Atari Porn and Lousy Halloween Costumes
“How to Win at Carnival Games”
“Debbie Gibson: 34”
“The Markie Post Gallery”
“Veronica Goes Topless! Archie Gal Shocks Fans in Latest Comic Book!”
“A Look Inside Wonder Bread”
What the heck is all this? Why, some of the offerings at Retrocrush.
Retrocrush is put together by a nostalgia enthusiast named Robert Berry who enjoys rubbing the noses of us Generation Xers in the cultural slop that framed our childhoods.
Berry has a great sense of humor, illustrated nicely by such tantalizing wordplay as “LICK THE BANNER BELOW FOR THE TOP 25 NUDE WEBMASTERS IN SACRAMENTO”. Just so I don’t get angry emails, I’ll save you some trouble: I licked it and all I got was funky lint on my tongue. (Actually, I’d really like some angry emails, so please feel free to send me some!)
Perhaps Berry’s overall attitude towards life (which is startlingly similar to my own) can be found in the closing line of “The Dodgeball Dilemma,” his story on dodgeball and Smear the Queer: “So go ahead and gather up your pals for a game of drunken dodgeball. You’ll have the time of your life, and the world will be a better place for it.”
One of my favorite Retrocrush articles is “Naughty Atari Games”. What, you say? Despite the crappy resolution offered by an Atari video game system, you can get graphic adult material? Well, look at Berry’s evidence:
This game, “Bachelor Party,” captured the spirit of that pre-marriage party ritual by featuring the exciting play of a guy bouncing around a room full of naked women. It played pretty much like “Breakout”, but instead of a paddle and a ball, you had a container of Spanish Fly, and a naked dude. The instructions in this game are equally creepy, as they need to remind you, “Note that when the bachelor flies toward the women, his private part (P.P.) is in an erect state. As he returns toward the Spanish Fly, it is in a limp condition. Also note that as the bachelor travels around, “The Flight of the Bumble Bee” is played.
As the enlarged graphic shows, the little purple stud is ready for action! Not only does he have a penis longer than his arm, but he’s the spitting image of children’s TV icon, Barney!
But hey, Atari also offered an adult game where the woman was the hero, proving it was light years ahead of its time in its support of the ERA:
“Burning Desire” was one of the higher concept adult Atari games… They even made a completely separate version of the game where a woman hero was used and had to save the day by giving the poor fella a mouthful of her big orange pixelated jugs!
I mean geez, people say the Internet is full of time-wasting garbage? How did I grow up in the ‘80s and never hear about these games? Perhaps it was because I didn’t get an Atari system until everyone else got personal computers, but that’s another story…
Anyhoo, another one of my favorite Retrocrush stories is “The Worst Halloween Costumes of All Time,” a great feature on the god-awful Halloween costumes from my youth. You also may remember these costumes: They consisted of a possibly flammable plastic, rash-inducing mask that had these tiny little slits for your eyes and a wee hole for your mouth, and a smock that featured a picture of what you were supposed to be.
I hated these costumes. No really, I HATED them. Adding insult to injury was the fact that I had to wear the mask over my uber-dorky coke-bottle glasses, although in retrospect that may have allowed me to breathe a little better. At the time, however, I looked like a dweeb, unquestionably! I mean good god, just imagine having to wear this mask over a pair of glasses; I’m lucky I didn’t get beat up trying it on in the store:
Figures you had to live in Britain to get a better Darth Vader costume. Although it was probably a health hazard, at least it looked vaguely like the Lord of the Sith:
I mean, is this that hard to figure out?
Good crappy costume:
Bad crappy costume:
However, even I had my limits. This is an example of one of the criminally appalling costumes I wouldn’t have been caught dead in:
I bet this outfit would have been more dangerous to wear than the famed all-black “Invisible Pedestrian” costume from the classic SNL sketch. You’re just asking to get your candy stolen and be beaten within an inch of your life when you’re dressed up as Scott Baio.
Berry is a riot. Check out his commentary on the Farrah Fawcett costume:
I actually bought this costume for my high school girlfriend, cut a big hole in the mouth, and asked her to wear it when we went to the drive-in. I never saw her again after that night, but I ended up keeping the mask for... uhhh... collectible purposes.
And this one almost made me spit up my coffee:
I suspect that “Mommy I want to be Atari’s Asteroids Game for Halloween” was only slightly less creepy for parents to hear than, “Mommy, I just chopped up Fido with a shovel and had sex with his face!” Kids who couldn’t afford this one had to settle for being Intellivision’s “Astroblast” game, instead.
The Rubik’s Cube costume is definitely my favorite, and by favorite I mean that a kid wearing this costume would have been my favorite kid to beat up:
How many poor kids that got stuck with this one had to hear, “Hey Rubik, how about if I rearrange your face?” This very well may be the least popular costume of all time, 2nd only to the failed Parcheesi costume of 1974.
Although I bear Parcheesi no ill will, I still hold a grudge against that damned “Rubik’s Cube” cartoon, which was responsible for ending my childhood. Once it was possible to get up early on Saturday and watch great, violent cartoons like “Thundarr the Barbarian,” or weird cartoons like “Captain Caveman,” or imaginative cartoons like “Dungeons and Dragons”, or fun cartoons like the Hanna-Barbera ones.
Then came the toy manufacturers, forcing advertisements masquerading as cartoons down our throats: “Rubik’s Cube,” “Pac-Man,” “Donkey Kong,” “Q-Bert”—BLEAH! After that I was forced out into the bright, horrible world of the outdoors, which was probably a good thing, but I digress…
Berry did find ONE costume he liked, showing that he has a heart of gold after all:
Yahoooo! Yes, you just tell your parents that it’s Easy Reader from “The Electric Company” (as played by Morgan Freeman, by the way), but to you and your friends, you’re PIMP DADDY! This is about as close as you were going to get to a Huggy Bear costume. Ol’ Easy wore Kangol hats before Kangol even existed!
For more images of old Halloween costumes that you can ridicule relentlessly, check out Retrocrush’s complete collection, “The World’s Greatest Halloween Costumes”.