Posts

Showing posts from 2021

Return To The Planet Of The Apes Season 1 Episode 1

Image
Return to the Planet of the Apes is an animated series that spins off of the first two movies and ignores the latter three, sort of. We start with the familiar setup. A space capsule from Earth travels through time. This time the 3 astronauts are not in any kind of suspended animation or anything. They are awake and travelling through time due to the speed of their craft. They appear to hit some sort of phenomenon which shoots them much further ahead than they had been travelling before, about 2,000 years. They crash in the ocean and travel through the desert looking for food. Along the way a mysterious fire springs up and destroys their supplies. Then an earthquake hits and the female astronaut, Judy, is swallowed by the earth. The two remaining astronauts, Jeff and Bill, travel on and find the ape version of Mount Rushmore. They also discover a cave occupied by humans before passing out.  The humans rescue the two time travelers and nurse them back to health. They discover that a fem

Godley & Creme Birds of Prey

Image
I am going to be honest, I had never heard of Godley and Creme. This record came in a box of vinyl I bought and this was my first time listening to it. Doing some reading on them, apparently this was the wrong album to start with since it's not indicative of their work really. They are childhood friends and former members of 10cc. The album is sort of electronic synth pop, it's very 80's for sure. It came out in 1983. From looking at the cover I expected something a little sexier, maybe with a bit more funk to it. I didn't know it was 2 British white guys at the time. My Body the Car sounds like something you might hear from DaVinci's Notebook, which I guess might make this group ahead of their time. Worm and the Rattlesnake comes off like a 2nd rate Tears For Fears knockoff, but it's not awful. I did find myself wondering if it was supposed to be some kind of penis metaphor. Cats Eyes tried to be a bit more soulful, but doesn't quite make it. It's kind

Tales From The Darkside Season 1 Episode 1 The New Man

Image
 The first episode of the series proper (the  pilot  aired the year before) of Tales From the Darkside is definitely not it's strongest episode. Alan is a former drunk who is now doing great in real estate. Things go wrong when his young son Jerry shows up at his office. See, he doesn't have a young son Jerry. His wife Sharon and his son Petey seem to remember Jerry, but Alan does not. SHaron becomes convinced that Alan is drinking again. Days go by without his realizing it. His work suffers. Sharon decides to leave Alan. He comes home and hallucinates Sharon telling Jerry about what a disappointment Alan is. He goes in and begins trashing Alan's room. In the process he finds a bottle of whiskey hidden in a drawer. He gets drunk and wakes up with a greasepaint beard. There's a new guy working at his old job. His boss offers him a drink, like he did Alan at the beginning of the episode, and we discover that he is a recovering alcoholic. As the boss leaves Jerry shows up

The Rampaging Hulk #1

Image
 The Rampaging Hulk Started in 1977, as a black and white book. Apparently the thought was that being black and white would somehow appeal to a more adult audience, though there was little change in the content from the full color Hulk books apparently meant for kids. The book is split into two stories, the first featuring the Hulk and Rick Jones, and the second featuring Bloodstone.  The Krylorian Conspiracy is said to take place right after the initial run of Hulk books in the early 60's, though the writers apparently didn't bother to go back and read those books as several details about character and how the Hulk transforms were not consistent with those early books. Research isn't the only weakness the writers had. There are several instances of terrible grammar, misspelled words, and common phrases using the wrong words. The dialogue is clunky and the story itself is kind of dumb. The art, on the other hand, is kind of amazing. The way the Hulk is drawn is great, and t

Monkey Business

Image
Monkey Business was the third film by the Marx Brothers and one of the best. For me only Duck Soup is better. It's a lot like that movie, in that there isn't much plot and it really just focuses on the chaos of the brothers running around and making a mess of everything. They don't even bother to give their characters names. The musical sequences are much shorter than in the previous films, although I really enjoy watching Chico play the piano so I don't mind these scenes as much as others seem to. That the plot wasn't paramount is illustrated by the fact that we get well into the movie before we even begin to see what it is. What we do get right away is that the four Marx Brothers (Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo) are stowaways on a cruise ship. They are discovered because they keep singing Sweet Adeline in four part harmony (possibly 3 part, as Harpo normally doesn't speak or sing in the movies and there is some debate over whether his voice is included). As t

Vault of Horror #12

Image
 I am starting with issue number 12 of Vault of Horror because issues 1 through 11 do not exist. The book was originally call War Against Crime and only became Vault of Horror with issue #12. The issue starts with a story called Portrait in Wax. Robert and Henry are two starving artists living in Paris. Robert is very talented but doesn't want to sell his work. Henry has no talent, but desperately wants to be rich and famous. Henry starts selling Robert's work as his own. Robert finds out and confronts him, telling Henry he is going to the police. Henry throws acid in his face, then decides to kill him by throwing his whole body into a vat of acid. Henry lives the high life from the money he makes selling Robert's work. But soon he begins to run out of pieces tom sell. One of his friends dies, and he receives a mysterious and anonymous message to go see a statue that was made of his friend. He goes and finds a completely life like wax statue. He talks the man responsible in

