Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who put jelly in my glass? A guest entry by Laurie of Knit Terrors

source: myremoteradio

Welch's jelly glasses. Every household had one (at least). 

As a child, I always loved them - at one point landing myself a Sylvester & Tweety glass from their 1994 Looney Tunes series. As much as I love grape jelly, it wasn't about that. I mean, it was, in the fact that you couldn't eat the jelly fast enough, but then you got to have this sweet looking glass to use for years to come. They were on par with those Pepsi Looney Tunes glasses (I'm convinced everyone had those too).

Nothing could touch my love for Sylvester. NOTHING.

I remember going across the street to my cousin's house and they had a cupboard full of them. I always made it a point to drink out of one - I remember the T-Rex one most.  They were a great novelty, like getting the prize in the cereal box, but unlike some of those throwaway prizes, the glass served a purpose afterwards.

Doppelganger to none other than Cheesasaurus Rex

There isn't a vast amount of information online regarding these, in fact the only evidence I found of Welch's acknowledging they ever existed, is on their FAQ page.  People are selling them on ebay, amazon or etsy for anywhere between .99 and $24 for a single glass jar - most without, but some with their lids included. Not bad for a taste of nostalgia. 

From what I could gather, these glasses began production in 1953 with a set of six Howdy Doody themed jars.  The last one I was able to track down is a 2003 set of Dragon Tales  jars.  Over the years, there were over 25 different sets, with some of the more notable sets being The Flintstones (1964), the aforementioned Looney Tunes (1994), Muppets in Space (1998), Pokemon (2000) and The Peanuts (2001). From the looks of it, they don't seem like a bad investment - most of them holding up pretty well over time.

It kind of saddens me that these don't seem to be in production any more. I can't say that I've actively been seeking them out all these years, but I happened to come across them on ebay and it peaked my interest and childhood excitement once again. 

For the very best horror icons in knit doll form, visit Knit-Terrors at https://www.facebook.com/knitterrors 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Experiencing Jodorowsky's Dune

I hate the movie Dune. I hate everything about it. I feel it's one of the most angering and boring experiences known to man. Which is a shame, because I'm a very big fan of David Lynch. Anyone who knows anything about Dune, knows everything just fell apart and what COULD have been a great idea and a huge movie, turned out to be at least 2 hours of boredom and confusion.Now, I'm aware it has a cult following and there are fans that see past the nonsense, but for some reason, I can't. It's been a movie that I've hated since I was about 14 when I rented it and the copy got eaten up in machine leaving me without a vcr for a month. And then when I finally watched the movie, I found a waste of my life. Boring, boring, boring and just all over the place leaving me wanting to bang my head through a wall. Although, if I had at least one praise, it was the portrayal of Baron Harkonnen.

The fight scene in the Beat It video was more action packed than this.

Now sure, the feeling is a common feeling with a lot of people, but when I heard of the Dune we were supposed to get, I was even more infuriated. Before David Lynch was given control of the 1984 film, Dune was originally meant to be a grand vision of the great Alejandro Jodorowsky. Armed with famed French artist Moebius, actor David Carradine, and Pink Floyd, Dune was set to be the movie to end all movies. This was going to a very huge event. Through storyboards and preproduction concept art(apparently seen by many in the Hollywood throughout the years), a story is told like never seen before. From the proposed opening of the amazing shot of space to the ending, I felt more disappointed that we missed out on this movie more than any other proposed movie I've heard(Including that Masters of the Universe sequel we were promised). Others like Orson Welles, Salvador Dali, Mick Jagger were being propositioned to being brought on to this project as well. I guess Mick Jagger being proposed as Feyd Rautha lead David Lynch to casting Sting the role in his movie.

 Jodorowdsky himself expresses his childlike glee and passion for this project throughout the movie and it shines through like nothing else. I dare say this would've been the movie that put him on an International level alongside Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese and other giant directors who gained notoriety at that time. At the same time, his glee, maybe accidental, for Lynch's Dune failing was quite entertaining. I feel that despite Mick Jagger, Orson Welles, Pink Floyd, and everyone else involved, Jodorowsky would've been the true star and VIP of this film. As a visual master who is willing to die for his craft,  Jodorowsky has the outstanding ability to make viewers uncomfortable at the same time as entertaining them, it would've been so fascinating to see what was to be the final result would have been.

