Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: June 1991

Mount Unzen erupts in Japan, worst eruption in Japanese history. Lesbian priest Elizabeth Carl ordained in Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C. Mikhail Gorbachev receives his 1990 Nobel Peace Prize. NBC announces Jay Leno will succeed Johnny Carson as host on “The Tonight Show” on May 25, 1992. Victory parade following success in the Gulf War is held in Washington, D.C.. A spectator is killed by lightning at US Open Golf tournament. NHL owners present contract to players (leads to Apr 1, 1992 strike). Climactic eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines, the second-largest volcanic eruption on Earth of the 20th century. The body of the 12th US President, Zachary Taylor, is exhumed to test how he died; rumors had persisted since his death in 1850 of arsenic poisoning – no evidence of this was found. South Africa abolishes last of its apartheid laws. 2 of Mia Farrow’s daughters arrested for shoplifting lingerie. Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar surrenders to police. 6.0 earthquake hits southern California. South Africa’s Government repeals the 1913 Native Land Act, an important part of the system of Apartheid (Racially Based Land Measures Act).


Music

Honorable mentions: The Tea Party: The Tea Party; their debut; great lyrics, but not my style of music. Dannii Minogue: Love and Kisses. Kool Moe Dee: Funke, Funke Wisdom. The Silencers: Dance to the Holy Man. Phyllis Hyman: Prime of My Life. Natalie Cole: Unforgettable… With Love. 3rd Bass: Derelicts of Dialect. Yello: Baby. Anthrax: Attack of the Killer Bs. Kirsty MacColl: Electric Landlady. Ric Ocasek: Fireball Zone. Bonnie Raitt: Luck of the Draw. Crystal Waters: Surprise.


David Byrne: The Forest (7)

Good old fashioned classical music. Mostly instrumental.


Siouxsie and the Banshees: Superstition (10)

While “Kiss Them For Me” was their hit single, “Drifter” is my personal choice.


Lynyrd Skynyrd: Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 (11)

This album is worth mentioning just for historical significance alone. The first album they made since 1977, when that infamous plane crash happened that took the lives of 3 of their band members. The first album featuring the 3 replacements.


Skid Row: Slave to the Grind (11)

The one heavy metal band not called Metallica that the grunge era didn’t kill off.


Cher: Love Hurts (18)

I know this album is more famous for the “Save Up All Your Tears” and “Love and Understanding” tracks, but I’m more partial to “A World Without Heroes”.


Van Halen: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (18)

FUCK is an acronym for the title.


Marillion: Holidays in Eden (24)

Had to give this one a chance.


L.A. Guns: Hollywood Vampires (25)

My pick for album of the month. Unfortunate that their popularity would wane in this era. Unfortunate especially when I prefer this to the Skid Row album.




Movies

Noteworthy mentions: Scanners II: The New Order; obviously this wasn’t going to be as good as its predecessor. Jungle Fever; a Spike Lee flick about mixed race relations on a romantic level (among other topics) in which he seems to agree that it’s a bad idea; he bit off more than he could chew with this film. Dying Young; didn’t end the way I expected for a film like this (given the title); regardless, I couldn’t get into it, just wasn’t interesting enough. The Ballad of the Sad Cafe; boring.

City Slickers (7)

I consider this a comedy classic. A middle-aged mid-life crisis comedy classic. Guess westerns and bull riding/wrangling was becoming all the rage during the time period, considering that earlier film All My Heroes Were Cowboys.


Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (7)

I thought this film was just ok. But it’s kind of a cult classic, so…


Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (14)

So you remember that other Robin Hood flick released last month that I said was better in every way to this one? Yeah… This film is serviceable, but it’s not as good as it thinks it is. Still, it’s a noteworthy film. If only because it inspired Mel Brooks to make a satire of it. It also seems to be the most well-known Robin Hood flick next to the animated Disney one with the animals.


The Rocketeer (21)

I like this movie. A childhood favorite that’s still entertaining today.



The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (28)

This probably isn’t saying much that I think this film is too goofy for its own good, given that it’s a Leslie Nielson comedy (I liked the first one better). But, you know, this comedy trilogy is near and dear to some people’s hearts.




Games

Honorable mentions: Castelian (June 1991; NES); bad port of a game that was decent on the Commodore 64. Faria: A World of Mystery and Danger (June 1991; NES). Street Smart (June 1991; Sega Genesis); too short to be a major mention. Stormlord (June 1991; Sega Genesis). Hardball! (June 1991; Sega Genesis).

It’s worth noting that there was a Sega Genesis RPG titled Blue Almanac in Japan, which was supposed to get ported over to North America under the name Star Odyssey. But stuff happened that got that cancelled. But it did get a port in the year 2011. I shit you not.

S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team (June 1991; NES)


Base Wars (June 1991; NES)

Seemed like the main way to make a sports game better was to have humans replaced with robots who could destroy each other during the game. They did it for football, now they did it with baseball. Only thing left is Soccer and Basketball, unless Powerball counts.


Laser Invasion (June 1991; NES)


Rainbow Islands (June 1991; NES)

Sequel to Bubble Bobble. You shoot rainbows at enemies, and use rainbows to climb the level.


Tombs & Treasure (June 1991; NES)

They say Shadowgate is better.


Uninvited (June 1991; NES)

A retro game on console that’s actually scary (to some).


Battletoads (NES [June 1991], Genesis [1993], Game Boy)

Oh yeah, the beat ’em up classic that’s every bit as infuriating as it is fun. Well okay, it’s probably more infuriating than fun, but damnit if there wasn’t something about it that made us want to beat this motherfucker! One of the most difficult games ever made, at least if you play the NES version (Genesis and Game Boy versions toned the difficulty down a tad). This sadomasochistic game would be contender for game of the month. But this is not an ordinary month in videogames. This is a month of classics.


Sonic the Hedgehog (June 23, 1991; Sega Genesis, Game Gear [December], Sega Master System [October])

Damn straight this is the game of the month! The iconic Sega mascot started right here, in June 1991, telling Mario to suck it. What more can be said that hasn’t already been said by many others? And yes, back in the day, I had the “NOT FOR RESALE” version.


Alien Storm (June 28, 1991, Sega Genesis)

Another Genesis classic of an arcade port.


Marvel Land (June 28, 1991; Sega Genesis)

No association with Marvel comics whatsoever.


Saint Sword (June 28, 1991; Sega Genesis)


Star Control (June 1991, Sega Genesis, Commodore 64)

Before the more famous sequel, there was this game, which was used more for PvP spaceship battles than anything else.


Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom (June 1991)

This is a game that is considered the worst of the Phantasy Star franchise, the black sheep of the Sega series. And yet it’s still a classic. Hell, some would go so far as to say that it’s their favorite game in the franchise (and their taste in games is questionable). I reviewed it, along with the whole series, so you can see my opinion there.


Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective (June 1991; TurboGrafx-16)




Shows

Worth noting that there was a 5-part documentary miniseries featuring C. Everett Koop, M.D. It’s a name worth knowing.

The series Head of the Class ended this month. It debuted in 1986.

Also worth noting that the Ha! channel merged with the The Comedy Channel, turning The Comedy Network into Comedy Central (which is what it’s still known as today).

Salute Your Shorts (1; Nickelodeon)

A 90s classic. Hell, some would argue this is the greatest thing Nickelodeon ever created, at least as far as live-action stuff goes.


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