Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dangerous Conversations and 70's Cheese.

I decided to enter this post to lighten the mood a little after my recent critical response.

There are certain things you should NEVER say to me in conversation. This has nothing to do with things that anger or upset me... and everything to do with my loopy imagination. One such topic came up in a discussion at work on Thursday.

We were talking about potential inspiration for this year's Secret Santa and was recalling the exploits of one of the auditors who dived off the roof in order to retrieve a heater that had err... fallen down onto the roof of an adjoining shop (yes I do realise how that sounds). I jokingly suggested that a good suggestion for him, would be a Spider-Man costume...

...and then it happened.

It was revealed that the fiance of one colleague works in a warehouse that supplies fancy dress costumes... and every so often the returns department have a clear out and dish out free or discount costumes.

That my friends is a classic example of the kind of thing you should never say around me... because I was already at this point imagining myself in costume stalking the office to the funky but cheesy theme of the 1970's live action Spider-Man television series that starred Nicholas Hammond.

I have fond memories of that show. When I was a child, I loved it because I thought it was cool. Looking back on it now I love it because the acting, the choreography and effects look so cheap. It falls into the "so bad that it's brilliant" category. Here are a few classic examples of what I'm talking about:

Seriously... you've got to love it. It's totally caught up in the 70's obsession with Kung Fu. The wire work is that bad it looks like he is Moonwalking up the walls. Then there's the seriously malfunctioning Spidey Sense. Not only does he not have precognitive warnings of imminent danger... he actually doesn't even appear to notice said danger until a few moments after he's been hit (the tranq dart in the arm in China being the prime example). For that matter... what's with the tranq darts? Apparently back in the 70's villains and goons were jolly decent and didn't use weapons that might actually kill people, they just doped them up with tranquilisers.

What a fundamentally better world we would live in if criminals were like that today... just drugging people unconscious instead of killing them.

But it was a family show... we are talking the 70's here - pure funk! We are firmly in the era of the "non-death", the philosophy that would eventually culminate in 80's classics like The A-Team - where crack commando units shoot bullets at people's feet and miraculously miss, heroes use cabbage bazookas to defeat gangs armed with M16 machine-guns... and villains can blow up in horrific helicopter crashes, only to emerge from the blazing wreckage with nothing more serious than a sore head that they rubbed.

Forget realism... these shows were pure Tom & Jerry action and we loved them.
So when you mention the idea of getting fancy costume on the cheap to me... you'd better watch out! You just don't know what kind of creature you might be unleashing...

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