Galaxy Invader

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1985

 

This meteor thing flashes by and eventually this kid finds and alien in  his basement. Some kids have all the luck all I had in my basement was cobwebs and spiders. The alien goes wondering around the countryside and scruffy drunk Joe shoots it causing the saggy green visitor from another world to drop what looks like a styrofoam ball. Joe snags and later whacks it in front of some others with similar IQ’s. The device produces a popping sound leding Joe to deduce that it is an alien weapon of great power and importance. Joe continues to wear his favorite non-flattering ripped white t-shirt as he recruits locals drunk rednecks to help him hunt for this critter er alien. All these guys are up some whoopin, hollarin and chasing an alien through a small area of woods so that’s what they do. They eventually capture this rubber suited monstrosity. Some people with good intentions but not so much sense free the alien. Joe continues to basically act like a rear end while yelling and bossing around everyone else. Plus he tries to rape a woman and he keeps wearing that horrid shirt. Eventually the remaining family members manage to knock Joe off a cliff and kill him. Wait wasn’t this supposed to be alien movie? Yes, I think so but hey roll the credits before they try and keep this thing going.

The negatives-Wait, I have to think about this film again? The acting is pretty poor all the way around. It ranges from overacting as far as it can go to being so wooden that I can’t distinguish the actors from the trees they are standing next to. The alien suit doesn’t look so bad in the shadows, but in full daylight it’s rubber nature is on full display. If you ever wanted to film an alien invasion movie watch this first to know what not to do.

The positives-Don Dohler made some really terrible movies, but he knew they were bad and went at it anyhow. Most of his film like this one were filmed in the county next to mine so the exteriors look very similar to where I live and I like that part. Dick Dyszel is in this one as Dr. Tracy and you may not know that name, but he was and still is Count Gore De Vol the horror host I grew up seeing. So even though this was a crap part in a crap film for him I still enjoyed seeing him trying to act in the kind of film he loved.

This will be a tough film for most people unless you are from central Maryland or love laughing at really bad monster films. Fortunately I fall into both those categories so i kind of liked this film and have actually made it through like 4-5 times.

Pee Wee’s big adventure

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1985

Why would a guy call himself WeePee? Does that mean he can’t pee much so maybe he has some kind of bladder problem? Oh, wait it’s PeeWee…like that’s any better. PeeWee is a thirty some year dude who lives like he’s eight or so. He eats junk, does what he wants, obsesses over trivial things…okay that sounds like most adult guys before they get married and some even after that. Anyways back to the show. He loves his bike and it’s pretty cool. So fatty, rich type Francis tries to buy it from PeeWee to which of course he says no freakin’ way or something like that. Eventually the bike is stolen and Francis denies it, but yeah chubby face really did have it stolen but then tells the hired goon to get rid of the bike. A fortune teller lies and tells PeeWee his bike is at the Alamo. Wait, a fortune teller being dishonest? What is this world coming to?PeeWee takes off to Texas. This leads to boxcar mischief, rodeo shenanigans and biker gang run-in hi-jinks with all kinds or interesting and not so-interesting cameos popping up here and there. Then there’s unskilled dancing, a crash and time in the hospital. Who threw this mish mash pile of stuff together? Next you know they’ll find a way to send him to Hollywood…oh good gravy there they go sending him the Warner Brothers lot. He gets his bike back but not before causing havoc during a Twisted Sister video shoot, causing mischief on a Godzilla set and just all around messing stuff up. Eventually security nabs him and rush him to an executive who upon hearing his insane tale decides to do a remake   reboot an old franchise do a film version of PeeWee’s quest for his bike. PeeWee invites all the characters he met along the way to see the film. The film starts and shortly after PeeWee lives saying he doesn’t have to see it because he lived it. Roll those credits.

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Yeah, that clown isn’t creepy at all.

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You are not worthy, PeeWee

The negatives-There’s not much of  a story here and we know that, but if you were expecting one then you may be let down or you have no sense of humor.

