Gallactica 1980

1980

I considered reviewing this show episode by episode but after re-watching a few of them I realized that was not really necessary as I can really throw them all into one review.

Who’s in this?
Lorne Green reprises his role as Commander Adama only now he has a Santa Claus beard and mustache. You know him from Bonanza of course, Battlestar Gallactica and dog food commercials.

Kent McCord as Captain Troy one of the two new stars. Although he is supposed to be Apollo’s adopted son- the Boxey character. McCord has played police and military types over the years. Perhaps best known for his role on Adam 12.

Barry Van Dyke as Lt. Dillon the other part of the pair. The second oldest son of Dick Van Dyke. Best known for working with his dad on Diagnosis Murder.

Robyn Douglass as Jamie an earth woman from 1980 who runs into and befriends Troy and Dillon. She was in a handful of things between the late 70’s and the late 80’s. I know her best as Katherine in Breaking Away (one of my favorite movies of all time).

James Patrick Stuart as child genius Dr. Zee. Stuart was like 11 when he did this. I guess he concectrated on school after this show flopped. About a decade later he showed up again and has worked steady since 1990 in everything from Seinfeld to CSI and as a voice actor in cartoons and video games.

What’s this about? So the Gallactica has finally found earth in the year 1980. Okay that sounds simple enough. Oh wait, the Cyclons have followed them, there’s a guy who uses time travel and there’s these scouts with super powers and Troy and Dillon have shiny motorcycles that fly. What the hell? It’s like the ideas from Battlestar were not good enough so they mixed in ideas from C.H.I.P.S, Buck Rogers and various other shows and then swirled them all round and hoped all these ideas could last for an hours long show. Toss is some known actors in various epsiodes including Robert Reed (he thought the Brady Bunch had bad scripts, just wait), Christopher Stone (the Howling), Richard Lynch (great villain who was in like everything). The show became worse as it went along. There was some time travel idea early on, but that quickly fell aside for all kinds of half-baked silliness. All the ideas of Battlestar Gallactica are mostly tossed aside for a buddy action show kind of like C.H.I.P.S and the Dukes of Hazzard only without the cool stunts and fun. Any potentail early on quickly faded away and weekly (or weakly) Troy and Dillon would limp through various impropable situations. Adama stood there looking stern and talking to Dr. Zee. Jamie seemed interesting at first, but after the first few episodes she was shoved into the background. Oh and wait until the super scouts show up. Kids with problems might be okay, perfect kids from space should make you sick yet no one writing this show realized that. The worst thing about this show is probably what it is in relation to Battlestar Gallactica. If it had been it’s own show with all of the above it would have been bad enough. However inbstead Battlestar Gallactica had real potential but was cancelled after just one season. Then eight months later the network allows a variation to come back on. Yet they get rid of most of the cast of the previous show, cut down the villains, cut down the special effects, limit the action and add in a pair of stars with no chemistry. I never saw the show when it was on The one saving grace out of the ten episodes is the final one “The return of Starbuck” which goes back in time to tell what happened to Starbuck. A fairly good episode, but unfortunately the rest of the series never showed any of the flavor that’s in the last episode.

Back in business

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My computer is fixed and so are the phone lines. So everything is back to normal and now I have to start writing again and get my lazy good for nothing hide back to doing a few reviews. I just watched the 1978 version of Invasion of the body snatchers for the first time in years so I’ll review that. I’ll try to do a Starlost Sunday on Easter. Beyond that for next week I’ll aim for something general about the short lived Gallactica 1980 show (oh dear), a poster posting and maybe review a 60’s sword and sandal movie.

What movies or shows have you been watching this week?

Up in the air

Our computer is fixed, but we have dial up (live out in nowhere) and now we have phone line problems. Hoping to have that fixed soon if so I’ll get back to reviewing regularly if not it may be a while until I post anything new, but hang in there and keep coming back.

Horror movies I saw and liked but….

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Here are some films I saw and think I liked, but I don’t remember them so well. I only saw them once and maybe I should view them again to see if my memory is solid.

Candyman-I saw this film shortly after it came out on video and I know it has sequels and a following. I remember liking it and my friend who rented it went on a rant about not liking it. I know there was a ghost story element and a bunch of fire and melting flesh towards the end, but I am fuzzy on the rest.

