Wyoming Renegades (1955, directed by Fred F. Sears)

Brady Sutton (Philip Carey) used to be one of the most feared members of the Hole in the Wall Gang.  He robbed banks with Butch Cassidy (Gene Evans) and the Sundance Kid (William Bishop) and he developed a reputation for being a ruthless outlaw.  But that’s in the past.  Brady has spent three years in prison and now, he’s ready to return home, marry Nancy (Martha Hyer), and go straight.  Though most of the townspeople don’t trust Brady, he’s managed to find a sponsor in newcomer Charlie Veer (Douglas Kennedy), who has given Brady the money to open his own blacksmith shop.

Unfortunately, Brady might be done with the Hole in the Wall Gang but they’re not done with him.  When Brady spots some members of the gang in town, he realizes that they’re casing the bank.  Despite Brady’s attempts to warn the sheriff, the town assumes that Brady must be in on the plot.  Brady grows so frustrated that he finds himself tempted to go back to his old ways.  Meanwhile, Charlie is suddenly very interested in being introduced to the infamous Butch Cassidy himself.

Wyoming Renegades is a straight-forward, B-western.  The plot is nothing special but Philip Carey and Douglas Kennedy both give good Western performances and Gene Evans is memorably evil as Butch Cassidy.  For those who only know the characters as Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s performances in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the most interesting thing about Wyoming Renegades will be seeing Cassidy and Sundance portrayed as being sadistic and humorless villains.  The truth about Cassidy and his gang is probably somewhere in-between the fun-loving rogues played by Newman and Redford and the unforgiving bastards presented in Wyoming Renegades.  In reality, it’s said that Butch Cassidy always tried to avoid killing people while Sundance rarely hesitated to draw his gun and start firing.

As for Wyoming Renegades, the ending does feature an unexpected twist, with Nancy proving herself to be more than just a docile love interest.  Fans of classic television will want to keep an eye out for a young Aaron Spelling, playing a loathsome outlaw named Petie Carver.

Game Review: The Best Man (2021, Stephen Bond)

The Best Man is an entrant in 2021 Interactive Fiction competition.  Browse and experience all of the games by clicking here.

In The Best Man, you take control of Aiden.  He seems like a classic “nice guy” and that’s the problem.  When his best friend Laura calls him and asks if he would be willing to step in at the least minute and serve as the best man at her wedding to John, Aiden agrees.  Just from the opening conversation between you and Laura, it first seems that The Best Man is going to be one of those romantic comedy games where a nerdy guy goes on an everyday quest (like getting the wedding rings before the ceremony) and eventually “wins the girl.”

Instead, the game reveals that Aiden is not a reliable narrator.  He spends a lot of time in a fantasy world, where he and Laura are together and have a beautiful future but actually, it’s obvious that Laura has never considered him to be anything more than just a friend.  Aiden is so delusional and obsessive that, about halfway through the game, I wasn’t even sure that Laura had actually called him or that Laura even existed to begin with.  The game itself features a lot of minor tasks that need to get done before the wedding but the fact that the whole thing might be in Aiden’s head adds a new wrinkle to the usual romantic comedy.  Aiden may think about Laura abandoning her husband-to-be for him but the player knows that would be the worst thing that could happen.  It takes courage to write a game where you actively root against the person you’re playing and considerable skill to actually make it work.  Fortunately, Stephen Bond has both.

The Best Man is well-written with enough interesting details to make it worth replaying.  The mix of dark comedy and disturbing drama really pays off,

Play The Best Man.

The Covers of If

1957, by Edmund Emshwiller

If was science fiction magazine that was published from 1952 to 1974, by Quinn Publications.  Though If was never more than a modest success as far as sales went, it still published work from authors like Harlan Ellison, Robert A. Heinlin, and Larry Niven.  It also featured some of the best covers in the business.  Here are a few of the covers of If magazine:

1952, by Henry Jones

1952, by Martin Key

1952, by Ralph Joiner

1952, by Ralph Joiner

1954, by Ken Fagg

1955, by Frank Kelly Freas

1959, by Frank Kelly Freas

1959, by John Pederson

1959, by John Perderson

1962, by Virgil Finlay

1965, by Richard McKenna

Music Video of the Day: Kid Blue by Louise Goffin (1979, directed by ????)

On August 1st, 1981, MTV premiered. Over the course of 24 hours, 116 unique music videos were played on MTV.  Yes, there was a time when the M actually did stand for music.

The 97th video to premiere on MTV on its first day of broadcast was this video for Kid Blue by Louise Goffin.  Goffin is the daughter of legendary singer/songwriter Carole King.


