Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sunday Cinema – “The Letter People”

June is the beginning of summer and a time when many schools across the country are closed until after Labor Day. All this month we will look at school-related memories, from after-school television to stuff we used to watch while at school…

Developed to help young kids learn the alphabet, The Letter People started out as a teaching aid with picture cards & books. Later, a television series of 60 15-minute episodes was developed and routinely shown on PBS stations across the country. Engaging & educational, many of us Gen-Xers learned our alphabet this way.

Someone found & posted the first episode about the letter M online.

Scary Times & Funny Stories

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Scary Times & Funny Stories

This should scare everyone. It doesn’t take AI to put words into your mouth, just a cleverly edited phone video…

Tells the story of visiting an escape room. His wife & daughters tell their version of the story…

His raffle ticket story

The classic “The Machine” story…

A trailer for the movie…

An episode of his “Something’s Burning” cooking show with some of the actors from his new movie…

Sunday Cinema – “Alien Autopsy”

Since this month contains “Star Wars Day” (May the 4th), we thought that all month we would share some movies & television shows having to do with space & aliens!

Back in 1995, the FOX Network unleashed a television special revolving around film footage from 1947 allegedly showing an actual alien autopsy. Hosted by Jonathan Frakes (ST:TNG), it included interviews with Roswell eyewitnesses as well as experts to verify whether or not the footage was real (it wasn’t).

Someone apparently posted the unedited footage from the special online

The End of an Era

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The End of an Era

MTV News is shutting down as Paramount slashes its workforce by 25%. MTV News was a HUGE deal for us Gen-Xers to get not only our music news but also our political and world news as well. We at Junkiosity remember first learning about the death of Kurt Cobain on MTV News

The recent coronation of King Charles III reminded us Gen-Xers of the end of a formal/regal royal era that died with Queen Elizabeth II last fall. She was a dignified lady who was well-respected around the world for many, many years.

Media types come and go and come back again, Vinyl has once again eclipsed CD sales for the first time since 1990, and now it seems as though cassette tapes are making a comeback as well…

Ever since the pandemic of 2020, our consumption of movies & television shows has changed. Movie studios had gone to streaming services to present their content as movie theater chains were shuttered or struggled to attract movie-goers to come back. 3 years later, studios are moving back to the “only in theaters” model with streaming of the content pushed back to 3-6 months after theater debuts. Theaters are still struggling but beginning to find footing with recent blockbuster movies that have been released.

Many know who Nigel Ng is on YouTube (“Uncle Roger”), a comedic caricature of an Asian. He has been banned from China’s social media networks due to his jokes about its culture & politics in his new special.

This could be a good thing, Ford is focusing on what it does best & lowering the number of parts required to build its vehicles in a way to cut costs and potentially eliminate recalls due to part failures. Not trying to be everything to everyone may be the way forward…

This is going backward, reminds me of the “green book” days of our country…

Sunday Cinema – “Invasion UFO”

Since this month contains “Star Wars Day” (May the 4th), we thought that all month we would share some movies & television shows having to do with space & aliens!

In the year 1980, the “Supreme Headquarters Alien Defense Organization” is set up to defend Earth from aliens who have been kidnapping both humans & animals for their body parts. The movie is apparently edited together episodes of the television series, “UFO”, that aired one season in 1970.

A typical British sci-fi movie/television series of the era, filled with a lot of shiny space suits & the like.

Someone posted a copy of this cobbled-together masterpiece online

Sunday Cinema – “UFO Kidnapped!”

Since this month contains “Star Wars Day” (May the 4th), we thought that all month we would share some movies & television shows having to do with space & aliens!

By 1984, “You Can’t Do That On Television” had become a juggernaut of a show on the fledgling youth network Nickelodeon. What started out in Canada as a music/sketch comedy/call-in giveaway show grew into an American pre-teen/teen gross-out sketch show filled with green slime, boogers, & puke jokes as well as some “risque” sketches involving firing squads & a teacher named “Mr. Shitler” (not kidding).

At the height of its popularity with its current cast begging to age out of the show’s main demographic, the writers/producers of the show tried their hand at capturing the older teen/young adult demographic with a show about aliens. Filled with current/former cast members of YCDTOTV, the pilot “UFO Kidnapped” was born. The basic premise of the show was a group of humans (2 boys, an intellectual girl, & an old cat burglar) we kidnapped by aliens and are transported across galaxies into the unknown. The show didn’t garner the audience so Nickelodeon nixed its continued development.

Someone saved the pilot from obscurity on their VCR and posted the copy online

What I Like

(Sketch found on the back of the 45rpm sleeve of Frank & Moon Zappa’s song “Valley Girl”)

What I Like

You’re dancing on the line when you decide to blindly read rap lyrics on the air

There probably will never be an event like “Hands Across America” again unfortunately…

Nor a song like “We Are the World“…

MattyV likes to collect vinyl that you can’t hear on a streaming service or reminds him of his earlier days. Collect what you like, that’s what matters most.

