Retroist Retro Podcast

For over a decade, The Retroist Podcast has taken a nostalgic look back at the last 40+ years of retro themed pop culture. The show attempts to connect or reconnect you to things from your past through storytelling and discussion of compelling milestones and forgotten tidbits of pop culture.

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Episodes

5 days ago

In this episode of the Retroist Podcast, I am going to take a look at the first two decades of video games featuring Indiana Jones. This started with me just going to talk about a couple of games, but then morphed into a 12 game extravaganza (maybe 13). Here are the games I discuss:
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1982)
Indiana Jones in the Lost Kingdom (1984)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1985)
Indiana Jones in Revenge of the Ancients (1987)
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1988)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (1989)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game (1989)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1991)
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (1992)
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1993)
Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures (1994)
Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures (1996)
We kick things off by reminiscing about my childhood and the challenges of playing these beloved games. Back then, playing your favorite titles wasn’t always easy, but with enough determination, anything was possible.
From there, we move on to the games themselves. This episode is a bit different, as I focus more on my personal experiences with these games rather than just the gameplay details. It's a mix of memories and opinion that I hope will bring a smile to your face and perhaps a bit of nostalgia.
Join me as I recount the highs and lows of playing these Indiana Jones games, sharing what made each one unique and memorable. I hope you find this journey through Indiana Jones gaming history as enjoyable as I did.
If you have an opinion about one of these games, let me know in the comments or over on Discord.

Friday May 10, 2024

In an episode of the Retroist Podcast, we are looking at the "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," a TV series that charts the early adventures of the iconic character Indiana Jones. This series fleshes out the formative years of the young Indy as he travels the globe and, like Forrest Gump, he engages with historical figures and participates in key events that shaped the 20th century. Unlike the high-stakes treasure hunts typical of the Indiana Jones film saga, this series opts for a more educational and character-driven exploration of Indy's development into the archaeologist we know from the films.
The fun thing about "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" is how it cleverly intertwines real historical contexts with the Indy’s fictional world, offering us a blend of adventure and a history lesson in each episode. The series production stands out by its unique approach to storytelling, where each episode is a standalone story that that can also be combined with another episode to make a feature length film. That capability really highlights the craftsmanship of George Lucas.
In this episode of the podcast, we will explore how "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles" not only plays with the Indiana Jones narrative but also serves as a crucial component in understanding the complexities of Indy's character. Did we need all this info about Indy? Probably not, but for fans of the show, it was a great wait to give us more of the character when we couldn’t get prime Harrison Ford Indy to make more movies. With all of its materials, it’s weirdly overlooked. I hope by talking about it, I can get you to look at it again or the first time.

Friday Apr 26, 2024

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, released in 1989, as the first of the Indy films that I saw by myself. Much like in the other films, it follows the intrepid archaeologist, played by the Harrison Ford, as he embarks on a quest not just for the mythical Holy Grail but also for his estranged father, portrayed by Sean Connery. This new dynamic injects a unique layer of family drama and humor into the series. The chemistry between Ford and Connery is particularly notable, providing both comedic relief and a heartwarming exploration of father-son relationships.
This film marks a return to the lighter-toned roots of the original Raiders of the Lost Ark. Sure, it embraces the classic elements of treasure hunting and globe-trotting escapades, but lacks the horror elements of Temple of Doom. Director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas, in what would have been the series capper, masterfully balance action-packed sequences with poignant moments, creating a compelling mix of thrill and sentiment.
This installment also benefits from John Williams’ continued participation. The grandmaster of film music elevates the film. From chasing the Grail to reconciling with his father, Williams tells the story through music that is as re-listenable as the film is re-watchable.
In this episode itself, I’ll delve into how The Last Crusade not only continues the legacy of Indiana Jones but also enhances it. We get backstory and themes of redemption and family relationships that weren’t in the first two films. As with the other two episodes, we will revisit the relationship between the dynamic duo of Spielberg and Lucas that led to this globe-trotting adventure. Whether you're revisiting this film or discovering it for the first time, this films is an amazing cinematic experience that only adds to the unending appeal of Indiana Jones.
This installment also benefits from John Williams’ iconic score, which elevates the film’s grandeur and supports its epic narrative. From chasing the Grail to reconciling with his father, Indiana Jones’s journey in this film is not only a physical adventure but an emotional story that continues to resonate with audiences.
In this episode, we delve into how The Last Crusade not only continues the legacy of Indiana Jones but also enhances it by weaving in themes of redemption and kinship. We'll explore the dynamic between Spielberg and Lucas that led to this balanced mix of adventure and personal storytelling, solidifying The Last Crusade’s place as a beloved classic in the action-adventure genre. Whether you're revisiting this film or discovering it for the first time, it promises an amazing cinematic experience that celebrates the unending appeal of Indiana Jones.

