Comet TV-Almost one year later


I don’t have cable so I depend on DVDs and what few channels I can get. Although over the last 3-4 years I have gotten more channels in. Last Halloween saw the debut of Come TV a sci-fi and horror channel. I was excited at first, but like any free channels it had positives and negatives. Unfortunately changes were slow to come and I ended watching it less and less as they showed the same things over and over. September has finally seen some changes that have me watching it again with great hope.

Here are some positive changes they have made.

1-Bringing on Mystery science theater 3000. It’s only two episodes and only on Sunday evening, but now they have a show worth tuning in for.

2-Replacing 1990’s Outer Limits with the classic 60’s show. The 90’s version could be decent, but when someone says Outer Limits I think classic so I am glad they have it on a week night every week now.

3-Godzilla! They had a Labor Day marathon and now show them on Friday nights this month. Right now it’s just been like five different films, but hey glad Big G is on.

4-Vincent Price movies. For most of the first year the horror films they showed mostly left a lot to be desired, but now they are getting into some more classic material. I knew this channel was with Warner Brothers so I had been hoping for months they tap into some of the good films that company owns the rights to.

5-Less Stargate TV series. I like the shows well enough and knew with this channel they were starting with it as their feature show. However it soon turned to be like their only show and it was on all the time. Then they’d show the same episode multiple times in a week. They have replaced it with the Outer Limits and other shows. While the other shows are ones that I have never seen I do look forward to something different. If they stink at least they are only on one night a week.

6-The Godzilla dance party commercial. It’s a humorous commercial promoting them showing Godzilla films. Yes, humorous commercials are great. Channels like Cozi and MeTV have been doing them for years. Keep the funny commercials promoting their films and shows coming.

Things they need to work on.

1-When they come back from a commercial and show their logo please say or have on the screen what movie this is. Several times I tune in the middle wanting to know what this is and they say nothing so I have to look online.

2-Keep the Godzilla films coming with hopefully more variety.

3-Change the nightly schedule every six months or even quarterly.

4-They show some brief interviews and behind the scenes items on Stargate or with Roger Corman in place of commercials to fill in between movies  that are shorter. I like that better than commercials, but lately they seem to be showing more commercials.

Inspired by Star Wars

I reviewed War in space and Message from space is coming soon. These films  and a number of others were inspired or influenced to some extent by either Star Wars itself or it’s success. Star Wars fans tend to foam at the mouth and scream “ripoff” about some of these films which I always find funny since Star Wars borrowed from The Dam Busters. Other fans may find something to like in these films too. Anyways I have a soft spot for a number of these movies and here are some posters.

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Star Trek the animated series-The Practical Joker

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The Enterprise is attacked kapow by some Romulans near an asteroid. Kirk decides to pull away because they out numbered and their shields have been hurt awwwww. When they establish communication the Romulans claim that Kirk entered their space. The Romulan says he’s going to kill Kirk and pursues the Enterprise zoom zoom. Sulu reports an identified energy field up ahead. Having no fear and little sense Kirk says full speed ahead with the goal of losing the Romulans being in his mind. They lose their pointy eared pursuers, but the cloud gets into the computer system and screws it up. Jokes begin to be played on the crew by the computer including dribble glasses, Spock’s new microscope smears black around his eyes, the food dispenser pelts Scotty with food and Kirk gets a name written on his shirt. Spock figures out the computer is doing this. Around this time Sulu, Uhura and McCoy get trapped in the rec room but the computer which starts to get mean. Spock and Scotty work to free the others from the rec room. They manage to get the computer to stop some things, but now the ship is heading into the neutral zone oh , no!. The Romulans of course attack. The computer plays a joke on the Romulans and makes a balloon resembling the Enterprise and it’s gets shot kapow! The distraction allows the real Enterprise to escape but Roumlans are still coming. Kirk makes another pass through the energy field and it fixes things woohoo. All is good and roll the animated credits.