Bad Dreams-I saw this in the theater in 1988 and still have a button they gave everyone at the movie. I recall it’s about a girl who was in a hippie commune and the house was set on fire by the leader. The girl survivied but wakes up after years people starting dying in the hospital. I remember that much and know I liked it, but don’t seem to remember much else.I know if gets mixed reviews but I recall really enjoying and so did the friends I saw it with.

Shock ’em dead-This was an early 90’s low budget horror comedy with Traci Lords. Some nerd somehow became a heavy metal rock god, but owed his soul or somethhing for his success. Things went well but then of course fell apart. A friend loved this film and checked it out in college telling me I had to see it and I think I enjoyed it for what it was, but only saw it the once and don’t remember much in the way of details about it.

Do you have any films like?

Kingdom of the spiders

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“She’s dead, Ji….oh, that’s not my line or even my old character”

1977

Who’s in this?

William Shatner as Doctor Robert “Rack” Hansen. Rack is a veterinarian living in a small Arizona town who soon runs upon a series of animals getting bit by spiders. He is a ladies man of some sort and everyone finds him highly amusing. He also watches over his deceased brother’s wife and daughter. You may know this guy from Boston Public, TJ Hooker, a pair of classic Twilight Zone episodes and that space show where he was a Captain or something.

Tiffany Bolling is Diane Ashley from the city and comes to investigate what’s going on in this little town when Rack sends in specimens that intrigue her. She starts out in full snoot mode but then falls for Rack’s charm. Bolling was fairly active between the late 60’s and early 80’s doing a few films and a lot of TV.

Woody Strode as rancher Walter Colby whose cows start getting bit by spiders. Strode was a successful college athelete who made the transition to solid character actor. He was in Spartacus, The man who shot Liberty Valance and many other films. I remember most as one of the three hired guns waiting for Charles Bronson to arrive on the train in the masterful beginning scene of Once upon a time in the west.

Lieux Dressler as Emma Washburn owner of cabins outside of town. Eventually the surviving characters will head to her cabins to try and flee the spiders. She was in various tv shows in the 70’s.

David McLean as Sheriff Gene Smith. Well duh the Sheriff of this here town. A no nonsense kind of guy who tries his best in the tough situation he is given. He was in a number of western shows in the 60’s but is probably best known as the Marlboro man in commercials and ads in the 60’s Later after developing cancer he became anti-smoking.

What’s this about? In Verde Valley, Arizona all is calm until Colby’s calf gets bit yeowwww. The vet Rack (there is a story to the name and he tells it and not it’s not that great) comes and has a look see. The calf dies and Rack is unsure, but he sends the tests to the city people to have it analyzed. Meanwhile the town is preparing for a big festival thingie. Dianne Ashley shows up as she had been called in after receiving Rack’s sample. She says it’s a powerful spider venom and she has come to investigate. Spin me another tale, lady..get it spin…spider bite…wahahaha well it could have been funny. Anyways Rack is doubtful about her findings. He hits on here somewhere around this time (it’s the Shat you know). In betweeen her warming up to Rack is more trouble for Colby and his dog and bull die from spider bites as well and eventually Colby himself bites it. This just wasn’t his movie. So Rack is becoming convinced that this spider stuff may be true. Of course seeing hills of them everywhere begins to sway his as well. Diane spouts off her theories about man using DDT and stuff has wiped out the spiders food and turned them mean so now they go after livestock … and other food. You know like the kind of stuff Soylent Green was made out of. Damn I just gave spoilers for two movies. This talking foolishness and flirty hooey has gone on too long it’s time for the evil furry beasts of this film (no, not Shatner’s hair piece but rather the spiders) to get some action going. The spiders get vicious and start going towards Emma’s cabins. We find that several people are dead already and have been stored to be meals for the spiders, I wonder if they have expiration dates. Anyways Rack, Diane, the sheriff, Emma and a few other others are trapped in the cabins trying to fight off tons of the hairy little beastoids. Yeah, now believe it was spiders. The Sheriff tries to get to town for help. Bad move, slick it’s a festival of madness over there with spiders winning the ball game over the humans. The sheriff gets crushed by a water tower because some doofus can’t drive worth a lick while getting bit by spiders. Meanwhile back at the cabins Rack is getting bit but he eventually pulls through. Despite all the deaths, horror and mayhem it is a new day. The sun is shining sort of and Rack looks out to see that indeed…well holy shit what do you know the whole friggin’ town is wrapped in a cacoon and that cornball country music starts on so roll the credits and chalk one up for the spiders.