Friday Apr 12, 2024

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom carved its niche as a riveting piece of film history, captivating audiences with its daring escapades and dark undertones. Released in 1984, this sequel to the iconic Raiders of the Lost Ark delves deeper into the thrilling world of archaeology and myth, transporting viewers from the vibrant streets of Shanghai to the heart of India. What sets this film apart? It might be its audacious blend of supernatural elements, perilous adventures, and the charismatic yet fallible hero, Indiana Jones, played with unparalleled zest by Harrison Ford. Or perhaps it's the film's ability to balance darkness with moments of humor and heart that keeps it enduringly beloved.
The film distinguishes itself by pushing the boundaries of the adventure genre while calling back to older films, combining Spielberg’s directorial brilliance with George Lucas’s storytelling prowess. This concoction of mysticism, edge-of-your-seat action, and the exploration of darker themes gives the film a unique place in cinema history, cementing its status as a standout of mid-80s cinema that continues to enchant viewers decades after its release.
In this episode, we dive deep into the heart of darkness. Beyond my own fondness for the film and its impact on the genre, we'll explore what makes Temple of Doom a cinematic experience worth revisiting. I'll dissect the collaboration between Spielberg and Lucas, how they crafted a film that not only expanded the Indiana Jones universe but also took a path that set it apart from its predecessors and successors alike.
Moreover, the mesmerizing score by John Williams added layers of depth to the movie's immersive experience, transporting audiences to an exotic and perilous world. The challenges Indiana Jones faces, from confronting cult leaders to rescuing enslaved children, present a gripping tale of heroism and adventure, all set to the perfect music.
So, whether you're a long-time fan who revels in Indiana Jones’s thrilling escapades or new to the films, this episode promises an insightful journey into the darkest chapter of Indy’s adventures.

Friday Mar 29, 2024

In the annals of cinematic excellence, Raiders of the Lost Ark emerges as an archetype of adventure filmmaking, etching its mark on the hearts of moviegoers with its blend of exhilaration and timeless storytelling. Released in 1981, Raiders redefined the adventure genre, introducing the world to the indomitable archaeologist Indiana Jones, portrayed by Harrison Ford. What makes it standout? Perhaps it's the film's perfect concoction of action, history, and myth, combined with Spielberg's masterful direction, that has enchanted audiences for generations. Or maybe it's the irresistible charm and wit of its leading man, alongside the captivating narrative that weaves together ancient legends with heart-stopping adventure.
Raiders of the Lost Ark transcends the typical action-adventure film by fusing Spielberg's visionary filmmaking with George Lucas’s unparalleled storytelling. This ingenious blend of historical intrigue and cinematic spectacle, along with its iconic characters, elevates Raiders from mere blockbuster to a cultural monument of the early 80s cinema, resonating with viewers beyond its initial release.
In this episode, we embark on an expedition into the legacy of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Beyond my nostalgic admiration and the impact it had on the film industry, we'll uncover the elements that render Raiders a movie worth revisiting time and again. I'll analyze the creative synergy of Spielberg and Lucas, how they conjured a film that stood apart in a decade defined by cinematic innovation, and the lasting allure of its storytelling and action sequences.
The creative team behind Raiders brought an audacious vision to life with a mixture of creative genius and cinematic craftsmanship. Spielberg’s direction, combined with Lucas's story, crafted a narrative that was not only groundbreaking but also ahead of its time in reimagining the adventure genre.
Moreover, the iconic score by John Williams and the memorable visual effects contributed to Raiders' immersive experience, creating a film that was both fantastical and incredibly gripping. The challenges faced by Indiana Jones, from navigating booby-trapped ruins to the quest for the Ark of the Covenant, offered an unparalleled cinematic adventure that I continue to find irresistible

