Babies on Parade (film #1150 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Hollywood]

Newsreel featurette about a baby parade and festival. It's not as creepy as these things usually are, since it's not so much a beauty contest as it is an all-around festival with a parade, silly costumes, and various contests. The babies react in typical baby fashion, i.e. it's fun for awhile for them, but they get tired and cranky real fast. Overall it's an innocuous slice of life from the baby boom period.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ***.

Alcohol: How Much Is Too Much? (film #5 on Classroom Scare Films, Vol. 2: Health Horrors (Something Weird, 1994)). [Category: Educational]

This early 70's classroom film about the dangers of alcohol is of the "here are the facts--you decide" variety so common to the decade, which is not nearly as much fun as the "we'll tell you what to do" type of the 50's. The warnings of the risks of alcohol consumption are undercut by the visuals, which mostly consist of people having a high old time drinking. The only visual moment that reflects the downside of drinking is a very brief scene of a skid-row bum drinking in an alley. The junior-high school audience this is aimed at is repeatedly told that they must decide for themselves how much alcohol is "too much"––which is true, as the film obviously doesn't tell them.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.

The Apparition (film #5 on Marvelous Melies (A-1 Video)). [Category: Early Film & TV]

Dang modern technology! Just what did folks have to endlessly frustrate them before there were computers? Well, the guy in this film manages to find a candle pretty damn irrascible, as it keeps sliding back and forth across the table, suddenly turning giant-sized, and generally frustrating any attempts to read by its light. Eventually it drives the guy batty, and then the ghosts arrive. More Melies silliness. A 1901 Melies film.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Classic Commercials, Vol. 4 (Madacy Entertainment, 1998). [Category: Commercial]

More commercials, mainly from the late 60s and early 70s, although a few 50s ones are thrown in. Like Vol. 3, this one has lots of celebrity endorsements and memorable advertising characters. Monster fans will enjoy quite a few commercials featuring classic monsters, especially the Frankenstein monster and King Kong.


  • The commercial for the Fantastic Country LP will bring afternoon tv K-Tel commercials rushing back to you.
  • Contact decongestant does a great parody of the old Shell gasoline roadtest commercials.
  • The real highlight of this tape is a great cheesy mail-in offer from the 50s Space Patrol tv show for a pair of really dorky-looking strap-on binoculars. Seeing the stars of the show wearing the things is a real hoot.
  • Memorable advertising characters on this tape: Mother Nature for Chiffon Margarine (the one It's Not Nice to Fool), Josephine the Plumber, and Rosie the Bounty Diner Waitress.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

Better Reading

Better Reading . Teenager Harold Wilson has a problem—he can’t read for (expletive deleted). So he has to spend all his free time studying ...