Fans of scifi and horror will also note that the legendary Dan O'Bannon was meant to come on board and handle special effects. And for those who loved Alien and Total Recall know he would've been the right man for the job. Speaking of Alien, HR Giger was brought in as well to design a lot of the aspects of the movie. In fact, we were treated to one of his many amazing designs. Imagine this on film...

Essentially, we'd be looking at the first giant blockbuster movie that would've been impossible to follow up. Unfortunately, a huge portion of the movies budget was used on preproduction and it looked like the movie just wouldn't get done. And after exhausting resources, it was time to throw in the towel. Sadly, the rights were given to Dino DeLaurentis and we got the atrocious trash known as David Lynch's Dune in 1984. A sad ending to such a spectacular vision but as grand as it was meant to be in the script and heads of it's creators, it wasn't mean to be on the screen.

I hate "Rating" movies and products, but this amazing documentary deserves the highest praise and accolades humanly possible. If I could, I'd give it 15 stars out of 10. It's just so amazing and captivating. In fact, I dare say, Electric Boogaloo(the highly anticipated story of Cannon Films to be released this year) will have a very hard time following this one!

Now, you can witness what was meant to be on an amazing documentary. A lot of effort was put in to tell one of the most amazing stories ever told in Hollywood. And you can pick it up via Amazon which is worth the asking price of $25. I can't suggest this BluRay any higher. For those who love Hollywood stories and love watching how movies become what they are, this is a must. In fact, if you think this isn't the best movie documentary I've seen since Never Sleep Again, then I'll buy you a Dune pillowcase.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hostess, Please Bring THESE Back!

These are Chocodiles. Food of the gods.

So, Hostess announced this week that the elusive Chocodiles would be coming back on a national scale. Why is this such a big deal? Well, as longtime Hostess fanatics will tell you, they haven't been available on a nationwide basis in quite sometime. In fact, the only recent discovery I could even find is when Matt of DinosuarDracula found a way to obtain a box filled with them. You can read that particular adventure at this link. Truth be told, I had never heard of Chocodiles until Matt had posted his adventure. Which is odd in itself considering what a devoted Hostess-ee I am. Or is that Hostess-Host? Eh. I'm not too good at these things so I'll leave it at Hostess-ee. So, as you can imagine imagine, chocolate covered Twinkies were quite the world shattering idea to me the first time I discovered their delicious existence. Since Matt's article, I have never been able to even find ANY Chocodiles outside a site called "Fresh Chocodiles" which allegedly sold them fresh from coast to coast. Now, personally, I've never heard anyone who bought them but I have serious issues with ordering treats online. Nothing personal. I just don't trust it. I'm sure it's reliable though.

Chauncey, the Chocodile mascot, courtesy of Book Line and Sinker

So, nonsensical paranoid rambling about having snack foods delivered aside, the news about Chocodiles epic return is pretty darn huge if I may say so myself. Since the Hostess reemergence last year, speculation was rampant as to whether we'd see familiar products come back. Obviously the choice to bring others back depended on sales of the returning treats. And I'm guessing it worked, because Chauncey The Chocodile will soon be hitting the nationwide shelves for the first time in decades. I'm very excited, despite giving up on Twinkies due to my dieting, but I've never had a Chocodiles so this will be my special cheat. And for me to not take advantage of this would be downright silly. Finally after 11 years after my discovery, I get to stuff them down my gullet.

But the question arises. If Chocodiles come back, what other products can be considered for a return? Well let's sit down, grab a glass of milk and a Chocodile and talk about what other offerings could return to our pantries...


I did an entry a few years ago on my love of Hostess's special Halloween offering. Monster/Scary Cakes, whatever they may be titled, were a once a year treat during the Halloween season with a special orange colored frosting that tasted a bit different than the normal orange flavored or chocolate variants. This frosting tasted a little thicker and a little plain. But the lack of the creamy swirl was made up with black sprinkles. This gave it a very special taste and feel that you could always look forward to. .

