Monday, June 24, 2013

Random Shit In The Background : Maniac

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As I mentioned when I wrote up a post all about the background zombies in Dawn of the Dead, one of my absolute favorite things to do is to pop in a horror movie that I've seen many times before, and pay extremely close attention not to the plot or the movie itself, but to what's going on in the background.  What are the extras doing, when they think nobody's really watching them?  What products and vintage toys can be seen on shelves behind the actors, that I had never noticed before?  These are the things that fascinate me to no end.  If they don't fascinate you, and you're thinking I'm weird right about now, I don't blame you.  But they fascinate me.
And so tonight we launch Random Shit In The Background!, a brand new Freddy In Space feature wherein I show off the totally pointless but amusing little finds that I make, in the backgrounds of some of my favorite horror films.  Surely there's at least one reader out there who's as amused by this stuff as I am, and it's that one reader that I hope to amuse, with this feature.  So hey, one reader.  I like you.
 In this first installment of Random Shit In The Background, we take a peek behind Joe Spinell's sweaty overweight body and find a pretty interesting little trinket that tells us something about the character of Frank Zito that the movie itself never told us.  You ready for it?  In addition to scalping babes and blowing off heads, our beloved maniac Frank Zito was also a big time fan of Star Wars.  Yea.  Believe it.
How do I know this?  Well, check out what I found lurking behind Zito in the scene right before he turns Tom Savini's head into a live action Scanners gif, wherein he's loading his shotgun into a guitar case!!

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I realize it's a little hard to tell exactly what that is, so let's bust out the Freddy In Space Zoom-o-Matic (patent pending) and take a closer look at the item in question!

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Ah ha!  Now I see what that is!  It's one of the Stars Wars collectible drinking glasses that Burger King put out, back in 1977!!!
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 George Lucas teamed up with the fast food chain around the time A New Hope was released, and together they put out a series of four drinking glasses, each one highlighting a different character from the film.  There was Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, R2-D2 & C-3PO and Chewbacca, the latter of which is the one Frank Zito chose.  A new glass was released each week, and they came free with the purchase of a fountain coke, which was at the time a mere 59 cents!!
Check out the original Burger King commercial, announcing the promotion!

So what do we learn from this seemingly useless little background item?  We learn that Frank Zito is not only a fan of Star Wars (and specifically of Chewbacca), but also a Burger King kinda guy.  And to think, all this time I had been pegging him for a McDonald's guy.  Ya truly do learn something new every day!
For more 'in the background' fun, check out these two blasts from the past; Silent Night, Deadly Night: Inside Ira's Toys & A Virtual Visit To Tommy Jarvis' Bedroom!


Shawn Robare said...

Love this feature idea, and good eye!

GREGGER said...

I LOVE this. Great find on the Star Wars glass. That is a good eye.. I am always looking at stuff like this in the background.

Poltergiest and ET feature quite a few awesome Star Wars toys in the background! Also, Ira's Toys has to be one of the best, if not THE best toys in the package on the ahelf selections i have ever seen. Its a toy collectors wet dream!

Love this John. Keep doing these please! Even if we are the only ones...and I know we arent!