Amanda By Night's Retro Ectero Page

Retro Ectero is a place to wax poetic about all the wonderful silly things of a past long gone by.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Call Me!

Big hair, big music and even bigger phones. The 80s was a place for giant lip phones, neon phones, pink phones, cat phones, any kind of phone you can think of. Even cell phones. They may seem commonplace now, but cell phones in the 80s were quite rare. They existed alright, but were approximately the size of your head and cost about $8 a minute. And then there was the car phone, which featured a curly cord and a normal sized speaking piece. Ah, how times have changed! However, we must have been phone crazy then because the decade was full of songs about phones and calls. How did anyone survive without a way to communicate with each other from the ice cream shop, school and most importantly, the mall?!? It must have been tough times indeed and musicians took our desires seriously.

Songs about phones:

Mr. Telephone Man by New Edition
Looks like our favorite boy band had once fell prey to a bad connection and their only hope of getting in touch with a loved one is with the help of the, gulp, operator! Check these lyrics out:

When I dial 661 Computer Service
She said "Hello may I help you please?"
I told her something must be wrong
With my phone
Cause my baby wouldn't hang up on me

Before New Edition brought lousy phone service to the forefront, one hit wonder Rockwell was afraid to answer the phone:

When I come home at night
I bolt the door real tight
People call me on the phone, I'm trying to avoid
But can the people on TV see me or am I just paranoid

We vote for paranoid, Rockwell.

It seems everyone but Rockwell was waiting for that phone call, especially Blondie who seemed to begging for just one ring:

Call me on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me oh love
When you're ready we can share the wine
Call me

And that wasn’t Blondie’s only plead for modern technology.

I'm in the phone booth, it's the one across the hall
If you don't answer, I'll just ring it off the wall
I know he's there, but I just had to call
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone

Not only was the telephone a good way to call your loved one, it was also a good way to keep in touch with lost acquaintances, as Phil Collins sang about in Don’t Lose My Number:

Billy, Billy don't you lose my number
Cos you're not anywhere
That I can find you

But best of all, the preeminent reason to have a phone in the 80s was to call Jennie at 867-5309:

I know you'll think I'm like the others before
Who saw your name and number on the wall
Jenny I've got your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny don't change your number
8 6 7-5 3 0 9

Undoubtedly, the phone was as important to us then as it is now, only then teenagers were forced to spill their dirty secrets in the living room and some of the biggest performers of the 80s tapped into our need more freedom of the airwaves. Thank you popstars!

Amanda By Night

I got my Kongfruntation On

A couple more reviews and an essay on the always delightful... well, scary Jackie Kong.

Read my Review of Satan's Playground

Read my Review of the God Awful Til Death

And finally, a retrospective on Jackie Kong's movies:

Queen Kong


Amanda By Night

Thursday, August 10, 2006

New Reviews

And here's a review of the INCREDIBLE A Vacation in Hell

(Isn't Priscilla pretty?!? I LOVE HER!)

I will also be doing a few more reviews for Staci Layne Wilson at, plus I have few more goodies cooked up for all of you horror luvin' freaks!

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Pick-Up

The Pick-Up Trailer Version 2

I wrote a horror movie! YAY and here's the trailer for The Pick-Up! Enjoy!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Modern Girls (1986)

Known primarily as a music video director/producer, (he produced the insanely awesome video “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen), Jerry Kramer tried his hand at a feature length filmmaking in 1986. What he got was Modern Girls, a movie that loosely translates the feel of the poppy musical era to a motion picture. Modern Girls met with mediocre reviews but as time passed, it has come to be an irreplaceable time capsule.

In 1986, when Modern Girls came around, the new wave era was slowly drawing to a close even though it was opening another door for something we now refer to as clubbing. A decade famous for outrageous costume concoctions and airily bright music, the three lead females each embodies part of the musical movement. Margo (Daphne Zuniga) is the darker one. Donned in pre-goth black and with an attitude to match, she proves to be a tough girl to wrangle. CeCe (Cynthia Gibb) is the Cindi Lauper of the group. Her crazy outfits and upbeat outlook keep her happy even when she loses her job at the beginning of the film. The final girl, Kelly (Virginia Madsen) is a lot like pop music, her unassuming beauty wows all those who come into contact with her, yet she continually questions her worth and longevity. Clifford and Bruno X (both played by Clayton Rohner) are the guys who shows up and changes their lives.

Modern Girls is essentially a fairly uncomplicated love story rolled up in neon lights, the LA club life and lots of wonderful music. “No Promises” by Icehouse is a tremendous new wave ballad but it’s Depeche Mode’s beautiful and poetic “But Not Tonight” that sets the tone for a film whose theme is simply to be young and alive. Isn’t that what the 80s was all about?

The soundtrack has been long out of print, but you find the following songs on CD:

  • "But Not Tonight” by Depeche Mode is available on Black Celebration

  • “Weak in the Presence of Beauty” by Floy Joy is available on an import with the same title.

  • “Jealousy” by Club Noveau can be found on Life, Love and Pain

  • “No Promises” by Icehouse can be found on an import with the same title.

  • “Some Candy Talking” by the Jesus and Mary Chain can be found on 21 Singles