All posts tagged: John Hughes

Farkakte Film Flashback: Off-Kilter Christmas Movie Edition

When I was a kid, every year around this time I would watch Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. I did this despite the fact that critics regularly put this 1964 movie on their list of the worst films of all time, probably because of its inane plot, juvenile dialogue, bargain-basement costumes and the fact that it appears to have been filmed entirely in a single room that may or may not have been made of cardboard. I think I may have watched it because as a child, it’s comforting to know that Santa, in addition to bringing you toys every year, is also capable of warding off an alien invasion if necessary. Also, New York’s Channel 9 scheduled it on a Saturday afternoon every December — your choice was either that or reruns of “Hee-Haw” on Channel 11, and Roy Clark certainly never conquered any aliens, with the possible exception of Minnie Pearl. (Incidentally, I’ve embedded the entire Santa Claus Conquers the Martians below via Hulu, in case you ever have a spare 80 minutes …

Popdose Flashback: The Lightning Seeds, “Cloudcuckooland”

When the Lightning Seeds sprouted on modern rock radio in the spring of 1990, their songs felt (as much as anything on modern rock radio could feel) like a comfy old pair of shoes — a six- or seven-year-old pair, to be specific. Indeed, to extend another metaphor to its breaking point, Ian Broudie’s bouncy, synth-laden pop enveloped listeners like a Seed-ed cloud that had been waiting quite a while to burst – yet once it did, it became the sunniest thing on radio for most of the year. The Lightning Seeds were Broudie, for all intents and purposes, when Cloudcuckooland appeared in the U.K. in 1989 (and in the States on MCA in March 1990). A Liverpudlian who had teamed with the future Frankie, Holly Johnson, in a late-’70s punk band called Big in Japan, Broudie by 1990 was a well-traveled producer of albums for Echo and the Bunnymen, the Fall, the Colourfield and others. Interestingly, his productions were credited to “Kingbird” – and when he decided to record his own music he shielded …

Bootleg City: Top 17 Songs of the ’90s

For this special edition of Bootleg City, I’m spotlighting the top 17 songs of the ’90s, a decade we can all officially start nostalgicizing on January 1, 2010. Until then we’re in limbo, if you’ll pardon the expression — the untimely deaths of Michael Jackson and John Hughes in the past six weeks have put a damper on the last blast of ’80s nostalgia in this decade. But life goes on, of course, as does pop culture’s never-ending look backward. From top to bottom, here are the top 17 songs: 1. But Anyway (Blues Traveler) 2. Put a Lid on It (Squirrel Nut Zippers) 3. 6th Avenue Heartache (The Wallflowers) 4. It’s a Shame About Ray (Lemonheads) 5. Strong Enough (Sheryl Crow) 6. Hey Dude (Kula Shaker) 7. The Freshmen (The Verve Pipe) 8. The Good Life (Weezer) 9. Where You Get Love (Matthew Sweet) 10. Mom’s a Surfer (a.k.a. My Mom Can Surf) (G. Love & Special Sauce) 11. St. Teresa (Joan Osborne) 12. Low (Cracker) 13. Landslide (Tori Amos) 14. Desperately Wanting (Better …

Jesus of Cool: John Hughes, Sixteen Candles, and a Kiss…of Death

If you were a GenXer coming of age in the 1980s, moviegoing meant heavy doses of Harrison Ford, too much Tom Cruise, an occasional journey into the unhinged eraserhead of David Lynch…and multitudes of Molly Ringwald. John Hughes’ hugely successful teen flicks were hit-and-miss in quality — with the exception of Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, they all play better in the memory than they do in real time. Still, without them we might never have grown to loathe the Brat Pack — and Hughes did manage to give some early-career screen time to several young people who went on to more interesting acting careers (John Cusack, Alan Ruck and Gina Gershon, to name a few).