Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: March 1994

Nirvana play their final concert, in Munich. In Rome, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain lapses into a coma after overdosing on Rohypnol and champagne. Over 2 weeks later, Courtney Love calls the police, fearing that her husband, Kurt Cobain, is suicidal; police confiscate four guns and 25 boxes of ammo from Cobain’s home. The United States Supreme Court decision Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. rules that parody can qualify as fair use; the case was spurred by 2 Live Crew releasing a parody of the Roy Orbison hit “Oh, Pretty Woman” without a license from the publishing firm Acuff-Rose Music. The second of two congressional hearings on video games takes place on March 5; topics for discussion include the depiction of violence and sexual content in video games, their influence on children, and the prospect of governmental regulation of video game content. The Pay television content advisory system, which describe the varying degrees of suggestive or explicit content in series and movies being broadcast by pay cable channels, are first implemented by HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and The Movie Channel. Madonna appears on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman and makes headlines for going on a profanity-laden tirade—one of the most censored events of American TV talk-show history, swearing 13 times during the interview.

US Internal Revenue Service investigates baseball player Darryl Strawberry. 4 Arab terrorists founded guilty of bombing the World Trade Center. Jefffesron Airplane/Starship singer Grace Slick arrested for pointing a gun at a cop. ANC chief Nelson Mandela rejects demand by white right-wingers for separate homeland in South Africa. US Navy issues 1st permanent order assigning women on combat ship. US Defense Department announces smoking ban in workplaces. IRA launch 1st of 3 mortar attacks on London’s Heathrow Airport. American figure skater Tonya Harding pleads guilty to felony attack on former Olympic teammate Nancy Kerrigan. It is announced there is no smoking in Cleveland Indians new ballpark. South Africa Goldstone committee reveals existence of secret police. Wrestlemania X event happens, arguably the best Wrestlemania up to that point next to VIII; highlighted by Bret Hart vs. Own Hart, and the ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramone. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) enters into force after being ratified by the required number of nations. Wayne Gretzky sets NHL record with 802 goals scored. Amy Fisher’s lover Joey Buttafuoco is released from jail after 4 months & 9 days. Howard Stern formally announces his Libertarian run for NY governor. Serbs & Croats sign a cease-fire to end the war in Croatia. Chicago White Sox assigns former NBA superstar Michael Jordan to the Birmingham Barons of Class AA Southern League; returns to NBA after one season. The Journal Nature reports the finding in Ethiopia of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.


Honorable mentions:

  • Sublime: Robbin’ the Hood. Honestly, this album starts to work for me, just a little, when it’s purely instrumental, such as with the track 40 oz. free loop dub. But outside of that, it’s not my thing.
  • Luna: Bewitched
  • Bruce Cockburn: Dart to the Heart
  • Hammer: The Funky Headhunter
  • Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works Volume II
  • Elvis Costello: Brutal Youth
  • Sam Phillips: Martinis & Bikinis
  • John Frusciante: Niandra LaDes and Usually Just a T-Shirt
  • Chainsaw Kittens: Pop Heiress
  • Insane Clown Posse: Ringmaster
  • David Lee Roth: Your Filthy Little Mouth. The first two tracks are good. But after that… meh.
  • Bonnie Raitt: Longing in Their Hearts
  • Cell: Living Room
  • Alison Moyet: Essex
  • Inspiral Carpets: Devil Hopping
  • The Proclaimers: Hit the Highway
  • Tim McGraw: Not a Moment Too Soon. Ok, Indian Outlaw isn’t bad.
  • Phish: Hoist
  • GWAR: This Toilet Earth

Raven: Glow (1)

Beck: Mellow Gold (1)

You know this band from the track Loser.

Sass Jordan: Rats (1?)

A lady singer who can rock.

Nine Inch Nails: The Downward Spiral (8)

The album that made Nine Inch Nails famous. Very oppressive (mentally) with its sound, but that’s intentional given that it’s a concept album about a man’s downward spiral towards suicide. And the lyrics are brutally poetic. Closer. Album of the Month.

Soundgarden: Superunknown (8)

You know the song Black Hole Sun.

Failure: Magnified (8)

Good to play in the background, but nothing stands out all that much.

Chris Rhea: Espresso Logic (8)

Morrissey: Vauxhall and I (14)

Mötley Crüe: Mötley Crüe (15)

Our Lady Peace: Naveed (21)


Collective Soul: Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid (22)

You know this band from their hit single Shine.

Cheap Trick: Woke Up with a Monster (22)

I enjoyed Didn’t Know I Had It. Woke Up with a Monster isn’t bad either.

