13 May 2018

Runaway Nightmare (USA, 1982)

Runaway Nightmare (USA, 1982)
Director: Mike Cartel (as Michael Cartel), starring: Mike Cartel, Al Valletta, Seeska Vandenberg...

An action comedy horror movie written, directed & starring Mike Cartel. Low-budget, bad acting, weak plot, and never really delivers on the promise of this description I found on imdb: "Two dorky Nevada worm wranglers are kidnapped by a gang of beautiful women as part of a plot to steal plutonium from the Mafia."

There is a bar scene with pinball machines, a jukebox, a mirror ball, and the two main characters get into a fight amongst them.

Oblivious to the fighting, there's a girl playing Suspense (Williams, 1969) the whole time...



Just before this mean-looking guy punches out the main character, we can see the reflection of two machines in the mirror behind the bar, and these may be the Night Rider and Power Play seen a bit later...

The punch throws him into a 1976 Seeburg Sunstar jukebox, which starts playing (slightly earlier, we see a girl drop a coin and make a selection, but it fails to turn on)...

Another punch is thrown in front of a Night Rider (Bally, 1976) EM version, and a Power Play (Bally, 1978)... these are quite possibly the machines seen reflected in the behind-the-bar mirror in the still above...

The other main character is seen near a Drop-A-Card (Gottlieb, 1971)...

The scene ends with TILT flashing on a Roller Coaster (Gottlieb, 1971)...

4 May 2018

Lobby Card Lies!

On a couple of occasions, I've stumbled upon a "lobby card" photo showing a pinball machine. These were photos taken during a movie's production that would be displayed in the lobby or window of a movie theatre, or used as promotional material for the movie.
These were not simply frames from the movie and duplicated, but rather photos taken by an on-set photographer A.K.A. unit still photographer. Their photos were used for promotion of the movie as well as for continuity in wardrobe, set and background appearance. Thus what you see in those photos is not what you might get in the movie...

Ich - Ein Groupie A.K.A. Higher and Higher (Switzerland/Germany, 1970)
Directors: Erwin C. Dietrich (as Fred Williams), Peter Baumgartner (uncredited). Starring: Ingrid Steeger, Rolf Eden, Vivian Weiss...

I stumbled upon this lobby card photo of a guy playing a Shangri-La  (Williams, 1967)...

But the scene in the movie is this...

Just before this shot, there is a one of the ball rolling on the playfield, but super out of focus. Of course, with the sounds, one can deduce that it's a pinball machine, but otherwise it's pretty abstract...

Later in the film, Ingrid and a suitor are in a jazz club and as they walk out, we can spot a machine in the corner on the left... a Discotek (Bally, 1965)...



Air Raid Wardens (USA, 1943)
Director: Edward Sedgwick. Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Edgar Kennedy...

I stumbled upon this photo of Laurel & Hardy next to this Follies of 1940 (Genco, 1939) machine...

However, in that scene in the movie, the shot is much tighter, and one barely sees the machine, and in fact, probably would not have even guessed that there was one there, had one not been looking for it and armed with the above lobby card photo...

(Thanks to the Laurel and Hardy Central for helping identify the movie the lobby card photo was from!)

BTW, Laurel and Hardy appear in the artwork of two pinball machines...
Flicker (Bally, 1975)...

...and Prospector (Sonic, 1977) which I guess is a reference to their 1937 movie "Way Out West"...

Bonus:
Fast Company (USA, 1953)
Director: John Sturges. Starring: Howard Keel, Polly Bergen, Marjorie Main...

I couldn't get a hold of this movie, but I wonder if it would be another case of "lobby card lies". I think the machine is a Merry Widow (Genco, 1948)... it has flippers but in the non-modern arrangement, so that would place it somewhen between late 1947 and 1950, inclusively)...

If I manage to catch it sometime, I'll be sure to update this post.