Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: May 1992

Eric Houston kills 4 in a California HS where he failed history 4 yrs prior. Los Angeles Dodgers postpone 3 MLB games due to racial riots over the infamous Rodney King beating. US Army and Marine Corps forces arrive in Los Angeles to end rioting following the acquittal of four police officers over the beating of Rodney King. Salem Village Witchcraft Victims’ Memorial dedicated in Danvers (formally Salem Village) to mark 300 year anniversary of trials. Bible Lands Museum opens in Jerusalem Israel. 3 astronauts simultaneously walked in space for the 1st time. Frank Stallone beats Geraldo Rivera in boxing on Howard Stern Show. US Supreme Court rules states could not force mentally unstable criminal defendants to take anti-psychotic drugs. 27th Amendment ratified, prohibits Congress from raising its salary. India launches its 1st satellite independently. Rap singer raps 597 syllables in under 60 seconds. Johnny Carson’s final appearance as host of “The Tonight Show”.

Music

Honorable mentions: Santana: Milagro, the band itself didn’t seem interested in replaying anything from this album afterwards. Jon Secada: Jon Secada. Spice 1: Spice 1. Melissa Etheridge: Never Enough. Rodney Crowell: Life is Messy. Tom Tom Club: Dark Sneak Love Action.

This is probably my favorite month in music yet when it comes to great on-average albums being released. Why? Because in spite of the cultural iconic hits that preceded this, which were primarily pop and hip-hop and dance genres, my favorite genre made a hell of a resurgence this month. Heavy Metal and Hard Rock. They hit back like a sledgehammer this month. It may only be a brief moment of ecstasy amidst the growing tide of grunge, rap, and hip-hip, but it was there.

Wildside: Under The Influence (5)

I knew when I heard the track So Far Away that there was something special here. Similar to Guns n’ Roses. They deserve more than what they have on Wikipedia. Yet another unfortunate victim crushed under grunge’s boot.


Gregg Alexander: Intoxifornication (5)

Some groovy stuff here.


Iron Maiden: Fear of the Dark (11)

Much better than their last album, though it would be the last decent one this band would release for a long while. Plenty of tracks I enjoy here, such as From Here to Eternity, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Chains of Misery, and of course the titular track Fear of the Dark. Solid helping of heavy metal.


Indigo Girls: Rites of Passage (12)

They’re ok.


The Black Crowes: The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion (12)

Not as good as their last album. Nothing as noteworthy as what was featured on that album. That being said, it’s still decent enough, just no real standout tracks in my opinion.


Testament: The Ritual (15)

Now this is more like it. This is my kind of heavy metal (2nd serving). Once I heard So Many Lies, I knew I had a contender for album of the month right here.


Saxon: Forever Free (18?)

Alright! A triple helping of heavy metal this month! Hole in the Sky was a fun track. Iron Wheels is good too.


Saigon Kick: The Lizard (18)

A quadruple stack of metal this month! Technically they’re glam metal, as it’s not as hard-edged as the other entries this month, but I’ll take it.


Kiss: Revenge (19)

A fifth dosage? Man. Why isn’t this the sort of stuff I normally hear from KISS? They’re usually softer rock than this. But here, they got so hard they turned into bona-fide heavy metal, and they’re awesome!


Billy Ray Cyrus: Some Gave All (19)

NO! NOOOOOO!!!!!!! Goddamnit! Why the fuck did this fucking album with this iconic song Achy Breaky Heart have to fucking release this month, of all months, to steal the metal momentum? You know what, no, fuck this. I’m not giving this album of the month. I don’t care how iconic this fucking song is. I’m still proclaiming Testament: The Ritual to be album of the month. Suck my dick Cyrus!


Neurosis: Souls at Zero (19)

Experimental metal. I’ve heard the beat used at the end of the titular track a few times in the past; the same beat that carries into the succeeding track. Sixth metal dosage.


T-Ride: T-Ride (19)

The one and only album this heavy metal band ever released. Much like Electric Love Hogs, they were one and done in the music industry, and the one album they had was good stuff. Seriously, this may be heavy metal, but the beats they use are a bit of a twist on the metal genre at times. I Hunger is a very fun track, as is Zombies From Hell, and Bad Girls & Angels. Seventh dosage of metal.


Ringo Starr: Time Takes Time (22)

Mixed opinions about this.


Stereolab: Peng! (26)

More experimental indie stuff, this time in the pop genre.




Movies

Honorable mentions: Scanners III: The Takeover, yep, they made another sequel to this, and it’s, uh, interesting; may be worth watching just to laugh your head off at the finale when they do a scanner battle. The Vagrant, not my kind of dark comedy (once again, Bill Paxton involved with off-kilter dark comedies like he was with The Dark Backward), but you may enjoy how over-the-top the police (headed by Michael Ironside) are. Afterburn, made for TV (HBO) movie, based on a true story, about the wife of a deceased pilot who tries to find out why he died, and takes a corporation to court over it; could’ve been better if it was less typical (and obnoxious) with making the wife character a faultless saint while the corporations (and to an extent the military) as dicks; also seems to imply the “brothers in arms” didn’t care about him that much either, which is BS. Cold Heaven, had potential. Turtle Beach, meh, sympathy for refugees message; the cause may be noble, but it’s still preachy with inconsiderate consequences. Big Girls Don’t Cry… They Get Even, mediocre. Poison Ivy, erotic thriller with Drew Barrymore, bored me.

