Banzai Retro Club October 2017: Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

The Banzai Retro Club are gathering members to co-create cross platform blog, podcast and social media posts based on all things retro from movies and television to music, fashion and more. For October 2017 it seemed appropriate to focus on horror movies, specifically the horror movie that scared us the first time we watched it.

Horror movies have never scared me, my mate at college introduced me to all kinds of 70s and 80s white label VHS delights that he used to pick up from a local “horror and martial arts” movie dealer in Manchester. As a child of the 70s I grew up watching movies on television from the 40s, 50s and 60s which included wonderful movies from Universal, Alfred Hitchcock and Hammer Horror. Gore, zombies and creatures are great but it’s the psychological horror movies that float my boat like Night of the Demon (1957), The Haunting (1963), The Devil Rides Out (1968), The Wicker Man (1973) and the science fiction horror Quatermass and the Pit.

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Quatermass and the Pit (a.k.a. Five Million Years to Earth in the United States) is a 1967 British science fiction horror film from Hammer Film Productions, a sequel to the earlier Hammer films The Quatermass Xperiment and Quatermass 2. Like its predecessors, it is based on the BBC Television serials written by Nigel Kneale. It was directed by Roy Ward Baker and stars Andrew Keir in the title role as Professor Bernard Quatermass with James Donald, Barbara Shelley and Julian Glover in co-starring roles.

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

The storyline centres on the discovery of a mysterious object buried at the site of an extension to the London Underground at Hobbs End . Also uncovered nearby are the remains of early human ancestors more than five million years old. Realising that the object is in fact an ancient Martian spacecraft, Quatermass deduces that the aliens have influenced human evolution and the development of human intelligence. The spacecraft has an intelligence of its own, and once uncovered begins to exert a malign influence, resurrecting Martian memories and instincts buried deep within the human psyche.

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

The movie includes several scenes where telekinetic forces manipulate people and objects, alien mind control, mass panic and destruction, mobs of people turning on each other, and the scene that haunted my dreams as a child of a giant physical manifestation of a devil like alien created from energy. The overall horror element is underplayed until the final scenes of the movie and science plays a major role in defeating the other worldly threat. Classic British horror at its best, you can watch the original trailer over on Killer Cosmonaut, my Facebook page dedicated to everything retro from the 1920s to 1970s.

Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

Continue your horror movie journey with the Banzai Retro Club, you can check out more posts from other members by following the links below.

Banzai Retro Club podcast, Reelweegiemidget – Halloween, Old School Evil and more to be added soon! You can follow the Banzai Retro Club on Twitter and check out the Website.


Disney Princesses “The hair struggle is real” by C. Cassandra

A Disney Princess can live in a castle with a singing teapot, underwater, up a high tower, a cottage in the forest or the great outdoors and the one thing they all have in common are hairstyles that always seem to look fabulous. Artist C-Cassandra imagines what it might be like in the real world where hair takes an everyday beating from the elements. The hair struggle is real.

Disney Princesses The hair struggle is real by C. Cassandra - Belle from Beauty and the Beast
Disney Princesses The hair struggle is real by C. Cassandra - Ariel from The Little Mermaid
Disney Princesses The hair struggle is real by C. Cassandra - Rapunzel from Tangled
Disney Princesses The hair struggle is real by C. Cassandra - Snow White
Disney Princesses The hair struggle is real by C. Cassandra - Pocahontas

For more by the artist you can check out C-Cassandra on Instagram and please swing by Killer Kitsch on Facebook and Twitter and drop me a like and follow.

Disney Princesses "The hair struggle is real" by C. Cassandra featuring Belle, Ariel, Rapunzel, Snow White and Pocahontas.

1980s Movie Villains

It’s been a weird and wonderful month so here is my weird and wonderful 80s League 80s Movie Villains (late entry) post for March 2017.  There are so many amazing 1980s evil doers to pick from so I went for the first villains to spring to mind and had to reel myself in as the list got longer and longer. I’ve listed my choices in alphabetical order.

