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Lost: Wired's Guide to Pop Culture's Buried Treasure
September 23, 2011 12:58 PM   Subscribe


 
My brain just asploded with want.
posted by Specklet at 1:03 PM on September 23, 2011


The reason for its notoriety: It’s about a clown who leads children into the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

Just...speechless.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:05 PM on September 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


There are some epic "lost" videogames I would add to the list:
Resident Evil 3.5
The Legend Of Zelda BS
The Legend Of Zelda: Ancient Stone

posted by 2bucksplus at 1:07 PM on September 23, 2011


+1 for wanting an Ishtar soundtrack.
posted by dobbs at 1:09 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


If someone came up to me and said "we're going to break into the vault where they keep The Day The Clown Cried, are you in?" I don't think I would have the ability to say 'no.' Every part of my being has yearned to see that film since I found out about it.
posted by griphus at 1:09 PM on September 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, there's an Animaniacs episode called "Hearts of Twilight" that simultaneously parodies The Day The Clown Cried and Apocalypse Now.
posted by griphus at 1:11 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


The layout of that article might work in print, but on a computer screen it's just sort of crazy.
posted by resurrexit at 1:13 PM on September 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


They didn't dig too far if they think Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is lost. I think I even read about it in a comment on MetaFilter, or randomly browsing the Illegal Art website, where you can download a compressed version (43 minutes and only 131 mb). You can also watch it on Google Video.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:15 PM on September 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


I can't tell you how many times I've thought "If only I had a TARDIS, I could go back and see those missing Doctor Who episodes."

Like seriously, I've thought this so many times in the last 25 years that it's become my stock answer if anybody asks what I'd do with a time machine.

Yes, it's meant to be a joke -- that, with all of time and space at my fingertips, I'd use the ability to go watch a show about having all of time and space at your fingertips.

But the (not so) secret truth -- I am 100% serious that that is what I would do first.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:18 PM on September 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh dear lord Dactyl Nightmare. The glory days of Dave & Busters.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:19 PM on September 23, 2011


And yeah, I have Superstar on my hard drive at home.

(And now I can't stop thinking that somebody out there has all seven episodes of "Marco Polo" sitting on their PC and will read the article thinking the same thing I just did.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:19 PM on September 23, 2011


filthy light thief: The article has a guide as to how rare or available each entry is.

P - Partially Released. You can purchase bits and pieces of it legally.
B - Bootleg - Not available in stores, but illicit copies can be found online.
E - Extremely - The few surviving copies sell for ludicrous amounts.
F - Forget It - It exists… in some form. Somewhere. But good luck finding it.
U - Utterly Vanished - As far as we know, no copies exist.

That Carpenter film is marked as 'B'.
posted by smitt at 1:21 PM on September 23, 2011


They didn't dig too far if they think Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is lost.

They don't; Wired labels it as available on bootlegs.

Fun fact: my college film professor is friends with Haynes, so we got to see clips from it in class! That was the same class for which I did a presentaton on the films of Doris Wishman. I had to order a couple of Chesty Morgan movies and have them sent to the college, which led to one of my all-time favorite voicemails: my professor saying, "Uh, hi Greg. I have your pornos here, so if you want to pick them up, they'll be in my office. You can pick up those pornos whenever you get a chance."
posted by Greg Nog at 1:21 PM on September 23, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ah, thanks for pointing that out, smitt and Greg Nog.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:31 PM on September 23, 2011


They should have listed Turn-On, the variety TV series that was supposedly cancelled before the first episode finished airing. Apparently, the only way to see the two episodes that were made is to go to the Paley Center for Media and view it there. (MeFi post)
posted by zsazsa at 1:37 PM on September 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's a cheat to call Kubrick's Napoleon as lost when he didn't even film it. I mean, it's too bad that he didn't, but it seems to me that it should have been at least completed and ready for the public to qualify for this list.
posted by ardgedee at 1:37 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Greg Nog: I also saw it in film class, circa 1997. I was under the impression at the time that this is the sort of thing film students are always made to watch. That and Kenneth Anger. And that one where the guy eats a bowl of cereal (or blueberries?) for what seems like forever.
posted by rusty at 1:38 PM on September 23, 2011


...more than a third of the episodes [of Doctor Who], 132 hours’ worth, were thoughtlessly exterminated by BBC apparatchiks...

