The headless horseman of Halloween

hh hhh hou head ggs

1976

So the gang are at a Halloween party being given by their friend Beth and her aunt. They are related to Ichabod Crane so of course this leads to the headless horseman showing up and crashing their party, saying he wants a head and scaring everyone out except the gang and the people that leave there. Oh and Scooby’s cousin Scooby Dum is in this one whether you like it or not. So it’s clue hunting time again. The horseman almost gets Mrs. Crane. Not long after grumpy cousin Elwood says it’s her necklace that the horseman is after because ever since she has been wearing it the horseman has been coming around-talk about a curse object. He offers to take it to the bank for her and she agrees so he calls the bank to arrange the drop off and prepares to leave. He drives off into the fog and then the horseman comes riding back towards the gang and he now has Elwood’s head-oh dear. The gang go to investigate Elwood’s car and find his keys are gone, a small picture of him with glue on the back and a newspaper clipping. They also run into the butler who says he discovered someone had cut down a tree that had fallen on the phone lines. So the smarter members of the gang have an idea what’s going on so they race to the airport where the horseman is in a plane. What the heck? Scooby and Shaggy end up stopping him with their bumbling. There’s no mask pulling this time because it is cousin Elwood. The paper clipping said Elwood’s business had filed for bankruptcy so he stole Mrs. Crane’s necklace after building up the headless horseman angle. He left his car hoping to make it look like he had been taken by the horseman, but by force of habit he took his car keys with him. The gang knew he wasn’t telling the truth about calling the bank because the phone lines were down.

The negatives-Scooby Dum doesn’t add much, but he’s okay.

The positives-It’s Halloween, the gang are in costume at the beginning. The headless horseman is an awesome monster and the mystery is solved down to every detail. Well played.

The creepy case of old Ironface

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1978

So the gang are out enjoying water skiing. Actually Scoob and Shag are doing the skiing and they are quite decent. Then along comes a bunch of sharks being commanded by a metal mask wearing lunatic. Isn’t that always the way it happens,only in the Mystery Inc. world. So the gang heads back to a restaurant where they are to meet Captain Morgan who is to be their tour guide to Skull Island. Mama Leone the restaurant owner tells them the island is haunted by Old Ironface who was an inmate who had a metal mask put on him because he was so mean that no one wanted to look at him. Oh , yeah take that mean face. Captain Morgan does a no show so the gang goes to Skull Island to look for him. They get chased by Ironface again and escape. They find food and eventually find and underground tunnel and Captain Morgan who was kidnapped. Freddie designs a trap and surprisingly it works. Ironface was really Mama Leone who admitted early she was a former champion water skiier. She had been using the metal shark torpedoes to smuggle convicts out to Skull Island to hide out. They were paying her good money and that’s why the food was out there. When she heard that Captain Morgan was working towards making the island a tourist attraction she took on being Ironface to scare people off. Also a federal investigator pops up and says he has been trying to solve this case and thanks the gang for doing his work for him.

The negatives/doesn’t quite fit-The biggest thing is the sharks look metallic from the first second they are shown and I can’t believe that particularly Freddie and Velma wouldn’t have noticed that. Also the disguised federal investigator must have stunk at his job to have been unable to solve the case over a long time while some teenager and a dog do it in a few hours.

The positives-This is one from the late 1970’s so the gang seem a little more organized and the editing on the cartoon is better than in the earlier ones. It was fairly easy to tell who was up to no good but not so much the motive. Even though the sharks were clearly fake the idea of a metal mask wearing madman riding on sharks is a pretty tough idea for a villain.

Mine your own business

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Even Big Ben liked the ascot in 1969.

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I can’t fit through the doorway.

 

1969

The gang get lost and end up in a ghost town-thanks a lot for your rotten map reading skills, Shaggy!. They end up staying the night in the local lodge owned by a big dude named lefty  pinky no-neck Big Ben. He is glad to have anyone there because as helper and short dude Hank tells it a nasty ghost called the Miner Forty Niner has scared everyone else off. Gulp, better hold on tight looks like another mystery. They start looking through the town and Scooby and Shag run into the Miner Forty Niner! Oh, no! They also find a secret entrance to a mine. After some scares and exploring the gang find a speaker, a microphone and some oil. Now it all makes sense or does it? Scoob and Shag imitate a train and scare the Miner almost all the way off a cliff and it turns out it was little Hank wearing stilts to make himself look big. He found oil in the mines and pretended to be the Miner to scare everyone off in the hopes that Big Ben would give up, sell him the land cheap and he’d make a bundle.

The negatives/doesn’t quite fit-This is an early episode and it’s a bit sloppy as you’ll see Velma lose lipstick off he facr, Scooby lose his spots and Freddie shed being covered in flour very quickly. The biggest problems are with Hank as the miner. First is although the stilts explain the long legs they don’t explain why his arms were longer. Also it seems hard to believe that on stilts that Hank could move so fast on rough terrain like he does.

The positives- A classic episode with a memorable villain.

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Holy poop it’s the Miner!

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Holy poop it’s Hank!

The most underrated member of Mystery Inc.