The positives- This film is a fun and bright ride with lots of oddball humor, slapstick and or course cameos. It’s looks great as well with all the colors and interesting visuals. I loved the loved stop motion parts and wished there had been more. This is a strange film and it’s to meant to be, but I think it’s easily one of Burton’s best.

*nerd alert-My favorite cameo wasn’t a person, but a vehicle. When PeeWee is avoiding security in the WB lot look closely and you will see a visitor’s shuttlecraft from V. I was thrilled when I saw it!

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Pay attention, Nimrod.

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Even Mr. T is in this film only in cardboard form.

10 things I learned from Lifeforce

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1985

1-Ships that look like burnt palm trees can hide in the tail of a comet.

2-Don’t bring aboard naked, sleeping aliens.

3-Trying to set your space ship on fire to get rid of evil alien life suckers won’t work.

4-Haley’s Comet just looks like a still picture sitting in the darkened sky.

5-Alien life suckers don’t like to wear clothes.

6-Burnt out palm tree shaped ships will always choose to hover over London, England.

7-Naked  female life suckers can kill you be shooting 80’s style animation from their fingertips.

8-All dried out humans have the same hair style even if they didn’t before they were dried out.

9-Human souls look like blue animated streams when they get sucked up into alien space ships.

10-Stabbing a big pointy sword thrown a female life sucker will kill her, but it will also kill a human who might be hugging her at the time as well.

TV terror Tuesday-Night Court

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Halloween, too

1985

Harry is planning his annual Halloween party which includes costumes, games and lots of decorations. Christine is excited about it because she doesn’t know any better. Bull tries to make a jack o’lantern by punching. Dan is told by Harry that he needs to were a costume to the party this year or he will lose his great parking spot. So everything is shaping up for the party then Harry runs into Kim and boom preparations for the holiday turns into a bunch of mush. Harry and Kim fall in love fast and do a bunch of silly junk together while making everyone else sick -bleccccccchhhhh. Then Kim is arrested and comes before Harry in court because she’s a witch.  Which? No, witch. This is her lifestyle, her passion, her uh role for this show. A sleezoid reporter is roaming the building and everyone is afraid he will write something about Harry and Kim the witch that will affect Harry’s job. So they try to dodge the reporter. Harry tries to sway Kim from being a witch blah, blah, blah. She can’t give up being a witch so they go their own ways. At the end we finally get to Harry’s party. Harry is sad because he and witchypoo had to part ways, but now we get to see everyone in costume which provides some of the biggest laughs of the episode. Roll those 1980’s TV credits.

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The negatives-The main storyline with Kim is really average at best. Only the nasty reporter chasing them adds much to it.

The positives-It’s early third season and this is the season where I think the show was coming into it’s own.  The chemistry between the characters was really starting to come together at this point. The Halloween costumes, decorations and the glimpses of Harry’s love for the holiday are all worth seeing.

TV terror Thursday-The A-team

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Where is the monster when you need him?

