Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: October 1991

In front of a national television audience on CBS, play-by-play man Jack Buck famously says “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!” while calling Minnesota Twins star Kirby Puckett’s game-winning home run to send the World Series against the Atlanta Braves to a decisive seventh game. The first official version of the Linux kernel, version 0.02, is released. Child star Adam Rich arrested for stealing hypodermics. Law Professor Anita Hill accuses Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of making sexually inappropriate comments to her. Ex-postal worker Joseph Harris kills 4 postal workers (hence the term “going postal”). Greyhound Bus ends bankruptcy. US cuts all foreign aid to Haiti. Televangelist Jimmy Swaggart seen soliciting a prostitute. Clarence Thomas is confirmed as Supreme Court Justice. US Supreme Court begins to hear Joseph Doherty case. 24 die in a fire in Oakland Calif. Former California Governor Jerry Brown announces his run for the US Presidency. US hostage Jesse Turner released from 5 years in captivity in Beirut. Dr Jack Kevorkian’s suicide machine assists 2 women to commit suicide. Mid East peace conference begins in Madrid Spain. Steven Spielberg weds Kate Capshaw.




Music

Honorable mentions: Reba McEntire: For My Broken Heart. American Music Club: Everclear. Infectious Grooves: The Plague That Makes Your Booty Move…It’s the Infectious Grooves. Belinda Carlisle: Live Your Life Be Free. Erasure: Chorus. Gerald Levert: Private Line. Suffocation Effigy of the Forgotten. Matthew Sweet: Girlfriend. Death: Human. Shotgun Messiah: Second Coming; really wanted to add this, but it didn’t really have any standout tracks; it’s just decent metal that is nice to listen to but isn’t all that memorable. Richard Marx: Rush Street; too soft for me, but others are likely to enjoy it. Hammer: Too Legit to Quit.


Public Enemy: Apocalypse 91… The Enemy Strikes Black (1)

According to Hank Shocklee, around this time, the disks for every track they had been working on for the past four to five years had been stolen. As a result, they had to rush to re-create their music and to put out their album in a timely manner. Shocklee admitted that it was impossible to completely recover what they had lost, saying “once you lose all your data, it’s very difficult to get that data back…you may get some of it back, but you’ll never get the complete set. You won’t even know what the complete set is, because there’s data in there you didn’t really know you had.” In retrospect, he believed the loss “stunted [Public Enemy’s] growth. We never really recovered after that. We was on a roll—I was on a roll, and to lose that material set me back so hard.” As a result, the sound was a little leaner than the dense production of their previous albums, and live musicians became a prominent element as well.

Wikipedia

Prince & The New Power Generation: Diamonds & Pearls (1)

Gett Off.


Scatterbrain: Scamboogery (1)


Savatage: Streets: A Rock Opera (4)

Wow. So sad it has this tragic story to it:

The album was originally due to be a double CD record, but late in the recording process Savatage decided to compress the story into one album. The band recorded close to 50 songs and then reduced them to 19. Jon Oliva and O’Neill have since stated that they would have liked to release it as a double album later on, but record label Atlantic Records lost reels of the sessions in their vaults. These “lost tracks” were re-written over the years and eventually formed parts of songs on Edge of Thorns and later works. The album as a double CD as originally intended will never see the light, partly because the only recordings that remain are on audio cassette of the master tapes, and partly because most of the original ideas for the songs were used in later works.

Wikipedia

Keep an eye out for the 2013 Director’s Cut of the album, which has 31 tracks. Whichever version has Ghost in the Ruins is a good pick. My pick for album of the month.


John Mellencamp: Whenever We Wanted (8)

Partial to the song I Ain’t Ever Satisfied, but They’re So Tough wins out for my pick of best track on this album. The London Club Remix of Love and Happiness is pretty groovy too.


Warren Zevon: Mr. Bad Example (15)

He never disappoints.


Dramarama: Vinyl (15?)


Skyclad: The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth (17)


Teddy Edwards: Mississippi Lad (22?)


Pennywise: Pennywise (22)

Debut of this famous somewhat punk rock band.


Genesis: We Can’t Dance (28)


Ice Cube: Death Certificate (29)

Can’t ignore the popularity.


Fates Warning: Parallels (29)


Carcass: Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious (30)

Now death metal isn’t really my thing. But goddamn, these beats really do hit hard at times.




Movies

Honorable mentions: Shattered, so-so mystery thriller with Tom Berenger (you could see the plot twist coming a mile away). House Party 2, nowhere near as fun as the first; in fact, I found the viewing experience unpleasant; it’s too political. The Hitman, a so-so Chuck Norris movie that you’ll probably only want to see just because it’s a Chuck Norris movie. The Beautiful Troublemaker, some artsy foreign film you might like, especially if you get ASMR vibes from an artist drawing figures. Whore; based on a stage play and it shows; it’s ok for what it is, but not for everyone; be sure to see the NC-17 version, if not the Unrated version (good luck tracking down the latter). Paradise; just an ok slice-of-life coming-of-age flick; there’s another film that came out this month that did this genre one better. Cool as Ice, considered one of the definitive so-bad-it’s-good films of the 90s; may be worth watching with a few friends and a few beers. Curly Sue; just a so-so forgettable semi-kid flick, that had only one real funny moment in it.