Pantera: Far Beyond Driven (22)

In general I don’t like this band, as the vocals like these tend to be too hard for my tastes (its not the lyrics, its how they’re delivered, like how I have a distaste for death metal). But they usually manage to put one or two tracks in their albums that work well enough for me. There tends to be a couple songs where it just seems right, like some harmonic balance was somehow achieved in this genre bridging the gap between hard rock/metal genres. I’m Broken. 5 Minutes Alone.

Running Wild: Black Hand Inn (24)

Oh hell yeah! Now this is my kind of music right here! If not for the cultural hits this month (NIN in particular), I would’ve given this album of the month just for pure personal music preference. But seriously, this album kicks ass.

Pink Floyd: The Division Bell (28)

Solid, as expected.

Infectious Grooves: Groove Family Cyco (29)

It is amusing that Do What I Tell Ya! is a critique towards Rage Against the Machine, as those bands were apparently having a feud. I mean, these lyrics are harsh, but in hindsight accurate.

On the mic, you talk about gettin’ violent
But to the man with the badge you’re nothin’ but silent
So now it’s the government you wanna overthrow
But first it’s off to the next oversized show
Now you’re makin’ your political statement
Or are you trying to add to your financial statement
And let’s not forget the evil corporations
Then why is SONY the sponsor of your presentation? Bitch

The Crow: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (29)

Normally I wouldn’t give records like these the time of day. But this is one of the most popular film soundtracks out there, so it’s obligatory.


Honorable mention:

  • The Chase. This is a film that could’ve been a good Vanishing Point inspired car chase experience, but settled on just being a mediocre Charlie Sheen vehicle.
  • Monkey Trouble. Just a typical meh 90s kid flick.
  • Thumbelina. One of the most forgettable animated flicks ever made.
  • Angie. The soap opera just got to be too much for me.
  • China Moon. All-around mediocre erotic thriller. But you do get to see Madeleine Stowe fully nude, so there is that.
  • Guarding Tess. All around mediocre experience.
  • Lightning Jack. All-around mediocre at best comedy. At least it wasn’t annoying, just on the dull side.
  • The Paper. Way too fucking liberal and commercial.
  • Major League II. Not in the same league as the first film.

Greedy (4)

The film’s message is a bit hypocritical and flawed, even for a comedy. But otherwise, it’s not bad.

Sirens (4)

First film of the month Hugh Grant is in. Probably took serious liberties on the real life event this is based upon. I shouldn’t like this movie, but there’s a part of me that acknowledges that sometimes people need to lighten up a bit and take a walk on the wild side every now and then; though there is such a thing as going too far with that (which this film unfortunately doesn’t really address). Anyway, plenty of nudity in this one, from all sexes.

Four Weddings and a Funeral (4)

Second film of the month Hugh Grant is in, and this one is a bit on the classic side as far as romance-drama genres go. Pretty much the only film this month where Grant is in a role considered typical for him. Film of the month.

The Hudsucker Proxy (11)

This film is not as good as it thinks it is, especially with that magical bullshit it pulls out of its ass during the finale. Still, it’s worth a watch, for the whole criticism/satire of corporate capitalism and whatnot.

The Ref (11)

Kinda wish this was film of the month. In spite of Kevin Spacey’s real life, uh, sins, this movie aged fairly well for a comedy. Does touch on some relevant topics about what can cause a marriage to go wrong.

The Silence of the Hams (11)

This movie is fucking stupid. And yet it provides the chuckles too. This is purely a guilty pleasure that wouldn’t work for everyone. It throws as many jokes around as possible just to see what will stick. Many don’t, some do. Somehow this landed enough for me to highlight, and I wasn’t expecting something like that from a slasher-spoof I never heard of before; God help me. Plus it’s got some moments that are seriously anti-PC in the manner only the 90s could do. Plus, just seeing Billy Zane in this…

Bitter Moon (18)

The third film Hugh Grant is in this month. Never thought I’d see him in a Roman Polanski film. Most erotic film of the month, though it’s also about how being too erotic and too dependent on something and too obsessive with pushing boundaries can lead to some unhealthy habits (something Sirens could’ve benefited from).

Naked Gun 33+13: The Final Insult (18)

The first film struck a decent balance of subtle and blunt comedy. The 2nd film was more on the blunt side. This one is more on the subtle side (compared to the first two), in spite of that opening title sequence. Guess that makes this a well-rounded comedy trilogy. Plus that tagline on the poster… that could be used for a lot of comedies these days, unironically.

Above the Rim (23)


D2: The Mighty Ducks (25)

Not a half bad sequel. But that sexual innuendo in the poster is unavoidable these days; a bit disturbing.

