Monday, August 17, 2015

And now for something different...

  Earlier this month I was contacted by the team at Invaluable.com, an online auction marketplace, who talked to me about what my ideal movie prop would be to own. They feature all sorts of movie memorabilia as well as other collectibles for auction. A very interesting idea for a blog post. So prompted to write about it, I finally put pen to paper, so to speak, and here we are. I couldn't decide on just one, so here are several movie props I'd love to own.

   My favorite genre of movies are action and/or adventure movies. Heroes triumphing against all odds, defeating the bad guys... and doing so in style. Even as a kid, I always identified with the look of my favorite characters more than anything else. I think for other people this mindset extents into things like cosplay and such, but for me it was drawing. Nevertheless I always wished a had some of these...

   Whether it was Dirty Harry Callahan wearing them, or the horrifyingly ruthless Terminator, these shades were equal parts intimidating and cool. These Gargoyles have been on my wish list for a while now, and they aren't the only shades that have made the cut...


  I'm sure there's something to be said about sunglasses in relation to the phrase about eyes being windows to the soul, but I wouldn't know where to start with that. Movies have used sunglasses more for style than they ever did for function. How many cop thrillers have you seen where the cops show up wearing shades... at night? It was all about the look. Never more specifically realized than in The Matrix. Sunglasses were a big deal in that movie. On the poster, everyone's eyes are hidden from us by these opaque lenses. After seeing The Matrix for the first time as an impressionable young lad, I immediately realized two things: good guys wear black, and I want a pair of Neo's shades. (I actually did have a replica pair for a short time around 5th grade. I attended a school Halloween party as Neo, but everyone thought I was from the MIB. Sigh.)

   My fascination with eye coverings would quickly extend to more fantastical eyewear, like Cyclops' visor from X-Men (2000)...



- and then even further into full blown helmets. As much as the sunglasses say about the wearer, so do helmets! All through my childhood and now, I'd give the proverbial arm and a leg to own any of these.


(Top, left to right: The Rocketeer's helmet, Judge's helmet from Judge Dredd (1995). Bottom, left to right: Major West's retractable shell-like helmet (Lost in Space, 1998) and the Mobile Infantry's helmet from Starship Troopers.)

  But what's a hero without his... stuff? Even more props I'd love to have had (and still would) right here:

A standard Judge's gun from Judge Dredd (1995)
A proton pack, as seen in Ghostbusters.
Connor Macleod's katana from Highlander.

The Rocketeer's rocket pack.
Of course no silver screen hero is fit to save the day without a mode of transportation, which brings me to...


Yeah, I know it's not what springs to mind when you think of a movie prop, but it is, right? I'd love to own a DeLorean fitted with all the time machine trimmings from Back to the Future. But despite all these props, which I'd love to own, the one I want the most is one most people might not even recognize at all...


   This odd looking gizmo is actually the engine to a downed flying saucer as seen in the rather obscure 80's adventure comedy, My Science Project. This movie was a big deal to me as a kid, a favorite of my dad's which he hunted down to pass on to me- nothing was cooler than this thing. The protagonist of the movie, a grease monkey high-schooler named Harlan, unearthed it from the dusty bowels of an army junkyard to pass off as his science project, lest he flunk the class, and miss out on getting his diploma. Bummer! Anyways, in messing around with it, to see exactly what it does, he accidentally ends up generating a time/space warp which turns his high school into a wild danger zone! Roman gladiators in the hallway? Viet cong soldiers near the cafeteria? Post-apocalyptic mutants outside of English 101? Dinosaurs in the Gymnasium? Yep. 


   This crazy gizmo was a psychadellic one-way ticket to adventure. Of course there was lots of screaming and shooting, running and near-death close calls, but all I saw at that young age was a cool looking mysterious little gadget that I wanted to have in my room. It hummed, it buzzed, it glowed, and had neat electric beams inside the globe in the middle. It was so amazingly neat. If I could own a prop from any movie, and could only choose one... I would choose this cool little gizmo.


  It would be the ultimate conversation piece and sort of a tribute to a very special piece of my childhood. That's good enough for me!

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