The Man From U.N/C.L.E: Season 1 Episode 1 The Vulcan Affair

Image
 The episode begins with a secret U.N.C.L.E. base being infiltrated by a group of men intent on assassination. They are thwarted and we learn they are from a criminal organization called Thrush. U.N.C.L.E. has intercepted some intel indicating that Thrush intends to assassinate the leader of a new African nation during a tour of a plant that happens to be owned and operated by a Thrush leader. That leader, named Vulcan, doesn't have many weaknesses, but the U.N.C.L.E. agent Napoleon Solo discovers that he had a girlfriend in college. He decides to recruit her to help him infiltrate Vulcan's inner circle and stop the assassination. Enter Elaine Donaldson, the old flame. Solo uses a connection with a bishop to get her minister to vouch for him. He tells her the situation and tells her that while she cannot tell her husband anything he will insist that she go on the trip. It turns out Solo is right, as Elaine has been placed on an important committee going to Washington due to a l

Salute to Carole Lombard

Image
Carole Lombard was born in Fort Wayne IN in 1908. In 1914 she moved to L.A. and at 12 was put in a film after being spotted playing baseball. She got the bug and went looking for more work. She auditioned for Chaplin's The Gold Rush, and at the age of 16 got signed to Fox. She got several bit parts and even one lead, but unfortunately Fox decided to let her contract go. She got a contract with Mack Sennett, but then fate threw her a curveball. She was out on a date a was in a car accident. The windshield shattered and cut her face. She underwent corrective surgery without anesthetic, but still had a scar. She used makeup and lighting and posture to try to hide it. Sennett publicized her curves, looking to get attention from her face to her body. She enjoyed great success at Pathe, the distributor of the Sennett shorts she played in, eventually getting lead roles. She made another movie at Fox and then went to Paramount. She married William Powell (who besides being in My Man Godfre

The List of 7 by Mark Frost

Image
The List of 7 is a book that is so ridiculous that it's great. The hero is a pre-Sherlock Arthur Conan Doyle. He is a struggling doctor who has a decent life, but aspires to more. He gets a letter inviting him to a seance, and he decides to go. The seance soon turns into a murder scene, but not before he falls for the lady who invited him. Unfortunately, she is the victim of said murder. Before Doyle can become the next victim, he is saved by a man who bursts into the room. The duo gets chased by creatures who look like men, but seem impervious to pain.  Doyle's savior turns out to be Jack Sparks, a secret agent of the crown. He has been chasing down a criminal conspiracy with an occult flavor. Doyle soon learns that all his belongings have been gelatinized. Events start to spin out of control and he finds himself getting sucked into a spiral of ever crazier events as he becomes Sparks' comrade in arms against a Lovecraftian plot by several nobles and notables, one of whom

Wonder Woman #186

Image
It may seem coordinated, but it's by chance that I'm doing the Wonder Woman comic right after doing the t.v. show . But it is just by chance. Unfortunately I'm not able to start the comics at the beginning. Also unfortunately, I have to start during the run when Wonder Woman was a non-powered spy working under a Chinese CIA agent named I Ching.  This issue starts with Diana's boutique having been destroyed after she rescued a girl from some fate which I think they assume you read in the last issue since they don't really explain it. The girl brings in her friends, who have a problem they want Diana to help fix. They have a frog in a box who turns out to be the boyfriend of one of the girls. It seems he found a book of magic and they summoned the witch Morgana Le Fay. She turned Henry into a frog to keep him from sending her back to whatever dimension they brought her from. Diana agrees to help and they chase Morgana through the streets, where she has made men fight

Wonder Woman Season 1 Episode 1

Image
The Wonder Woman series of the 1970's is a show that has a place near and dear to my heart. I loved this show as a kid. Lynda Carter is my first love. I don't know if I had ever seen the pilot before. Most of the reruns I saw as a kid were the episodes that took place in the 70's. One thing I was struck by is the tone of the pilot. I watched the 90 minute tv movie version. It seemed like they were trying for the campy Batman '66 feel, but it didn't quite make it. There were odd moments like Cloris Leachman as Queen Hippolyta biting her knuckles while talking about barbaric masculinity. There is Howard Gibson who seemed to think he was doing a skit on Laugh-In. But Lynda Carter and Lyle Waggoner played their parts straight, keeping the whole thing from falling into the realm of complete farce. And while I'm ready to forgive bad special effects (honestly they are at least as good as those in  Superboy  almost 10 years later) and plot holes in a comic book sjow fro

Sax Rohmer's Fitting End

Image
Sax Rohmer is an author who is best known for creating the character Fu Manchu. The character was very popular and has been portrayed in film by horror greats Boris Karloff and Christopher Lee among others. The character has also come under some criticism for being a racist caricature inspired by the Yellow Peril idea that was widespread in the U.S. for a while, and unfortunately seems to have made a comeback.  Rohmer also introduced Sumuru, who has been featured in a few films herself. While she hasn't been the focus of the same amount of criticism as Fu Manchu, I think that has more to do with their respective levels of popularity and less with the respective levels of objectionability. So it seems like a bit of karma that when Rohmer passed away in 1958, it was from the Asian flu.

Weird Mysteries February 1952

Image
The first story in this issue of the horror anthology comic is The Devil's Bottles. Danny Fowler is one of those people who never accepts responsibility for the bad things he does, instead blaming others for making him do them and getting mad about getting caught. He gets fired for stealing from his job and his landlady tells him she's going to kick him out if he doesn't pay his rent.  He does what many of us have done when we've had an especially bad day and goes on a drunk. The devil pays him a visit and makes a deal with him. He is given 5 bottles. Four of the bottles have "genii" in them, each of which will grant one wish. But Danny can't open the fifth bottle, or his soul will be doomed.  Of course, he gets revenge on the people he believes have wronged him, becomes rich and attractive and successful. And also of course, there is a price to be paid in a twist ending that you see coming for a mile. But while it may be predictable, it's pretty well