Comin´at ya!

Who would have thought that stereoscopy, or 3d photography started 150 years ago? Beginning with the delicate invention of Louis Daguerre it was constantly re-invented and bettered by David Brewster and first shown to the public at the 1851 World Expo in London.
I always loved those red-green, seemingly out-of-focus pictures. Even without the special viewing glasses, those photos have their very own haunting quality.

A collection of old 3d-pictures can be seen here.

I used to spend hours of my childhood staring into my bright-red "Viewmaster", imagining myself strolling through Disneyland whenever I wanted. When the first prototypes of "virtual reality machines" appeared in the early 90s, they looked like a hi-tec version of the "Viewmaster". Inspite of very creative and seductive ideas, the "vir2l" craze was over before it actually started.

Of course I went to see ANY 3D movie that was released during its short renaissance in the early eighties. It started with "Comin at Ya!", a late sgaghetti-western with the abominable Tony Anthony (!). This ultra-cheap flick had so many 3-D effects, it would have been enough to bury the genre afterwards, but it made money and so the same team came up with the Indiana Jones rip-off "El tesoro de las cuatro coronas". And then Hollywood must have seen the green/red light and greenlighted three 3-D sequels, each being the third installment of played-out horror franchises: "Jaws 3-D", "Friday, 13th 3-D" and "Amitiville 3-D".
You had to see thmem quick, because the movies were so bad, that they usually vanished from the cinemas after one week.

Aound this time German TV had a short 3-D fad. Green-red glasses would be distributed with the tv-guides. They aired some Jack Arnold movies and inbetween they bored you to death with small experiments and mostly scientific talk instead of throwing everything at you. Either way: I was exstatic!

Small art-house cinemas would sometimes dig up the great Arnold movies as well as "Andy Warhols Frankenstein". Of course the didn´t show "The Stewardesses".
The nearest I ever came to see the full 3-D version of the 1973 german soft-sex flick "Liebe in drei Dimensionen" was at Alton Towers Theme Park! Believe it or not, they had a harmless scene cut into their 3-D, 180°show-reel.
Sadly I have never had the pleasure to see "Heavy Equipment", a gay porn which you should enjoy with glasses on!

Isn´t it strange that after all this time and progress there is still no REAL quantum leap in 3d technology? Of course we now have shutter glasses and simulated 3d, but apart from some recent Imax releases the big impact on the entertainment industry has yet to happen.

When sound- and colourmovies were invented, many people in the industry were convinced that people would reject those innovations. But they were wrong. Once the movies talked and became colourful, nobody wanted to go back. But even after 150 years, 3d is still regarded as a gimmick!

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