Author:Stephen Brotherstone and Dave Lawrence
If I walked into the Afterword clubhouse, tapped on a wine glass with a teaspoon as a request for your collective silence and attention, then declaimed ‘Polish a floor, put a rug on it … ?’ I would expect to be deafened by the chorused reply, ‘You might as well set a man trap!!!’ Many of us around here are of that generation, the ones who’s formative years were the 70s. And what a very strange set of years they were for the impressionable young mind.
That strangeness is the subject of this vast celebration of the dark side of 70s pop culture. Scarred for Life is only available online; you can download an ebook for the bargaintastic price of £5.99 but I recommend you stump up £16.99 for the print edition. It’s a brick of a book, more than 700 densely printed pages of essays on topics from Pan Books of Horror Stories (no childhood holiday trip in my dad’s Cortina was complete for me without one of these) to When Animals Attack! movies (bees, bears, aardvarks, it really didn’t matter so long as a group of campers could be suitably imperilled by wildlife).
Think about the 70s now and you might remember Abba, Chopper bikes and nothing more sinister than Eddie Hall’s cackle on It’s a Knockout. Dig a little deeper though, and marvel that Children of the Stones was broadcast, that everything from crisps to ice lollies adopted vampiric branding, and of course the horrific public information films. There was the memorable parable of rug-based doom already referenced and of course Donald Pleasance’s chilling voice performance as the personification of Death who lurks in wait for the unwary in bodies of water.
The more you think the more you’ll recollect just how much of the pop entertainment we consumed wasn’t primary colours and jolly pop, but informed by ghosts, witchcraft and a general air of weirdness. Perhaps the hippie years opened everyone’s minds to the possibilities of flying saucers, weird religions and mystical phenomena of all kinds, and the post 60s comedown warped the Aquarian dream into more nightmarish shapes, but it’s a miracle we came out of it as (relatively) stable as we are.
This is a fantastic delve into the past, and guaranteed to assure that no, you didn’t dream it. Pop culture, and in particular kids’ pop culture, of the time really was that bizarre. Order it here … if You DARE!!!! Mwah hah haha ha haaaaah! http://www.lulu.com/gb/en/shop/stephen-brotherstone-dave-lawrence/scarred-for-life-volume-one/paperback/product-23116
Length of Read:Epic
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Sucking on a Dracula lolly while waiting for the next thrilling episode of Sapphire and Steel to come on.
One thing you’ve learned
That public information film about the hidden dangers of rug based housework is called Fatal Floor