I see what they did there....
posted by schmod at 1:38 PM on September 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


And that one where the guy eats a bowl of cereal (or blueberries?) for what seems like forever.

Look, I'll admit Stalker is somewhat plodding, but that's not fair.
posted by griphus at 1:40 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't tell you how many times I've thought "If only I had a TARDIS, I could go back and see those missing Doctor Who episodes."

And I have had similar thoughts, that if I only had a TARDIS, I could go back and prevent my psychoexgirlfriend from destroying my cache of VHS tapes that included some of the Lost Episodes. I had fairly high quality tapes from cable broadcasts by my local PBS station during their first run in the US, including quite a few Troughton episodes. Fortunately, some of the episodes have been recovered, but not everything that I had taped.

Actually, come to think of it, if I had a TARDIS, I would go back and just make sure I never met her in the first place.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:43 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


and then, when Big Brother records every second of your life through the screen, we'll say

"at least I can watch my favorite TV shows forever"
posted by LogicalDash at 1:50 PM on September 23, 2011


I actually played Dactyl nightmare. A little VR boutique thingy opened up in my city. My friends went to play. It was something like 9+ bucks to play. I died three times in about 5 minutes. It was one of those games you have to play about 10 games to really try to get the hang of it.
But at 9 bucks a pop. No way.
Looking back on that... I know why VR never caught on.
posted by hot_monster at 1:52 PM on September 23, 2011


If I only had a TARDIS, I could go back and ensure that Dr. Who never got made at all. And then all the Dr. Who fans would forever have a vague sense of dissatisfaction, like there was something that should be but isn't.

Come to think of it. I wonder.
posted by rusty at 2:10 PM on September 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


The wikipedia article about missing episodes of Doctor Who is incredibly detailed.
posted by sleeping bear at 2:29 PM on September 23, 2011


> Looking back on that... I know why VR never caught on.

Those machines cost $60k a pop or so when they first came out. My friends father was some chronic Venture Capitalist guy who started a company around those. I don't think he ever actually did anything besides take a lot of hedgefund managers money to pay for his and his college friends business trips. But yeah, arcades, full of these systems! Going to be the biggest thing ever in 1995!

As a result, my friend had two of the systems in his basement whenever they weren't being showed off to investors or for some private booking event. So we got to play a lot of rail shooter type games, and virtual boxing, for free!

I still to this day have no idea how that guy made any money, but I'm guessing tied up with hedgefund managers and those sorts, a lot of it was just creative accounting (like dissolving the company after 11 months and then selling the equipment to a new company he owned, so the business was always in it's first year, which I guess allowed for tax breaks for the investors or something).
posted by mrzarquon at 2:37 PM on September 23, 2011


The reason for its notoriety: It’s about a clown who leads children into the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

Just...speechless.


It worked much better when Roberto Benigni did it.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:50 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


“Telling the truth can be dangerous business. /
Honest and popular don’t go hand in hand. /
If you admit you can play the accordion /
No one will hire you in a rock-and-roll band.”


That could literally be a They Might Be Giants track.
posted by memebake at 2:57 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


That could literally be a They Might Be Giants track.

More like Weird Al Yankovic. I swear I did not edit Wikipedia's picture.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:14 PM on September 23, 2011


My personal Grail, my fabled lost artifact, my unattainable goal would have to be the Marx Brothers' silent movie, Humor Risk. It was shown once, or maybe a few times; it was thrown out accidentally, or maybe torched by Groucho. It was a parody of a movie I've never seen, and probably will never see. It probably wasn't very good.

Damn, what I wouldn't give to see it.
posted by MrVisible at 3:21 PM on September 23, 2011


There are some epic "lost" videogames I would add to the list:
Resident Evil 3.5
The Legend Of Zelda BS


There is a rom of the latter floating around though it wasn't terribly interesting iirc.

Anyway, the best attribute of lost art is that it's always great in your mind's eye. I'd love seeing Kubrick's Napoleon if only he had shot it.
posted by ersatz at 3:22 PM on September 23, 2011


Man, I played Dactyl Nightmare too, and it was pretty crappy. I played it on Fisherman's Wharf in SF on a family vacation, and the toughest thing was that the bullets you shot didn't have much thrust and went on a ballistic arc, so it was REALLY hard to hit where you aimed.
posted by klangklangston at 3:26 PM on September 23, 2011


There's a lost Godspeed You Black Emperor album that I'd love to hear.
posted by dng at 3:55 PM on September 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


When I played Dactyl Nightmare, the system crashed, and I got to see the guy take the Amiga system that ran it out of the base and reboot it. I said to my friends, "hey, that's an Amiga!" and they responded by not caring.
posted by zsazsa at 3:56 PM on September 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Perhaps it's not a great thing to do on legal grounds, but I was a bit surprised that the web edition of the Wired article didn't link to commonly available bootleg video clips, like the Superstar movie, or the 1994 version of The Fantastic Four.

Also online:
1978 Leigh Brackett draft of Empire Strikes Back (4.6mb PDF, summarized here; more Star Wars draft scripts available here)

Star Wars Holiday Special (previously)

My Best Friend's Birthday, 1987

Depressed Roomies, 1995 (Google Quickview of script PDF)

Ice Cube's St. Ides commercial (one of MANY hip-hop artists to do commercials for St. Ides)

Sergio Leone's Renault 18 Diesel commercial

Ray Charles & Aretha Franklin sing a Coca-Cola commercial (audio w/still images)

Rolling Stones' Rice Crispies commercial

The Turtles' Pepsi jingle commercial

Gary Numan's 7-Up jingles (audio w/still image)

Ween's Pizza Hut jingles

Chris Brown's Doublemint Gum commercial

I'll leave the unreleased albums a Google search links for the albums (Johnny Mathis' I Love My Lady and Clipse's Exclusive Audio Footage)
posted by filthy light thief at 4:07 PM on September 23, 2011 [14 favorites]


Where'd the motherfuckin' cheese go at?
posted by ludwig_van at 4:22 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is somewhat related: we had an exchange student from Japan living with us in the late eighties, and her family would mail her vhs tapes of Japanese television. I was idly watching one time out of curiosity, and a coffee commercial came on with David Byrne holding a steaming mug of coffee and taking a whiff, I swear to god. But try as I might, I can't find any evidence of it.
posted by Red Loop at 4:38 PM on September 23, 2011


A few of the ones I've always been curious to witness...

Ryan Adams covers The Strokes' Is This It - Intriguing given other Ryan Adams covers, including his takes on Vampire Weekend. There was rumor that it might get an official release, but Adams says it's no good.

Jeffrey Brown's Wolverine comic - Oh wait. That one's around.

Footage of The Blues Brothers' rendition of Gotta Sink the Bismarck - The song was cut from the movie and the film reportedly was too damaged to be salvaged. The audio.
posted by pokermonk at 4:53 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just give me Han Solo shooting first in Blu-ray and I'll be happy. I would be willing to accept Chewbacca eviscerating Jar-Jar Binks as a substitute.
posted by Ber at 4:55 PM on September 23, 2011


and there's also the lost original mix of the grateful dead's aoxomoxoa - the band wanted to put it out in their box set but couldn't find the master tapes - however, vinyl copies exist and one can find torrents of lossless audio

some songs are better - "mountains of the moon" - some perhaps not as good - "china cat sunflower" - but if you thought "what's become of the baby" was trippy on the remix ... oh, boy ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:59 PM on September 23, 2011


oh, i guess i wasn't hallucinating in the grand rapids fye - they found the master tapes and rereleased them on new vinyl
posted by pyramid termite at 5:08 PM on September 23, 2011


Ooh, lost and not-quite-lost stuff! I love it!

