12.28.2014

favorite films of 2014


FAVORITE FILMS OF 2014

1. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
2. Godzilla
3. The LEGO Movie
4. Ida
5. Calvary
6. Whiplash
7. Interstellar
8. Guardians of the Galaxy
9. Snowpiercer
10. Selma

Kaguya speaks for itself, so I have nothing to say. Except that I'm going to miss Studio Ghibli.

As for Godzilla...I consider the original 1954 Gojira to be the greatest motion picture of all time, so Gareth Edwards' remake certainly had a lot to live up to. Not that Gojira was the benchmark - I was only hoping that this new Godzilla would stand among the more decent entries of the series. What I did not expect was that it would be such an unusual modern blockbuster, and in doing so deliver what I always wanted to see from a Godzilla film: ground-level perspective. With only eight minutes of screen time for the title character, the focus instead is on the helpless humans who have to navigate the rubble while unfathomable monsters fight it out in the background. And those eight minutes are spent wisely, as Godzilla has not been presented with this level of terror and awe since the original.

I am also quite fond of the other selections, for various reasons.

FAVORITE FILM SCREENING OF 2014
Akira at the Uptown Theatre

FAVORITE MOVIE TRAILER OF 2014
Birdman teaser trailer

FAVORITE OTHER THINGS OF 2014
True Detective, Community's "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics," Craig Ferguson's farewell song, and the Lego Research Institute set

12.27.2014

favorite music videos of 2014

 Chet Faker - "Gold"


Childish Gambino - "Telegraph Ave."


Duke Dumont - "Won't Look Back"


DUM - "On and On"


Pharrell Williams - "Happy" (Without Music)


Psy - "Hangover"


Sia - "Chandelier"


Small Black - "Real People"


Tomas Barfod - "Happy"


World Order - "Have a Nice Day"

Some of these are quite silly this year.

I'm also not sure any of the videos top FKA Twig's un-embeddable live performance of "Two Weeks" on The Tonight Show over HERE.

12.23.2014

A Personal History of Literature


So many things from my childhood, I have forgotten. I was a big reader, I remember that - loving Pizza Hut's Book It! program and Scholastic book fairs at school in particular. Beloved titles had since faded from memory through the subsequent years, but it was in Portland a few years ago at the famous Powell's Books whereupon I reunited with The Glove of Darth Vader (my favorite book at one point, long ago). Ever since, I have desired to trace back my personal literary timeline. And so, finally, to the best of my ability, here it is.

Untraceable
I can't trace a number of books by year, since they were published before by birth. Like many kids, I grew up with the Berenstain Bears, Little Critter, and Poky Little Puppy series'. The Berenstain Bears & the Spooky Old Tree, in particular, still stands the test of time with its spooky atmosphere and tremendous art. The other early treasures were It's Halloween, Happy Birthday Moon, The Snowy Day, and Corduroy, though I know Georgie, Caps For Sale, Mr. Men & Little Miss, and Three Hat Day were in there too.




As I grew older, I had an affinity to the Bunnicula series, of which Howliday Inn was my favorite of the bunch. I also loved the incredibly witty Sideway Stories From Wayside School and Where the Red Fern Grows, my mother's favorite book. I recall only the cover for Indiana Jones & the Cup of the Vampire, though I think now that I was a much bigger Indiana Jones fan than I remember. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing fits in here somewhere too along with The Phantom Tollbooth, a book I never quite understood. I always thought I'd read through the Chronicles of Narnia, but as it happens, I think I was just into the BBC miniseries' that aired on PBS.


1987
I was only five years old in 1987, so my most memorable Choose Your Own Adventure book, Space Vampire, must have belonged to my brother. I do vividly recall the awesome sticker book Dinosaurs & Other Monsters From the Past which probably jumpstarted a love of dinosaurs long before my Jurassic Park obsession. And then there was The Haunting of Grade Three, the first of a series of three that marked the start of my childhood love affair with spooky stories (having a character named Joey certainly helped).



1988
My favorite books at this time were How to Eat Fried Worms and The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks. My mom was an avid reader-out-loud which I can't thank her enough for, and I really made her mad when I tried to silly putty-copy a page of the latter book and ended up tearing a whole page.  Spooky stories continued with The Ghost in the Picture, which weirdly focused a lot on ice skating, and There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom and How I Survived My Summer Vacation were there somewhere too.