1985

Hannibal is working his other job as a movie monster in this case Gatorella. His friend Jerry (long time character actor Michael Lerner playing a less grumpy character than normal) is directing this film for the first time. Face has taken care of travel and location arrangements or so they think. Hannibal and Jerry are preparing to leave to go and meet the others at the airport to depart for Mexico. However Colonel Decker and his men are watching Hannibal and are ready to get him when he goes to his car. They spring the trap, but Hannibal is quick enough to shove Jerry into the car and take off with the Army in hot pursuit. Meanwhile at the airport Murdock is figuring how to get their broken down they have off the ground. BA is knocked out because of course we know he hates planes and they have to drug him to haul his big rumpus around. Face is hitting on leading lady and apparently first time actress Jennifer ‘Jenny’ O’Hannorhan (Judy Landers). Face also has to deal with with sour puss and leading man Charles Lake (Dennis Cole). Hannibal and Jerry come roaring into the airfield with shots being fired behind them from the pursuing Army vehicles. Our heroes and the film crew manage to board the plane and make a shaky takeoff. Murdoch gets the plane to Mexico but they are low on gas. They are greeted by the local police and told to leave immediately. Face doesn’t understand since he had already made arrangements with the police to come and film. Hannibal pushes the others on to go and start filming. So they set up by a large lake and begin filming monster scenes. They are interrupted by an ugly henchman who says get out or die in one hour. Jerry wants to leave and even some of the others are unsure because they only have prop weapons. However being a movie crew they have pyrotechnics so the A-team and the movie crew set up charges around the area. When the goons come back Hannibal tells his friends to show what they have and nearby explosions pop up. Of course it’s just movie type explosions, but the baddies think they are really being show at by superior weapons-what a bunch of dunderheads. So they surrender their weapons and run off. Turns out they work for a real nasty piece of work Ramon Dejarro (Walter Gotell who was in everything from the African Queen to a couple of James Bond films). Dejarro is wanted for war crimes in South America, but is hiding out in Mexico which is why his thugs tried chasing the movie crew off because he didn’t want to be seen. The A-team spot him and go get him, but they find out his help are holding all the local women and children hostage so the A-team have to give up to keep those people alive. Eventually the A-team get the upper hand, grab Dejarro, defeat the rotten people and free the children and women folk. They finish their film and head back to the states. Hannibal dresses as an old movie theater owner and traps Decker and his assistant. So Hannibal, the rest of the A-team and the movie cast and crew watch their completed movie-the end.

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The negatives-This was early in the forth season so we know the formula of the series although this one does break the formula just a little. I did think they defeated the evil guys a bit easily  in this one.

The positives-I love the parts that probably many B films face-poor transportation, balking actors, quick set-up at questionable locations, inexperienced actresses, first time directors and rubber suited monsters. The episode does have some changes from the norm as the team isn’t hired but stumbles on a situation and Hannibal’s costume fooling around is at the end of the episode instead of the beginning.

Overall a decent episode with some fun nods to low budget movie making.

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Christmas special week: He-man & She-ra – A Christmas special

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1985

Nothing says Christmas like squeaky voiced royals turning into fantasy heroes and helping a couple of kids around Christmas time. Okay, not your typical Christmas special. He-Man and She-ra try to help a couple of kids get back home while fighting against the Hordac, Skeletor and other baddies who can’t seem to do much of anything right. Orko tries his best to mess everything up by accident and provide comedy relief for all wahahahaha … oh wait he’s not that funny. Of course all the good characters work together as they try to battle evil and learn about this strange thing called Christmas from two human children. She-ra gets some help from a mermaid at some point, what a helpful fishy. Hordac and Skeletor can’t work together. So they are actually competing against each other to see who can nab those human children as they are both trying to win the favor of their boss Horde Prime. Ah a battle between two villains who constantly fail and can’t even to stand upright for long-what an event. He-man and She-ra toss aside some giant yet incompetent robots that look like leftovers from some cartoon made oh about two decades before this one. Skeletor gets the kids and goes to take them to his boss. The kids and an alien puppy begin to melt Skeletor’s heart or whatever it is that lurks beneath his blue and purple suit. Aw, it’s like the Grinch only with a skull face. Hordac shows up and he has no soft spot except for the one between his ears. He knocks Skeletor down and slows He-man and She-ra down enough for Horde Prime to show up and grab the kids in a meanie spaceship. Skeletor wakes up and blasts the ship enough for the kids to get to safety. What? A baddie being nice for once? What’s up with this Christmas thing? Skeletor doesn’t know either. The kids get to go to a party where Adam/He-man pretends to be Santa *spoiler alert* …oh wait I think I got those backwards. Anyways the kids are given gifts of these belts that make them fly and they go home and freak out their parents with them. Meanwhile Adam/He-man, Adora/She-ra and their friends quickly adapt to this Christmas thing. Roll the credits.

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I never watched this when it was first on because I was little old for as I was like 12-13 when it started. My son started watching it a couple of years when he was 5 so I get to see it now. It’s hard to take in some ways, the voices can rip your nerves apart and the action is nothing great. However it is fantasy of some sort so it has that going for it and I always like how Skeletor looked. I got this DVD for $1.50 at Big Lots so I guess it was worth that.

