Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: November 1992

Democrat Bill Clinton is elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent President George H. W. Bush. Carol Moseley-Braun elected first African-American woman in US Senate, representing Illinois. “Revenge Match of the 20th century” American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer defeats Russian Boris Spassky to win an unofficial match in Belgrade. The Church of England approves the ordination of female priests. Dateline NBC airs a demonstration show General Motors trucks, blowing up on impact, later revealed NBC rigged test. Erling Kagge begins successful exploration at South pole. Oregon Senator Bob Packwood issues apology for unwelcome sexual advances. 10,000,000 cellular telephones sold. Howard Stern Interview premieres on E! Network.




Music

Honorable mentions:

  • Amorphis: The Karelian Isthmus. Death metal, but there are some decent beats here and there.
  • Ned’s Atomic Dustbin: Are You Normal?
  • Positive K: The Skills Dat Pay da Bills
  • NOFX: White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean
  • Biohazard: Urban Discipline
  • Denim: Back in Denim
  • Ween: Pure Guava
  • Jade: Jade to the Max
  • Leonard Cohen: The Future

Thomas Dolby: Astronauts & Heretics (3)

I’m in to this interesting take on New Wave music, combined with Zydeco.


Bon Jovi: Keep the Faith (3)

Return to form for Bon Jovi.


Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against the Machine (3)

Oh yeah. The debut of this legendary rap/funk metal band. And the debut of what is probably their most famous track, Killing in the Name. The lyrics to it are, well, monotonous. But that beat, while also monotonous, is also great and memorable. The simplicity works for it. Thankfully, none of the other tracks are quite as monotonous as this one. Personally, I thought most of the songs on this album went a little too long. They would reign things in a bit in later albums and result in tighter songs.

I won’t get into the politics they stand for and stuff, as that is its own can of worms. I’ll just say I think their anarchy lyrics are more skin-deep than many would care to admit.

Regardless, this is album of the month.


Aphex Twin Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (9)

Considered a landmark in this music genre (ambient techno, electronica). Not my thing, but who am I to leave this off the list of highlights?


Ice Cube: The Predator (17)

He really does have the voice for this.


The Bodyguard (17)

Damnit. I don’t wanna mention this. The only reason this fucking album is popular is because of the fucking movie with that fucking song I Will Always Love You. This album rides primarily on the fame (and undeniable impact) of that song.


DC Talk: Free at Last (18)

I’m not the biggest fan of this band. They only had one hit album as far as I’m concerned that was popular enough where even non-Christians listened to it (it wasn’t this one). However, this album did have one thing going for it. The Jesus is Alright song.


Julian Cope: Jehovakill (19)

It has some decent songs, but it’s held back a bit by the lyrics and vocals. The best parts of these tracks are usually the last minute of them. That being said, Necropolis won me over enough to highlight this album; primarily because it’s instrumental without any vocals.


Kool G Rap & DJ Polo: Live and Let Die (24)

The only reason I’m listing this rap album is because, after an initial release, this album was basically banned due to the offensive lyrics and album cover. An album cover featuring two criminal dangling meat in front of a couple dogs with their leashes tied to a couple chairs holding DEA agents who were tied to nooses. Stayed banned until 2008.


The Pharcyde: Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde (24)

I can’t believe I’m highlighting another rap album. But… I mean… they have a song Ya Mama that’s all about “yo mamma so fat.” I can’t resist that.


Sleep: Holy Mountain (?)

Hello stoner metal. An improvement over their last album.




Movies

Honorable mentions:

  • Passenger 57. I really don’t get the popularity of this film. It’s just a standard forgettable by the numbers B action/thriller plane hijacking film that just so happens to star Wesley Snipes. Well, I guess when you describe the movie that way…
  • Stalin (TV movie). History buffs will get more out of this than I did. It was too slow for me, and I couldn’t maintain investment in it. Wished it focused more on the politics and events surrounding Stalin, the Politburo and communist party, and the internal struggles. Instead, it focused more on his relationship with his wife. It just wasn’t all that interesting to me as a result. That being said, this is considered one of the better Stalin films out there, with Robert Duval playing Stalin.
  • An American Story (TV Movie). Goddamnit! This fucking movie pisses me off! This is a fucking disgrace to the real-life event that happened in Athens, Tennessee in 1946, where the entire county was corrupt as fuck, stormed into the polling stations on voting day, confiscated them before more votes could be done, and then some veterans laid siege to the police station to get the voting boxes back before the national guard showed up. This movie has the balls to raise doubt as to whether or not these guys did the right thing in utilizing their 2nd amendment right to fight corruption and retain a fair election process. This movie is a disgrace to how the event actually went down. The only good thing about this movie is that it mentioned an event like this even took place. Because other than that, they tried to make this as politically correct as possible, throwing in some minority representation nonsense to unnecessarily cloud the central issue, downplay how bad the police force and politicians were, and letting this bitch of a feminist get some spotlight being all, “This is bad, we shouldn’t be fighting against the corrupt police because it’s ethically wrong.” Fuck you!
  • Flirting. This movie is so full of itself. You may not think so, and you may enjoy it; it may be your cup of tea. Personally, I think this is a bare-bones blueprint for formula that makes up PC/SJW films, albeit with a touch more subtlety compared to today’s films. And that subtlety doesn’t do enough to make me enjoy it, because it is still smug with it’s message of racial mixing/tolerance and the honorable bullied wimp/outsider. The type of film that raises them up by tearing everyone else down morally. But I guess that’s appropriate for a film that’s black and white in its outlook and fallacy.

