March 8

Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, 1985

Welcome back to another enthralling edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! J. Blake and Dion Baia stay up late this week to chat about an iconic character and movie from their youth, Pee-Wee Herman and his cult classic 1985 film helmed by Tim Burton, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.

The boys talk about bike riding, theater-movie going, and the arcade game playing of their youth, as they reminisce about being kids in another era. They unpack the history of Paul ReubensPee-Wee Herman character and inception, the 1981 HBO Special, and what led to a Warner Brothers movie deal. They go over Tim Burton‘s early work at Disney and how he and composer Danny Elfman were serendipitously paired with Reubens to collaborate on the 1985 movie. Dion and Blake also delve into Pee-Wee‘s late 80’s career–the groundbreaking and Emmy Award winning CBS Saturday Morning show Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and what led up to his notorious arrest and fall out; and his ultimate transition beyond and back to Pee-Wee Herman. It’s a very fun, sentimental and exciting, all new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepover!

Extras!

Check out Blake’s 2016 pictures of Pee-Wee‘s suit and bike, as well as the house used in the 1985 film!

Have a listen to Blake’s interview with composer John Massari on the latest episode of Scored to Death: The Podcast.

As discussed in the cast, take a look at the amazing mountain climbing TV movie from 1980, High Ice, starring David Janssen and Tony Musante, courtesy of YouTube.

Also discussed on this week’s episode, check out the forgotten gem The Wizard of Speed and Time, also courtesy of YouTube.

September 11

The Last Starfighter, 1984

To close out the long and hot summer, J. Blake and Dion Baia have embarked on a journey that will take them out of the trailer park canyons of California and up into the galaxy to help defend the cosmos against horrifying alien evildoers who are hell-bent on, well… doing whatever they plan to do- and the key to this adventure is provided to us by one cleverly disguised, humble arcade game console. Yes, we are talking about the highly-underated 1984 film The Last Starfighter, directed by Nick Castle.

The Last Starfighter

Yes Joystick Jockeys, this cult classic is hailed as the first film to showcase CGI Imagery to replace the tradition Stop-Motion and Practically Special Effects, and is sometimes forgotten for that milestone. But how does a space film in a post-Star Wars world stand out without ultimately being compared to the property that set the bar? The boys reminisce about the era of the late 1970’s and 80’s when one actually had to go out of their house and travel to a local arcade or restaurant if they wanted to socialize while gaming, and/or see the latest and greatest in video game technology vis-à-vis the big console units. Has time and the public been fair to this ground-breaking film? Can this movie actually be considered as influential as Star Wars in certain circles? And what’s this film’s 3-way connection to John Carpenter? And does Blake‘s Lance Guest story really involve a late-night encounter in the adult section of a 24-hour New York City store? Well we’re not pulling any punches on this all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Inter-stellar!!

(Check out the site for the Kenner Star Wars toys documentary discussed in this podcast entitled, Plastic Galaxy: The Story of Star Wars Toys.)

(Here’s the link to Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America, the great book that discusses the history of game consoles; the success of Mario starting from the failed arcade console Radar Scope which was then converted into the legendary Donkey Kongleading to the rise of Nintendo and the legacy we are all familiar with today.)

(Have a look at composer Craig Safan conduct a performance of The Last Starfighter Suite, live!)

(The name of the Cleveland Restaurant that had VHS tapes to watch behind the bar was The Greenhouse Tavern)

(And on a COMPLETELY unrelated note, here is Dion meeting to man, the myth, the legend- Mr. Ron Jeremy)

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