Author Archive | Lee Camp
1980 wasn’t a great year for Alejandro Jodorowsky. Having just barely survived the end of the 1970’s when the film that was to be his magnum opus — an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic Dune — fell apart for the final time, Jodo was anxious to get back to work. He agreed to make a children’s film.
At first, the idea of the anarchist auteur making a movie for kids might sound odd, but Tusk (Poo Lorn L’Elephant) told a tale about the shared fate of an English girl and an Indian elephant. The story had the kind of spiritual overtones that Jodo had marshaled so furiously in The Holy Mountain and the coming of age tale shared some similarities with El Topo — even the Indian locations promised exotic settings that surely inspired the director.
Alas, a classic it was not meant to be. Tusk is roundly criticized by those who’ve been able to see it — the only home release is an un-subtitled French language version on VHS.… Read the rest
The television show In Search Of is a strange little chestnut from my childhood. I knew the show’s host, Leonard Nimoy from his turn as “Spock” in Star Trek repeats, and In Search Of’s focus on unexplained phenomena, missing persons and extraterrestrial encounters was right on target for a kid who already loved Sci-Fi.
I remember being terrified by the “Bigfoot” episode of the show and equally traumatized when the program took its cameras beneath the deep green waters of Loch Ness. But, not all of the show’s subjects were so “out there.” In 1980, their “Lee Harvey Oswald” episode dramatized the circumstances surrounding the assassination of JFK, including key evidence from authors and experts along the way.
The result is an insightful portrait of the self-proclaimed “patsy” that challenges the “lone gunman” contentions of the Warren Report. The centerpiece of the show is a Dallas police dictaphone recording that proves that there were four shots in Dealey Plaza that day in 1963.… Read the rest
This crazy video features an insane look back on the toys and cartoons of the 1980’s by a couple of confused evangelical Christians who see the Devil in every detail. Author Phil Phillips and Pastor Gary Greenwald would be just a couple of bumbling buffoons if their brand of humorless hysteria hadn’t been part of a bigger trend that lead to the “Satanic Panic” of that era — a time when hundreds of unsubstantiated cases of so-called Satanic ritual abuse were reported around the United States.
The good people at i09 published a short version of this video. Here are some of their favorite bits:
• Dungeons & Dragons “game pieces” scream when you set them on fire!
• “It’s called necromology.”
• Darth looks “almost exactly” like the Norse god Odin
• Smurfs are blue with black lips… just like corpses.
• “There’s a form of witchcraft [in Star Wars] called ‘Obi witchcraft.'” Obi obi obi!… Read the rest
It’s Halloween. Time to help your kids develop their bed-wetting habits. Time to buy a ton of candy, claim it’s for trick-or-treaters, turn off the porch light, and gorge yourself on waxy chocolate. Time to carve the ol’ jack-o’-lantern.
One of my favorite Halloween myths is the origin story of the jack-o’-lantern: the trickster legend of Stingy Jack. This folk tale comes from Ireland, which was also a major cultural center for the Celts, who observed the festival of Samhain, which serves as the root from which our modern Halloween sprang.
According to the story, which may be centuries old, a drunkard known as Stingy Jack was infamous throughout Ireland as a liar and a cheat. He was especially despised for his love of trickery, his favorite pastime.
One day, while bored and lounging lazily around Hell, Lucifer happened to overhear some horrible stories about Jack’s devious skills, which were apparently even more dastardly than his own. Not to be outdone by a mere drunken Irishman, the Devil decided to find Jack and see if the stories were true.… Read the rest