DC's Elseworlds 80-Page Giant was released, recalled, pulped and mostly flushed down the memory hole, but it's not hard to find a torrent. My favorite story is "Rockumentary."

You'll never be able to play Primal Rage II or, tragically, Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans. Thrill Kill isn't hard to find, though, and frankly it sucks.

But if Kubrick's Napoleon belongs on this list, then so does Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:20 PM on September 23, 2011


Holy crap, I had the Neil Gaiman Duran Duran book! Shut up, I was 13 in 1983. If only I had kept it -- but obviously I did not, because I was 14 in 1984.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 5:25 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, and in case anybody's looking for that Ishtar soundtrack...
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:36 PM on September 23, 2011


I wish I still had my modded PS2 so Guy and I could continue to play Thrill Kill. It really was an amazing videogame. Somewhere I still have videotapes of playing it. Youtubes of someone else playing it are just not the same.
posted by crush-onastick at 5:41 PM on September 23, 2011


I saw the Star Wars Holiday Special when it aired on TV. Expecting something more like the movie, I remember being awfully disappointed by it. Good to disappointed by Lucas early, I suppose. I also saw Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story at the local art house when it first came out. That was weird. Because it really is a serious, even angry, biopic, but the Barbies make it all feel like a Mr. Bill episode. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

there's an Animaniacs episode called "Hearts of Twilight" that simultaneously parodies The Day The Clown Cried and Apocalypse Now.

‹Dot›Oh Mr. Crazy Man! We just want to see the Director and give him a big sloppy kiss!‹/Dot›

Offhand, some of my own lost treasures would include a full recording of Mary Garden singing Pelléas et Mélisande to Debussy's accompaniment, Richard Maxfield at the 1960-61 Fluxus-sponsored concerts at Yoko Ono's loft, La Monte Young's "Sunday Morning Blues," a complete run of Night Flight from 1981 through 1987 or so, and a run of early St. GIGA broadcasts.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:57 PM on September 23, 2011


I'm not surprised that Stop! [NSFW, boobies] was not mentioned in that article, since Bill Gunn is not exactly a cause celebre in geek circles. However, no love for Papa's Got a Brown New Robe, Harry Nilsson's final, still-unreleased album?
posted by pxe2000 at 6:29 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I wish I still had my modded PS2 so Guy and I could continue to play Thrill Kill. It really was an amazing videogame. Somewhere I still have videotapes of playing it. Youtubes of someone else playing it are just not the same.

A little googling just now, and I found what appears to be a partially seeded torrent in the bay of pirates. Add two dashes of PSX emulator, and well, there you go.
posted by mrzarquon at 6:43 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great stuff! Thanks for posting. I read recently of a persistent rumour that there might, just might be some of the missing Doctor Whos in Zimbabwe (of all places), but the ban on the BBC means that no lines of communication exist. Presumably we'll find out one day, when ol' Mugabe kicks the bucket.
posted by Monkeymoo at 6:54 PM on September 23, 2011


Oh gods, Dactyl Nightmare. I waited in line to play that at GenCon '91. Those were heady days.
posted by sigma7 at 7:38 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised that so far no one has mentioned the holy grail for Beatles fans, the fifteen-minute "Carnival of Light" free-for-all avant garde piece that was recorded the night they completed Penny Lane vocals in 1967. The Wiki article linked has quite a few fascinating tidbits and is recommended. Apparently, hardly anyone has ever heard it. McCartney last spoke of it in 2002.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 8:07 PM on September 23, 2011


Here's what I want: All the episodes of 'Project: UFO' in whatever format will play on my computer.

