Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: June 1993

On his 35th birthday, Prince announces that he is changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol. This led to him being called The Artist Formerly Known as Prince until 2000. Connie Chung joins Dan Rather as anchors of CBS Evening News. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton. Ken Griffey Jr. slugs his 100th career home run in Seattle. NBA Finals: Chicago Bulls become first team since legendary Boston Celtics of the 1960s to win 3 consecutive titles, with a 99–98 victory in Game 6 over Phoenix Suns; MVP: Michael Jordan for third straight year. United Nations authorizes worldwide oil embargo against Haiti. Nigeria’s military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida, annuls results of presidential elections and halts a return to democracy. Arab terrorist group planning bombing of Holland and Lincoln Tunnels caught. Yale computer science professor Dr. David Gelernter loses the sight in one eye, the hearing in one ear, and part of his right hand after receiving a mailbomb from the Unabomber. “Late Night with David Letterman” airs for the last time on NBC-TV. The U.S. launches a cruise missile attack targeting Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for a thwarted assassination attempt against former President George H. W. Bush in April in Kuwait. Don Henley booed in Milwaukee when he dedicates the song “It’s Not Easy Being Green” to President Clinton.




Music

Honorable mentions:

  • Slowdive: Souvlaki. For those that like shoegaze. Might add this if not enough albums this month.
  • Mercury Rev: Boces. Interesting album cover, and the Snorry Mouth track is fun. Everything else though…
  • Palace Brothers: There Is No-One What Will Take Care of You.
  • Janis Ian: Breaking the Silence.
  • Van Morrison: Too Long in Exile
  • Steve Miller Band: Wide River
  • Paul Westerberg: 14 Songs. Silver Naked Ladies is a fun track, but otherwise this isn’t a style I enjoy all that much.
  • Taj Mahal: Dancing the Blues
  • Morbid Angel: Covenant. Just mentioning it because it’s considered the peak of the death metal genre by some.
  • Billy Ray Cyrus: It Won’t Be the Last
  • The Flaming Lips: Transmissions from the Satellite Heart
  • Fugazi: In on the Kill Taker
  • RuPaul: Supermodel of the World

Love Battery: Far Gone (1)

Not bad.


Slowdive: Souvlaki (1)

For those that like shoegaze.


Bell Biv DeVoe: Hootie Mack (1)

Above the Rim.


Helloween: Chameleon (2)

My kind of rock.


Bad Religion: Recipe for Hate (3)

Some memorable hits on this album from this famous punk rock band.


Tears for Fears: Elemental (7)

The titular track Elemental is an obvious standout (and still one of my favorites of theirs). Dog’s A Best Friend’s Dog isn’t too bad either.


Urge Overkill: Saturation (8)

Crackbabies.


Harem Scarem: Mood Swings (11)

That’s more like it.


Jamiroquai: Emergency on Planet Earth (14)


Pete Townshend: Psychoderelict (15)

Interesting.


Manic Street Preachers: Gold Against the Soul (21)

Now this is what I call an improvement over a previous album. While the last album didn’t have anything that stood out, this one starts off with a standout track. Other tracks are good too. Including the rather distinct La Tristesse Durera (Scream to a Sigh). Pretty much reaches a peak at that song. Loses some steam after the first few tracks, but is otherwise a good album.


Verve: A Storm in Heaven (21)

The Sun the Sea. Blue. Butterfly. Album of the month, I guess.


Cyndi Lauper: Hat Full of Stars (22)


Jeff Beck: Crazy Legs (29)

Old school rockabily (reminiscent of Buddy Holly). I guess I have a thing for this.


Billy Idol: Cyberpunk (29)

This album wasn’t a hit, and many critics reviled it back in the day. But I don’t know… It seems alright to me.


The House of Love: Audience with the Mind (?)




