Thursday, May 29, 2008


My old college buddy Mike Middleton shared these kooky photos from his third grade yearbook! These second rate Star Wars characters just crack me up! I love seeing homemade Star Wars costumes from the late 70's and these aren’t half bad, especially R2. I love that the Jawa is as tall as Darth Vader.  My favorite is the werewolf masked dummy trying to look like a Tusken Raider playing electric guitar!  Thanks for sharing these, Mike!!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Thanks to everyone who stopped by during Indy Week. It was fun revisiting one of my favorite film heroes, Indiana Jones.

I added some more links to the SOME COOL INDY LINKS post.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


During Christmas vacation, my brother and I pretty much ignored our family as we set upon an 8-bit adventure that lasted a week or two. Pat (my older brother) found a Raiders of the Lost Ark Atari 2600 cartridge under the Christmas tree back in 1982. At the time, this was the Holy Grail of Atari cartridges. It was usually brother vs. brother in my household, but to the disbelief of my parents we actually worked as a team in search of the Ark of the Covenant. Instead of a bullwhip our trusty weapon of choice was a joystick.

Feverishly we worked guiding Indiana Jones thru the many levels looking for clues and trying our best to stay away from danger. We were too stubborn to use the clues inside the instruction manual and kept on playing until we finally found the lost Ark. When we found the Ark it was a monumental moment and we found out we could actually work together making maps and taking turns to accomplish a goal.

Since the Ark was found, it didn’t take long to revert back to extreme competition. The new goal was an individual one. We were like Indy and Belloq. Instead of outwitting one another for artifacts, we tried for high score. Just like we did with all of our other Atari cartridges, fight for high score.

Check out Kirk's Raiders Atari map at his Secret Fun Blog.

From the second volume of How to Beat Home Video Games is this video on the Raiders Atari game uploaded by tr0d.


The Complete Making of Indiana Jones: The definitive Story Behind All Four Films by J.W. Rinzler and Laurent Bouzereau is a must buy for any Indy or film fan! Just like Rinzler's Making of Star Wars from last year, this one is chock-full of amazing facts, photos and tidbits about the making of all the Indiana Jones films. The focus is Raiders with five chapters of Raiders goodness. Did you know Toht was almost a cyborg type of villain!

Anyway buy this book or at least look for it at your local library.


I’ve always been fascinated about how films are made and back when I was kid I always tuned in for these "making of" specials on TV. You kids today have it easy with your YouTubes, Tivos and DVD recordering machines! Back in my day if you wanted to copy a show...well...the only option was the family audio tape player.

Here’s my tape of The Making of the Raiders of the Lost Ark that I recorded off TV back on November 28, 1981. I remember watching the whole show about two feet away from our Zenith. For one hour my finger was always ready to push the pause button before the commercial breaks.

Instead of making you listen to my crummy tape copy, here’s all six parts of the Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark. ----Update----- The YouTube videos have been taken down. I'm sure it will pop up again eventually so keep searching if you you want to watch the special.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I was such a trading card junkie as a kid and spent a good share of my allowance on Raiders cards. Here's my top ten favorite cards from the 1981 series.


The - This is probably the best Indy related website.
Indiana - The official site.
Prop Replicas by Indiana Magnoli - This guy has made some cool looking replica props. I dig the old faux snapshots.
Melting Toht by Jeff Victor - I love this painting of a melting Toht. (Thanks Steve for letting me know about this one)
Mad's Suggested Titles for new Indy movies - I would see some of these!
Giant Indy Lego Boulder YouTube video - This is funny.
Indiana and the Song of Theme - Indy dude puts words to the Indy theme.
agent5,s Flicker Raiders set - He has some cool Raiders photos.
Indiana Jones Meets Star Wars John Rozum shows us the Star Wars references in the Indiana Jones movies

Friday, May 23, 2008



Mike (Aparofan) Middleton sent me this photo from the 1982 Raytown Year Book of the Independence Center Cinema in the Kansas City area of Missouri. This was the theater Mike first saw Raiders.

Thanks Mike!


Sorry, but I'm missing the Monkey Man figure. If I ever find one on the cheap, I'll be sure to post a photo of him.

For fun here's an old commercial for the Kenner action figures from 1982. Originally uploaded by Raiderstoys.



