We interview two lifelong Star Wars fans - Tom Berges from igrewupstarwars.com and Michael French from RetroBlasting - about what it was like to live through "The Dark Times," i.e. the years between 1983 (release of Return of the Jedi) and 1997 (The Star Wars Special Edition theatrical release). How did they keep hope alive, and what was it like to be a Star Wars fan when most people had moved on to girls, Nirvana, and fast cars?
Melinda got the blu-ray box set of the Decline of Western Civilization movies, so we thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about Metal!! Not that there is all that much real metal in this 1988 documentary by Penelope Spheeris... but nonetheless we give it a go. Aaron watches the film for the first time and Melinda revisits it with the director's commentary. Contemplating buying the set? You'll wanna hear our review.
Aaron, Melinda, and Tom debate the strengths, weaknesses, and fun facts surrounding the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans, which interestingly features no clashes or Titans.
Michael French gives the inside scoop on what it's like to be a toy collector, things to watch out for, and his own personal tips for success in the hobby.
In honor of Thanksgiving, we celebrate with Addams Family Values – the origins, behind the scenes, and hilarity of this weirdly Thanksgiving-themed film.Read More
Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered in November, 1988 on a local access TV station in Minnesota and subsequently became a cult classic with geeky, sarcastic B-movie lovers worldwide. Dreamland celebrates this November by taking a stroll through one of our favorite shows. Join us, won’t you?Read More
Melinda, Aaron, Michael, and Tom talk about their favorite classic PC games, spanning from 1983 to 1992! Also, Michael and Melinda reveal a project they worked on BEFORE the days of RetroBlasting... here's a hint: it's related to classic Star Trek!Read More
Tonight it's all about SUPERMAN!
Aaron tells us about the book he’s reading, we touch on some spelling and pronunciation issues, and we introduce our special guest, Michael French. We talk about the challenges of livestreaming and pontificate on which Hogwarts house we each would be placed in.
(07:05) Tonight we have decided to talk about the first 2 Superman movies (1978 and 1980), and in particular the craziness that was going on behind the scenes with Alexander and Ilya Salkind and Richard Donner, just to get these movies made! What was the original story arc supposed to look like? Why is it that when you watch the Donner cuts of Superman I and II they essentially have the same ending, with Superman turning the earth backward? We explain all this and more, including the cutthroat methods of the Salkinds, the removal of Richard Donner as director before Superman II and the subsequent rewrites and reshoots of much of his work on Superman II, the addition of Richard Lester, and the eventual creation of the Donner Cut of each film.
Pictured Below: Alexander and Ilya Salkind, Richard Donner.
Inspired by the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Night Terrors," Melinda and Aaron reflect on "REM," and its influence in all our lives. REM can mean so many things, the possibilities are almost endless.
(04:34) - R.E.M. (the band). Aaron discusses the band and how influential they were on the sound of so much 90s music, even back in the early 80s! In particular he's been revisiting some early REM and hearing some of it for the first time. Melinda appreciates their creativity with videos - a medium which has changed significantly since the 80s.
(15:15) - Why do we dream - Melinda gives a VERY brief overview of some popular theories of why we dream and then what happens to your body if you DON'T dream, including some tips on how to have your very own hallucination.
(20:55) Melinda gets to briefly discuss the Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman, and the series "Preludes and Nocturnes" in particular. Also, some recommendations on some other great works to check out by Neil Gaiman.
(28:50) Aaron recalls the movie Flatliners and the creepiness of Kiefer Sutherland.
(31:20) And finally we get to Nightmare on Elm Street, one of Melinda's favorite films, which has a great heroine in Nancy and a terrifying villain in Freddy Krueger. apparently had lots to teach us about methods for staying awake.
(48:18) Aaron takes a moment to explain the importance of getting checked for sleep apnea, and what it's like when it's untreated.
(51:03) The final REM offering is the X-Files episode "Sleepless" starring another favorite of Melinda's: Tony Todd.
(57:00) How Did We Survive? A harrowing tale this week of being suspended above a ravine in the snow.
It's finally October, and Melinda and Aaron are ready for Halloween! We hear stories about their Trick or Treating escapades, and some favorite candy.
(08:45) Melinda and Aaron get into the Halloween spirit and talk about their favorite (spooky) Star Trek television episodes, including entries from everything through Enterprise. Grab some candy corn and Swedish Fish and reminisce along with them!
(1:04:20) How Did We Survive? Scott Bakula (not really) writes in about a shocking survival experience. Don't forget to send YOUR story of how you survived to email@example.com!
Tonight we welcome special guests Michael French from RetroBlasting and Tom Berges from www.igrewupstarwars.com. We start out by talking about fish sticks and beards, and Melinda confuses Mrs. Fields with Mrs. Paul’s. They’re both great cooks, people.
(08:20) Tom talks about how he got into becoming a Droid Builder, and how far he has come with building his R2-D2 from A New Hope.
(13:26) R2-D2 led to the interest in all the robots made in the 70s and 80s. We talk about some of the more interesting robots, including the Tomy robots, Lego robotics, Starroid Radio Robot, HERO 1 and TOPO, and Sico.
(48:46) – How Did We Survive? Jimmy Stewart recounts an episode of taking a dirt access road, an impromptu wrestling match, and losing track of time.
We recount our experience at DragonCon 2017, including celebrity encounters with a doctor and a Jewel.
(06:37) We go through the sordid and contentious history of Showbiz and Chuck E. Cheese, and the entrepreneurs who fought it out to be 80s Pizza King: Nolan Bushnell and Aaron Fechter.
(56:15) How Did We Survive? Sarah Jessica Parker writes in and tells us about rolling down the hill in a stolen shopping cart.
We settle in for a nice podcast and break the ice with some weird tea references and Melinda describes what it’s like to bake a cake with a vintage Wilton cake pan. Aaron enjoys his new watch.
(11:40) This week we head into the zone – Spiral Zone. Melinda and Aaron each watched an episode (Holographic Zone Battle) of this twisted 80s cartoon and go through it, step by step.
(50:20) – How Did We Survive? Patrick describes playing rodeo and playing with flamethrowers. Richard crashes an ATV in Mexico.
We are thrilled to announce the inaugural episode of Dreamland: The RetroBlasting Podcast. Taking our name from the skating rink in Melinda’s childhood hometown, we plan to be the place where Gen Xers can hang out and talk about the things we love, while also learning some of the crazy stories from behind the scenes. It’s like RetroBlasting – now as a podcast!
(02:41) We kick this off with a journey into the world of Cabbage Patch Kids. From their early origins with creator Martha Nelson Thomas and her Doll Babies, to Xavier Roberts and Babyland General, to the Coleco years, and beyond, we give you the low-down on these wildly successful, iconic 80s toys. We honestly had no idea where this was going, and the roots went in crazy directions.
(54:21) – We start a fun tradition of closing the show with a segment called “How Did We Survive?” This week Aaron and Melinda each share their own story to start us off. Aaron had bike trouble and Melinda began her quest to get her superpower.
Watch the Vice mini-documentary here: The Secret History of Cabbage Patch Kids