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We all know that Scooby and Shaggy are the most popular members of Mystery Inc. They get the lion’s share of the air time as they usually bumble through situations and get things done normally by dumb luck. Freddie? Well his driving is mostly alright and he knows how to take charge, but his traps normally fail. Yes that is often because Shag and Scoob mess it up, but Freddie never seems to take that into consideration with each subsequent trap. Daphne? The good is she has had more to do and become more competent in more recent years. In the old days I think her main contribution was it’s good chance she or rather her parent’s may have been funding these monster hunting excursions. That is a huge contribution, but other wise the most she did was find traps, holes and get grabbed by monsters. Velma? There we go. The brains, the logic and frequently the voice of reason in the group. That’s also considering that she sometimes had to clue search with Scooby and Shaggy who were less than helpful many times. Now if only she’d been able to keep glasses on her face more often. In the classic episodes Velma frequently did more than she got credit for.

Top five cool girls/women from 60’s and 70’s cartoons

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1-Trixie from Speed Racer. The girlfriend of Speed Racer so she wasn’t totally independent, but she was way cool. She knew about cars, she could pilot a helicopter and she even knocked down bad guys at times.

2-Velma Dinkley from Scooby Doo. Scooby and Shaggy were the comic relief, Freddie was the drives, Daphne was the eye candy, but the brains and heart and soul of Mystery Inc. was definitely Velma. Just a shame she kept dropping her glasses.

3-Jayna of Zan and Jayna from the Super Friends. An alien who partnered with her brother and were in the Super friends. She could turn into an animal while her brother could turn into some kind of water related substance. So Zan would be snowball or some ice cubes while Jayna was a tiger or an eagle-who got the best of that deal?

4-Gravity Girl from the Galaxy Trio-She left a pampered life to fight crime. She is also the equal of her two male teammates.

5-Natasha of Boris and Natasha from The Rocky and Bullwinkle show-Hey, I didn’t say they had to be heroes. Actually the show began in 1959 but lasted until 1964 so it spent more time in the 60’s. She was cruel and cool at the same time. Kind of creepy yet still likable.

The new Adventures of Superman-The Wicked Warlock

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Wahahahahahaha!

1966

This was a cartoon show done by Filmation during thee 1966-67 tv year.

What’s this about? There is black magic about as a bent faced, cackling no good bum by the name of the Warlock is out to cause some trouble. He has a magic wand that he can use to create things and move objects. Superman is on to him, but the Warlock turns invisible before out hero can nab his miserable hide. The mischief doing magician grabs another stone that fuels his wand and Supes now knows his power comes from said wand. The man of steel double dog dares (or something like that) the Wiazard to do a task that cause the wizard to lift the wand high. When he does this Supes flies over really fast like and grabs the wand. The villain vanishes and presumably flees since the source of most of his power has been taken from him.

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I’ll get you and your red cape too.

 

The negatives- It’s only five minutes and fans of more recent eras of comics may not be that impressed.

The positives-I think this is comparitive to what was going on comics of the 60’s which I like. Superman and Clark both have a sense of humor. The pacing helps in that the episode goes by very quickly. I also snickered when the Warlock called Superman “Superboob” although not to his face.

Saturday morning flashback-Star Trek

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These glowing head bands make me feel woozy.

The Lorelei Signal

1973

These woman call out into space with a song and snag the men of the Enterprise like some big old fish and start reeling them in. An all male (of course) landing party beams down to the planet only to have the lifeforce sucked from them and straight into the women on the planet. So the landing party start to look like a bunch of shriveled prunes, okay McCoy already looked a little like that so it’s even more so for him. Uhura knew something was wrong a while and called nurse Chapel over to help her. Uhura assumes the control of the ship from Scotty who is in a daze and singing in monotone just to hurt our eardrums. Uhura, Chapel and an all female landing party beam down and stop the power draining ladies. The process gets reversed on the men of the Enterprise. Turns out the planet had something to do with all this so being the kind crew they are Kirk and company agree to help the woman find another planet to start a normal life on. Roll the animated credits.

The negatives-This one begins rather bland, but it picks up as it goes along.

The positives-This one gets better as it goes along and more of the plot is revealed. It was great to see Uhura and Chapel getting so much to do and a chance to take action. A decent episode if you’re patient with it.

Animated oddities-Apparently McCoy is a Commander now as his stripes show that almost the whole episode. Although he mus have been demoted for a second because he has no stripes when one of the woman drags him along. When the female landing party beam down Nurse Chapel is wearing all red. In the next scene she is back to her regular blue outfit. A few seconds later when she is opening a door her left sleeve is red while the rest of her uniform is blue.

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What Kirk’s bachelor party would look like if he ever got married.

Saturday Morning Flashback- Coming soon

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Now that I have finished Starlost Sundays (other than a wrap-up which will happen today) I am planning to move on to a new segment starting next week. So I will be tackling mainly 60’s and 70’s Saturday Morning shows one episode at a time. All will be sci-fi or monster related shows and will include cartoons and live action shows. Hopefully by doing half hour shows I can stick to doing it every week better than I did with the Starlost. I will begin with taking on Star Trek the animated series in order and aim to review every episode, but if I get bored a long the way I may thrown in an episode of another show here and there. On occasion I may toss in some Saturday morning memories. Actually my kids are watching their Saturday morning programs as I write this. So next Saturday in between eating Captain Crunch be sure to stop by here and check out the new segment.