Movies

Honorable mentions:

  • Sleepless in Seattle. I tried to like this movie, but it just gets so fucking boring. There isn’t enough to it to make it special.
  • Guilty as Sin. Just got so ridiculous.
  • Extreme Justice. Shown on HBO. Completely ridiculous with how the action scenes play out, especially with all the collateral damage that gets caused, which was easily preventable if these cops were decent at their jobs. It’s still a bit on the fun side though if you don’t mind it being a bit mindless, or if you want to have fun with how mindless it gets. Plus, it’s a bit refreshing for a film to actually show black criminals. Particularly hilarious when this one cop has a mental breakdown over shooting this chick with a shotgun, finding out that the shotgun wasn’t loaded.

Hell of a movie month.


The Music of Chance (4)

So a drifter driver meets a poker player, and they decide to attempt to strike it rich at a game at some rich guy’s place. Little do they know they would be building a wall instead. This film is a bit different in how it plays out, and it doesn’t answer every question that’s brought up (in a good way, making you ponder motives). Goes full circle with the ending.


Orlando (9)

Different. More atmospheric than anything else. A bit annoying though with a few in-your-face 4th wall breaking moments that basically promote androgyny and LGBT stuff.


Romper Stomper (9; limited, foreign release from Australia)

Because I don’t want to be a white cooly in my own country. ‘Cause it’s not our country anymore. ‘Cause rich people, and powerful people brought in boat loads of human trash. Cheap labour, gooks mainly, and there’s gonna be more. I want people to know I’m proud of my white history and white blood. One day it might be all I have. I don’t want to go the same way as the fuckin’ Abo.

[…]

It’s simply about, the ongoing struggle of the white race and the enemies it faces. You don’t know who the enemy is, you can’t win the war. Listen. “All the noble cultures of the past declined, because the purity and vigour of the originally created race faded out. They were compromised by the seed of lesser races that were attracted to the works of the superior men. The undeniable reason for their decline was then due to a kind of racial blood poisoning. Racial blood must be perserved in its purity at all costs.”

— Hando

You know, it’s funny that every time some film comes out where there’s at least one moment where the protagonist hits the nail on the head on an aspect on why things are going bad in the world, for why the white race is declining (rich elites importing migrants that cause cultural clash and decay, among other things), the message is always delivered by an unpleasant skinhead surrounded by even more unpleasant skinheads (or something equivalent) as if intending to destroy the message after it had been delivered because of who delivered it. Same thing in American History X, kind of. That’s not to say morons like these don’t actually exist or behave this way, but it’s practically the equivalent of having a film where the protagonist is anti-pollution and wants a cleaner more efficient city, who lives his life getting high on pot/shrooms and beating up anyone on the street who litters, threatening anyone who uses straws and plastic bags, and damages property of anyone who puts out more than one trash bin per week; which almost makes the film out to be pro-pollution. There’s more reasonable people who have this reasonable belief who act and behave more like gentlemen, and thus can deliver the message in a more reasonable manner. But that would risk the film being too thought-provoking and influential in a way the “rich elites” wouldn’t want, because the last thing on their mind is a film that evokes independent thought where the viewer may think, “Huh, this viewpoint I’ve learned to despise because of who is shown to generally follow it may not be so bad.”

But other than that, this film is ok. Basically has a theme of how a hatred for something/someone, no matter how valid and sound the reasoning may be for the hate, will come to ruin you. So since skinheads have a loathing for anyone non-white (let alone Jewish, though that’s not brought up in this film), or even better off financially in certain respects, they tend to resort to destructive behavior upon themselves and others, in spite of their thing for Aryan brotherhood, and in spite of seeming to hold reverence for the Nazi party in Germany (though skinheads would be viewed as despicable people by Nazi Germany’s standards).


Equinox (11)

I wasn’t expecting much from this. But it exceeded my expectations. Moody film with interesting characters that isn’t meant to be flashy at all. It doesn’t follow conventions, and it doesn’t utilize the twin brothers angle as much as you would expect, but it’s a solid drama (even if I have some minor quibbles about how the finale played out).