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My history with Star Trek-The early years 1982-1985

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My brother was into Star Trek some and I kind of remember seeing an episode or two in the 70’s but couldn’t tell you what it was. In early 1982 I was in sixth grade and the channel that had been showing NFL films shows started showing Star Trek. The first episode I saw was Shore Leave and I was hooked. The characters, the story and all of it just clicked with me. After that was Squire of Gothos which was just as exciting. This channel only had Star Trek for about three months so I saw maybe a dozen episodes before they took it off and stuck on a MLB highlight show once baseball season started. I had just started to like Star Trek but now it was off. However about two and a half months later a UHF channel – channel 5 out of DC advertised they were showing the two part epsiode The menagerie one night. I had to beg my very non-sci-fi friendly parents to let me watch it and eventually they agreed. I still remember how exciting it was watching it that night and even better news was on a commercial during the show they said channel 5 would start showing Star Trek every night starting the beginning of July, yes!. That summer I begin to consume the episodes. At the same time we were going to two different used book stores as well as the library and I checked out and bought several of the epsiode adaption collections from James Blish as well as the animated adaptions by Alan Dean Foster (I had yet to see this series though) and the Spock must die novel also by Blish. I spent much time that summer reading these in the basement. Star Trek 2 came out that summer, but I couldn’t convince my parents to take me to it. Oh,well. I also discovered Starlong magazine that year and would get to buy an issue every so often.  By 1983 I was reading more novels and STTMP came on TV, it was long and slow but I stuck with it and was still glad to see it. My interest in Star Trek grew that year even though other kids were making fun of me for it. I was still trying to see every episode on channel 5 and sometimes the station would not come in well or I would not be out shopping with my parents and miss one so it wasn’t until fall of 1983 that I saw Space Seed which was the last one I needed to see to have seen all of them so I was finally complete and re-watching them. We were going to the library regularly at this point so I was reading every Trek novel or related book I could get my hands on. DC comics started up their Star Trek comic series in late 1983 and I was all over that too. The winter of 1983-84 was all about getting ready for Star Trek 3. I had missed the second film, but had read the novel, the photonovel and the official magazine. Now I was following updates on the third Trek film in Starlog and I was asking and nagging my parents about going to the upcoming film and they were hemming and hawing over it, but I was determnined to get to it. My brother was back from college by this point and the first weekend Star Trek 3 was out he took me to see it. It was at a theater that was just months old although it’s long gone now. We stood in along line and crammed into a theater and I mean it became more crammed as they let people sit in the the middle on the floor to squeeze in everyone who wanted in. It got dark and the film came on and finally I was getting to see Trek on the big screen. I loved it then and although it’s not one of my favorite films now it was a great experience then to see it in the theater. It was a flawed movie but my love of Star Trek was even stronger for the rest of 1984. I was already into trying to draw ships and write stories. Even though I stunk at both Star Trek helped me to try to be creative. What I loved about Trek then was the idea of searching for more and exploring.  Two years into Star Trek and my love for it was stronger than ever. I started high school that fall and I was still into Star Trek and comics despite being teased about it I didn’t care. High school was tougher in subjects, I was lazy and things at home were not easy because my dad’s job was always up in the air between 1982 and 1988 plus my mom had ongoing health problems. I still stuck with Star Trek by reading the comics and the novels although by late 1984 channel 5 had taken it out of their rotation after having it on for over two years. By 1985 I think I was pulling away from Star Trek some due to not getting to see the show. However in the summer of 1985 a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go to a Star Trek convention for a day. I did, it was expensive, crowded and the only time I have ever been to any convention. However the highlight was standing against the wall in a huge packed ballroom listening to Deforest Kelley tell stories and answer questions. That definitely pulled me all the way back int Trek again. So many people were asking him and trying to pull out what was Star Trek 4 was going to be about. Of course he couldn’t say much but assured the fans they were going to like it. After this convention I was back into reading the new novels, comics and drawing ships thinking the new Trek film was over a year away and I couldn’t wait for it come.

*** I will try to write a second part of this maybe on Tuesday and just cover the years 1986-1991 to wrap up the original movie series.