The 80s League are a bunch of like minded and creative types who enjoy writing and chatting about all things 1980s including movies, TV, music, fashion and so much more. You can check out all the other related 80s Movie Villains posts and podcasts via the links here – Real Weegie MidgetRediscover the 80sReturn to the 80s post and podcastStuck in the 80s podcast and postOld School Evil and 80s Reboot Overdrive.

Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet from Spaceballs (1987)

Starting with an inept, yet tyrannical, villain. Dark Helmet didn’t know an asshole from his elbow but managed to, somehow, command a starship and was feared by his crew. Mostly becasue he enjoyed using his ring to dole out corporal punishment to the privates, literally. Played to perfection by Rick Moranis, Dark Helmet’s prowess using Schwartz was only matched by his stupidity and love of dolls. “They’re not dolls! They’re action figures!”

1980s Villains - Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet from Spaceballs (1987)

Dave Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

1980s Villains - Dave Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The flip side of Dark Helmet, a skilled warrior, leader and downright evil dude. Darth Vader is a bad-ass. Yes, he doesn’t always win but in the final duel of this movie he methodically rips Luke Skywalker apart, made even more evil by his final revelation, after slicing off Luke’s hand. Willing to overthrow his own master, freeze folk, break deals and take massive risks involving asteroid fields in a bid to rule the galaxy, Vader is an outstanding 1980s villain.

Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman (1989)

1980s Villains - Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman (1989)

The Joker as I like to picture him, a crazy villain with a lust for power and money who will happily kill his own men, and thousands more to get what he wants. Utilising gadgets, weapons, trickery and subversion, Nicholson’s Joker is a triumph of comic book evil. “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? I ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it.”

Grace Jones as May Day from A View to a Kill (1985)

1980s Villains - Grace Jones as May Day from A View to a Kill (1985)

May Day is a fictional bodyguard and enforcer employed by Max Zorin and acts as the secondary antagonist of the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill. An original character, created specifically for the film, she was portrayed by actress Grace Jones. A strong and deadly opponent that bests Bond and several other agents throughout the movie, May Day has a change of heart after being abandoned by Zorin and helps Bond foil his plot.

Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon (1980)

1980s Villains - Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon (1980)

No beating about the bush, Ming is one evil dude. From his fist appearances in the 1930s he has been the long standing enemy of Flash Gordon. Ming is a ruthless tyrant who rules the planet Mongo and all it’s people. He is infatuated with Dale Arden, whom he plans to marry, and has little regard for life, willing to have his own daughter tortured and enslave entire planets. Possibly the best maniacal laugh of the 1980s, Ming pulls no punches in this wonderfully camp movie, produced by Dino De Laurentiis.

Last, but not least… Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)

1980s Villains - Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)

Skeletor was the primary villain in the 1987 live-action Masters of the Universe film, portrayed by Frank Langella. As this was a motion picture, Skeletor was allowed to be far more menacing than the cartoon version. During the course of the movie, Skeletor captures Castle Grayskull and imprisons the Sorceress. Later, he absorbs the power of the Great Eye and transforms into a golden-armored warrior god, but is ultimately defeated by He-Man. Rather than dark purple, he wears all black, and his costume is less scant, covering his entire body with a robe and a flowing cape. Langella’s performance is highly regarded by fans and critics alike.

The Dragons of D&D by Jason Thompson

Want to know more about Red, White, Blue, Green and Black dragons? A series of info-graphics depicting various dragons from Dungeons & Dragons by the artist Jason Thompson can help you with that. These illustrations are long so be prepared for a medium sized reading session.

You can follow the adventures of Killer Kitsch on Facebook and Twitter and loads of other places around the great world wide web that hardly anybody visits these days. Get on it!

The Dragons of Dungeons & Dragons by Jason Thompson - Red Dragon
The Dragons of Dungeons & Dragons by Jason Thompson -White Dragon
The Dragons of Dungeons & Dragons by Jason Thompson - Blue Dragon
The Dragons of Dungeons & Dragons by Jason Thompson - Green Dragon
The Dragons of Dungeons & Dragons by Jason Thompson - Black Dragon

1980s Crushes

For February 2017 the 80s League have put together blogs and podcasts on the subject of 80s Crushes. I’ve never been a “crush” kind of guy but have included a selection of ladies that I look back on fondly for various reasons. Some becasue I enjoyed watching them in movies or on TV and others becasue they were my only access to scantily clad glamour models at the time.