1989
This was the year that the infamous Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was released. Of course, I was enamored by the vivid freaky drawings like every other kid, but I was more into the continued Haunting of Grade Three saga, The Return of the Third Grade Ghosthunters.  A love of mythology might also have blossomed around this time with help from Monster Mazes.







1990
A huge year for magazine reading, as I started collecting both Nintendo Power (video games were my first true love) and Disney Adventures. The Ghost on the Hill concluded the Haunting of Grade Three saga and my favorite series then became My Teacher is an Alien. My forgotten Indiana Jones fascination continued with the Young Indiana Jones series, particularly The Circle of Death (I also loved the TV series, which unfortunately doesn't stand the test of time). This was also the year of the bold, incredible Maniac Magee (which I couldn't have understood at my age), plus The Mouse & the Motorcycle and the Great Ghosts collection with its great illustrations.

1991
The year that I was obsessed with the pretty terrible Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves movie, so much so that I owned the novel adaptation. Intellectual puzzle books like Two Minute Mysteries and For Eagle Eyes Only entered my life, and my Indiana Jones collection continued with Indiana Jones & the Seven Veils (among others, I'm sure). The My Teacher is an Alien series continued (my favorite was My Teacher Glows in the Dark) and there's also the cover for R.L. Stine's The Snowman, which is memorable and awesome, though I don't remember the actual story.



1992
The year of my first comic book, Spectacular Spider-Man 189, though the bigger news at the time was my blossoming love of Star Wars with The Glove of Darth Vader and Timothy Zahn's classic Heir to the Empire (perhaps my first 'real' novel). Goosebumps also started out with Welcome to Dead House (I collected through #27) along with the School Daze series with Who Ran My Underwear Up the Flagpole? The latter is the type of 'everyday school kid' book that is tough to remain timeless, but at the time, I couldn't get enough. Christopher Pike's Monster and its fantastic cover is in there somewhere too.
1993
My big transition to 'real' novels begins! This year saw the release of Jurassic Park, and I'm not sure I've ever been more obsessed with anything in my life. So of course, I loved Michael Crichton's original novel. I also read through my dad's copy of Stephen King's Nightmares & Dreamscapes after listening to an excellent audiobook of The Mist, evolving my love of spooky tales. Garfield was in there too with his 25th book, Garfield Hits the Big Time, though I never enjoyed the comic as much as his cartoons.




1994
Comic book collecting continues with a Shopko collection of Batman: Knightfall, a Sam's Club collection of DC: Zero Hour issues, and the awesomely-covered Wolverine 82. I also clamored over the Jumanji-ish Forbidden Game series, which was written by The Vampire Diaries' L. J. Smith. I think I also started reading the film magazine Cinescape thanks to its first issue being included in Electronic Gaming Monthly and talking about a proposed Alien vs. Predator film (the arcade game was the best).


1995
My veer into comic book collecting takes center stage, thanks partly to my collection of comic book magazines starting with Wizard #49 and Combo Magazine. I was also heavily into the rather unique RPG series Lone Wolf, starting with Flight From the Dark. I never figured out how to play it right, but it was still a nice epic fantasy story. I also recall getting Dean Koontz's Strange Highways, so I must have been reading him by then (Phantoms and Watchers were my favorites). Koontz and Stephen King made up a lot of my reading around this era.


1996
Dean Koontz collecting continued with Tick Tock and I became briefly obsessed with the book series based on Clue (probably because I loved the movie so much). I was also really into maze books for some reason, particularly Amazing Mazes.





1997
The Fifth Element hit movie theaters, and thus my favorite pop culture medium switched gears. I was now a full-fledged movie guy, collecting Cinescape magazine like crazy. This is not to say I put reading behind me though - my adoration of Ray Bradbury began with his Quicker Than the Eye collection along with a thrift store copy of The Toynbee Convector. My favorite book of his was/is Death is a Lonely Business, but I might not have gotten my hands on that until a few years afterward.




1998-1999
My love of spooky stories continued to evolve with Neil Gaiman's tremendous Neverwhere. It must have been either through him or Stephen King's informative Danse Macabe that I was pointed to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, which made up my favorite reading material for the remainder of my high school days. C.S. Lewis' Perelandra is the only other book I remember around here, because a deep analyzation of it in school made me despise it, though now I carry a weird sort of nostalgia for it.




