Friday, April 15, 2016

Riske Business: The Grab Bag, Vol. 2

by Adam Riske
I took the mothballs off an old column!

Almost as Good as watching The Room

Ok, what the hell is this? Besides great. I love the ADR. Please don’t hurt each other.

And Yet It’s Always Easy for This Woman to Get a Vodka

I love that the marketing department at Diet Coke was so pro-movie back in the late '80s (they also had an ad before the Batman (1989) VHS) but boy, do they make consuming their products look exhausting. I mean, c’mon, Zuul is in her fridge for crying out loud! I hate how the husband goes “That Indiana!” at the end. NO ONE DOES THAT! I also have a theory that this woman slept with Indiana Jones while she was in the kitchen. I mean just look at her fuck-me hair at 1:42 and onward. Tell me that didn’t happen!

Everyone’s A Critic

Let’s review Universal Studios logos!

• 1927: Pretty badass. 3.5/4 Riskes
• 1936: Hate the image, love the music. 2.5/4 Riskes
• 1947: You’re not even trying. 2/4 Riskes
• 1963: Spooky, scary. I like! 3.5/4 Riskes
• 1990/1991: Go big or go home! Bringing out the big guns. My favorite of the logos. 4/4 Riskes
• 1997: Ugh! The worst! Ugly as shit. 0.5/4 Riskes
• 2012/2013: Looks sharp, clean-cut and adventurous. I like it. 3.5/4 Riskes

The Greatest Commercial of All-Time

Wait, what? This is like saying “Everlasting Life, World Peace and Stacks of Cash ONLY AT HARDEES!” What a great 10 seconds! WOOOOOOOOOOO! I like that Hulk looks drunk at the beginning and how Spider-Man has to run to center frame to do the pitch. I wish I was able to drive back in 1983 so I could have taken advantage of this offer (which seems made just for me).

The Greatest Movie Theater Bumper of All-Time!

You could say I’m a bit of a movie theater bumper connoisseur. We’re an exclusive group. Some of my personal favorites are the early '90s Cineplex Odeon one (We’re in Space!) and the late '90s candy band courtesy of General Cinema. But none of them touch Wehrenberg Theaters. The song! The crown! The antici...PATION! How could any movie live up to this bumper??? This video has confidence coming out of its pours.

Have You Ever Been This Excited to See a Movie?

I could watch this video of a woman taking a header at a movie theater like it was the Zapruder film. The guy in the hoodie doesn’t skip a beat. It’s like he doesn’t have a care in the world. Who is filming this btw? Why would they think to shoot this? Is this staged? Why does the one woman (of the two who go to help the victim) pick up the bucket of popcorn and hand it to her? It’s clearly empty at that point. This is fascinating shit here.

I Have No Words

I’m Robert Patrick (Cop Scott Weiland). And why am I in this infomercial? Look at all those copies of T2! How could this get any better for video retailers? Three units of Drop Dead Fred??? Who came up with this glorious T-15 Prepack??? G-D? Look at that P.O.P.!! The dad at the 4:20 mark must be insufferable to watch videos with his constant rewinding (“C’mon dad! I want to see Arnold!”). The only way this ad could get any better is if it ended with the announcer going “Your dick hard yet?” or “Netflix…remember that word…it will one day make your business obsolete, video retailers!”

Monster Kids Allowance: Take One

The commercial that launched a thousand horror nerd boners. Look at those VHS cases – them sexy! The only drawback to seeing this commercial on each Universal Monsters VHS is that you immediately want to watch ALL of those movies, thus making it impossible to be satisfied with just watching one.

The Real Nightmare is going to be Your Phone Bill

Man, Freddy was ubiquitous! If he really wanted to scare me he would say shit on these calls like “HEY ADAM! GET READY FOR MID-TWENTIES BALDING!!!” or “THAT GIRL YOU LOVE, SHE’S GONNNNNA LEAVVVVVE YOU!!!” or my personal favorite “GO TO ALL THE SCHOOL YOU WANT, THEY’LL NEVER TELL YOU HOW TO PURCHASE A HOME, BITCH!”

Wait, There’s Commercials for Soundtracks?

Did Pokémon: The First Movie really play at drive-ins? What did they pair it with? I would make fun of this commercial more if I didn’t actually kind of like that M2M song. Plus, those girls are cute in a late '90s kind of way (an era [ERA] when music had no balls). Someone explain why this commercial is capped off with an exploding popcorn cart. Was that part of the Poké canon?


  1. Love these. That Indiana Jones spot has one hell of a practical set for a commercial!

  2. Absolutely incredible T2 infomercial. The father showed significant restraint when mother threw remote in fish tank.
    Also, that was definitely Harrison Ford in that Diet Coke ad right? Boyfriend was really digging his highlights from Indiana Jones and Last Crusade video.

    1. That was a bold move by mother.

    2. Mother has ruined the evening. Now father will have to get up and press pause and rewind every time phoebe cates finishes a scene in drop dead Fred. "How did they do that?"

  3. Everyone knows the best Universal logo is the 8-bit Scott Pilgrim edition.

    1. How about the opening to Xanadu?

  4. I think my favorite Universal logo was in the 1991 Cape Fear, where instead of the music we hear rain and thunder, and then the logo appears submerged in water. Very cool.

  5. These are God Damn gold. I'm especially impressed with Robert Patrick's ability to grossly oversell anything.

    The other day I got caught up watching promotional videos for DivX for about 30 minutes. Anyone remember DivX? They're full of the poor acting and bold proclamations you'd expect. "DivX will absolutely never go obsolete. It's literally impossible for DivX to fail!" (DivX was discontinued less than 9 months from release.) It's the best thing. Ever. How's that for a bold proclamation?