The First Videos Shown on MTV:

  1. Video Killed the Radio Star by the Buggles
  2. You Better Run by Pat Benatar
  3. She Won’t Dance With Me by Rod Stewart
  4. You Better You Bet By The Who
  5. Little Suzi’s On The Up by PH.D
  6. We Don’t Talk Anymore by Cliff Richard
  7. Brass in Pocket by Pretenders
  8. Time Heals by Todd Rundgren
  9. Take It On The Run by REO Speedwagon
  10. Rockin’ in Paradise by Styx
  11. When Things Go Wrong by Robin Lane & The Chartbusters
  12. History Never Repeats by Split Enz
  13. Hold On Loosely by .38 Special
  14. Just Between You And Me by April Wine
  15. Sailing by Rod Stewart
  16. Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden
  17. Keep On Loving You by REO Speedwagon
  18. Better Than Blue by Michael Johnson
  19. Message of Love by The Pretenders
  20. Mr. Briefcase by Lee Ritenour
  21. Double Life by The Cars
  22. In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins
  23. Looking for Clues by Robert Palmer
  24. Too Late by Shoes
  25. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  26. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy by Rod Stewart
  27. Surface Tension by Rupert Hine
  28. One Step Ahead by Split Enz
  29. Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty
  30. I’m Gonna Follow You by Pat Benatar
  31. Savannah Nights by Tom Johnston
  32. Lucille by Rockestra
  33. The Best of Times by Styx
  34. Vengeance by Carly Simon
  35. Wrathchild by Iron Maiden
  36. I Wanna Be a Lifeguard by Blotto
  37. Passion by Rod Stewart
  38. Oliver’s Army by Elvis Costello
  39. Don’t Let Me Go by REO Speedwagon
  40. Remote Control and Illegal by The Silencers
  41. Angel of the Morning by Juice Newton
  42. Little Sister by Rockpile with Robert Plant
  43. Hold On To The Night by Bootcamp
  44. Dreamin’ by Cliff Richard
  45. Is It You? by Lee Ritenour 
  46. Tusk by Fleetwood Mac
  47. He Can’t Love You by Michael Stanley Band
  48. Tough Guys by REO Speedwagon
  49. Rapture by Blondie
  50. Don’t Let Go The Coat by The Who
  51. Ain’t Love A Bitch by Rod Stewart
  52. Talk of the Town by The Pretenders
  53. Can’t Happen Here by Rainbow
  54. Thank You For Being A Friend by Andrew Gold
  55. Bring It All Home by Gerry Rafferty
  56. Sign of the Gypsy Queen by April Wine
  57. The Man With The Child In His Eyes by Kate Bush
  58. All Night Long by Raindow
  59. Boys Keep Swinging by David Bowie
  60. Rat Race by The Specials
  61. Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads
  62. Victim by Bootcamp
  63. Tonight’s the Night (Gonna be Alright) by Rod Stewart
  64. Cruel to be Kind by Nick Lowe
  65. A Little In Love by Cliff Richard
  66. Wild-Eyed Southern Boys by 38 Special
  67. Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush
  68. Celebrate The Bullet by The Selecter
  69. More Than I Can Say by Leo Sayer
  70. A Message To You, Rudy by The Specials
  71. Heart of Glass by Blondie
  72. Oh God, I Wish I Was Home Tonight by Rod Stewart
  73. Kid by The Pretenders
  74. Come What May by Lani Hall & Herb Alpert
  75. I Got You by Split Enz
  76. Sister Disco by The Who
  77. Fashion by David Bowie
  78. Love Stinks by J. Geils Band
  79. Johnny and Mary by Robert Palmer
  80. Tomorrow by Shoes
  81. Prime Time by The Tubes
  82. Cruel You by Shoes
  83. Calling All Girls by Hilly Michaels
  84. I Was Only Joking by Rod Stewart
  85. Let’s Go by The Cars
  86. Do You Remember Rock’N’Roll Radio by The Ramones
  87. Ridin’ The Storm Out by REO Speedwagon
  88. You’re In My Heart by Rod Stewart
  89. So Long by Fischer Z
  90. I Don’t Want To Know by Robin Lane and the Chartbusters
  91. Go Back Home Again by Andrew Gold
  92. Time For Me To Fly by REO Speedwagon
  93. Rough Boys by Pete Townshend
  94. Dangrous Type by The Cars
  95. Turn It On Again by Genesis
  96. We’re So Close by Carly Simon