Backglass for Houdini pinball machine as described in the post

Houdini, American Pinball, 2016.

The Houdini pinball machine is themed around the idea of Houdini’s shows. In alignment with that theme, the word Houdini takes up the top third of the backglass, with the words “Master of Mystery” below it. Houdini looks like it’s forged out of iron or steel, with many small rivets around the edges of the letters. Both the title and subtitle float over a red stage curtain.

Houdini himself, from the bust up, faces the camera inside the curtained area. He’s played up to be creepy, with light emphasizing his eyes and his hands, which he holds up, fingers curled, like he was about to snatch you out of your seat. He is surrounded by chains and the occasional very large clockwork cog, because what’s creepier than steampunk?

Below the stage we see the audience in their seats, facing away from us.

The left edge also contains a big black bank safe wrapped in chains and emitting an eerie yellow glow, an elephant emitting an eerie orange glow, and a woman upside-down in a tank of water that resembles a telephone booth, with the tank emitting an eerie pink glow.

The right edge starts with Houdini swallowing a string of needles  and emitting an eerie green glow, then a very large milk can wrapped in chains and emitting an eerie blue glow, then a wooden trunk emitting an eerie purple glow. Chains, pinballs, and an ouija planchette.

There are a few other tiny details such as a robot staring through the gaps between the D and the I in Houdini that give the whole thing a very consistent vibe.


Photo of the Wizard backglass as described in the post.

Wizard, Bally, 1975.

There is a LOT going on here.

The setting: a pinball playfield which appears to be on fire at its back edge. Jets fly overhead. There are a few mushroom clouds on the horizon.

In the center, a man with a perm sits on a giant pinball bumper. It’s lit. The man has reflective sunglasses on, and they appear to be reflecting a very bright window. He wears a necklace with a pinball on it. He also has neck bolts (think Frankenstein) with lightning coming out of them.

He’s wearing a sleeveless white teeshirt with a giant pinball on it, labeled “Bally Pinball Wizard”.

His belt is a green and white diamondback. Said snake appears to be coming out of his jeans, so this both is and is not a euphemism.

A blonde woman with unrealistic breasts has her right arm around him. She’s wearing a light blue negligee and has a light blue feather on her collarbone. On her left finger she wears an octopus ring. On her left leg, a shackle leads to a bowling ball sized pinball that has Tommy written on it.

Behind them, to the left, a gobble hole labeled “love” has a woman standing in it. She is wearing a green turban, green bikini covered in red hearts, and red and green stockings that go up to her thighs.

To the right, a gobble hole labeled “evil” has a woman sitting on the edge. She’s wearing a white turban, a red and white half jacket that has “memento mori” written on the cuff. Her breasts are also unrealistic and barely contained. Her bikini bottoms have a center decoration consisting of black wings, a skull, and an hourglass on it.

In the foreground are two more gobble holes labeled “1-4 can play” and “ball in play”.

My understanding is that Bally created this wizard game because they couldn’t /before they could license the actual musical.

This thing is nightmare fuel.

Twilight Zone

Photo of the Twilight Zone backglass as described in the post. A little glare on the photo near the center.

Twilight Zone. 1993 Bally with sound from the show as well as a ton of imagery. If it was a theme of an episode it’s likely represented here.

First time I heard it quote Talking Tina I like to have a heart attack. She’ll never not be terrifying.

Future Spa

A photo of the backglass for future spa as described in the post

Future Spa, Bally, 1979.

It’s the spa, but in the future!

In the center, a woman and a man run toward the camera. They are wearing futuristic jumpsuits that cover them from head to toe except for windows cut in the torso. Like, on the woman’s sky blue outfit the first window stretches from just above the pubic hair to just below the breasts, and a second window reveals most of the breasts to the collar bone.

Her collar is popped and stands up to her earlobes.

Oddly, she has a belt around her middle despite half the outfit missing.

Did I mention you can see her nipples through the fabric?

Silver and gold matching boots and gloves cap off the ensemble.

The man behind her has a pornstache and 70s hair. His outfit only has one window which stretches from just above the belt buckle, over the pecs and all the way up, essentially meaning that if he doesn’t stand up straight the whole damn outfit could pop off his shoulders.

His pecs and six pack abs are visible to an unfortunate level. His collar is popped and he doesn’t appear to have a neck.

In the top left corner are two moons (or rocky planets). The top right displays curvy futuristic buildings with three more moons in the background.

In the bottom right corner, a creepy man in no shirt and a strange helmet grabs a hold of a glowing bar while he sits in front of a console.

In the bottom left corner a naked man sits in a tub staring at the naked woman standing next to him. She is holding on to the long fabric strap around another woman’s breasts – that woman is on a swing above.

This thing is creepy, at its best.

Funhouse 2: Rudy’s Nightmare

Funhouse 2.0 Rudy’s Nightmare by Pedretti, as an upgrade kit to Funhouse, 2022.

The upgrade kit provides new boards, backglass, and a new mirror toy to an existing Funhouse machine. The new backglass consists of Rudy, the creepy ventriloquist dummy from Funhouse, front and center. Rudy lookalikes in red jackets instead of blue are to the left and right. Behind them on the left is an angry living hot dog and on the right a human sized monkey with giant cymbals.

Behind them all, Evil Rudy looms over the others.

The creepiest thing about the new game is the obvious nod to Stephen King’s It in the form of the “do you want a balloon?” mode.