The Jiger

Posted: 27th February 2015 by Paul in Film, Technology

While transferring some 8mm films shot by my wife’s late grandfather, I came across this clip which was spliced onto the head of one of the reels. It seems to be promo footage of the Jiger, a Canadian invention that was the world’s first production all-terrain vehicle. I understand that at one point the U.S. Army was considering purchasing some, but I don’t believe the deal actually went through. There’s more information on it here.

Aside from tweaking the levels I didn’t really do anything to clean it up, and so the clip is pretty rough-looking. It was in far worse condition than the rest of the film on the reel, so I’m assuming it may have passed through several hands before landing with its final owner, and there may be printed-in damage as well.

WOW.WAD Fanart

Posted: 26th February 2015 by Paul in Gaming, Personal

As some of you may know, when I was 10 years old I was responsible for creating what now seems to be considered one of the most ridiculously awful user-created levels of all time for the classic FPS game Doom. I wasn’t even aware of its infamy until I Googled my own name many years later and came across this article. Anyway, there’s not much to tell but I’ll save what information there is for a later post.

I just wanted to share this lovely gem that I stumbled upon awhile ago. A Japanese artist, Nanka Kurashiki, actually took the time to make a fanart (would it be arrogant to say tribute?) about my old turd of a creation. Obviously far more talent, time, and effort went into this picture than I spent on the level that inspired it!

See more of her great work here.

RIP Producer Luciano Martino

Posted: 15th August 2013 by Paul in Film

luciano martino

Sad to hear that Luciano Martino, brother of Italian director Sergio Martino, has passed away. Luciano not only produced many of his brother’s classic works (particularly his giallos The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail, All the Colors of the Dark, etc.) and other Italian exploitation classics (The Case of the Bloody Iris, Cannibal Ferox) but he was also an accomplished screenwriter and was a key force in establishing the career of Edwige Fenech.

Edwige Fenech

Edwige Fenech

Source: Video Watchdog

Happy Birthday to Me!

Posted: 29th July 2013 by Paul in Film, Personal
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25 years of age snuck up on me over this past weekend, and in addition to the other lovely gifts I received from those strange folk that seem to appreciate my company, I was given a fantastic piece of nitrate porn by my beautiful wife Chantal!

This Film is Dangerous book

A FIAF publication, This Film is Dangerous is a collection of articles, anecdotes, images, and such that pertain to nitrate film, its history, and its handling. I’ve wanted a copy so badly for quite awhile, but the price for the hefty 700-page tome (especially the shipping from Belgium, which outstrips the price of the book itself) always was a deal breaker.

Thank you, hon!

Regular Show Censored?!

Posted: 24th July 2013 by Paul in TV
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Apparently Cartoon Network has gone and retroactively censored what minor rude language was present in Regular Show and sloppily replaced it with words cut from other dialog. It would be at least tolerable if this was just for the daytime broadcast versions, but no: CN is rolling these changes out for the first complete season releases on Blu-ray. Which seems a bit ironic to me – of all the methods that one could use to watch Regular Show, the more expensive enthusiast format is probably most likely to appeal to an adult audience.

regular show dude

I’m pretty sure this is a financial move to cash in on the popularity of other crossover adult/kids shows like Adventure Time (which seem to be stooping to younger and younger age groups and leaving their older audiences out in the cold.) I don’t know about you, but this frustrates the crap out of me as its more-adult content was precisely the reason why I enjoyed Regular Show in the first place! (Seriously, why are they trying to market a cartoon full of 80s nostalgia to elementary school children anyway?!)

Source: Kentai’s Films – Regular Shit

Christmastime for 80s Slasher Fans!

Posted: 23rd July 2013 by Paul in Film
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I’m a little bit late in posting about this as the news has been out for a few days, but Synapse Films has just announced that they will be releasing Blu-ray versions of golden-age Canadian slasher movies Prom Night and Curtains. Fantastic news for fans of both films as neither has had a satisfactory DVD or Blu-ray release in the past.

In the case of Curtains, it was thought that the only remaining master was an old analog tape created for videocassette or TV. After digging through miles of paperwork that stated that all negatives and prints were tossed to save money on vault storage(!!!) Synapse managed to track down an interpositive that escaped destruction and it luckily turned out to be in acceptable shape!

Now who in their right mind would destroy a movie featuring a sickle-wielding old-hag-mask-wearing killer stalking a figure skater on ice?

Now who in their right mind would destroy a movie featuring a sickle-wielding old-hag-mask-wearing killer stalking a figure skater on ice? (screenshot posted on the Synapse Facebook page)

Update July 24, 2013: Synapse has elaborated on what transpired with the Curtains elements. It sounds like the current owners of Curtains purged a ton of tape masters and other elements as recently as 2009 to save on storage costs. So sad, makes me feel sick to my stomach to know that, just a few years ago, someone who had no idea of the significance of their actions called for the destruction of so much film history, rather than donate the materials to an archive. You’d think this kind of ignorance would have died a long time ago, but I guess not. -sad face-

Steam Summer Sale 2013 – Meh…

Posted: 23rd July 2013 by Paul in Gaming

Did anyone else find the daily deals and flash sales to be rather mediocre this time around? Perhaps I’ve already hoarded most of the games I care to hoard, but it seemed like the front page deals were quite repetitive, and consisted mostly of the same games that are normally promoted front-and-center when there’s no sale on.

Steam Summer Sale 2013

I could have sworn that there were far more indie games and catalog titles being featured at ridiculously low prices during the last holiday sale, despite the summer sale’s reputation as the be-all and end-all of annual festivities for the miserly gamer.

Oh well, I’m sure most of us still spent more than we probably should have, and our ever-expanding backlogs grow larger and larger…

Editing Quad Video Tape

Posted: 29th June 2012 by Paul in Technology
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Vintage instructional video on how to edit quad video tape (the proper seamless way.) I’m assuming this was probably produced for internal use at the BBC.

Do You Remember This? Barcode Battler

Posted: 29th May 2012 by Paul in Technology
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Barcode Battler

Barcode Battler Circa 1992

Nifty Obscure Video Cassette Format

Posted: 29th May 2012 by Paul in Technology
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Found this neat piece of history on YouTube last night – a single-reel video cassette format from the 70s, using a take-up reel built into the deck.

Definitely bizarre for those of us who have only ever seen two-reel cassettes like VHS, Beta, U-Matic, etc. Love the way that it just fed bare leader into the mechanism when loading – can’t have been particularly reliable! At least with modern LTO tapes there’s a pin connected to the end.

I believe this is an implementation of the EIAJ-2 video standard, which was basically an EIAJ format reel-to-reel tape put inside a cartridge.

Another video of the same guy taking apart one of these cartridges: