in denim and leather hung out was always thick with blue cigarette smoke. Just go down to the back of the room and inhale a few breaths—it saved you on the cost of buying smokes.

For some reason pinball machines were associated with being tough. I was never really quite sure why. Manliness and the ability to use flippers dexterously meant—obviously in some secret code I was unable to fathom—that you were a tough guy. These boys sneered at punk. Tolerated Prog. Hated Glam and Mod—which was strange as most liked Slade and The Who. What they did like was Black Sabbath. Deep Purple. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. AC/DC. And The Rolling Stones—post 1968.

Their bravado was all front—like the flashing lights and bells of the pinball machines they played. The pinball was a totem for their nascent identity. In a few years time, some of these boys would be in their own off-the-peg suits playing slot machines during their lunch breaks.

Pinball has always had that macho outsider image—which probably explains why certain hard rockin’ bands and artistes have opted to merchandise their product through pinball machines.
 
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More rock and pop pinball machines, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.06.2016
10:17 am
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Imaginary pinball machines of Hawkwind, The Stooges, Jim Jones, and more
05.23.2016
08:58 am
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If you’re as much of a pinball nut as I am, you’ll flip over these fantasy back glass illustrations by Charlie Fogel.

Illustrator/cartoonist, Fogel has loads of amazing work on his Plop Culture Prints Facebook page, but these imaginary pinball games are something special. I’ve been hooked since seeing the first one in his series, Jonestown, featuring a grinning Jim Jones holding a silver ball and dishing out Flavor Aid to busty beauties.

Since that first piece, Fogel has created five more fantasy machines depicting, in order of their release, the band Hawkwind, Jodorowsky’s arthouse classic Holy Mountain, notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll, and a Stooges Funhouse piece.

Fogel told Dangerous Minds a bit about the pinball series:

I was lucky enough to grow up with a pinball machine in my house that my dad inherited from the firehouse where he tended bar—I’m just now realizing how the countless hours of staring at it informed the way I draw. I got the idea for these at the Pinball Museum here in Asbury Park, looking at how random and awkward a lot of the subject matter of the old machines are. They’re the basest of advertising art, using totally overt sex, violence, bright lights and loud noises to stand out in a crowded bar or arcade. It’s a perfect vehicle to keep addressing the stuff I’m obsessed with (Jim Jones, for instance) without repeating myself or others work on the subject. It’s also cool because all the machines of that era, from the design down to the electronics, are totally analog—but still manage to overpower your senses without any slick computerized fluff. That really appeals to me as someone who works almost completely in analog methods and materials.

All of these illustrations are 12 inches square, mixed media on Bristol board. Fogel is planning to create six to ten more similar pieces to present in a gallery setting. Until then, you can view his work on his Facebook page or his website plopcultureprints.com.
 

 

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More after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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05.23.2016
08:58 am
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Finally: The ‘Big Lebowski’ pinball machine is here and it is gorgeous!
10.02.2014
10:37 am
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I have to tell you, I adore pinball, and I’m very excited to make a trip to my local bowling palace sometime in the next year or so to try out the soon-to-be-released Big Lebowski pinball machine, duly licensed by Universal Studios and manufactured by Dutch Pinball. The machine retails for $8,500 (which can be broken up into four payments), excluding taxes and fees; if you would like to pre-order one, you can do it here. They aren’t kidding about the “Dutch” in “Dutch Pinball.” Ahem: “Residents of the European Union are subject to Dutch BTW (VAT). ... Customers living outside of the European Union are not required to pay Dutch VAT; however, you may be subject to an import tariff.”

The game has three levels, including a stunning re-creation of a bowling alley (“Licensed Brunswick Lane Design”) underneath the main level. The game will play songs from the movie, including Bob Dylan’s “The Man in Me,” Kenny Rogers’ “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In,” and Santana’s “Oye Como Va.”

Details on gameplay are not the easiest to come by, but the game features three “Character Modes,” two “Car Modes,” a “Mark It Zero” bonus, and three “Rug Modes” (you read that right). Marvelously, the game features a life-sized, actual goddamn White Russian that juts out of the playing field on the right-hand side and occasionally lights up.

When you speak of this—and you know you will—please resist the temptation to make a “rug ties it all together” joke, everyone’s already done that one.
 

 

 

 

 

 
“Attract mode lighting”:

 
Three more videos detailing the luscious Lebowski pinball machine, after the jump….

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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10.02.2014
10:37 am
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