This was an interesting month for films. Even the “honorable mentions” have a few that may be worth checking out if they seem like your kind of thing. Solid (borderline) great movies, goofy cornball movies, some solid romance flicks, some so-so romance flicks, chick flicks, guy flicks, a horror flick, and dramas. This month seems to have something for everybody.

Dogfight (4)

Better than I was expecting. About this guy about to be shipped out to Vietnam wanting one last decent night out before that happens. Quite fun to see his attitude and outlook on life challenged, and how it clashes yet mixes well with this chick he goes out with.


Black Robe (4)

My pick for film of the month. A French missionary trying to do stuff with the Indians in North America (or Canada), and the disasters that follow.


The Man in the Moon (4)

Managed to beat My Girl to the theaters by over a month. Similar films with somewhat similar themes told differently. I prefer My Girl, but this one isn’t bad either. Be warned, this is a film that has some tragedy in it. Though it does have this one moment regarding the mother tripping over a tree trunk that was just so fucking contrived.


Ricochet (4)

Decent if predictable revenge thriller. John Lithgow showing he can play a great villain before he was praised for doing so in season 4 of Dexter. Denzel was typical Denzel.


Shout (4)

It’s a typical Footloose-inspired flick. But that finale though, goofy as hell. Goofy enough to make the whole thing worthwhile.


Suburban Commando (4)

More entertaining than I thought it would be. Yeah, it’s stupid, but it’s also fun (like this one other movie that came out this month). Plus it’s got this line in it:

“Do you have any idea what we are gonna do to you, if we find one itty, bitty scratch on ’em?”

“Let me guess. You’re gonna pound my face. Break every bone in my body. Then you’re gonna drag me across a gravel road and feed my remains to a warthog. Is that about right?”

“What are you nuts? This is the ’90s. We’re gonna sue you.”

Probably the first instance of a “this is the 90s” line that I recall hearing in a movie from this decade. Only other one I can recall hearing that is coming up in another year is in the film The Last Boyscout.


The Rapture (4)

This one is interesting. Sort of a warning on how one’s love of a religion can turn to hate due to their fanaticism and misguided views, even though that love of that religion got them to crawl out of a dark place they had put themselves, only for them to fall into a completely different dark place for entirely different reasons.


Ernest Scared Stupid (11)

This is that other stupid but fun movie that came out this month. I actually liked this more than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it’s stupid as shit (even the title says so). But they put more effort into the troll monster effects than a film like this deserves, and a few of the jokes are actually funny. One of Ernest’s better movies.


Frankie and Johnny (11)

To my surprise, I think I may have just discovered my favorite romance film of all time (in spite of what seems like a mandatory small part gay relationship being put in there for the hell of it; Jesus loves all the children of the world). On the other hand, I haven’t watched very many romance films, let alone good ones (most of them suck in my opinion).


City of Hope (11; was at Sundance Film Festival in January this year)

Normally not my kind of film. Films about multiple characters and multiple stories intertwining here and there to make a racial/cultural/political statement, that’s about as likely to be enjoyable to me as a rom-com about gays and trannies (with the potential exception of lesbians if it’s short and sweet and has a decent sex scene in it, so basically porn; Blue is the Warmest Color does not count because that film is too fucking long). But this film is a bit exceptional because it does the one thing I kinda hope all these films do. Makes everyone out to be an asshole. White cops, black cops, gangsters, politicians, latinos, etc. You name it, they’re an asshole in this. Of course, the film is also decent enough to inject humanity into these characters too, so they’re not one-dimensional assholes. They’re actual people. And people are actually assholes.

The film is ambitious in how it’s made and all the story threads it dangles. It’s not meant to be a clean and slick film, but it’s a worthwhile watch. It accomplishes what Night on Earth (1991), Grand Canyon (1991-2), Crash (2004), and Crossing Over (2009) wish they could accomplish (Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing is the only one I’ve seen that comes close). Doing a film like this and not being overly fucking pretentious about it.


Stepping Out (11)

This one surprised me. This typical subplot about an asshole husband aside (the SJW-themed stuff got considerably more noticeable this year compared to last year, where the only real film that had that kind of a note was Pacific Heights), I actually dug this chick flick.


The Taking of Beverly Hills (11)

The first half hour of this movie is boring as fuck. If you can make it past that point though, you’ll find a cheaper yet quite entertaining trash Die Hard rip-off film that has a couple action sequences that are better than the film deserves (especially with it’s whimper of a finale).


My Own Private Idaho (18)

Gus Van Sant film, starring River Phoenix (in what some say is his best role) and Keanu Reeves (who is surprisingly solid in a more dramatic role; probably because he’s in the hands of a master director who knows how to get the best performance possible out of the actors). Gritty indie drama about male prostitutes. That’s all I’ll say about it.