Friday Mar 15, 2024

In 2009, I launched a podcast episode that delved into the iconic TV series "Magnum P.I.," a show that not only defined an era but also captured the hearts of millions with its thrilling adventures and charismatic lead, Thomas Magnum. Since that initial foray, my understanding of both podcasting and "Magnum P.I." has deepened significantly, compelling me to revisit the sun-soaked shores of Oahu for a revisit on this beloved series.
For those who tuned in to the original broadcast, you'll find echoes of the past mingled with a wealth of new insights and an improved audio quality. I am happy to report that Metagirl was nice enough to re-record her original portions of the episode to help capture a bit of the original magic.
Let's rewind to a younger version of myself, sprawled out in the living room with family, eagerly awaiting the latest escapades of Magnum, Higgins, T.C., and Rick. These evenings were more than just TV time; they were a gateway into a world of intrigue and camaraderie set against the backdrop of Hawaii's breathtaking landscapes. These memories have fueled my passion for "Magnum P.I." and helped inspire an unforgettable trip to Hawaii.
In this episode, we embark on a journey back to the show's inception, exploring the reason and people behind its creation. Ultimately, "Magnum P.I." wasn't just a detective show; it was a pop culture phenomenon
We'll dive into the series' evolution, its production and characters. By appreciating the nuanced performances and rich character development, we'll understand why "Magnum P.I." remains a touchstone of 1980s television.
Revisiting "Magnum P.I." for this podcast was an enriching experience, and I'm excited for you to join me on this nostalgic journey. Whether you're a long-time fan or newly introduced to the charms of Thomas Magnum and his eclectic circle of friends. The show really captured the spirit of its time and would leave a lasting mark on pop culture. So, adjust your Detroit Tigers cap, hop into the Ferrari, and let's again relive the magic of "Magnum P.I." together.

Saturday Mar 02, 2024

In the pantheon of video game classics, Joust stands as a testament to innovation and simplicity, capturing the hearts of gamers with its unique gameplay and imaginative design. Released by Williams Electronics in 1982, Joust broke the mold with its two-player cooperative play, pitting knights riding flying giant birds against enemy knights on buzzards in a fantastical medieval jousting tournament. What sets it apart? Perhaps it's the game's simplicity, combined with its challenging gameplay, that has captivated players for decades. Or maybe it's the camaraderie and competition fostered by its cooperative and versus modes.
Joust transcends the typical arcade game classification by marrying straightforward controls with complex strategic depth. This ingenious blend of easy-to-learn yet hard-to-master gameplay, along with its distinctive setting, elevates Joust from mere entertainment to a cultural touchstone of the early 80s arcade era, resonating with players beyond its original release.
In this episode, we take a deep dive into the legacy of Joust. Beyond my nostalgic recollections and the impact it had on the arcade scene, we'll explore the elements that make Joust a game worth revisiting. I'll examine the creative vision of its developers, how they crafted a game that stood out in a sea of space shooters and maze chases, and the enduring appeal of its gameplay mechanics.
The development team behind Joust brought a novel concept to life with a mix of creativity and technical prowess. The game's designer, John Newcomer, aimed to create a game that emphasized cooperative play, a rarity at the time. This vision resulted in a game that was not only innovative but also ahead of its time in promoting multiplayer engagement.
Moreover, the iconic art and sound effects contributed to Joust's immersive experience, creating a game environment that was both fantastical and inviting. The challenge of balancing on a flying ostrich, knocking opponents off their mounts, and navigating the dynamic levels offered an unforgettable arcade experience.
So, whether you're a veteran who spent countless quarters mastering Joust's jousting mechanics or a newcomer curious about the classics that paved the way for today's video games, this episode promises to delve into the rich history and enduring legacy of Joust. Tune in as we take flight on a nostalgic journey back to the golden age of arcades.

Friday Feb 16, 2024

I love "Matinee" and was mad at myself for never covering it in an episode. However, after a rewatch and with a newfound determination, I decided it was time to finally cover this gem. Though I missed a perfect release opportunity around its 30th anniversary, I'm excited to share it with you now.
"Matinee" is a film that brilliantly encapsulates the nostalgia of the early 1960s, set against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Directed by Joe Dante, this 1993 masterpiece is more than just a movie about movies; it's a heartfelt homage to the power of cinema, blending comedy, drama, and a bit of historical fiction. What sets it apart? Perhaps it's its affectionate nod to the era's monster movies or its clever commentary on the socio-political climate of the time. Or maybe it's the way it captures the innocence of youth and the magic of movie-making.
This film transcends the typical nostalgia piece by weaving together an engaging narrative with memorable characters, all while maintaining a light-hearted tone that's both witty and poignant. Its clever script and charismatic performances elevate "Matinee" from simple homage to a rich, multi-layered story that appeals to both cinema aficionados and casual viewers alike.
In this episode, I dive into the heart of "Matinee," exploring what makes it such a captivating film. I start by talking about the impact it had on me and my early days working at video stores. We'll examine the stellar performances by John Goodman, who plays Lawrence Woolsey, a character inspired by real-life movie promoter William Castle, and the ensemble cast that brings this love letter to classic cinema to life.
Goodman's portrayal of Woolsey, a showman dedicated to giving his audience not just a film but an experience, embodies the spirit of the golden age of B-movies. His character's enthusiasm and ingenious, if not outrageous, promotional tactics capture the essence of a bygone era of filmmaking. The young cast, including Simon Fenton as Gene Loomis, brings a genuine sense of wonder and discovery, highlighting the transformative power of cinema.
With engaging supporting performances and a storyline that resonates on multiple levels, "Matinee" is a film that deserves more recognition. It's not just a nostalgic look back but a timeless reminder of how movies can inspire, entertain, and even help us navigate through uncertain times.
So, whether you've seen "Matinee" a dozen times or are just hearing about it, this episode is packed with insights and anecdotes that will deepen your appreciation for this unique cinematic experience. Join us as we revisit this homage to the magic of movies and the era they helped define.

