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National Liver & Onions Day: 33. Liver a la Gourmet

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 10/05/2022 - 11:14pm in


Food, 1970s, Beef, liver, Movies

Happy National Liver & Onions Day! Today we’re going to delve into the archives for the occasion. A version of this post first appeared on the DiS1972 blog August 2, 2012. I decided to make No. 33 for my friend, Claire. Before she arrived, I assembled the Jellied-Lime Cucumber Salad and the Jelly Roll. IContinue reading National Liver & Onions Day: 33. Liver a la Gourmet →

An Explorer in “The Bishop of Battle”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 07/05/2022 - 12:36am in



Image of Bishop of Battle title screen

Chapter Two of Nightmares: “The Bishop of Battle”

I recently welcomed a new game into bavacade, namely Pleiades. The acquisition of which reminded me of a scene from a childhood favorite b-movie horror omnibus called Nightmares (1983). I just posted about this film and its relationship—at least in my mind—to another 80s cult classic Repo Man. As I mentioned in that post, there is a scene where JJ Cooney (Emilio Estevez) is hustling a kid out of money at Pleiades while listening to Fear’s “Let’s Have a War.” You can see that scene in the clip below:

And for those with a discerning arcade ear, you might realize the sound effects that they link with Pleiades are actually for Moon Cresta, but that may be outside your golden age of video games arcade trivia pay-grade.

Anyway, all that led me back to Nightmares to play one of my favorite movie games, identify the video game cabinet. I should do a whole series of posts on video games that show up in 80s movies—it speaks volumes to their ubiquity and also tells an interesting tale of just how popular arcade games were during the early 1980s. In terms of business revenue, I love this bit from the “golden age of arcade video games” Wikipedia page:

In 1982, the arcade video game industry’s revenue in quarters was estimated at $8 billion[22] surpassing the annual gross revenue of both pop music ($4 billion) and Hollywood films ($3 billion) combined that year.[22][23] It also exceeded the revenues of all major sports combined at the time,[23] earning three times the combined ticket and television revenues of Major League Baseball, basketball, and American football, as well as earning twice as much as all the casinos in Nevada combined.[24]

The idea that arcade games had more revenue than all major sports combined is mind-blowing, not to mention Hollywood and pop music. It’s easy to forget just how big a phenomenon they were in the early 80s, and while they never really lost steam in terms of growing popularity (in fact, they are once again bigger than Hollywood and professional sports combined in the US thanks to the pandemic) they can be easily overlooked given how ingrained into the culture they’ve become. So, it’s always interesting to see early 80s takes on arcades, video game addictions, delinquent youth, and punk rock—and “Bishop of Battle” has it all and more. But that’s not what this post is about, it’s actually about what I discovered when re-watching Nightmares, and this is where things get a bit geeky.

Sidam's Holy Trinity in bavacade

Over the last several years I’ve worked with Tim to create Reclaim Arcade, which has been a total blast and has pushed me into all kinds of cool corners of not only buying these old games but also repairing and restoring them. When it became clear during the pandemic I was not going back to the US anytime soon to enjoy Reclaim Arcade, I started collecting games here in Italy, hence the bavacade. One of the coolest things I discovered was a whole bootleg market in Italy wherein companies would “borrow” games from the US market (such as Asteroids, Scramble, Phoenix, Dig Dug, Galaga, Missile Command, etc.) and then reverse engineer them, re-name them, and create new cabinet designs to hop on the wave that was invading Europe as well. The premier Italian company doing this was Sidam, and I have three of their games: Asterock (Asteroids bootleg), Condor (Phoenix bootleg), and Explorer (Scramble bootleg). The Explorer cabinet’s side art is particularly beautiful, it is like panels from a comic book of an astronaut in space.

Sidam Explorer side art at an angle

Sidam Explorer side art

So, it struck me when I was searching for screenshots of the “Bishop of Battle” episode to come across side art from an Explorer:

The Explorer side art in Bishop of battle

The Explorer side art in Bishop of battle

I recognized that red astronaut behind Emilio, that’s Explorer! I was pretty excited, and it prompted me to go through the scene in the arcade when JJ Cooney gets to the 13th level of the game, at which point it is no longer a game. The collapse of the virtual and real worlds is realized on level 13—kinda like the 13th floor—and the space shooter is now taking place within a mall arcade in the Valley. The animation for this sequence is pretty amazing, and according to the IMDB trivia page it almost killed the production given how much it ran over budget.

Image of a red ord super imposed on a video game arcade

Don’t shoot the Explorer JJ! You can just make out the Explorer cabinet to the right of the red glowing orb

But back to Sidam’s Explorer, it actually plays a key role in this scene as the arcade cabinet that is routinely blown up by JJ Cooney as he tries to shoot the adversaries that have come out of the game into the arcade. Below you can get a good shot of the Explorer cabinet falling like a chopped tree:

Image of a video game falling after being shot with a laser gun

A falling Explorer

And sadly, below, you see the cabinet lying lifeless on the arcade floor. It breaks my heart.

A destroyed video game arcade cabinet

A downed Explorer

In the following shot you can just about glimpse the Explorer marquee as it is being shot for a second time in this sequence, turns out Explorer was one of the games they deemed unworthy enough to sacrifice multiple times. I mean it’s just an Italian-made knock-off of Scramble, which they already have in this arcade. And you don’t see them destroying an Asteroids, it’s way too valuable!