You can follow the #80sCrushes hash tag on Twitter and fellow 80s League articles and podcasts including 80s Reboot Overdrive PodcastRediscover the ’80sRealweegiemidget, Return to the 80s and Return to the 80s Podcast. Got all that? You have? Good, then I shall begin.

My starter for ten is the very lovely Kim Cattrall from the movie Mannequin (1987), one of my guilty pleasures becasue it really is very cheesy. Kim goes through several fashionable 80s looks and various states of undress during the movie which is basically just boy meets mannequin, mannequin becomes girl when nobody else is looking and several chase scenes featuring Captain Harris from Police Academy. Next!

Kim Cattrall in Mannequin (1987)

Sticking with another movie from my guilty pleasure list, my next crush is actress and singer Olivia Newton John as the muse Kira from Xanadu (1980). Xandau is a fantasy musical that features some amazing musical numbers and pop songs from ELO and tracks written for Olivia Newton John by producer John Farr. We even get an alternative 80s track by The Tubes and a memorable final performance by Hollywood legend Gene Kelly who teams with Olivia on “Whenever You’re Away From Me”. Olivia goes from floaty rollerskating muse to a hot disco chic by the end of the movie, even rocking a leopard print mini skirt and knee high leather boots.

Olivia Newton John as the muse Kira from Xanadu (1980)

As an alternative look at 1980s life in the UK I’ve picked two models that became (in)famous in the computer gaming community for lending their image to titles of the time, namely Maria Whittaker for Barbarian I & II and Corinne Russell for Vixen. The promotional imagery used for both these games caused a bit of a stir at the time and I remember the posters quite vividly. “Sex sells” as they say and it certainly helped raise the profile of these games, amongst other things (fnar, fnar).

Maria Whittaker - Barbarian II
Corinne Russell - Vixen

My final choices are two space vixens with attitude from the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century which ran from late 1979 to 1981. Pamela Hensley as Princess Ardala and Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering, one an evil but incredibly hot space princess with attitude and the other a dedicated, motivated pilot and soldier who also happens so be a smoking hot blonde / brunette with attitude. I was younger at the time this show first aired and I only remembered the space battles but later viewings opened my eyes to a few things. As Twiki once said “BeedeeBeedeeBeedeeBeedee, what a body!”.

Pamela Hensley as Princess Ardala in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981)
Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Series 1

Erin Gray as Colonel Wilma Deering in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Series 2
#80sCrushes 80s League February 2017

1980s Sci-Fi Crushes

1980s Innovations

The January 2017 80s League crossover blog and podcast event is all about 1980s innovations, things that came on leaps and bounds and gave us something fresh and new or mind blowingly amazing. I could have picked toys, games, gadgets, fashion or movie special effects but I’m focusing on the technological innovations that had a direct impact on my life in the early to mid 1980s.

Links to all the other 80s League posts & podcasts – 80’s Reboot Overdrive podcast80’s Reboot Blog, Rediscover the 80sReturn to the 80sRealweegiemidge Blog

Feel free to visit, read, listen, share and join the conversation by using the #80sInnovations hash tag on Twitter.

#80sInnovations Acorn BBC Micro Computer

The BBC Microcomputer System, or BBC Micro, is a series of microcomputers and associated peripherals designed and built by the Acorn Computer company for the BBC Computer Literacy Project, operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Designed with an emphasis on education, it was notable for its ruggedness, expandability, and the quality of its operating system. For these reasons the BBC Micro was adopted by most schools in the United Kingdom.

#80sInnovations Acorn BBC Micro Computer

The above recreated scene represents a typical IT classroom in the early 80s, although we had less computers and hard plastic bucket chairs. Lessons involved learning the BASIC programming language and occasionally we were allowed to play Chuckie Egg. The BBC Micro was not a hugely popular home computer due to its cost but this is where my love affair with computers really began. Today children learn how to use computer applications, in the 80s we were learning how to write the software.