A few days ago I mentioned that Raiders is a perfect film and now that I’ve seen Crystal Skull I can say that this one is far from perfect. After saying that, I still enjoyed the film and had a lot of fun, even though I’m getting too old for midnight showings.

I can say this is my least favorite of the four movies. I’m not able to put my finger on one specific reason why this one didn’t work as well as the last movies. My guess, is that the movie had way too many cooks in the kitchen. Before filming ever started this movie had a revolving door of writers coming and going. After filming started, I can only imagine how many ideas were being thrown at Spielberg from Lucas, Marshall and Ford. Also, this movie had too many characters on the screen at the same time. Were they worried that Ford wasn’t able to hold a scene together by himself? It’s hard to care for a character when they’re all bunched up together.

Ok I’m trying not to be nitpicky, but it’s kind of hard not too. So here’s my nitpicks - Indy blabbed way too much. Marion’s only purpose was to tell Indy about Mutt and to get hitched (I felt like it was the last episode of Happy Days). Just say no to forced humor. The fridge, waterfalls (sing the theme from Land of the Lost next time you see it), Tarzan and of course Indy’s encounter of the third kind. I think Indy is best suited with artifacts based in legend and historical facts. What’s wrong with the real crystal skulls like the Mitchell-Hedges one? (Of course the Phantom found some back in 1996)

After all that said, I still enjoyed it! I was with the first lady and friends watching one of my favorite characters from my youth back on the big screen. There were many scenes that I did like. Ants are cool! For the most part I liked it and I look forward to seeing it again. I would really like to see it at a drive-in, as this movie would be fun at the drive-in.

I know there’s talk about Indy 5 with Indy taking a back seat to Mutt. Instead, how about another adventure? One last adventure. One that only focuses on Indy by himself in some far away jungle fighting the bad guys and looking for fortune and glory!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I about flipped at the auction where I found this vintage snapshot. Click on and look closely at the photo!

Doesn’t that guy look like Indiana Jones? You bet he does! He’s wearing the trademarked fedora, the leather jacket and even his pants look like the ones worn by Indy. The kicker is the year 1938 scribbled on the back of the photo.

- UPDATE - A savvy eagle-eyed reader just emailed that she noticed the face of Indy on the back side of the snapshot. She’s right! If you look at the pattern made by black album paper stuck on the back, it resembles Indy. You can see his profile - his hat, nose, chin and maybe some sun glasses. Weird! -

UPDATE -This is not a photoshoped photo, nor did I write the date on the back. It’s exactly how I found it mixed in with hundreds of old snapshots from many different families from all over. We do know that the photo was taken in Colorado on the Arkansas River thanks to the inscriptions on the backs of some of these photos. The Indy photo was with this group of photos and they also have the year 1938 written on them.

I wonder what Indy was searching for in Colorado? In the photo we can see that he spots something with his binoculars. Was Indy on the trail of the Legend of La Caverna del Oro the Cave of Gold? Maybe he was looking for Dead Man’s Cave or was he in search of the Twelve Chests of Gold?


I was about to turn nineteen when Last Crusade came out nineteen years ago in the summer of 1989. It had been five years in between Indy movies and this was the first movie when I experienced nostalgia. I thought nostalgia was something for older people. Maybe it was because I knew this was the last Indiana Jones movie (at least we thought), more than likely it was the time when the movie experience changed for me.

Before, I watched movies with kid eyes soaking up every scene and enjoying every frame. For me it was the experience of being transported into another place. It didn’t matter if it was a well made gem of a film or low-budget piece of junk movie, I just loved all of ‘em. Mark it down as childhood innocense. During that summer of ‘89, I found myself less entertained and more critical watching movies. I started playing Monday night quarterback or in this case director, thinking of different and better ways the film should be. I couldn’t help myself, it just happened and it happened with Last Crusade.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved this movie then and still do. The Young Indy stuff with River Phoenix was amazing and for the most part I liked Sean Connery as Indiana’s father. The stuff that bugged me then and still does today are the scenes with Marcus and Sallah. It was great seeing them again, but not as comic relief. Also, that Zeppelin scene was not good, the effects were terrible. (At least ILM would redeem themselves with the Zep in The Rocketeer).

I did love the cliche riding off into the sunset scene. It was a great way to end the series and for me it really felt like it represented the true end of my childhood.



Wednesday, May 21, 2008


We got our tickets for a midnight showing for this evening. It should be fun! Don't worry I won't give anything away in tomorrow's posts.