Image of a video game being shot with a laser gun

You can just make out the Explorer marquee in this shot

The morning after JJ’s late night exploits the Explorer can be seen, once again, lying dead on the floor.

Image of a destroyed Explorer the morning after

And when the arcade proprietor, Willy, picks up a piece of the wreckage to bemoan the vandals, he grabs a broken part of the Explorer cabinet which can be identified by the side art.

Image of Willy, the arcade proprietor, removing a broken piece of the Explorer cabinet

Willy, the arcade proprietor, removing a broken piece of the Explorer cabinet

It’s an Explorer bloodbath! I would really love to know how many of these Sidam cabinets made it to the US, and even more interesting—why? Seems like selling to US distributors/arcades would be against Sidam’s interests given they were clearly ripping the intellectual property off from US and Japanese companies, so it would behoove them to keep it in Europe. Anyway, not sure on those details, but following the fate of this Explorer was quite fun. It was a sacrificial lamb, and I can’t help but think its status as foreign fake, hence lesser, was part of that decision.

Which Philosophical Problems Should Be Made Into Movies or TV Shows?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 26/03/2022 - 1:32am in

There are already lots of philosophical fictional movies and television shows, but not as many as there could be, and perhaps not as many as there should be.

Some philosophical problems get a lot of attention from the filmmakers, such as knowledge of the external world (The Matrix, The Truman Show, Vanilla SkyInception). Others, not so much, such as nominalism vs. realism regarding universals.

This may be owed to differences in the degrees to which the problems lend themselves to stories, or to stories that benefit from being told in a visual medium. But it may also be owed to a lack of familiarity with certain philosophical problems and how they might be an important part of a story.

So here is a chance to share your own, “Wouldn’t it be cool if they made a movie about _____________?”

If you can, give us a one or two sentence sketch of a story, too, or at least a line about how it lends itself to story that would make for a good movie or television show, if it’s not obvious.

The former Rozelle

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 09/02/2022 - 10:04am in


vintage, Movies

The former Rozelle Theatre (1927). Purpose built cinema right at the start of the “talkies” age. Closed as a picture palace in 1963 and then used as a function/wedding reception centre for decades; now converted to apartments. Rozelle.

Cartoon: Threats all go to the movies!

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 15/01/2022 - 9:50am in


Cinema, Comics, Film, Movies

Follow me on TwitterFacebookInstagram, or at my website.

The Avengers '98 - The Director's Cut DVD/Blu-ray covers

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 12/06/2021 - 9:15pm in



'The Avengers' movie released in 1998 has to be one of the biggest disappointments ever in the history of movies... at least for me. I was genuinely looking forward to it having missed out on the opportunity to visit the set the year before. A stuntman friend of mine was doing some work on the film and needed some help with his gear. He knew I was a fan of the original series and tried to get in touch with me. But this was a few years before the advent of mobile phones, so his calls to me went unanswered as I was at the day job helping Sooty to put on a show at The American Adventure Theme Park.

When the film was released, it got blistering reviews. And it's easy to see why. The film was a mess and its narrative virtually incomprehensible. There were rumours of it being a troubled production. The film seemed to have very short running time for a so-called blockbuster. There had been no preview screenings for the press prior to its public release. Indeed its premiere was virtually non-existent. And what's more, even more sinister, was the fact that Sean Connery's face appeared nowhere in the Titan Magazines special published to coincide with the release (save for a shot of him in a full page ad for another publication).

Titan Books had also published a novelisation written by Julie Kaewert. Kaewert had used the original screenplay and the book revealed many omitted scenes and the plot actually made more sense. Indeed, it was one of those rare occurrences where the novelisation was actually better than the film!

Adding to the ignominy of the film's reputation (at least on a personal level). I was browsing a second hand VHS stall at the local flea market one Saturday and found, to my surprise, a brand spanking new copy of the film on VHS. It was the Saturday before the Monday the film got its official release on the medium. The VHS was a genuine copy and the tape inside had been played for about ten minutes. You can picture the history... Reviewer gets preview copy - Watches ten minutes of it - Gives up - Can't wait to get shot of it - Sells it on to a second hand stall - Rescued by fan out of pity.

As the years rolled on, stories of the production and the apparent existence of a 'Director's Cut' started to fly around filmdom.

Fast forward to last year and I was approached by Dan Martin who runs a Facebook page dedicated to getting the 'Director's Cut' released on Blu-ray. He wanted a faux cover as a proof of concept to put on social media to drum up some support for the campaign in the wake of 'The Snyder Cut' of 'Justice League' getting a release.

How could I not refuse?

Here it is with a few variants. Hopefully it speaks for itself. It's different to the original artwork. Not TOO quirky or stylised with the fun being emphasised through the use of old BBC weather symbols in the background. I also slipped in the union flag/rampant lion symbol which, although from 'The New Avengers' fitted in with the flavour of the design - especially since its a symbolically burning icon behind Sir August. 

Hope you like it and I'm still waiting for the call from Warner Bros either to ask me to produce a final version of the cover or to issue a take-down order.

Here's some textless versions of the artwork.

And a selection of logo variants too...

If you've enjoyed viewing this page, then you can show your appreciation by purchasing my a coffee via my Ko-fi account here. Thank you.

Movie Yelling With Nicole and Mallory: The Hunt for Red October

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 27/07/2017 - 12:55am in