The negatives-The solution of passing through the energy field seems a bit too simple and feels like a bit of a cheat for an otherwise decent episode.

The positives-The plot isn’t terribly creative, but it’s the decent. The early pranks are quite funny. Glad to see the Romulans for a change. Good to see Uhura and Sulu get more to do.

The was one of the very first episodes I saw of this show and it has stuck with me. It has very much the feel of the original series which is something the animated series didn’t always. Overall a decent episode.

Space Academy-Planet of fire

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Tee Gar invents something Cryotron which doesn’t involve sobbing during the 1982 Disney sci-fi film but instead it is a device that emits a freeze ray. Against orders (and common sense) he, Loki and Peepo takes it to a dreary planet called Delius to test it out. Meanwhile back at the academy the things that Tee Gar froze have exploded which you know they weren’t supposed to so the machine has a problem, but Tee Gar does know that yet. Back out to Delius a giant type named Dramon (Don Pedro Colley, Beneath the planet of the apes, Sugar Hill and Sheriff Little from the Dukes of Hazzard) gets the Cryotron and freezes Peepo the robot. He feels bad for it eventually, but the people from the Space Academy use a laser type thingie to thaw Peepo out. Dramon asks for forgiveness and gets it-oh how nice. So everything is back to normal and roll those Saturday morning credits.

The negatives-You do have to remember that this was a kid’s show so the action and intrigue is on that level. If you watched the show much using unstable elements and taking off to do something he was told not to seems out of character for Tee Gar, but not Loki.

The positives-I liked this show as a kid and although it doesn’t have the same punch now I still enjoy it. Seeing Jonathan Harris playing the grandfatherly instructor Gampu is a huge change from his more known role as Dr. Smith on Lost in space yet I still liked him here as well.

I bought the complete set of this show some years back and watch the whole series at least once a year.





Logans Run the series

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I wanted to set this up before I get into reviewing two episodes from this show. The movie hit theaters in the summer of 1976 and it was a hit. It even spawned a comic from Marvel. However I think when Star Wars hit less than a year later in 1977 that kind of changed sci-fi films. Not just the spectacular effects of George Lucas’ creation, but the space opera action and the theme of hope went against the negative dystopian themes of so many sci-fi movies made between say 1968 and 1976. Anyways Star Wars did help boost sci-fi in general. So a Logans Run TV series was put together to go on in the fall of 1977. The Logan and Jessica characters would star just like in the film only played by different people. Logan was Gregory Harrison (from Trapper John M.D.), Jessica was played Heather Menzies  (The sound of music,Sssssss, Pirahna) and Donald Moffatt (The Thing, One life to live) was Rem They added an android Rem who Logan and Jessica would take with them when they left the city of domes to go in search of Sanctuary. The character of Francis the pursuing sandman was brought back as well despite the fact that the character was killed in the movie. In the debut episode they take the plot of the film and even borrow a lot of scenes from it, but put their actors and actresses in place of the originals. We see sandman Logan take up with runner Jessica and eventually leave the city to look for a better place called Sanctuary. The difference between the movie is that in the film Logan pretended to run as an assignment, but in the show he comes to believe in their being a better way than being killed when you hit thirty and that there needed to be a better place. They take the android REM on their journey and on occasion Francis and other sandmen give chase. Each episode our heroes run into a different situation or group of people while in pursuit of Sanctuary. Our heroes also have a land rover type vehicle that they ride around in. The surroundings may look familiar and is looks like they used some of the same locations used in the Planet of the apes show and Little house on the prairie. The special effects were lacking as they frequently used basic aniamtion for any kind of beam. However I think the scripts and the chemistry between the leads made up for the lack of budget. Some episodes were better than others, but largely I think they were on the right path.