Friday Feb 02, 2024

"Wizardry," released in 1981, is a seminal game in the computer RPG genre, setting a benchmark for what video games could achieve in storytelling and complexity. This game not only captured the essence of dungeon crawlers but also paved the way for future classics in the RPG genre. What makes it so enduring? Perhaps it's the intricate gameplay and the depth of its character creation system, or maybe it's the sense of adventure and danger lurking in every dungeon corridor.
"Wizardry" surpasses its initial impression as a simple fantasy game by weaving together challenging puzzles, strategic combat, and a richly detailed world. Its influence on the RPG genre is immense, inspiring countless games that followed. The game's combination of intricate gameplay mechanics, alongside a mysterious and immersive world, elevates it from a mere early computer game to a timeless classic, resonating with gamers across generations.
In this episode, we delve deep into the labyrinth of "Wizardry." I'll share my personal experiences and the impact this game had on me and my circle of friends. We'll explore the ingenuity of the game's creators, Robert Woodhead and Andrew Greenberg, their vision in bringing this complex world to life, and the legacy that "Wizardry" has left in the gaming world.
The heart of "Wizardry" lies in its groundbreaking approach to gameplay. It introduced gamers to RPG concepts and character development that was unprecedented at the time. The game's difficulty and the need for careful planning and patience made every victory feel monumental and every defeat a learning experience.
Moreover, the game's influence extended beyond its immediate gameplay. It inspired a generation of game designers and players alike, laying the groundwork for the future of RPGs. It was a pioneer in creating immersive, complex gaming worlds, where players could truly lose themselves in the adventure.
So, whether you're a long-time fan of "Wizardry" or just discovering this cornerstone of RPG history, this episode hopes to offer new insights and rekindle your appreciation for this revolutionary game. Tune in and join me as I revisit this beloved classic game.

Friday Jan 19, 2024

I can’t believe I have never released an episode based on “Night of the Comet" in all of my years podcast. I found evidence that I attempted an episode way back in 2012, but I must have not been happy with it. Well, some people have been talking about it and I thought I would release it for Halloween 2023. That came and went, but I didn’t give up, and here we are.
In the realm of cult classics, 'Night of the Comet' stands out as a unique blend of horror, sci-fi, and dark comedy. Released in 1984, this film captured the essence of the era while projecting a post-apocalyptic world that resonates with audiences even today. What makes it so memorable? Perhaps it's the blend of humor with a sense of doom, or maybe it's the strong, relatable characters who navigate a world turned upside down.
Whatever the reason, ‘Night of the Comet’ exceeds its B-movie classification by blending sharp writing with well-developed characters, transcending typical genre constraints. Its clever mix of horror, sci-fi, and comedy, coupled with a self-aware tone, elevates it from mere 80s kitsch to a cult classic, resonating with audiences beyond its expected scope.
In this episode, I dive deep into the heart of this cult phenomenon. Beyond my personal recollections and the path it set for me and my friends, we explore the layers that make 'Night of the Comet' a film worth revisiting. I'll look at the innovative vision of writer-director Thom Eberhardt, how he and the cast brought this story to life, and the distinctive 80s soundtrack that still echoes in the minds of its fans.
The cast of 'Night of the Comet' brought a dynamic energy and charm that significantly contributed to the film's lasting appeal. Anchored by the talents of Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney, who played the lead sisters Regina and Samantha Belmont, the film captured the spirit of resilience and determination of youth in the face of catastrophe.
Stewart's portrayal of Regina combined strength and vulnerability, making her a relatable and compelling protagonist, while Maroney's Samantha offered a blend of youthful exuberance and wit. The chemistry between the two sisters provided a heartfelt and engaging core to the story.
Supporting roles, including Robert Beltran as Hector, added depth and humor to the narrative. Each cast member delivered performances that resonated authenticity and charisma, ensuring that 'Night of the Comet' wasn't just a display of 80s sci-fi tropes, but a movie with characters that viewers could genuinely care about and root for.
So, whether you're a long-time fan or new to this gem, this episode promises to offer fresh insights and reignite your appreciation for this quirky, end-of-the-world adventure. Tune in and join us on this retrospective journey.

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