And that was that. There was more, to be sure, but I believe these titles were the anchors. Once out of high school, I ended up with a third shift gas station job and began checking out books at the library like crazy. Onwards and upwards, from there.

I miss Scholastic book fairs.

8.23.2014

A Personal History of the Uptown Theatre


I was hired at the Uptown Theatre on August 23, 2004 thanks to Takeshi Kitano.

Applications for the establishment at the time asked the hopeful hire to write the name of their favorite film on the back of the front page, as a way to ensure they were paying attention to directions. I listed Kikujiro. I had discovered this 1999 gem about eighteen months prior, after an acquired bootleg of Battle Royale jumpstarted my interest in Asian cinema. Seeing 'Beat' Takeshi in this film led to a viewing of his classic Sonatine. I was unable to fully comprehend the film's dark deadpan comedy at the time, but decided to give him another shot.

I had seen the Kikujiro VHS on the shelf of Hollywood Video a while before, with its colorful and intriguing back cover particularly catching my eye. I suppose I didn't rent it at first because of a hesitancy towards foreign films, but any wariness had subsided by the Spring of 2003. So I watched it, and fell in love.

Around the time of August of 2004, then-head Uptown manager Michael Meyer had also recently viewed Kikujiro. Having thoroughly enjoyed it, and being surprised to see this obscure selection listed as someone's favorite film, I was granted an interview. The meeting was brief and barely consisted of typical interview topics, as attention was instead turned to this delightful movie. I had apparently been hired before I stepped through the door.  Beat Takeshi had done my work for me.

I had moved to Minneapolis at the beginning of August and had spent my time deep within a lack of human contact. So on my first night of work (we were playing the Zatoichi remake, another Beat Takeshi connection), I was elated to be invited out by fellow floor staffer Rich Gill and assistant manager Rebecca Brammer-Shlay to the Uptown Bar. Too elated, it seems, as I quickly downed some screwdrivers that turned out to be much stronger than anticipated (this was the Uptown Bar, after all).

After telling a story of how upset I was in 1997 when my mother would not let me cut my hair to match that of Zorg in The 5th Element, it was decided that I needed a mohawk. And so, I proceeded to walk with this group to Rich's living quarters where this was accomplished. I woke up the next morning, sitting on a couch in a place I did not recognize, and confusingly opened every other door on the 1st floor before finally finding the one that exited me to the street. Wandering aimlessly and gathering a few strange stares from passers-by, I eventually returned to my studio apartment to discover that I was covered in hair and dried blood and now had a mohawk shaved into my head that veered somewhat to the left.

This was my introduction to the Uptown Theatre.

There are too many memories, so I will list no more. Instead, while I have previously touched on my favorite theatrical experiences at the Uptown, these are the films I have been the proudest to screen throughout my tenure.

*Che (2009)
This special cinematic experience put together both parts of Steven Soderbergh's epic into a combined roadshow release. There were no ads, trailers, or credits, just a five-minute musical overture over a map of Cuba before the film and a souvenir program listing cast and crew information for each audience member. A rare moment where attending a film felt like a true event.

*Fantasia (2011)
Screenings of Disney repertory films are quite rare, as steep prices and strict regulations tend to keep bookers at bay. I took it upon myself, however, to convince Landmark higher-ups that Fantasia would indeed make its money back, which it accomplished with the added help of weekend matinee shows.

*A Serious Man (2009)
There have been a number of films in my time at the Uptown that I have viewed under the influence of too much alcohol, but A Serious Man was the only one I walked out of convinced that it was the most perfect movie I had ever seen. Upon a sober re-watch, this was still pretty much correct. And while the Uptown would typically get only one showtime a year that would sell out all 900 seats, A Serious Man was the only title that I recall selling out two.

*Spooktacular! (2006)
My favorite midnight selection. While its centerpiece was the public domain classic Night of the Living Dead, Spooktacular! was preceded by over a half an hour of old horror movie trailers and animated shorts. Wildly entertaining and everything that a good midnight movie experience should provide.

*Thirst (2009)
Many midnight movie selections at the Uptown are decided through collaboration between Landmark's wonderful midnight film booker and the theater's actual staff, so I am proud to have had a hand in screenings such as Hackers, Torque, and Rocky IV. Thirst, however, was a special case. Originally slated to open in a week-long run, it was swiftly removed from theater calendars across the country because its distribution studio did not want to pay for advertising and shipping. We at the Uptown immediately fought to bring it to the big screen in some capacity, which led to two midnight showings and a momentary sense of important accomplishment.