D.C. Fontana (Star Trek) served as story editor for the show. The pilot episode went through numerous changes and re-shoots before getting the green light from CBS. The show initially had good ratings, but the network kept pre-empting it which likely caused it to lose some of it’s early audience. There was a time between mid November 1977 and early January 1978 where CBS showed only one episode in a six week span. Only 11 of the 14 episodes were shown on the West Coast, but all 14 are on the DVD set. I’m going to review two episodes between now and the end of the week. Enjoy!

Dawn of the planet of the apes


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First of all who is this Dawn and what is she doing hanging around with these monkeys? Oh hold on it’s not a person but rather it’s refer to the start of something. Oh that makes a little more sense. Caesar the chimp who could speak left the city in the last film with followers and set up a community out in the woods a little ways from San Francisco. Meanwhile a virus broke out amongst the humans and wiped out a bunch of them. Thank goodness there were too many of those people hanging out eating fast food and watching their crappy reality shows oh wait I’m a people er..person. Back to the monkey movie. The rotten old humans want electricity to do important things like play video games and light up Christmas displays so they need to get this dam up and running. Unfortunately to get to it they have to follow the yellow brick road go through monkey land. They get permission from Caesar the leader, but other monkeys aren’t trusting of the humans. The likable humans Malcolm, Ellie and some of the others start to get along with the monkeys, but one jackass brought a gun when he was told not to so Caesar tells them to hurry their rear ends up and get the heck out. Koba hates the humans and when he learns they have guns he starts trouble. Which involves killings a couple of dopey humans, shooting Caesar and starting a war on the people in San Francisco-how about that for a bad apple or monkey? The enraged ape army starts beating the humans. Back in the woods Caesar didn’t die and Malcolm and the others find and mend him. Back in the city Koba is acting like a real not so nice kind of critter-forcing humans to obey, growling, killing apes that don’t agree with him and I’ll bet he smells real bad too. Caesar gets his followers back and confronts Koba so they fight. Meanwhile ape doubter Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) blows up this tower thinking it will hurt the apes and save the humans. Instead it kind of hurts everyone. The apes fight goes on -whack, smack ooahooahooh-and Caesar gets the upper hand. Koba needs help to not fall, but Caesar realizes Koba is just no darn good and let’s him die. Caesar tells Malcolm he’s a good egg or something, but Malcolm warns him that soldiers from the north are on their way and Caesar should leave so as to set up for another sequel. Roll those credits and hide your bananas.

The negatives-

Old fans will say-They used CGI instead of rubber masks, I’m outraged.

Young fans will say-Wait, they made Planet of the apes movies before Tim Burton’s crapfest?

Really old fans will say-It’s nap time, ain’t got no time picture shows!

Really young fans will say-Googoogaagaa

Nitpickers will say-Why isn’t everything absolutely correct by what we know because after all this a science fiction movie?

Oh guess those aren’t negatives, but it did fill up some space.

The positives-As a fan of the original series of films I say to the people that made this film I say “thank you”. You did the franchise justice, added a great new chapter and even topped the previous film which was solid. I read lots of gripes about science holes and such, but I say get over yourself this was a great movie.

Galaxy Quest

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These people were on this sci-fi show years and now their careers have dried up except for appearing at conventions. Whew, glad this is just a film and something like this never happens in real life. The dude that plays the captain is an arrogant self-promoting  type who isn’t well liked by by the rest of the cast-so this certainly based on any star of any well know sci-fi show…or is it? There is also a female officer who just repeats what the computer says, the British actor who play the alien science officer but doesn’t like it, the somewhat backwards engineering chief and the once child prodigy navigator who is now a grown man. Plus a guy who once appeared briefly before killed in an episode takes up with them. The Captain is approached by what he thinks are fans wanting to hire him for an appearance. He goes with them and only upon leaving does he find out that this is real. He tries to convince the others it’s real and meanwhile knocks down a fan along the way.  The others think he’s nuts but go thinking it’s a job. They go to the alien ship and find it’s real. Only thing is these alien think the actors are really characters they played and they want them to save them from the evil overlord Sarris. When the actors find out the threat is real they try to leave, but eventually decide to stay and help. They have to play their roles for real, but have to figure out tasks they have only done on screen. They make plenty of mistakes and almost get themselves and everyone else killed. Eventually they put aside their egos and problems. Of course they end up defeating Sarris, they get along and they get a new show! Hooray, never give up never surrender and roll the credits.