K2 (1)

One of the better mountain-climbing films in terms of being more on the realistic side. Never got as exciting as I wanted it to get, but it’s good for what it is.


Split Second (1)

Fun monster/horror/comedy/action film with Rutger Hauer hunting down a demon in a future where much of New York can become flooded due to, well, climate change.


The Player (8)

One of the best Hollywood satire films ever made. As in it’s a criticism of Hollywood itself (sort of like A Star Is Born, preferably the original 30s film), particularly with regard to the actors, and getting away with murder. Dark, disturbing, yet with dark humor and tongue-in-cheek attitude. Film of the month.


CrissCross (8)

Decent albeit imperfect slice of life movie. Goldie Hawn shows she can actually act, but the child actor has a ways to go (he’s one-note pretty much the entire film).


One False Move (8)

Slow burn noir-like film with a detective who has a criminal ex-girlfriend.


The Waterdance (13)

Fairly good drama about these guys recovering from accidents that left them crippled.


Lethal Weapon 3 (15)

Personally, I enjoyed this more than the 2nd film. None of them have anything on the first film though (especially the Director’s Cut).


Once Upon a Time in China (20, limited; had an earlier release in February 1992)

The start of an all-time classic Chinese martial-arts trilogy.


Alien 3 (22)

In my opinion, this is a good Alien movie, but a terrible sequel. If this had been a spinoff film that didn’t have Ripley in it, this could’ve been great. But they do that dumb shit at the beginning that kills off all that Ripley gained by the end of the last film, and it’s such bullshit. Anyway, if you’re to see this movie at all, see the Assembly Cut, which improves the film.


Encino Man (22)

Guilty pleasure film with Brendan Frasier getting his 90s film start. Caveman who gets frozen for thousands of years, then thaws out in the “present day”. Typical fish out of war comedy film, but I enjoy it. Poster catch line should say, “Where the stone age meets the grunge age.”


Far and Away (22)

Not as good as it thinks it is. It’s just decent, which may not be enough for a film that’s over 2 hours long. Irish immigrants making a life for themselves in America, making their way west.


Sister Act (29)

Decent comedy. Somewhat considered a classic. Hiding from criminals by being a nun. Guess she got a thing for them ever since Ghost.




Games

Honorable mentions: Romance of the Three Kingdoms II (SNES); Genesis would get one in July; both are heavily compared to the NES version, and this isn’t exactly the best in the series for the current console generation.

Limited selection this month, which is why I opted to dump the remaining titles, of whose month of release I don’t know, here. Consider this the month in gaming that was giving a taste of good things to come the following year.

Wacky Races (May; NES)

Don’t let the title fool you, this isn’t a racing game. It’s a decent platformer with Hanna-Barbera characters.


Kid Chameleon (May 28; Sega Genesis)

One of the most 90s game covers ever. Game itself is decent, but its cult classic reputation is greater than the quality of the game itself. And there’s too many levels for a game like this, especially with no save feature or password system.


Warrior of Rome II (May 28; Genesis)

This requires a lot of investment with reading the rulebook and such. And I’ll give kudos to Sega for trying out an RTS game on their system before Dune II made that genre more popular.


Super Soccer (May; SNES)

Slow month.


Arcana (May 5; SNES)

First person dungeon crawler, like Shining in Darkness, but with a more anime style, and a kick-ass soundtrack. This time though, it comes with a map in-game that makes it less necessary for you drawing out the dungeon as you go. Cardmasters fighting monsters… this honestly seems like an original idea back then that films like Summer Wars rip off.


The Koshan Conspiracy; aka B.A.T. II (1992; PC, Amiga)

Very obscure point-and-click adventure game that’s difficult to beat simply because you won’t know where to go and what to do. But it looks and sounds nice.


Roberta Williams’ Laura Bow in The Dagger of Amon Ra; aka Laura Bow II (1992; MS-DOS)

Point-and-click adventure game that’s more well-known than the previous one mentioned above.


Might and Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen (1992; MS-DOS)

Would be able to be combined with the sequel game Darkside of Xeen (1993) in order to make the larger World of Xeen game.


Laser Squad (1992; MS-DOS, Amiga and Atari-ST [1989])

Precursor to X-COM.


Dune (1992; PC, Sega CD [1993])

Not to be confused with its more famous sequel. A combination of strategy and point-and-click adventure. Quite interesting, and very overlooked (due to its more popular sequel that pretty much created the RTS genre).


Wolfenstein 3D (May 5; PC, SNES [1994])

Precursor to Doom, which is coming next year. I’ve played this a few times, even as a kid, and found it monotonous after a while (and a bit on the unfair side). Regardless, still a sign of good things to come, still memorable, still fun to play (for a time), and a definite game of the month. If nothing else, this was the game that showed First-Person-Shooters were on their way (after evolving from Catacombs 3D). Easily the game of the month.




Shows

The Real World (21; MTV)

You think shows like Jerry Springer and Maurie (both of which premiered in September 1991) are what sowed the seeds for the destruction of television programming? No. This show did. It’s more subtle and insidious than anything Springer or Maurie related. The show that made reality television big and mainstream, and destroyed MTV in the process. Reality television, the bane of television networks. Fuck this show, and everyone who made it popular. It may have been earnest for the first few seasons with its intentions, or maybe not. Either way, it devolved into the same trash that plagues much of television and society today.


The Jay Leno Show (25; NBC)

He has his fans, but I find him overrated.


Edit (4-7-2021): Added Warrior of Rome II to Games.

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