Rod Stewart’s “Love Touch” is a bit more memorable than the movie it was the theme song for…

Much like Dan Hartman’s “I Can Dream About You”

This song was one in a line of “shuffle” songs that became popular, even the 1985 Chicago Bears had one…

Debbie Gibson was MattyV’s first “secret” teen crush, one of his first cassingle purchases was one of hers…

Not sure why there would have been a 45rpm single for the instrumental theme song for this television show, but MattyV has it…

This was a big hit when the show first aired, and of course there was a 45rpm single for the full-length song

Sunday Cinema – “Project U.F.O.”

Since this month contains “Star Wars Day” (May the 4th), we thought that all month we would share some movies & television shows having to do with space & aliens!

Kind of an early version of “The X-Files”, this series from the late 1970’s follows 2 agents of the government’s “Project Blue Book” as they investigate UFO and extraterrestrial sightings. This particular episode looks into a case at Virginia farm involving a robot-like alien and an Air Force pilot who chased a UFO and died.

The series lasted 2 seasons, someone posted the first episode online to check out

Sunday Cinema – “My Man Godfrey”

Since April is tax month, we thought it be fitting to do some “money” related movies for “Sunday Cinema”. All the movies have something to do with either money or the rich/poor…

A classic starring William Powell & Carole Lombard, a socialite hires a bum to be her family’s servant and eventually falls in love with him. Godfrey, however, has a secret…

One of our favorite films of the golden era, someone preserved a copy online for others to enjoy…

Local Video Store Memories

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Local Video Store Memories

Local DJ on his morning show today asked the question, “What did you like about Blockbuster Video or your local video rental store?” One listener said that she didn’t own many video games growing up but she spent weekends finishing some of the latest games at the time that her parents would rent her from Blockbuster Video.

For me, it was an adventure. Before Blockbuster Video came to town, we surprisingly had 3 different video rental stores. There was Video Today, they not only rented video tapes but also sold video equipment such as VCRs & cameras. Located prominently downtown, this store got the most exposure and pretty much had average fair. Disney, MGM, Paramount, Universal releases, very few independent straight-to-video distributors.

One thing I remember at Video Today was their video vending machine. You had a membership card that you would swipe and then you could choose a video from their selection in the machine. You would return it to the machine as well. The videos didn’t come with plastic cases, so that was a concern BUT the machine allowed me to rent a few of their Playboy selections without my parents or store clerk’s knowledge. The TikTok user Spacetime Junction restored one of the original machines, check it out to see how it worked…

Holland Video was a little off the beaten track, nestled in an area of town that has since become “the barrio”. If Video Today was bright, cheery, & clean, Holland Video was the opposite. Not sure what was in the commercial space before, I recall fake wood paneling on the walls, red shag carpeting on the floor, & having dim lighting. There were 3 different rooms, 2 rooms were for standard videos and one hidden behind a beaded curtain for “adult” video fare. This store seemed to cater to the horror & sci-fi fan as it had a huge selection of straight-to-video movies that I had never heard of, the type that were made with regular off-the-shelf video cameras and used Amiga’s Video Toaster for editing & onscreen credit generation. One of my favorites was “Video Violence… When Renting Isn’t Enough”, the huge box featuring a bloody & gory hand reaching for a video tape in an old-style VCR.

Holland Video also had on display the Friday the 13th part V advertising lamp at their front counter. Being a young teen & horror fan, I loved looking at this lamp every time we went up to the counter. Matt at Dinosaur Dracula gathered up some odd Friday the 13th memorabilia and found one of the lamps on eBay for $200…

The last video store we had was a burgeoning chain that found fame in the Netflix series, “Stranger Things”. Family Video initially had one store within biking distance of my house. I begged my parents to put me on their account as an authorized renter (since I was under 18, they required a parent to sign a form allowing me to rent under their account). Their store was a mixture of the 2 others, with standard mainstream fare, straight-to-video fare, an “adults-only” room, but they also had video games to rent. The games were for the latest systems at the time, NES & Sega. They also rented the systems, much like Blockbuster Video did when they finally came to town.

For a time in the mid-to-late 2000’s we had a Movie Gallery (aka Hollywood Video) that competed with Blockbuster Video which was a little hilarious as BBV had 3 locations in town with MG having one location on what could be considered a major thoroughfare in town so there was plenty of exposure. It closed around 2010 when the parent company went bankrupt. MG is the place I purchased our Rock Band in a Box set, I think we paid about $120 at the time which was a deal since the set was hard to come by at regular retail stores. I remember walking to the store from my office (I worked a couple miles away) and carrying the box back with me on my shoulder. We still have the microphone, guitar, & original game, sadly the drum kit broke after heavy use.

Lots of wonderful memories at the local video stores. Another experience sadly kids today won’t be able to take part in…