The Man Behind the Music of Fletch

Some of you may know the name Harold Faltermeyer but I would suspect most do not. He is the answer to the trivia question: “Who wrote and performed the theme song “Axel F” for Beverly Hills Cop. You also might have heard us talk about Harold Faltermeyer and the Fletch Theme song on our recent Fletch episode. However, Harold Faltermeyer is more than just an answer to an 80’s trivia question.

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Ryan Acree
Check The Back Shelf vol. 2 - The Hong Kong WITNESS: A look at WILD SEARCH (Starring Chow Yun-Fat)

The regional cinema of Hong Kong, at one time, was said to produce the best action films ever released. Hong Kong filmmakers used inventive staging and a heavy focus on stunt and fight choreography, putting those aspects on equal footing with the other elements of constructing a film, like casting and editing. It was not unheard of for the crafting of these scenes to take up the bulk of a film’s shooting days. This commitment to creating thrilling sequences led to the phrase "Hong Kong-style action" being used as high praise for any film intended to thrill an audience.

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Check The Back Shelf vol. 1 - Django versus the Japanese Mafia: A look at 1972’s YAKUZA WOLF (Starring Sonny Chiba)

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. . . "

When essayist, Charles Caleb Colton uttered this famous quote, he could not have known how well it would apply to so many modern-day situations, as a film enthusiast it immediately makes me think of the explosion of films that arrived in the wake of Sergio Corbucci's seminal 1966 Italian western, DJANGO. Corbucci's gritty tale of a coffin-dragging, post-Civil War Union soldier who wanders into a conflict between warring factions in a nearly deserted border town, was such a success in its native country, that dozens of unofficial Django films were produced …

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Back ShelfMatthew Essary
In Appreciation of Weird Al

Aw, man…. The podcast covered UHF recently. I loved that movie so much as a teenager. That summer was insane for movies (it was the summer of BATMAN and the third INDIANA JONES film after all), but I still managed to see UHF in a theater.

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Chris Hooker
Video Store Memories Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Back in 1980, I was an eleven-year-old kid growing up in suburban North Florida when video stores began to emerge. It’s odd thinking back on them; a part of life that came, dominated, and went, as I hope I will be able to say about Facebook before I shuffle off this mortal coil.

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Chris Hooker
Video Store Memories Part 1: Ryan Remembers

I still remember going with my dad to the electronics store to get our first VCR on a Saturday morning sometime in the early 1980’s when I was around 7 or so. My dad was set on a top loader before we left, but the salesman talked him into a front loader and assured him that these are the latest models and work well. It was a very huge GE model and was still not even cable ready.

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Ryan Acree