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Showing posts from November, 2020

You Bet Your Life February 18, 1954

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You Bet Your Life was nominally a quiz show, but the real appeal of the show is listening to Groucho interview the contestants before they get to the quiz part of the show. It's obvious the show runners knew this, as each team of two contestants only gets asked 4 questions. The couples get to choose a dollar amount for the question from between 10 and 100 dollars. The more the money the harder the question. There is also a secret word that if spoken will get the team $100. The team who wins the most gets to come back at the end to answer a question for $3000. The first team of this episode consists of a banker and a dancer. They are both single, and Groucho goes back and forth between making a pass at the young lady himself and setting her up to be married to the banker. The best joke in this is when the banker says that deposits in the bank of up to $10,000 are insured by the federal government. Groucho responds by asking him if he's heard that the federal government is about

The Alan Parsons Project Tales of Mystery and Imagination Edgar Allen Poe

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Released in 1976 Tales of Mystery and Imagination was the first album by The Alan Parsons Project. Adapting the stories of Edgar Allen Poe to music was certainly an ambitious idea for a debut album. The album is considered a cult classic of prog rock, but I can honestly see this album doing better if it had been released in the 80's. Parts of it sound very 70's, but a great deal of it sounds ahead of its time. Apparently there was a reissue in the 80's with added narration by Orson Welles. I'd love to hear that version. The album starts with A Dream Within a Dream, a bit of filler really and not terribly interesting. The Raven is a bit better and features a rhythmic bass that I really thought would have made more sense on The Tell-Tale Heart. Speaking of which, that song is pretty good. Arthur Brown of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown does a guest vocal on it, and it is fun but not really a knockout. The Cask of Amontillado is just a sort of weak Beatles clone and not ve

Condorman #2 of 2

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Issue number 2 of the Condorman comic book adaptation picks up with Woody and Natalia having dispatched all of the pursuing vehicles. All that is except for the one driven by the killer Morovich. Woody still has one trick left up his sleeve though. The car turns into a hydrofoil and the two escape to safety. Or so they believe. Krokov knows they will go to Italy, so arranges to have them framed for murder. They are arrested and all seems lost when an agent from Monte Carlo comes to extradite them. But it turns out the agent is Woody's friend from the CIA, Harry. Morovich is also there and chases them through the streets. They duck into a wedding where Natalia interrupts to announce that the groom is already married to her. She points out Morovich as her uncle. The bride's family decide to take out their rage on him, allowing Woody, Harry and Natalia to make good their escape. Morovich has to report his failure to Krokov, but he's not upset. He has figured out the Condorman&

Petticoat Junction Season 1 Episode 1

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The first episode of Petticoat Junction introduces us to Kate, who runs the Shady Rest Hotel between Hooterville and Pixley. Kate has 3 girls, Billie Jo, Bobbie Jo and Betty Jo. Billie Jo is the blonde who is interested only in boys. Bobbie Jo has dark hair and is a bookworm. Betty Jo is a redhead who loves the train that connects Hooterville to Pixley, the Hooterville Cannonball. They run the Hotel with Kate and their uncle Joe. The line that the Cannonball runs on hasn't been connected to the main line in years, so long in fact that the railroad company forgot that this spur exists. When an executive notices it on his map, he sends Homer Bedloe to investigate. Homer arrives and meets Mr. Drucker at the Hooterville station. He is aghast that the train passes the station to stop at the general store so that Kate and her girls can do their shopping. When the train pulls out he has to run to catch it because it never goes back to the station. On the train, a group of travelling sales

Bell Book and Candle

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You know that movie where Kim Novak tricks Jimmy Stewart into falling for her, but ends up also falling for him? I could be talking about the classic Hitchcock flick Vertigo, but I'm actually talking about a movie they made soon after, Bell Book and Candle. That's not meant as a dig at the movie, I just thought the similarity was interesting. Of course the stories are wildly different, with Bell Book and Candle being a comedy and Vertigo being a thriller/mind fuck. In this movie Kim Novak plays Gillian, a witch who runs an African art store below the apartment where Shep (James Stewart) lives. Gillian has become fascinated with Shep, at the same time that she has become bored with her life as a witch. After running into Gillian and her aunt Queenie (played by the bride of Frankenstein herself Elsa Lanchester) Shep takes his fiancee to a club that the witches have told him about. What he doesn't know is that the Zodiac is a hangout for witches. He also doesn't know that

Condorman #1 of 2

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Condorman was a 1981 movie about a comic book artist who becomes a superspy. But this isn't a review of the movie exactly. I am going to write about the comic book adaptation of the movie. Comic book adaptations of genre movies used to get comic book adaptations pretty regularly. They split Condorman into two issues. The first issue starts with a winged figure atop the Eiffel Tower. We soon learn that the figure is comic book artist Woody Wilkins. He writes and draws the Condorman comic book. He wants his book to be realistic, so he tests out the gadgets he has his hero use. Today he is testing the flying suit with the help of his friend Harry, who works for the CIA. The test goes seriously wrong and Woody ends up in the Seine, with Harry forced to get him out.  Harry finds out about an important document exchange with the Soviets, in which the Russians are demanding the parties involved be citizens and not spies. For some reason Harry decides Woody would be perfect for this, so th

The Twilight Zone (80's version) Season 1 Episode 1

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When CBS brought back The Twilight Zone Rod Serling had been gone for 10 years. The movie which recreated several episodes of the original show had come out, but it was only moderately successful. Still, CBS decided to move forward (like they would two more times in the future). These first season episodes were narrated by Charles Aidman, doing his very best Rod Serling impersonation. The first episode has two stories, Shatterday and A Little Peace and Quiet. Shatterday stars a young Bruce Willis. He is sitting in a bar waiting for his girlfriend. She is running late so he asks for the phone to give her a call. He accidentally calls his own number and is shocked when the phone is answered. The voice on the other end sounds just like his, and claims to be him. He thinks one of his friends is pranking him, but amazingly quickly comes to the conclusion that something strange is going on. The doppleganger tells him that he is taking over his life. He is moving his mother in with him, has p