Against the Wall (26; HBO)

All about the Attica prison riot/takeover.

Jimmy Hollywood (30)

Better than I thought it would be. Ends up going from aspiring actor to vigilante stuff, in an interesting way that’s a bit deeper than you would expect.


Honorable mentions:

  • Instruments of Chaos Starring Young Indiana Jones (Sega Genesis)
  • NBA Action ’94 (Sega Genesis). Where NBA 2K got its start.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation – Future’s Past (SNES)
  • Mega Man Soccer (SNES)
  • Microcosm (14; 3DO, Sega-CD [December 1993])
  • Corridor 7: Alien Invasion (PC)
  • Ultima VIII: Pagan (18; PC). The Ultima series began its downward spiral. I would give this game a highlight, if not for the fact that it’s basically unfinished. There’s too much wrong with it to make the good stuff worthwhile. You’re better off ending the series with VII and pretending the cliffhanger moment didn’t happen.

Oh boy, this was a fun month.

Daytona USA (March; Arcade)

Mega Man 6 (March; NES)

Yeesh, the NES was still churning out games at this point, including another solid Mega Man game, even though many were getting burned out on this franchise at this point (X was already picking up the mantle as of a couple months ago). Because, really, it’s not much different from the prior entries.

Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II (15; NES)

Sub-Terrania (March/April; Sega Genesis)

Now this, right here, is one of my favorite Genesis games ever. Hell, it’s one of my personal favorite video games ever. Always fighting against gravity to keep your ship moving, and shooting. The first half of the game is basically just a glorified practice mode for the second half when you enter the jungle-like area, and constantly move through water that is just hell on your (limited) fuel. I haven’t seen many other games like it, and I don’t think any other game of this type has topped it.

And the music is kick-ass.

Columns III: Revenge of Columns (March; Sega Genesis)

If you liked the first 2, obviously you’ll like this. But that game cover is fucking retarded.

Grind Stormer (March; Sega Genesis)

Decent albeit uninspired shmup.

Bubble And Squeak (March; Sega Genesis, Amiga)

Mega Turrican (March; Sega Genesis)

One of the best shmups of the 16-bit era.

Skitchin’ (March; Sega Genesis)

As if Road Rash wasn’t 90s enough, now they make a rollerblade game out of it.

Castlevania: Bloodlines (18; Genesis)

One of the definitive Genesis classics, and it stands alongside the NES and SNES games in this franchise. Still amazes me that Genesis had their own Castlevania game during this time period.

Tomcat Alley (March; Sega-CD)

First full FMV game on the sega cd. Top Gun.

Claymates (March; SNES)

The Flintstones The Treasure of Sierra Madrock (1; SNES)

Equinox (5; SNES)

Basically the sequel to Solstice (June 1990).

The Peace Keepers (17; SNES)

Young Merlin (18; SNES)

A mixed bag.

Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (23; SNES)

Considered to be one of the best baseball games ever made, at least in the 16-bit era.

X-COM: UFO Defense (March; PC, Amiga [1995], Playstation [1995])

This, right here, is my favorite game of all time. I made a review for it. Game of the year contender, let alone game of the month.

Beneath a Steel Sky (March; PC, Amiga)

The UK version has a better box cover. A cult classic point-and-click adventure game.

Theme Park (March; PC, Atari Jaguar, 3DO, Genesis [1995])

The Elder Scrolls: Arena (25; PC)

The start of the Elder Scrolls series.


Honorable mentions:

  • Someone Like Me (NBC)
  • Ellen, aka These Friends of Mine (ABC)

The Byrds of Paradise (3; ABC)

Decent drama that only lasted a season.

Duckman (5; USA)

The first season of this show is great. There’s a fantastic episode about being politically incorrect and having the right to make fun of anyone you want. The seasons afterwards, they’re hit and miss and, hypocritically enough, get a bit politically correct on some topics. Show of the month I guess.

Weird Science (5; USA -> Sci-Fi)

Yeah, they made a TV show based off that 80s classic.

Secret Life of Toys (5; The Disney Channel -> Nick Jr.)

Obviously a kid’s show.

The Busy World of Richard Scarry (9 or 13; Showtime -> Nick Jr.)

I’ve always remembered that cat for some reason. I was also under the impression, back then, that the worm was an icon; but maybe I was confusing him with someone else. The more famous kids show of the time.

Mysteries of the Bible (25; A&E)

Classic series. Plus that music during that opening…

Traps (31; CBS)

Barely lasted a season, but seems solid enough. Plus George C. Scott is in it.

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