#80sInnovations Sony CDP-101 Compact Disc Player

The Compact Disc is a digital optical disc data storage format released in 1982 and co-developed by Philips and Sony. The format was originally developed to store and play only sound recordings but was later adapted for storage of data.

The Sony CDP-101 is the world’s first commercially released compact disc player. The system was launched in Japan on October 1, 1982. Sony’s partner in development, Philips CD100 launched their model in November 1982 and the system was launched worldwide in March 1983. Despite costing up to $1000, over 400,000 CD players were sold in the United States between 1983 and 1984.

As an avid follower of music in the 1980s I had a large record and cassette collection. It took me a while to wrap my head around the new format, they were expensive but sturdy, portable and easy to store. My second music system had a built in CD player and until downloads became the in thing I accumulated an extensive and varied music collection on compact disc.

#80sInnovations Space Shuttle Columbia STS-1 April 12, 1981

Space Shuttle Columbia was the first space-rated orbiter in NASA’s Space Shuttle fleet. Columbia launched on 12 April 1981 and returned on 14 April, 54.5 hours later, having orbited the Earth 37 times. Columbia carried a crew of two – mission commander John W. Young and pilot Robert L. Crippen. It was the first American manned space flight since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975. The launch occurred on the 20th anniversary of the first-ever human spaceflight.

#80sInnovations Space Shuttle Columbia STS-1 April 12, 1981 John W. Young and Robert L. Crippen

I’m no rocket scientist so I’ll leave the technical mumbo-jumbo out of this but as a ten year old the excitement for the launch was immense. The build-up was featured on news and science programmes here in the UK and the launch was broadcast live on Tomorrow’s World. The Space Shuttle is an awe inspiring feat of science, technology and engineering and certainly ranks as my top 1980s innovation.

#80sInnovations 80s League Blog Post

1980s Christmas: My Top 3 80s Gifts

Here we are again, back with an 1980s themed multi-stream (don’t cross the streams) crossover event! In December “The 80s League” are contemplating #80sChristmas, be it toys, games, fashion, electronics or anything else from the 80s. My choices are items that arrived in my bulging sack (really, my parents used a sack with Santa on it until the mid 80s) on Christmas morning, either becasue I asked for them or things that fall into the “it’s the thought that counts” category.

#80sChristmas Blog Podcast

Links to other 80s League #80sChristmas blogs and podcasts – 80s Reboot Overdrive blog and podcastRealweegiemidgetRediscover the 80s Blog and Podcast and Return to the 80s. We’re all on Twitter and using the #80sChristmas hash-tag so why not join the party and send us your 1980s Christmas memories.

Let’s get this show on the road. Born in 1970 I quickly became a technology geek and consequently the only member of the household that could wire plugs, set up the Hi-Fi and video, tune the TV or play computer games. From a basic pong system this was upgraded to an Atari 2600 followed by my first pick from the 80s.

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K #80sChristmas
I had been saving for several months to buy a Sinclair ZX81 home computer, it was the cheapest option available for me to start learning basic programming. I spent many an hour in WH Smith messing about on the computers that were set up on display. Along came December 1982 and my pocket money savings had topped £20, my parents took that and surprised me with a ZX Spectrum 48K (RRP £175) for Christmas. They hit the big time and received my unending gratitude, which lasted at least two full days.

From the offset I could tell this was a massive upgrade from the Atari and quickly got to grips inputting basic programs on the quirky rubber keyboard. Games came on cassette tape and took anywhere from one to five minutes to load, a far cry from the instant gratification of slapping a cartridge in a console but the games were worth the wait. I have great memories of playing the early releases including 3D Tanx, Arcadia, Ant Attack, Atic Atac, Manic Miner and the Horace games.

Skip forward one year and pop music had begun to infiltrate my sponge-like teenage mind. I picked up my first 12″ single in 1983, Blue Monday by New Order. I would spend a huge chunk of my Saturday afternoons hitting the record and games shops, probably making a nuisance of myself browsing the chart titles and hunting for reduced bargains. I needed a way of taking my music with me so in 1983 I added the Sony Walkman to my Christmas list.