8.14.2014

Goodbye, Uptown Theatre


The first screening I attended at the Uptown Theatre was a midnight show of The Omega Man on August 14, 2004. I began working there nine days later.
 
This film was my tribute to the theater when it closed for renovations in January 2012. It was removed from YouTube due to copyright claims from Warner Brothers and screened at the Trylon Microcinema devoid of context in January 2013.

Music - "Liu Lien" by Yao Lee (from Goodbye, Dragon Inn)

8.04.2014

A Brief History of the Uptown Theatre


The 1,500-seat Lagoon Theater opened in Minneapolis on June 3, 1916 as part of a dance hall and storefront block. This $100,000 development was built of gray terracotta and rough textured brick with an interior painted old rose and gray, housing an orchestra pit and a 40-foot stage. The business would later change its name to the Uptown on April 11, 1929 (see above photo) that coincided with the installation of sound equipment and a screening of The Dummy.

A bizarre botched robbery occurred in 1933. 21 year-old Ted Fisher had been fired from his usher post due to a gun being found in his locker, but was present one month later during a hold-up as he was in the office, mixing drinks with on-duty managers. After a struggle with the bandit, Fisher was shot and killed. What makes matters strange is that a holdup note was later found in his pocket that read, "Open that safe and take the cash from yesterday and today's receipts and come out the alley door, and lay it on the stone wall, and then walk up the alley to the railroad tracks, and then turn left. Don't look back or call for help, or you'll be shot. You are covered all the time." While it might seem that Fisher was in on the robbery, it does not explain why this note was not used. Perhaps Fisher arrived to rob the theater only to find himself beaten to the punch, but this is mere speculation.

A fire broke out in the Uptown during a 1938 screening of Trade Winds, leaving the theater a charred husk. The city then hired the firm of Liebenberg & Kaplan for a $65,000 renovation, and this new Uptown Theatre opened on November 16, 1939 with a screening of The Women.

The structure showcased a streamline moderne design that was popular at the time. Two large incised roundels were placed into a kasota stone facade with a curved corner that symbolized themes of travel and adventure in cinema. Inside the auditorium, murals composed of acoustic-celotex depicted the history and geography of the Twin Cities. One shows early explorers gazing upon what would be the future Minneapolis, while the other shows a giant Father of the Waters presiding over a group of water sprites that symbolize the lakes of the city. The building also boasted 900 seats and a 60-foot tower that was the first three-sided vertical tower sign in the country and had to be approved by civil aviation authorities.

There is a news article from the Star Tribune on July 8, 1975 that is of particular interest. Written by Irv Letofsky and titled, "When the Stars Didn't Fall on Hennepin Av.," it concerns an attempted American Graffiti class reunion by then-owners Metropolitan Theater Co. that would have brought together the film's seven stars. Only two showed up, however, and they were Mackenzie Phillips and Bo Hopkins. General manager Dennis Slusher is quoted as saying, "I was going to commit suicide today," and Letofsky later writes: "We just wanted to create some excitement," said Slusher, who as of late last night had not done himself in.

Amarcord would be the last film played at the Uptown before its first closure that same year. Landmark Theatres, then known as Parallax Theatres, bought the property in 1976. There have been rumors throughout the years of the Uptown being an X-rated theater, but these claims appear to be inaccurate, as there was no time between Metropolitan (though it may have been General Cinema, or perhaps this was the same company) and Landmark for this to occur. This new Uptown screened classic double features along with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which began on May 19, 1978.

A lobby remodel took place in 1984 (though another source cites 1989) to re-create art moderne and neo-baroque design elements that included a bizarre circular box office/concession stand combo. Then in November 1985, the Uptown switched their repertoire to feature foreign and independent cinema. This began with The Coca-Cola Kid and would begin to be a huge success the following February with a month-long run of Akira Kurosawa's Ran. It was around this time that Godard's Hail Mary was also screened that drew a wave of controversy and protesters. The theater was even broken into one night and the 35mm print stolen.

The Uptown was a cinema powerhouse in the Twin Cities throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was deemed a heritage site in 1990, but it then spent a decade fighting off plans to transform into a triplex design that so many other single-screen cinemas across the country had fallen victim to. The Rocky Horror Picture Show also ceased in 1996 in favor of weekly screenings of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. This lasted ten months before returning to regular midnight screenings, though it would not be until Halloween 2009 that Rocky Horror would return.