I have found a torrent of only the first episode, plus another one that's never seeded.
posted by Legomancer at 8:09 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like the game Silent Hill 4 was supposed to be before it got turned into a Silent Hill game
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:22 PM on September 23, 2011


BFI Most Wanted
posted by pracowity at 10:37 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


What, no Heat Vision and Jack? (I didn't realize it was a Dan Harmon joint!)
posted by Lazlo at 12:08 AM on September 24, 2011


I would put the tv show China Beach on there. Watching it now is like playing "spot the celebrity debut". It was briefly and partially released on vhs. I only got my hands on it through torrent about two years ago, despite searching fairly actively since the net was young.
posted by Iteki at 7:40 AM on September 24, 2011


Most of my yearnings for Thrill Kill disappeared after I played Wu Tang: Shaolin Style.
posted by box at 8:53 AM on September 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have that Duran Duran book

DON'T JUDGE ME!
posted by biscotti at 9:19 AM on September 24, 2011


hey box, do you know, does that play on the PS3? I had no idea they had ever released a game based on the Thrill Kill engine.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:22 PM on September 24, 2011


Oh god... my absolute holy grail has to be Jim Morrison's lost student film. The one they recreated a brief snippet of in the Oliver Stone movie. Because that girl walking around on top of the teevee in her underwear? Was my mom.

I've done some journalistic digging into the UCLA archives, the Experience Music Project (when they had that big Doors retrospective), even called Ray Manzarek's publicity people, and no love-- one of Morrison's films does survive at UCLA, but it's not the one I want.

As an aside, I showed that part of The Doors to my mom, and her only comment was, "I wore more clothes than that!"
posted by speedlime at 3:18 PM on September 24, 2011 [10 favorites]


Just saw this linked to on Marginal Revolution, Smithsonian Magazine's Top 10 Books Lost to Time.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:06 PM on September 25, 2011


I met a shuttle astronaut about a year ago who was almost more interested in talking about his blacklight-glowing copy of Sgt. Pepper than his trip to space. Pulled me and a friend into a closet with three copies of the record, showed us that the one he bought on the first day of release appeared to be made with glowing paint mixed in in a spin-art type of pattern. Did not look painted on after the fact, but actually in the vinyl itself. He has been trying to find out any information about this for years, and when I did some poking around online the only stuff I could find were a few people referring to "some guy claiming to be an astronaut and claiming to have a glow-in-the-dark Sgt. Pepper record". Maybe this is a question for Ask....
posted by zoinks at 10:40 PM on September 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


*raises hand*

Yes, I found a copy of that Neil Gaiman book the other month in soe old things. I was a bit floored when I noticed the name, went straight to google. Sadly, it is not in great shape. But it was still a hilarious find.
posted by allpaws at 6:06 AM on September 26, 2011


I can't tell you how many times I've thought "If only I had a TARDIS, I could go back and see those missing Doctor Who episodes."

This is a theme used in Douglas Adams' Dirk Gently, where the old Professor Reg uses his time machine to go back and watch TV because it is easier than figuring out how to program his VCR.

Of course, a lot of that book was recycled from Shada, a lost episode of Doctor Who that Adams wrote but only partially filmed due to a strike at the BBC in 1980.
posted by mikepop at 11:39 AM on September 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


the only stuff I could find were a few people referring to "some guy claiming to be an astronaut and claiming to have a glow-in-the-dark Sgt. Pepper record". Maybe this is a question for Ask....

Totally incorporating this album's existence into future Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories
posted by Greg Nog at 12:13 PM on September 26, 2011


Of course, a lot of that book was recycled from Shada, a lost episode of Doctor Who that Adams wrote but only partially filmed due to a strike at the BBC in 1980.

And the rest of that book was recycled from City of Death, a quite-extant episode of Doctor Who that Adams wrote and figured he could collect a second paycheck for.
posted by Legomancer at 1:47 PM on September 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Duelin’ Firemen, 1994
This title never appeared on the ill-fated 3DO console, but bizarre filmed interludes have leaked. They feature Timothy Leary, Rudy Ray Moore, Tony Hawk, and Japanese noise-rockers the Boredoms.


WaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahHH?
Oh me oh my, must have.
posted by Theta States at 9:41 AM on September 29, 2011


Dayyam, don't have this 7".
posted by Theta States at 9:42 AM on September 29, 2011


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