Jurassic Park (11)

Many didn’t think Terminator 2 would be topped in terms of being iconic, of being the defining movie of the decade (in a manner of cultural impact). Steven Spielberg managed to do the impossible by accomplishing just that, 2 years later, on this month of 1993. The film that raised the bar when it came to special effects. The film that set the standard for computer graphics in movies (The Abyss, and Terminator 2, were warm-ups leading up to this). The film that made dinosaurs popular again (taking the reigns that The Land Before Time, Land of the Lost [series], and Dinosaurs [series] handed off), and got them to remain popular for the rest of the decade. The film that has such famous moments and quotes (the latter of which primarily come from Jeff Goldblum, in a role that pretty much defined the rest of his career in the same way Pirates of the Caribbean defined Johnny Depp), such as from the water rippling due to a boom in the background of a foot stomping. The main theme music brought about by John Williams (who has done so many famous film tracks that it’s ridiculous).

I don’t think there’s going to be competition strong enough this year to approach the level of this movie, let alone this month, just on the cultural impact factor alone. God help any other film that got released for the next two months (let alone this one). I’m calling it, this is film of the month, and it will be film of the year. This is one of those films that made me so happy to be a child of the 90s who grew up with it, and talked with friends about it. This film is the reason why I believe the 90s didn’t really get going in full swing until 1993. A bit of a pity though, because I personally believe Spielberg would never reach this level of quality film-making ever again (just about everything he did afterwards that he’s praised for is overrated to varying degrees, although I do have a soft spot for Munich, and appreciate the ground-level style of filming he brought to Saving Private Ryan more than I enjoy the film itself, and he couldn’t have done A.I. without Stanley Kubrick).


Once Upon a Forest (18)

Grew up with this film in daycare, and I consider this underrated to this day. Solid animated kid flick.


Last Action Hero (18)

This is one of the most underrated films ever made. Its satire, but it’s also homage, to action flicks of the 80s. It pokes fun at the ridiculous tropes, but at the same time acknowledges how fun and entertaining they are and goes along with them. Also has some good stunts. This is a film that gets away with having its cake and eating it too. And audiences weren’t prepared for that back then. That, and there was no chance in hell this was going to compete with Jurassic Park successfully.


Dennis the Menace (25)

I’ve never been the biggest fan of this film, even as a kid. Mainly because I hated that Dennis character. Regardless, this is a bit of a classic 90s kid flick, so I gotta mention it. I don’t hate the film, it’s just not one I’d want to revisit out of personal desire.


House of Cards (25)

In case you’re wondering, no, this has nothing to do with Frank Underwood’s planning and manipulating to increase his political standing. It’s about some girl who becomes retarded one day after a vacation to South America, and eventually snaps out of it after getting some help (of a sort). Typical Hollywood approach to mental issues when they’re not turning them into superheroes (though there is a bit of that in this, with the construction and the painting). The main thing this film has going for it is the directing and cinematography.


What’s Love Got to do With It? (25)

It’s not bad for a biopic, even if it takes liberties (would you expect anything less?). They certainly picked the right actress for the job.


The Firm (30)

The film is about an up-and-coming lawyer joining a firm that winds up being corrupt as hell, and how he tries to get out of it. I can’t help but think this whole film is a metaphor for scientology entrapping up-and-coming actors; ironic, giving who stars in it. Anyway, this is a very solid and tense film. It could very well be the best book-to-film adaptation of a John Grisham novel.




Games

Honorable mentions:

  • Jurassic Park (NES). Decent, but not good enough.
  • Raging Fighter (Game Boy)
  • F-15 Strike Eagle (1993; Game Gear, Arcade [1991])
  • Kawasaki Caribbean Challenge (SNES)
  • Battletoads in Battlemaniacs (SNES). There really isn’t much reason to play this if you have access to the original NES classic. Besides, there’s a better Battletoads game that came out this month.
  • TNN Bass Tournament of Champions (1993; Sega Genesis, SNES [November 1994])

This was an insane fucking month for gaming. This cannot be understated as being one of the best gaming months in history.


Mortal Kombat II (June 25; Arcade)

As far as I’m concerned, this is the definitive Mortal Kombat game. Better than the first in every way, and with a more slick fighting system that put in on-par with Street Fighter II (though I wouldn’t say it quite achieved that level). Game of the month. Pity that it premiered this month too, as there are several other very strong contenders.