The negatives-The whole sister in law side story doesn’t add much to the film. The movie is a bit slow at first and if you don’t love Shatner (how could you not) but if you don’t you may find the early parts slightly tedious.

The postives-This is a B film that benefits greatly from Shatner -ham or not. If it were someone else this film may have been forgotten. Shatner is what he always is over the top. Woody Strode does fantastic with a small role. He seems like a rancher whoise livelihood is tied up in these animals that are dying from strnage bites. The desert locations are spectacular at times and the camera work is better than avergae. The great ending makes a decent film even better.

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“Fire up the grill, Harry”

Next week

I didn’t get around to watching Kingdom of the spiders so instead of rushing it I’ll wait until next week and give it a proper review. Our computer is being worked on, but should be back early next week so then I’ll get back to reviews. In the meantime I’ll be watching movies get ready to review next week. So stop back in a few days and all should be back to normal. Also Happy birthday to William Shatner today and of course another Trek legend hasa birthday coming up in just a few days.

Five1960’s cartoon heroes that kicked ass

The 1960’s was a really good decade overall for cartoons. Here’s my favorite action type heroes from 60’s cartoons.

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5-Mighty Mightor- Moby Dick and Mighty Mightor was a late 60’s cartoon. Despite getting second billing Mightor was the better toon. Tor was a young dude living in a cave, but after helping an old Hermit he was given a club that allowed him to become a caveman super hero when he raised the club and said “Migh-Tor”.

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4-Meteor Man-Here is an overlooked 60’s hero. Birdman and The Galaxy Trio ran two year in the late 60’s. The Galaxy Trio were second billed but always more exciting to me than the Space Ghost/Hawkman hybrid Birdman (or Birrrrrrrrdman as he would say) and my favorite team member was Metor Man. He was a native of the planet Meteorus, voiced by Ted Cassidy (Lurch from the Addams Family), had pointed ears and could enlarge any part of his body (get your mind out of the gutter). Which meant instead of smacking villains in the chops with a regular fist he’d knocked their rotten hides through the air with a hige, boulder sized fist.

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3-Superman-The new adventures of Superman featured a Superman who was similar to the one of the comic books at the same time (mid-60’s). Whether it be Lex Luthor, aliens, gian monkey, thugs or whoever the man of steel went after them and always triumphed. As an added bonus in his guise of Clark kent he would always make joke or inside reference at the end of each episode.

Speed Racer cartoon
2-Speed Racer- Oh, yeah. Almost the ultimate in awesome. A young guy who could beat you in a race and then give the bad guys the beating they deserved. Speed always ended up in bizarre situations, but he always came out on top. Go Speed Racer go!

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1-Race Bannon-So cool that he didn’t care if the cartoon wasn’t named after him. He even made white hair cool. Yeah, go ahead try and laugh at his hair- smack!. Think you’re going to take over the world? Whack, Race would put an end to that.Johnny Quest was the cartoon and his dad Dr. Quest would go all kinds of wild trips across the world. Normally they would end up running into crazy villain with a plan for domination of some sort. Race would punch, shoot or do whatever he had to towards putting an end to those plans. There wasn’t a plane or car he couldn’t handle and he was always quick to punch evil in the face.

Upcoming stuff and junk

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I may have some list up today. Then to celebrate William Shatner’s birthday on Friday I hope to review Kingdom of the spiders. Beyond yet there is some bad news in that we are having trouble with our home computer and need to have work done on it. I may very well be without a computer for the weekend at least and maybe even beyond that. I can’t really promise what I will get to write next week. I was hoping to review the 1978 Invasion of the body snatchers on Nimoy’s birthday. I don’t know if I will have the computer back by then or not but will review even if it’s a day or two after that. Hang in there, keep coming back and hopefully I’ll be back on track soon.