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CultTV

Opiates for the B-Masses

 
 
       
   

Animated Mayhem:

 
       
 

New Adventures of Flash Gordon

As much as I love the old Buster Crabbe serials and Dino De Laurentiisí gloriously moronic and maniacal feature film, I'll have to say my absolute favorite interpretation of Alex Raymondís ray-gun firing, rocket-jockey was Filmation Studios' wonderfully animated adaptation from the late 1970's...

 
       
 

Captain America

This version of Captain America is a wonderful time capsule of Marvel's early days, and has a nice retro-vibe going for it. And when it premiered on the syndicated The Marvel Super-Heroes Show back in 1966, the segment opened with yet another whiz-banger of a theme song...

 
       
 

The Sub-Mariner

The Sub-Mariner was one of Marvel Comic's flagship characters. He fought alongside Captain America and the first Human Torch against the Nazis and Japs in World War II. He also successfully made the transition to the newer continuity where he alternated almost weekly from being a hero or a villain, making old Namor an odd choice for animation. But there it is and here we are...

 
       
 

Spiderman & His Amazing Friends

Unknown to Aunt May and the rest of the world, her tenants are bona fide superheroes. See, Peter is really Spider-Man, Bobby is the snow-balling mutant Iceman, and Angelica is the flame-wielding Firestar. Together, whenever trouble of a super-villain variety pops up, they costume up, power up, and take care of business...

 
       
 

Pryde of the X-Men

When told she is a mutant, Kitty confides her "gift" is a curse, but Professor Xavier thinks differently. She then gets his sales pitch about the band of do-gooders heís assembled: the X-Men, who right wrongs and fight for mutant tolerance and acceptance...

 
       
   

B-Movie Showcases:

 
       
 

The Canned Film Festival

A small town movie palace, in a desperate attempt to keep the doors open and the business afloat, gets a little creative with their promotions and film selection to try and bring the crowds back. Featuring grade-Z flicks that have to be seen to be believed, this obscure syndicated showcase for wonky movies was rabidly championed by it's multitude of fans -- well, rabidly championed by me anyways...

 
       
   

Boob-Tube'n:

 
       
 

Vintage TV Ads

Get tuned-in to what used to be on over the last fifty or so odd years at our sister satellite, Scenes from the Morgue, with a ton of print ads from TV shows you remember, shows you've forgotten, and a lot of shows you've probably never even heard of...

 
       
   

Classic-Tube'n:

 
       
 

Hawaiian Eye

Hawaiian Eye (a Polynesian spin on private eye, dig?) centered around a trio of hard-drinking, lady-killing, thin tie-wearing, and two-fisted do-gooders -- Tracy Steel, Tom Lopaka and Greg MacKenzie -- who own and operated a private investigation and security firm based out of a resort hotel, where they also served as the house dicks for the free room and board, with the comedy relief ably aided and abetted by the hotel's lounge singer, Cricket Blake,  and Kim (Ponce), a local cab driver who seemingly knows everybody and everything on the islands...

 
       
 

CLIMAX! Mystery Theater

Back in 1954, Plymouth Motors sponsored CBS' Climax! Mystery Theater, an hour-long anthology series that ran from 1954 thru 1958, which broadcast the very first screen adaptation of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale, starring Barry Nelson and his Marine buzz-cut as the very first and very American card-shark cum super-spy, Jimmy Bond...

 
       
 

The Dick Van Dyke Show

In 1959, Carl Reiner wrote and starred in a familiar sounding TV pilot called Head of the Family, about a head-writer for variety show, his kooky co-workers, and the trials and tribulations of family life with his long suffering wife and recalcitrant son. The pilot didn't sell but Reiner didn't give up on it. And with a little re-tooling and a massive cast overhaul, Head of the Family became one of the greatest sit-coms ever...

 
       
 

Project U.F.O.

Though I had always remembered it under its alternate title, Project Bluebook, one of Jack Webb's last Mark VII Ltd. productions, Project U.F.O. was kind of a mash-up of Dragnet's sardonic dryness with the truth/untruth of The X-Files as two Air Force investigators hopped around the country looking to either corroborate or debunk any sightings or strange phenomenon...

 
       
 

Legends of the Superheroes

Back in the late 1970's, the heroes of DC Comics were going through a massive surge in popularity. With the forthcoming feature film for the Man of Steel, the mod television version of Wonder Woman, and, of course, the Saturday morning staple, The Super-Friends, these guys and gals in spandex hadnít had it this good since the original Batman TV series was on the air in the late '60s. And then, this happened...

 
       
 

Darkroom

With James Coburn serving as our sinister master of ceremonies for each tale of regret and woe witnessed, after an opening credit sequence that could give anybody the drizzles, I was kinda amazed at the lack of moralizing found here; and how cynically downbeat and gleefully brutal the series was...

 
       
   

Neo-Tube'n:

 
       
 

Harper's Island

OK, folks ... What large rock was I living under back in 2009 that caused me to completely miss the boat on, let's just call it what it is, a 13 hour-long slasher movie? That's what Harper's Island is, and, apparently, exactly what the creators wanted it to be: Wes Craven's Scream by way of Agatha Christie's And then There Were None. Hardly original, true, but definitely intriguing in this expanded but still self-contained format...