Courtesy of Freddy In Space
GLO Balls, much like their cupcake counterpart, were simply Snoballs with an orange colored marshmallow shell. Unlike the Monster Cakes, these didn't taste any different than the usual Snoballs during the year. But, the bright orange color scheme helped add to the Halloween season. As much as I love Monster Cereals, these were THE Halloween treats to look forward to.


Credit to The Technodrome.com
 If you were a boy in the late 80s/early 90s, you had Turtle Fever. And anything that had the Turtles on it, we owned. That included food. And with the exception of the cereal, no better Turtles related food than the Hostess pudding pies. Yes. Pudding pies. I had one of these in my lunchbox for almost a year. They were delicious vanilla filled pies with a green crust. They were a reason to look forward to lunch, besides trying to make Joey Gonzales blow milk out of his nose while doing a Balki impression. Much like the great Balki, these pies would make anyone break out a Dance of Joy. Unlike, Balki, they didn't last long on the shelf. They were really just made as a promotional tool for Ninja Turtles 2 in 1991 and shortly afterwards, went away. But the delicious taste stayed with us forever. Sure, they were the easiest formula int he world, but man they were awesome. And...just saying, Hostess...there IS a new Ninja Turtles movie coming out...


Ok, so following those Turtle pies would've been hard to do. But, in the years since they've disappeared, these were produced to satisfy our wanting pudding pies. Sure, we had fruit pies, but comparing them to delicious pudding filled pastries is downright silly. So up until about 2012, Hostess made these pies with the similar formula. A sugary coated crust with chocolaty pudding goodness shoved in. I've always been a chocolate guy, so the difference never bothered me. These were the most recent link we had to those Turtle pies and they were delicious. Other companies have tried to emulate the recipe, but none have even come close. Out of everything else, I'd image this would be the product we'd have the best chance of getting back.

Retro Superhero Ads:

Courtesy of Hostess Comic Ads

Superheroes are in right now. Everywhere you go, there's at least 50,000 superhero branded products. In the 70s though, superheros teamed up with Hostess to take down their toughest and most deadly foes. Spiderman easily defeated some dork named Hotshot simply by throwing a package of Twinkies at him. Yup. Google it. If it were this easy to defeat evil, we'd be living in Utopia. But, since it's not the 70s anymore, superheroes have to rely on skill as opposed to snack cakes. I'd love to see these silly/awesome ads make a comeback. Imagine Tony Stark destroying Ultron with a pie or Superman sending Lex Luthor to jail in modern comic style.  It would be amazing to see and read a modern fight end with a Twinkie. And who knows, if we can see Chocodiles come back, anything is possible.


Ok, Twinkie The Kid is still on boxes, but he doesn't play as an important role as he should. I feel like the days of depending on mascots to sell things are long gone. And it's a shame, because these mascots are too adorable and happy looking for their own good. Positivity practically pours of the spongecake cowpoke. Look at him. He's so cheery, he's cheeks are red. Have you ever seen a red Twinkie? No. You know why? Because he's one of a kind. Just like he's colleague, the Captain who seems like a rather caring authority figure for the kids to look up to. Surely they could use a decent comeback. We've seen a lot of bad mascots come and go, but these two are up there with even Ronald McDonald as most loved. I understand the world we live in now is rather health-obssessed and concerned about what we present to children, but I dare you to have a bad day after looking at these two characters. Loveable enough to merchandise them and not make it overkill.  It's been years since we've seen them in commercials, so if Hostess was looking to make an even bigger impact, I'd wager that seeing these to high fiving Chauncey to Chocodile in a new CGI commercial would bring in a lot of love. Just think about those three high fiving and you tell me it would be a bad idea. You can't. It would undeniably awesome.

So, that's my list. I have a lot of fond memories and love for these items. I'd love to see them all hit stores again. With the return of Chocodiles, anything is now possible. So don't let us down, Hostess!!!