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Showing posts from October, 2021

The Rifleman Season One Episode One

The first episode of The Rifleman was not made as the first episode of The Rifleman. It was actually made as an episode of Zane Grey Theater titled The Sharpshooter. The episode was written by Sam Peckinpah, whose name will be well known to fans of westerns. Zane Grey Theater wasn't even the original show that the episode was written for. It was meant to be an episode of Gunsmoke. Luckily for Chuck Connors, they turned it down. It was directed by Arnold Laven, which is a name you probably don't know. He was a producer and director who would direct episodes of classic shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Wagon Train, Planet of the Apes, Shazam!, The Secrets of Isis, The Six Million Dollar Man, CHiPs, Hill Street Blues, The Greatest American Hero, and the A-Team among many, many more. He also directed a movie titled The Monster That Challenged The World that went on my to watch list based on the name alone. The story is about Lucas McCain and his son Mark coming into the town of

.38 Special Wild Eyed Southern Boys

Wild Eyed Southern Boys was released in January 1981. The band was fronted by the brother of Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zandt, and the southern rock roots show through a little on the album. Mostly though, it sounds like typical 80's radio rock. It's mostly unspectacular except for a few gems that continue to heard daily on classic rock radio. Hold On Loosely is the best song the band ever recorded. It kicks off with a great guitar riff, has the catchiest chorus, and has the biggest impact. There's a reason this is the one that ended up on all the compilation albums. First Time Around is dull by comparison and suffers by following directly after it on the record. The title track is okay, a little corny but not bad. It's catchy. Back Alley Sally is forgettable and doesn't impress much either way. Fantasy Girl is another classic rock radio staple. It's a good song, though not as good as a lot of songs that have been forgotten by radio programmers over the ye

Muppet Mondo

If you are a fan of the Muppets chances are good you are a fan of the song Mah Na Mah Na. If you didn't watch The Muppet Show and have never heard the song you should look it up on Youtube. It's a fun nonsense song that Henson had the character who he named after it sing in several appearances. The song did not originate with the Muppets though. It actually has a much seedier origin. Mondo movies were popular in the 60's and 70's. They were made mostly in Italy and were basically exploitation documentaries, covering topics meant to shock and titillate in order to compel people to see them. They would show graphic sex acts and murders and even surgical procedures.  Sweden: Heaven and Hell was released in 1968, and documented lesbian clubs, porno movies, and the swingers scene in that country. It also featured the debut of the future Muppet hit.

Dark Shadows #1

Dark Shadows was a popular tv show that ran in the late 60's and early 70's. It was a gothic soap opera that had lots of horror elements, including vampires, ghosts, and even some Lovecraftian themes. This post is not about the show, though. It is about the comic book series that spun off from the show. It was from Gold Key. The book assumes you are familiar with the setting and characters of the show. They don't do much to introduce characters or explain the different relationships. If you haven't seen the show you can probably pick up the gist of what's happening, but it will be a little more confusing than it would be for a fan of the show. The story of the first issue is two boys who come to Collinsport to research the fate of an ancestor of one of them. The man had disappeared while travelling in his capacity as a witch hunter. What they don't know is that Barnabas, a vampire who tends to be the main character of the show after his introduction in episode 2