UPDATE - UPDATE - I saw the movie, but I'll wait until Friday to talk about it. My only advice is to watch this latest Indy without a critical mind. Just go and have fun at your local movie theater or better yet a drive-in movie theater!



My Junior High had some type of costume day. I don’t remember, but I don’t think it was for Halloween. I do remember that I wanted to go as Indiana Jones or a zombie. I should have gone as a zombie instead. As always with anything school related, I waited until the last minute to put my costume together. I just assumed that making myself look like Indy would be easy. After all I had my trusty bullwhip that I bought at Six Flags right after Raiders came out. I practiced with that bullwhip all the time, until it stung me right underneath my eye. I almost whipped my eye out of its socket!

Anyway, I knew my dad had an old fedora hat and I had some rugged old boots. No sweat, this costume would be a cinch to put together. At least that’s what I thought. My heart sank when dad dug out his fedora that had been buried in the closet. I forgot that dad stretched and beat the fedora into a classic hillbilly hat a few years earlier. (We do live in the Ozarks!) This hat would have been perfect if I’d gone as Jed Clampett. My grandma worked feverishly trying reshape the hat. The next problem is that I didn’t have any Indy style pants. I suggested roughing up my church going tan slacks, but mom didn’t go for that. Parachute pants wouldn’t work. So, I went with what I wore every day in school, Levi jeans. Another problem was that my only pair of boots were too small. I had out grown them. How did that happen as I wore them the just the year before? I was forced to go with my every day bright white Nikes. (Boy, the Nazis and Thuggees would’ve spotted me a mile away!) At least dad found a cool old hunting bag that sort of looked like Indy's artifact bag.

The next morning after drawing on my facial scruff and putting on my gear I felt pretty good. All the kids on the bus thought I looked kind of like Indy and even the bus driver gave me a thumbs up as he whistled the Indy theme. When I got to school and roamed the halls with my pals, I felt kind of on top of things, just like I was the real Indy ready for adventure. Then after first period my buddy Jason told me there’s another Indy at school. This Indy wore a leather jacket, had a better looking hat and to top it off, he had a pistol on his belt. Oh man, I felt like the girl at the prom who shows up wearing the same dress as the prom queen. Ug, this was bad. I ran into the kid and we both stared each other up and down and both said nice costume and walked on. We both knew he had the better costume. (Heck, he even made the year book) Yeah, I should have gone as a zombie!

  Finally the day was over and I survived as a poor man’s Indiana Jones amongst kids dressed as Ghostbusters, Magnums, Buckwheats, Blues Brothers, McKensie Brothers and one other Indy.

All day everyone bugged me to untie my bullwhip off of my belt. I kept it tied on so I wouldn't get it taken away by a teacher or even worst, torn up by other kids. Naturally on the bus ride home, a friend grabbed the end of it and pulled off the handle. My bullwhip was ruined! Thanks a lot Marcia!!! (In the video you can see me picking up the handle after it falls on the ground)

As I get off the bus there’s my own mom wanting to document my misery from a tough and grueling adventure in Junior High. As embarrassing as this video is, a big thanks to my mom for filming it!! So thanks mom for documenting an awkward moment in my teenage life!


I wanted the hat like the “MAN WITH THE HAT!”

 I was sort of like Ralphie from A Christmas Story, but instead of an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200 shot range model BB gun. I wanted the official Indiana Jones Stetson 100% wool fedora hat! It was better than a BB gun since I wouldn’t shoot my eye out, like I almost did with my bullwhip. (See the above Raiders of the Lost Nerd post)

Stetson put out the hat sometime after Temple of Doom in 1984 and I think I finally got mine sometime in 1985. Stetson made a bunch of other fedora hats with the Indiana Jones label that were different colors and styles. They even made a Panama Jack style. I don’t think Indiana would be caught dead in a Panama Jack hat!

The label inside.

The hat came with a nifty brass logo pin, which resembles an old 1930s radio premium. Something that a kid could have sent away for using cereal boxtops.

I'm afraid I wasn’t much of an adventurer as I didn’t wear my Indy hat that often and instead kept it displayed on a bookshelf most of the time.

-----Update 3/5/2013-----
I just found the original paper tag that I got with my hat! I found it tucked away in my paperback copy of The Making of Return of the Jedi! Thankfully I used it for a bookmark and it was saved!