 
       
 

The Walking Dead: Season 2

Once the bodies stopped falling and the guns went silent, with the soft, scrabbling sounds of something still inside, thoughts of it being Hershel's wife, triggering an ugly confrontation between the two factions outside, where the living ironically tear each other part, were quickly pushed aside. I knew better. And I knew what was in there, even though I didn't want to know what was in there. No. Not what. Who...

 
       
 

Showtime's Rebel Highway

Back in 1994, American International Pictures kinda had a mini-revival on premium cable via Showtime's anthology series, Rebel Highway. Under the guiding hand of producers Lou Arkoff and Debra Hill, all ten episodes were based on a sordid and motley bunch of vintage AIP juvenile delinquent and high-octane exploitation releases from the 1950s; period pieces still, but with more *ahem* lax standards and practices...

 
       
   

Pilot Error:

 
       
 

Baffled!

When Kovack is overcome by another vision, he's running in the country and comes upon Windom Manor. He runs to the door and pounds on it until it opens up. The vision shifts and he's on a balcony, overlooking the sea. He turns and spies someone, or something, coming at him and is pushed over the concrete railing ... Kovack snaps out of it before he splashes down. He's still in his apartment, lying in the middle of the floor, but is soaked through and his clothes reek of salt water...

 
       
 

Black Bart

The first thing you'll probably notice while watching Black Bart, the failed TV pilot / spin-off of Blazing Saddles, is that Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman and Madeline Kahn aren't listed in the credits. Or Mel Brooks, for that matter. What we get in their stead is Lou Gossett Jr., Steve Landesberg, Noble Willingham and Millie Slavin trying hard to fill some very large boots and saddles...

 
       
   

Movie of the Week:

 
       
 

A Taste of Evil

Our film, destined to be chock full of twists and turns, begins simply enough with a flashback, where Susan Wilcox narrates her tale of woe that starts out sweetly enough in her playhouse until a silhouetted figure blocks the door, then enters, his intentions ickily clear, which is confirmed when the little girl starts screaming...

 
       
 

The Horror at 37000 Feet

What the script lacks in real suspense is more than made up for in outright bizarreness. Not even in my most fevered delirium would it have crossed my mind to try and substitute a Cabbage Patch Kid as a virginal sacrifice to an ancient druid god by super-gluing some fingernails and hair to it, and then toppedoff with a kabuki make up job...

 
       
 

Killdozer

Some 30 years after its initial publication, TV producer Herbert Solow, who had helmed the likes of Mission: Impossible and Mannix, approached the brass at ABC with a notion that Theodore Sturgeon's novella about a homicidal earth-mover would make an awesome made for TV movie for their network. They agreed, and the rest, as they say, is television infamy...

 
       
 

The Night Stalker

Finding the near perfect vehicle in The Kolchak Papers, an unpublished novel by Jeff Rice, Dan Curtis loved the contemporaneous notion of a serial killer stalking the neon streets of Las Vegas; a killer whose modus operandi is tearing out his victim's throat and making all of their blood disappear. Call me crazy, But that sounds like some kook who thinks he's a vampire, right?

 
       
 

Satan's School for Girls

The prolific TV production tandem of Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg always had a knack for tackling issues that dealt with pressing and relevant social ills facing whatever program was on the air at the time. Here, hiding the moral with a lot of jiggling and wiggling, if you know what I mean, their film serves as a warning to impressionable young women against the dangers of falling blindly for the minions of evil. Or something...

 
       
 

Nightmare in Badham County

Directed by veteran TV man John Llewellyn Moxley, written by Jo Heims, and produced by Wilfred Baumes, and if you take the cynicism and violence of Moxley's The Night Stalker, the suspense of Heim's Play Misty for Me, and then mix it up with Baumes' hard-life's lesson learned in Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway, the resulting concoction would probably taste a lot like Nightmare in Badham County...

 
       
 

Dragnet: 1966

A canyon road. A vacant lot. A hotel room. When their purpose is obvious it's business as usual. When they're used for something else, that's when the narrator goes to work. His name is Friday. He carries a badge. Now cue the music and let's roll...

 
       
 

The Deadly Tower

On Monday, August 6th, 1966, a little before noon, Charles Whitman started shooting from the observation deck of the University Tower in Austin, Texas. Ninety-six minutes later, twelve people were dead and countless others wounded. Eleven years later, he struck again...

 
       
   

Holiday Specials:

 
       
 

Claymation Comedy of Horrors

We open on Halloween night a long time ago in the lab of Dr. Victor Frankenswine, where the mad scientist rants and raves that mankind wonít be laughing at him anymore. No sir. With his monster almost complete, he promises everyone a night theyíll never forget...

 
       
 

A Claymation Easter

Positive that he is brilliant but cursed to fail, Wiltshire Pig, with dreams of endorsement money, asks the question of what, heaven forbid, something "tragic" happened to the Easter Bunny? Who would replace him? Make way for the Easter Pig...