Monday, October 16, 2017

Spooktober: Drak Pack in Color Me Dredful (1980)

"Those who fail to remember history are doomed to repeat it."--George Santayana

Four years after Bill D'Angelo and his partners had tried out the concept of classic movie monsters being reposited as superheroes, Hanna-Barbera tried the same tack with Drak Pack, produced through their Australian studio.

In the opener, "Color Me Dredful", Dr. Dred (Hans Conreid) decides to strip the world of much of its color. That idea alone illustrates the lack of thought that went into this series.

Don Messick did his best Peter Lorre impersonation to effect the characterization of Toad, presented here as a lovable bumbler that you hoped would turn on Dred and change his ways. Didn't happen.

Well, at least this offered an example of why this show failed.

Rating: C--.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Spooktober: Horror Hotel (Krofft Superstar Hour, 1978)

Let's take a trip to one of the regular skits from the Krofft Superstar Hour, Horror Hotel.

Billie Hayes reprised as Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo from H. R. Pufnstuf, but instead of continuing her feud with Pufnstuf, she now ran the hotel, aided by her hench-monsters from Pufnstuf, plus Pufnstuf's pal, Dr. Blinky. Len Weinrib & Walker Edmiston voiced the characters. The hotel had one regular tenant, Horatio HooDoo (from Lidsville), with Paul Gale doing his best to mimic Charles Nelson Reilly (Match Game), who was the original HooDoo. Seems Witchiepoo is trying to make a go of it running a legit business. Pufnstuf would surface in the series' other regular feature, Lost Island, which we'll look at another time (Hayes reprised her Lidsville role as Weenie the Genie, in Lost Island).

In this skit, HooDoo brings in organist  Egor Strange (Jay Robinson) to provide entertainment at the hotel. When that doesn't work, the Bay City Rollers take over....

You'll notice that as HooDoo, Gale has the same kind of eye makeup that Witchiepoo has, largely because it compensates for the fact that he doesn't wear glasses, as Reilly did.

Robinson was also part of Lost Island, but his Krofft Supershow character of Dr. Shrinker was renamed Dr. Deathray, and Hugo (Billy Barty) was renamed Otto. Did they really think that by changing networks, they'd fool viewers?

Rating: B-.

Toon Sports: Popeye in Let's You & Him Fight (1934)

Popeye and Bluto battle again, this time in a boxing ring at Yank'em Stadium (a parody of the original Yankee Stadium). The fight game will never be the same again after "Let's You & Him Fight".

Rating: B.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Looney TV: Daffy Duck For President (2004)

20 years ago, noted animator Chuck Jones wrote and illustrated Daffy Duck For President, a cautionary tale, if you will, of Daffy's short-sighted aspirations to eliminate best frenemy Bugs Bunny, mostly to put an end to duck hunting season.

Seven years later, and two after Jones' passing, WB adapted the book into the following short subject, with the late Joe Alaskey (ex-Out of This World) as both Bugs & Daffy.

Apparently, Daffy didn't completely understand the Constitution, just like a certain sitting President........!

Rating: A.

Krofftverse: Magic Mongo in Musical Magic (1977)

The Kroffts must've known that they had a bad egg on their hands with Magic Mongo during season 2 of the Krofft Supershow, such that they had one of the Kongs, Nashville (Louise DuArt) cross over in the episode, "Musical Magic".

Mongo (Lennie Weinrib) catches a cold, and loses his powers when he passes the cold germs onto the visiting Nashville. Bart Braverman guest stars, along with Larry Larsen (the Dorse from Lost Saucer).

I don't think Kaptain Kool or the rest of the Kongs were similarly used in crossovers within the Supershow. I may be wrong, though.

Rating: C-.

Daytime Heroes: Mighty Hercules in Return of the Mask (1963)

Not long ago, we introduced you to Murtis, aka The Mask, sworn enemy of The Mighty Hercules. Well, he's back, this time after an ancient goblet that Newton & Helena have uncovered. As long as Murtis has the Mask of Vulcan, he's invincible, so how does Herc beat him this time? Watch and see.

Not as good as the first time, and I don't think Murtis was seen again.

Rating: C.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Krofftverse: Bigfoot & Wildboy battle alien invaders (1977)

Bigfoot & Wildboy marks its 40th anniversary this season. Developed by Joe Ruby & Ken Spears as a replacement for Electra Woman & Dyna Girl on The Krofft Supershow, the series was filmed instead of taped, although, as you'll see in the episode, "UFO", the flying saucer was the product of some videotape "magic".

Ned Romero (ex-Dan August) co-stars as Ranger Lucas, whose daughter, Susie (Monicka Ramirez) often aids our heroes (Ray Young & Joseph Butcher).

After Supershow was cancelled by ABC, Bigfoot returned as a summer replacement series in June 1979, but was not renewed. Some people probably wish it was, as long as a certain dog was bumped off the schedule........

Rating: B.