While theater attendance across the country dwindled slowly throughout the 2000s, the Uptown was still able to sell out its massive auditorium at least once a year with the likes of Juno, Pan's Labyrinth, A Serious Man, and Blair Witch Project - the last of which sold out every show for weeks. It also became locally (and occasionally nationally) famous for its clever marquees such as, 'We Have A/C, Who Cares What's Playing?,' declaring Limits of Control and The Brothers Bloom to be 'Better Than the Star Trib Review,' and referring to Joss Whedon as 'The Writer of 4 Episodes of Roseanne.'

The Uptown Theatre quietly closed for renovations on January 31, 2012 after a screening of Pariah. It was re-opened on September 14, 2012 with Sleepwalk with Me. The new modern design saw the addition of a full bar, the loss of 550 seats, and the replacement of 35mm with digital projection.

It was a beauty.

8.01.2014

A Decade of Minneapolis


It was ten years ago today that I made my move to Minneapolis. I had spent that early morning in Wausau, Wisconsin waiting at an Emma Krumbee's for breakfast with company that never arrived, and then I was off. It was a different time. I had, up until that point, rarely traveled outside of the state. I had not seen a film by Werner Herzog. I hated salads and chicken wings. I was not yet a Pepsi fan.

The internet tells me that the temperature in the Twin Cities was 87 degrees, but my memory places it higher, at least inside of a small studio apartment overlooking Loring Park and the Minneapolis Community & Technical College, the excuse that had brought me here. I recall placing a box fan in the window to relieve the heat, but it soon fell out and broke on the floor, leaving me with nothing. I did not want to be there.

It was the next night when I changed my mind. Wandering into the park, I unknowingly encountered the Walker Art Center's Music & Movies in the Park. The Owls played, and then the Steve McQueen film Love with the Proper Stranger. Minneapolis wasn't so bad.

And so I share my favorite areas and experiences, because.

FAVORITE THEATRICAL FILM VIEWINGS
Aliens (Uptown Theatre, 2009)
The Dark Knight (Uptown Theatre, 2008)
Step Up 3D (Showplace ICON, 2010)
Wild Blue Yonder (Oak St. Cinema & Bell Auditorium, 2006)
Zatoichi 5: On the Road (Uptown Theatre, 2004)

Collateral was the first film I saw on the big screen in Minneapolis, and The Omega Man was the first at the Uptown Theatre, but it was my third - Zatoichi 5 - that first made it sink in that I was now surrounded in a movie screening paradise. Who would think to play the 5th Zatoichi film? I never found out if it was the only title available or was chosen at random, but sitting in the darkness with a scant few others, I knew that this place was somewhere special. Four years later would see the release of The Dark Knight, a sequel to a movie that I remain unfond of. It was to open at the Lagoon Cinema, but wishing to view it on the biggest screen possible, we just took the print across the street. While a select few guests can be invited to private employee screenings, this one in particular got a bit out of hand. And so, in the darkness, a few hundred of us watched the spectacle that, to my surprise, I was not unfond of. The next year was a routine midnight of Aliens, made special by the introduction of the legendary Rock & Roll Ray. The pre-show revealed that he had an actual alien to show the crowd but had unfortunately escaped, and then, about 30 minutes into the film during its first major action sequence, Ray emerged dressed as an alien and battled his cohorts on stage. It was like something out of a William Castle experience, and it was glorious.

Werner Herzog's Wild Blue Yonder played at the 2006 Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival. It was only scheduled for one screening at the long-gone Oak Street Cinema, but the reels had been put out of order. Stopping the film mid-way through, the festival folks promised a new screening down the street at the Bell Auditorium, but when it occurred a few days later, some of the reels were still placed in wrong. No one in the audience said anything. It was too good to stop again (it remains, in my opinion, the greatest film of the 21st century). Step Up 3D holds a special place in my heart as the crowd consisted of myself and a few friends, a pair of teenage girls, and the late, great Terry Blue. Perhaps the most prolific and certainly the most outspoken of regular theater visitors in the area, watching this ridiculously entertaining film with him laughing and clapping throughout was a gold standard of the big screen experience.