Other People’s Money (18)

Another one that surprised me, especially since DeVito was in another film this month that was a real stinker to me. It’s basically a capitalism 101 film with a love story tacked on just to keep people’s attention. I was expecting this to be a typical corporate bashing film. I was wrong. It makes a statement on how corporate takeovers and the stock market are necessary evils towards making the economy functioning and allowing progress to be made. Now, this ends up equating to, “how it should work, and how all supporters of wall street and capitalism believe this should work,” but it doesn’t factor in the other stuff that shows more of its downsides. The importing of foreign workers and foreign takeovers (though it is unintentionally implied), how progress can equate to automation which results in machines replacing humans, among other stuff. To be fair, that is beyond the scope of this film, as it’s more about how progress is inevitable, and that it will clash with current ways of life, and how staying with one way of life for too long leads to stagnation which ultimately ends up being bad for everyone in the long run.

If nothing else, it’s worth a watch just for the perspective, and for the knowledge that a film with such a pro-capitalist speech actually came out of Hollywood at one time.


The Butcher’s Wife (25)

It’s one of those romance films that’s meant to be sweet and such, while also throwing in a lesbian relationship and a tranny. Main problem I have with it is how it’s encouraging people to dive in head-first when it comes to following their emotions, when they just feel that something is right (despite how that gets a tad bit hypocritical at certain points). So many love stories have come and gone that are far better than this one that show how dangerous this is. Regardless, if you want a rom-com that’s trying to be sweet and innocent, you could do worse than this.


Two Evil Eyes (25)

Decent dual horror film with George A. Romero and Dario Argento directing each one. Nothing spectacular, but they each have at least one great moment.




Games

Honorable mentions: American Gladiators (NES). Home Alone (NES), worth mentioning for how much it sucks! Ka-Ge-Ki: Fists of Steel (Sega Genesis), only worth mentioning because the arcade version was a bit of a classic at the time (not that it’s aged well). Quad Challenge (Sega Genesis), adaptation of the arcade game Four Tracks; not as good. Impossamole (TurboGrafx-16).

Pirates! (October 1991; NES)

The PC version is the best way to play, but this ended up being a good port, and a classic in its own right.


Trog! (October 1991; NES)

Port of the semi-classic arcade game.


Mercs (October 1991; Sega Genesis)


Out Run (October 1991; Sega Genesis)

Port of a very famous arcade racing game that inspired the creation of others. This has been ported to several platforms, but this month it would be the Genesis that gets its own port.


Task Force Harrier EX (October 1991; Sega Genesis)


Toejam & Earl (October 1991; Sega Genesis)

One of the most 90’s games ever made, and a well-renown Sega Genesis classic considered one of the definitive games on the system (as is the sequel). Highly unique, and made with definite personality and charm. Probably game of the month.

The only thing more 90s than the game is the commercials advertising it.


Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (October 1991; Sega Genesis)

Genesis port of the Amiga classic.


Spiderman (aka Spiderman vs. The Kingpin) (October 17, 1991, Sega Genesis; Sega Master System)

Rough around the edges, but it was about as good as this superhero got at that point in time. He wouldn’t get his actual due until the N64 game (until then there would be a couple other games for the current generation that were decent to tide us over).


The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck (October 1991; Game Gear, Sega Master System)


Ultraman: Towards the Future (October 19, 1991; SNES)


Earth Defense Force (October 25, 1991; SNES)


Parasol Stars (October 1991; TurboGrafx-16)

Started in the arcades, of course.


Silent Debuggers (October 1991; TurboGrafx-16)

Hey, a creepy FPS on the Turbografx before FPS shooters were a thing. Rough around the edges, but certainly memorable and fun.


Gateway to the Savage Frontier (October 13, 1991; MS-DOS)

Usual dose of a D&D game that was released regularly during this time.




Shows

The Real Ghostbusters series ended October 5 (started in 1986). The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ended October 26 (started in 1988).

Honorable mentions: A Woman Named Jackie, TV movie on NBC. Palace Guard, some show on CBS.

Beyond Reality (4; Syndication)

A little bit like X-Files before there was X-Files. Only ran for 2 seasons, but apparently that’s 1 season too many as far as DVD releases are concerned. Not my kind of show, but it has its fans.


Tarzan (6; Syndication)

Goofy shit. And if I’m being honest, despite some curiosity for Beyond Reality, I think I’d rather watch this than anything else that premiered this month.


I’ll Fly Away (7; NBC)

Oh jeez. One of these types of shows. *sigh* Couldn’t be helped. You had to have a revival of civil rights de-segregation equality “don’t mistreat the black people as was done in the past” type of film/show after that Rodney King incident. Wonder how much of an uptick this will get after the L.A. Riots next year?


Sightings (17; Fox -> Syndication -> Sci-Fi Channel)

Documentary series about the paranormal and alien/UFO sightings and experiences. A bit difficult to find this show considering how many others there are that are just like it which likely cover the same cases (let alone similar ones).


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