The negatives-Not much.

The positives-Great casting all the way around the board. Alan Rickman might get my vote for best performance here. The story is story strong as it’s funny, but shows the impact of TV and the characters manage to grow and come together. The effect both special and make-up were good as well. The film has some very quotable lines. There are times when I see a good price at a store and I proclaim “By Grabthar’s Hammer..what a savings”.

Definitely the best space spoof out there. It takes shots at Star trek, it’s cast, it’s fans and the conventions. I watch this film very often and if anything it’s gotten better over the years. I can’t believe it will be 15 years old next month.

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So this movie is about this summer camp where slackers go to be counselors and cause all kinds of hilarity. Oh, wait … I think that’s actually Meatballs. I got it now. This film is about this small time gym and some of the clumsy people there. They decide to raise money by playing this game and competing against other gym teams. You know if you can dodge a wrench then you can dodge a Spaceball. Huh? Oh, I’ve been told that’s actually Dodgeball, you know Ben Stiller’s funny movie. Now I think I have it. This film is about this Princess Vespa who is supposed to marry a sleepy goofus, but she leaves and this Dark Helmet fella and his boss Skroob go to kidnap her. They want to trade her for her planet’s air. Her daddy hires this guy Lonestar and mog (half man/half dog like you didn’t know) Barf to go and get the princess and bring her back. Since they owe money to Pizza the hut they agree to go on a rescue mission. I’m getting sleep this better get funny soon. It kind of does there are lots plays on names, crotch torture (is that really funny?) slapstick, site gags and more. The baddies try to get the princess and they get advice and a gawdy ring from Yogurt who also shows all the stuff they will sell to make money from this movie (yes, George Lucas this was aimed at you and your fat wallet). He tells them of the Schwartz-hey he just made that up. Later Lonestar struggles to do the Vulcan nerve pinch, but gets advice on how to it right. Heck maybe future Vulcan Tim Russ could have shown him because he had a small part in this film. Eventually there’s a sort of light saber type duel going on with Lonestar and Dark Helmet as they toss more funnies and not as funnies. The baddies transform their enormous ship into a space maid and try to suck the air from the planet -suck,suck, suck! However Lonestar foils their plans and blows the ship up. Parts of the maid fall to planet side to set up a Planet of the apes shot. Lonestar drops off the princess so she can wed the creep. He and Barf go off to eat at a diner where an alien rips out of John Hurt, hey didn’t that happen before? Lonestar realizes he loves the princes and she loves him so he goes and interrupts her marriage to the dorky guy from Too close for comfort. Lonestar found out he’s a prince so they wed, the film tries to squeeze in more jokes and roll the credits.



The negatives-The music is really dated. There are times where the jokes fall flat or there isn’t much funny going on. This film isn’t on the level of Mel Brooks best films like The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.

The positives-The films mostly spoofs Star Wars, but also takes jabs at Star Trek, Aliens, Planet of the apes and even the Wizard of Oz. It has John Candy and Rick Moranis-you sold me right there. It has quite a few quotable lines. There are times when the film just really on fire winging the jokes at you at warp speed.

I think this is a good, but not great sci-fi spoof. I watch it fairly often.

It seems like everyone is in this film- we have sound effects madman Michael Winslow, Felix Silla who played Twiki and Cousin Itt, Eight is enough star and Disney veteran Dick Van Patten, one of my favorite grumps of all time Jack Riley has a small part as a TV guy, a young Brenda Strong is here, the wonderful character actor Stephen Tobolowski, don’t blink or your miss seeing Rhonda Shear in the diner plus the voices of Dom Deluise, Phil Hartman and even the always busy voice actor Rob Paulsen.