FAVORITE FOOD
Burger/Fish & Chips @ The Anchor Fish & Chips
Chicken w/ Black Bean Sauce @ Shuang Cheng
Chicken Josh @ Darbar India Grill
Walleye Fingers & French Fries @ Liquor Lyle's
Sweet Potato Korokke @ Moto-i

It's only the korokke that no longer exists on a menu, and it breaks my heart to this day.

FAVORITE MN PLACES (THAT ARE NOT THE UPTOWN THEATRE)

Of course the pre-2012 Uptown Theatre is my favorite place in Minneapolis. It was my favorite place probably anywhere. But these are others to like too, and they are quite nice.

Block E 15 (desolate mainstream movie viewing, closed in 2012)
Brooklyn Center (fascinating failed suburbia with an actual abandoned mall)
Cedar Lake Trail (Days of Heaven-level beauty past the Walker & the 394 overpass)
Chinese Express (best Chinese take-out in the city)
Country Bar (unexplainably divey, closed in 2014)
Downtown St. Paul (and the view at night from the highway coming from Wisconsin
Half-Price Books (treasure trove of VHS, among other things)
Heights Theater (tremendous repertory screenings in a classically styled auditorium)
Hennepin County Library System (their inter-library loan system is a miracle)
Light Rail Blue Line (scenic trip right to Mall of America)
Liquor Lyle's (home base bar for many early years)
Mall of America (it's Mall of America)
Mortimer's (the destination when I was sure that I'd never amount to anything in life)
Moto-i (Godzilla films on Sunday nights)
Nicollet Village Video (incredible obscure VHS selection, closed in 2010)
Maplewood (my favorite suburb to visit, with its amazing mall and thrift stores)
St. Anthony Falls Historic District (where many of my films were shot)
Trylon Microcinema (the staff consists of most of the best people in town)
Uptown Bar (Monday Record Parties and the community that followed, closed in 2009)
Walker Art Center (made me enjoy video art w/ Cao Fei, Minouk Lim, and John Smith)

There are memories.

2.26.2014

wrestling: moments


The WWE Network launched just yesterday, with decades of old footage instantly available for viewing. And so, as Wrestlemania XXX looms, a cocktail of boredom and obsessive compulsion has led me to make a list of my favorite moments in professional wrestling history.