The Efficiency Expert (aka Spotswood) (6)

Decent movie that’s less about a guy coming in to modernize a shoe factory than it is a slice of life film. It’s a dime a dozen stuff, but it does have a slot car race that’s more fun than you would expect. Plus it has Anthony Hopkins and Russel Crowe in it.


Jennifer 8 (6)

Some consider this film overlooked and underrated. I wouldn’t say it’s underrated, as it gets ridiculous at times (surprise-scares being just a minor part of it). But what flaws it has, it kind of makes up for with atmosphere. There are times when this film demonstrates how to set a scene, without music, and just allowing the actors to set the mood themselves.


Bram Stoker’s Dracula (13)

Probably the best Dracula film ever made, especially in terms of being faithful to the source material (it’s not THAT faithful, but it’s closer than most). It also has the best depiction of vampire powers and weaknesses that I’ve ever seen in a film. Not to mention the poster for this movie is so badass, and so is the original teaser trailer (which was banned after brief showings because it was deemed too intense, because people are pussies).


Love Potion No. 9 (13)

Guilty pleasure romantic-comedy that doesn’t have much to do with the song it’s based off of. A potion that makes people fall in love with you when they hear your voice (for a time).


Malcolm X (18)

Spike Lee’s magnum opus. I prefer Do The Right Thing over this, but by and large, this is considered Lee’s best film. And as much as I dislike Lee, I do have to him credit for making a solid film that doesn’t stray too far from historical accuracy as far as I can tell.


Bad Lieutenant (20, limited; also limited release in October)

This is one of the classic gritty indie films of the 90s. See it uncut in NC-17 format, or not at all. A cop on a downhill spiral.


Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (20)

It’s not as good as the first movie, but it still offers some entertainment. Including traps that would probably kill the average guy.


Godzilla vs. Biollante (25, Video)

I don’t care if this was a straight to video release of a Japanese foreign film, I’m highlighting it! Because it’s one of the best Godzilla films ever made, and the true start of the Heisei series, the greatest era of Godzilla films ever made!


Aladdin (25)

The Renaissance Era of Disney is in full swing, and they come out with this film that’s one of my favorite animated films of all time. I don’t care if it’s inaccurate to the source material (it’s Disney, they never make them faithfully), this film is damn great entertainment. But it also established the permanent trope of having a well-known celebrity play a wacky sidekick character. An unfortunate trend that would evolve into theatrical animated films making this mandatory, and thus require a higher budget to make in order to hire these celebrities. But that’s a trend the industry wouldn’t suffer from for a while longer. Until then, things were still good.


The Bodyguard (25)

This is only famous because Whitney Houston is in it and sung that famous song that made the film’s soundtrack popular. Because aside from that, this is just a typical B movie.




Games

Honorable mentions:

  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Sega Genesis)
  • Kingdom Crusade, aka The Legend of Prince Valiant (Game Boy)
  • Mr. Do! (Game Boy). Port of an old 80s arcade game.
  • LHX Attack Chopper (Sega Genesis). Garbage frame rate. Play the PC version instead (assuming you would want to).
  • Universal Soldier (Sega Genesis). It’s a shameless reskin of Turrican.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Game Gear). This is just a mention for the Game Gear version only.
  • Black Hole Assault (Sega CD)
  • Sol-Feace (Sega CD, Sega Genesis [April 1992])
  • Cobra Command (Sega CD)
  • Bazooka Blitzkrieg (SNES). Super Scope game.
  • X-Zone (SNES). Difficult Super Scope game.
  • Captain Novolin (SNES). Infamous game about diabetes.
  • Cyber Spin (SNES). Very tough racing game that requires quick reflexes.
  • GunForce (SNES, Arcade [September 1991]). Play the arcade version instead of SNES.
  • Road Riot 4WD (SNES, Arcade [June 1991]). Play the arcade version instead, especially if it has those seats.
  • Wordtris (SNES)

Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa (November 19, 1992; Arcade)

The tv show also had an arcade game, like Bucky O’Hare. And yes, it’s gloriously awesome.


Little Samson (November; NES)

Don’t let the title fool you, this isn’t one of those bible games. This is one of those hidden gems of the NES library. Not only that, but it’s also one of the best games ever to hit the NES.


Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (November 2; Game Boy)

An overlooked yet very good Mario game that can stand alongside the best of them. This is in spite of being on the Game Boy. If nothing else, it’s better than the first one.


Bio-Hazard Battle (November; Sega Genesis)

Fairly good (above average) Genesis shmup. Does have some cool music, and a very polished look.


Crüe Ball (November; Sega Genesis)

As in Motley Crue. A pinball game. And the music for this game is really fucking awesome. In fact, this is one of the better pinball games out there.


Mick & Mack as the Global Gladiators (November; Sega Genesis, Amiga)

A McDonalds licensed game, platforming shooter, that doesn’t deserve to be as good as it is.


Gods (1992; Sega Genesis, SNES, Amiga [1991])

The 1991 Amiga version is the best one to get. I don’t recommend the remake.


Home Alone (November; Sega Genesis, Game Gear)

Best Home Alone game ever made. In this case, Genesis does what Nintendon’t.


Chakan: The Forever Man (November; Sega Genesis, Game Gear [December])

This game may be too difficult. It may have a non-ending. It may have stiff controls. But by God does it make up for it with visuals and atmosphere.


NFL Sports Talk Football ’93 (November; Sega Genesis)

Now sports games aren’t my thing, and by all accounts this shouldn’t be an exception. But that opening menu music hits me right in the nostalgia feels. I wanted to play the game back in the day just to hear that music. Plus it was great to hear announcers call plays in the game (it had been done before, but this was my first encounter with that back then).


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (November 24; Sega Genesis)

A major improvement over the first game. This is the one that set the standard for all other Sonic games ever made. The levels finally utilize his speed to their best. And the difficulty is about as tough as it ever was (more or less). Arguably the best Sonic game ever made next to the 3rd one (with the Sonic 3 & Knuckles games added on together). The main advantage it has over the next two sequels on the Genesis is that it gets the difficulty right. The sequels are a bit easier, but arguably more fun. In any case, the important thing is that now Sonic can crouch and spin, rather than have to build up momentum with a run. Plus there’s that music from Chemical Plant.

I also love that game cover. There’s something about Robotnik in the background, and gripping the number 2 so hard he causes it to crack. Wanted to make this game of the month, badly. But I couldn’t in good conscience do it, do to a release on another platform.


Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective (November; Sega CD, Turbografx [1991])

A gaming classic. Is it a classic because it’s good? No, because it’s not that great. It’s a classic because this was THE game that ushered in FMV games. Something the Sega CD is notorious for, wish ultimately lead to its downfall as FMV games usually aren’t that great (there are exceptions).


Wonder Dog (November; Sega CD)

An overlooked platformer that’s actually good.


Best of the Best: Championship Karate (November; SNES, Sega Genesis [1993])

Difficult to play, but can be rewarding for those who have the patience for it.


Firepower 2000, aka Super SWIV (November 13?; SNES)

One of the better shmups on the SNES.


Imperium (November 1; SNES)

Nice little shmup.


John Madden Football ’93 (November 21?; SNES, Genesis [December])

Just putting this out there. One of the more solid football games, that continues to improve upon its predecessors. Genesis version is better.


On the Ball, aka Cameltry (November 1; SNES)

Sort of like Monkey Ball before that came around, except you’re rotating the screen in order to get the ball rolling (when you’re not making it jump). These games are fun, but I try to resist the urge to play them due to how prone controllers are to being broken.


Super Star Wars (November 1; SNES)

These SNES Star Wars games are ridiculously difficult. I mean, yeah, they’re fun, for a while. But you need to have the patience of a saint with this trial and error madness that ensues with this action-platformer. This isn’t quite game of the month either.


Soul Blazer (November 27; SNES)

Nice action game, that would inspire others. Also pretty cool with how the world changes the more you progress through the dungeons, which makes up for the slight monotony of how you would permanently deal with enemy spawn points. Certainly one of the best RPGs ever put to console; it’s just that it’s overshadowed by others. Very much worth playing, and a contender for game of the month. But still not quite the winner.


Forgotten Worlds (November; Turbografx, Sega Genesis [November 1989], Arcade [1988])

Shmup, that was a better port on the Turbografx than on the Genesis.


Star Control II (30; PC, 3DO [January 1994])

It’s worth playing the fan remake of this game, titled The Ur-Quan Masters. That being said, this is an unbelievable step up from the last game. Open world space exploration. Encountering alien races. Upgrading your own ship. It’s Mass Effect before Mass Effect came out. A legendary classic. Game of the month. Worth noting that the 3DO version is highly regarded.




Shows

Only one thing came out this month on television that’s noteworthy, as far as I can tell.

The Jacksons: An American Dream (15; ABC)

A 2-part miniseries docudrama about the Jacksons and their history in music.


Edit (8-23-2021): Added Julian Cope: Jehovakill to Music.

Edit (8-20-2021): Added Chakan: The Forever Man to Games.

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