Battletoads & Double Dragon (June; NES, SNES [October], Genesis [December])

One of my favorite beat-em-ups, that I enjoy more than the other games in either franchise. More familiar with the Genesis version, but they’re all good regardless of which version you play. The team-up that nobody expected, that no one knew we needed.


DuckTales 2 (June; NES)

Just unfortunate timing with when this was released. Because this is a very solid follow up to the original classic.


Mutant League Football (June; Sega Genesis)

A cult classic in gaming. Probably in most gamer’s top 20 Genesis games.


Tinhead (1993; Sega Genesis)

A fun (difficult) little platformer. Unsure of the month this was released.


Technoclash (1993; Sega Genesis)

Fantasy meets cyberpunk. That’s different. Not sure what month this came out.


Ecco the Dolphin (23; Sega CD, Sega Genesis [December 29, 1992])

Basically held off on mentioning this game the previous year because the Sega CD version is the definitive way to play this game. And I say this as one who has played the Genesis, and PC version. It primarily has to do with the music, let alone some extra levels (for those who want prolonged puzzle-solving frustration). Anyway, this is another classic Genesis title that I consider a step or two below the iconic status of Sonic the Hedgehog at the time. You will pull your hair out at several points, and there is at least one stage that’s completely unreasonable with its difficulty. But it’s a unique and fascinating title that is unlike anything else that came out at that time. Plus… those last few levels though… I’d say it’s a puzzle game that’s unique to this day.


Vampire: Master of Darkness (June; Game Gear)

Decent Castlevania knock-off.


The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (June; Sega CD, Genesis [October 1991])

Considered the best Spiderman game of the 16-bit era, for whatever that’s worth. Personally, I prefer Maximum Carnage.


B.O.B. (June; SNES, Sega Genesis [September])

Personally, I think this stands for Butts or Boobs. Platforming shmup.


Cacoma Knight in Bizyland (June 1; SNES)

So the SNES finally got a version of Qix (May 1990 Game Boy), and Ultimate Qix (January 1991, Sega Genesis).


Pocky & Rocky (June; SNES)

A cult classic shmup.


Rock n’ Roll Racing (June 4; SNES, Genesis [1994])

Now this is a kickass racing game, that is yet another cult classic. Drive around and shoot other vehicles competing against you. Like a more hardcore Mario Kart with a different perspective. Plus the music is great. The SNES version has an overall better video and sound quality, the Genesis version has a larger screen view with more levels and a better AI. The SNES is the favored classic.


Run Saber (June 8; SNES)

The SNES knockoff of Strider. Good for what it is.


WWF Royal Rumble (June 8; SNES, Genesis [September])

Primarily for nostalgic purposes.


Dungeon Master: Theron’s Quest (June; Turbografx, SNES [as Dungeon Master], PC [1987])

Yep, Turbografx got their own version of the game too. Probably the best console-port of the game, compared to the SNES version. Basically like Shining in Darkness (that Genesis game), but with only the dungeon and nothing else.


Syndicate (June 9; PC)

If not for Mortal Kombat II, this would be game of the month. The iconic PC classic where you play as a corporation competing against other corporations utilizing 4 cyborg agents.


Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! (June 15; PC)

The franchise continues.


Betrayal at Krondor (June 22; PC)

A favorite among CRPG gamers back in the day. Very heavy on the story, and lengthy too (more-so than the average CRPG, especially with regard to the storytelling). Be ready for a dense narrative.


Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle (June 25; PC)

The sequel to Maniac Mansion, and arguably the more famous of the two games. Another classic this month.




Shows

Honorable mentions:

  • John & Leeza from Hollywood. Some talk show that ran for several years, re-titled “Leeza” after about a year.

Nothing too exciting this month.


Family Dog (23, CBS)

This show didn’t last long, and it was panned by critics. But it seems fine to me.


Johnny Bago (25; CBS)




Edit (7-16-2022): Added Bad Religion: Recipe for Hate to Music.

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