FAVORITE WRESTLING MOMENTS (updated 12.31.16)
1. Mankind is thrown off Hell in a Cell, shrugs off EMTs, returns smiling (KoTR 1998)
2. CM Punk wins the WWE championship, leaves WWE (Money in the Bank 2011)
3. Chris Jericho debuts in WWE (Monday Night RAW 8.9.99)
4. Mitsuharu Misawa heads to the ring (AJPW 06.08.90)
5. Chris Benoit wins the WWE championship, hugs Eddie Guerrero (Wrestlemania XX)
6. Mitsuharu Misawa's tiger suplex off the ramp (NOAH 3.1.03)
7. The Four Horsewomen curtain call (NXT Takeover: Brooklyn)
8. Earthquake 'injures' Hulk Hogan (Superstars of Wrestling 5.26.90)
9. The Undertaker turns face on Jake 'The Snake' Roberts (Superstars 2.29.92)
10. Randy Savage goes under the ring to confuse George Steele (Wrestlemania II)
11. Bob Backlund's Royal Rumble performance (Royal Rumble 1993)
12. Bret Hart 'shoot' promo with Goldberg (Monday Nitro 3.29.99)
13. The Ultimate Warrior defeats Hulk Hogan (Wrestlemania VI)
14. Goldberg defeats Hulk Hogan (Monday Nitro 6.7.98)
15. Sting army vs. the nWo (Monday Nitro 10.13.97)
16. Tiger Mask II unmasks (AJPW 05.14.90)
17. Ric Flair's final Nitro promo (Monday Nitro 3.26.01)
18. Cesaro super-uppercuts Sami Zayn (NXT 8.22.13)
19. Rowdy Roddy Piper refuses to hit Bret Hart with the ring bell (Wrestlemania VIII)
20. DDP counters Goldberg's jackhammer with a diamond cutter (Halloween Havoc 1998)
21. Lex Luger turns face, bodyslams Yokozuna (Bodyslam Challenge 7.3.93)
22. The Undertaker returns to confront Kane and Paul Bearer (Monday Night Raw 1998)
23. Daniel Bryan chants hijack post-Wrestlemania XVIII RAW (Monday Night RAW 4.2.12)
24. Seth Rollins runs down to the ring (Wrestlemania XXXI)
25. CHIKARA returns to battle The Flood (National Pro Wrestling Day 2014)
26. Dean Malenko unmasks as Chris Jericho's opponent (Slamboree 1998)
27. Angelico's leap of faith (Lucha Underground 4.22.15)
28. Daniel Bryan attacks Michael Cole (NXT 5.18.10)
29. Eddie Kingston's 'redemption' promo (CHIKARA: High Noon)
30. CM Punk promo against The Rock (Monday Night RAW 01.07.13)
31. ECW turns on WWE (Monday Night Raw 7.9.01)
32. Johnny Mundo hangs out with the band (Lucha Underground 6.17.15)
33. Stone Cold Steve Austin on a zamboni (Monday Night RAW 9.28.98)
34. The debut of the Monster Matanza Cueto (Lucha Underground 3.23.16)
35. Paul Heyman promo on Vince McMahon (Monday Night RAW 11.01)
36. Mankind wins the WWF Championship (Monday Night RAW 01.04.99)
37. Sexy Star yells 'fuck you' into the microphone (Lucha Underground 05.04.16)
38. Jeff Hardy's ladder-assisted legdrop (No Mercy 1999)
39. Stone Cold Steve Austin takes a break in the Royal Rumble (Royal Rumble 1997)
40. Chris Jericho defeats HHH for the WWF championship (Monday Night Raw 4.17.00)
41. Nikita Koloff turns face (NWA World Championship Wrestling 10.25.86)
42. Mike Quackenbush explains his actions (CHIKARA Young Lions Cup VI Night 3)
43. Brock Lesnar's terrifying debut in WWE (Monday Night RAW 3.18.02)
44. Eddie Guerrero blades wrong, somehow doesn't die (Judgment Day 2004)
45. The Rock returns after Steve Austin walked out on WWE (Monday Night RAW 2002)
46. Powerbomb/RKO combo on Daniel Bryan (Wrestlemania XXX)
47. The redemption of assailANT (CHIKARA Under the Hood 2012)
48. The Berserker tries to stab Undertaker with a sword (Superstars of Wrestling 4.25.92)
49. Shawn Michaels ends the career of Ric Flair (Wrestlemania XXIV)
50. Hulk Hogan tears off his shirt on top of the steel cage (Wrestlemania II)

2.21.2014

MORALS SQUAD HEARS WINDOW TAP--FINDS BATS

Good Luck Omens and Black Cat Greet Patrolmen in Raid

The air was heavy with kerosene smoke as the measured tread of police morals squad feet resounded through a dwelling at 629 Seventh avenue north Saturday night.  Someone had tapped on a window pane and beckoned the police inside.

The house was darker than a cave.  A flashlight made a bullseye on a door.  There, fanshape, were the ace of hearts, the 10 of diamonds and the ace of spades, tacked to a panel.

The squad moved down a hall.  There were squeaks, short ones, as if creatures from which they emanated were suffering from asthma.

"Mice," said Patrolman Adolph Karpinski.

"New shoes," Patrolman Charles Gruenwald surmised.

"Bats," was the suggestion of Patrolman William Nichols.

Bats it was.  The flying things sailed about the coppers' heads.  The squad moved on to another door.  There was tacked another fan-the [missing] of hearts, the ace of hearts, and the queen of diamonds.  A horseshoe nailed above the door gave good omen and the police stepped gingerly into a room where an oil lamp without chimney sent shadows dancing into the gloom.

A black cat leaped high from a table and disappeared.  There were rustlings and scratchings.  Karpinski, Gruenwald, Nichols, Harold Jensen, and Lieutenant Frank Rickman flashed lights into corners.  From behind another door there issued low moans.  A patrolman jerked the door wide and there shot between his legs some animal which disappeared as a streak of dirty grey.

"Oh lawdy, I got to go to jail," a hidden voice pronounced.  Search revealed Mrs. Nettie Miller, 63, Negress, who was arrested and charged with keeping a disorderly house.  Then Ruby Perkins, 23, Negress, was found and also arrested.

Mrs. Miller obtained a broom, dusted off her slippers, carefully stood the broom on its handle against a door "for good luck" and then was carted off to jail with her companion."

(newspaper clipping from 1931, transcribed)