SANYO Stereo portable cassette player #80sChristmas

This is the point where my parents lack of either money or understanding began to become apparent and they bought me a Sanyo (or something similar) Stereo portable cassette player. It did the job and I would spend the next few years recording the chart from BBC Radio One and carefully editing mix tapes to cut out chatter and jingles. By this time I had discovered the dulcet tones of John Peel and other alternative radio shows which formed the basis for my wide ranging music tastes of today. Along with the cassette player my parents would also wrap up multi-packs of tapes for several years to come. I got through many, many blank cassettes and filled them with music and ZX Spectrum games, all of which were catalogued and indexed.

1980s Cassette Tapes #80sChristmas

A few years later and I’m in my mid teens and unfortunately at this point nobody has any idea what to buy me. The terms Axel F, Ultravox, Starglider and Microdrive meant very little to my parents and relatives so I inevitably started receiving talcum powder, soap on a rope, socks and the pièce de résistance… Hai Karate.

Hai Karate #80sChristmas

Still popular in the 1980s Hai Karate was, and still is, bloody awful. I didn’t use talcum powder but had a never-ending supply and the aftershave was grim. Also, I hadn’t started shaving yet. You name it and I got it from Brut and Old Spice to Pagan Man and Insignia. If growing up ever seemed like it was going to suck this was definitely the turning point. From Star Wars action figures, Britains soldiers and Matchbox cars to soap, a box of biscuits and the occasional toothbrush wrapped up and waiting for you on Christmas morning. I still have a Hai Karate body talc tucked away in a drawer.

Thankfully, it’s not all bad as I bought myself a Nintendo Entertainment System with my hard earned paper round money. My relatives wouldn’t spring for £50 games but that meant I could ask for Christmas cash and buy my own. In conclusion, the best gift is a thoughtful gift but when in doubt cold hard cash in a Christmas card works a charm, Merry Christmas!

Cthulhu Christmas Ornaments by Draig Athar Designs

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, please do praise Cthulhu in his Santa hat. Ready painted or paint-your-own H.P. Lovecraft-eque Christmas tree decorations by Draig Athar Designs. If you’re not a fan of the tentacled one himself then why not hang a Shoggoth or Flying Spaghetti Monster this year?

Creep curiously towards my Steampunk Twitter Account and Facebook Page and join my adventures in the weird and wonderful other realms of social media.

Cthulhu Cthupid Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs
Shoggoth Snowman Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs
Cthulhu Snowman Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs
Flying Spaghetti Monster Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs
Santa Cthulhu Christmas Tree Ornament by Draig Athar Designs

Steampunk Creations by Calder Kibyuk Designs

One of a kind clay, metal and acrylic steampunk sculptures by Calder Kibyuk Designs. Mechanical terrors from the deep, a whale island and an owl that wouldn’t look out of place in Clash of the Titans. Most sculptures are for sale, for information and commissions email

Follow my Steampunk Facebook Page and Twitter Account for more adventures with tentacles, cogs and fiendish artwork of all kinds. Also check out Calder Kibyuk Designs amazing 3D Catan.

Steampunk Octopus by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Sea Slug by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Cuttlefish by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Stingray by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Owl by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Steampunk Whale by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Nautilus by Calder Kibyuk Designs

Custom 3D Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs

Looking for the perfect holiday, birthday, celebration or house-warming gift for the hardcore or casual Catan player? Calder Kibyuk Designs has created a series of made-to-order Custom 3D Catan boards. All pieces are hand painted, covered in a matte finish and moulded from a highly durable resin which will endure future infrastructure construction, resource trades and invasions of the dreaded robber (plus the casual drop from the coffee table).

Custom 3D Settlers of Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs

All of the landscapes host the original Catan pieces perfectly – letting you build your “longest road,” settlements and cities amongst the 3D backdrop. Boards are available in painted or unpainted versions, and include custom number pieces. Contact for more information and prices. Tell them I sent you, you won’t get a discount but at least they’ll know I’m helping.

Check out the fast paced Killer Kitsch Twitter Account and pop culture art and cosplay Facebook Page. Also, check out Calder Kibyuk Designs amazing Steampunk Sculptures.

Custom 3D Settlers of Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Custom 3D Settlers of Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs
Custom 3D Settlers of Catan by Calder Kibyuk Designs