Saturday, October 31, 2015

("It's Halloween, right? Everybody has a BLAST tonight!") - GALACTICA: 1980 - "The Night the Cylons Landed"

Cy (Rex Cutter) and Andromus (Roger Davis)
- Galactica: 1980 ("The Night the Cylons Landed")
It's Halloween...the perfect time to view the famous (infamous?) Galactica: 1980 two part episode "The Night the Cylons Landed".  This is no doubt the only Halloween-themed TV story that premiered a solid six months before  Halloween (April 13 and 20, 1980)!  Both parts were written by series creator Glen A. Larson.  Part 1 was directed by Sigmund Neufeld; Part 2 was directed by Barry Crane.

In this story, an advanced Cylon ship crash lands on Earth on the outskirts of New York City.  The ship is destroyed in the crash.  The two surviving Cylons - one a "classic" model Cylon and the other an advanced humanoid model - make their way to New York City.  They intend to find a radio transmitter to contact the Cylon forces in space and direct them to Earth.  Due to an incredible coincidence the Cylons have arrived on Halloween - the one night of the entire year where they can move about (relatively) unnoticed!  Meanwhile, Troy and Dillon must stop the robotic duo by any means necessary...including dressing up in tops and tails and performing in a dance routine with Scooby Doo!  Yes, this episode is as bad as it sounds!  Every sci-fi fan should experience "The Night the Cylons Landed" at least once! This two-part episode was incorporated into the Battlestar Galactica "compilation" syndicated TV movie Conquest of the Earth (it's available on VHS).

Lara Parker and Wolfman Jack
- Galactica: 1980 ("The Night the Cylons Landed")
(1) Despite many glaring flaws, the Galactica: 1980 TV series had some great opening "teasers" - literally every one is interesting and exciting.  If only the episodes were as good as the "teasers"!  :-(
(2)  At one point, Troy and Dillon adopt the names "Smith" and "Jones" - this is presumably a nod to the Glen A. Larson TV series Alias Smith & Jones (which co-starred Roger Davis).
(3)  Roger Davis and Lara Parker both appeared in the cult-classic ABC-TV daytime drama Dark Shadows (1966 - 71).

"The Night the Cylons Landed" (part 1) can be viewed on YouTube HERE:

"The Night the Cylons Landed" (part 2) can be viewed on YouTube HERE:

The opening credits of "Conquest of the Earth" can be viewed on YouTube HERE:

Battlestar Galactica and Galactica: 1980 is copyright (c) NBC / Universal; created by Glen A. Larson.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Fatal Vision" (1984) NBC-TV Mini-Series starring Gary Cole

Who can forget Fatal Vision?  This blockbuster TV mini-series (based on the book by Joe McGinness) aired over two nights on NBC in 1984 and stars Gary Cole, Karl Malden and Andy Griffith.  The film tells the story of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, the Green Beret U.S. Army doctor who was eventually convicted of murdering his wife and family in February of 1970.  MacDonald claims that he is innocent - he maintains that the real murderers were a group of drug-crazed hippies (three men and a woman) who broke into their small apartment on the Fort Bragg army base and attacked him and slaughtered his family.  Fatal Vision was released on VHS in the 1980's but has yet to have an official DVD or Blu-Ray release.

Fans of The Fugitive - with Dr. Kimble's story of a One-Armed Man who really killed his wife - will enjoy this film.

Is Jeffrey MacDonald guilty - or innocent?  Watch Fatal Vision - and then watch the various interviews with MacDonald on YouTube - and decide for yourself.

Watch Fatal Vision (3 hours) on YouTube HERE:

In late 1970 - only a few months after the murders - Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald was interviewed by Dick Cavett.  His "cheshire cat" grin and joking demeanor is positively chilling...  Watch a 2 minute excerpt from the interview on YouTube HERE:

Larry King interviewed Jeffrey MacDonald in 2003.  View this interview HERE:

The VHS release of Fatal Vision

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mark Hamill in "The City" (1977) - TV movie produced by Quinn Martin

Check out this great Quinn Martin NBC-TV movie from 1977 - "The City"; starring Mark Hamill, Don Johnson and Robert Forster.  Some fans believe that this 74 minute movie (which premiered on January 12, 1977) was the Original Pilot for Quinn Martin's "Tales of the Unexpected" which premiered a few weeks later on February 2, 1977.

Mark Hamill's teenage character is on a rampage - can two police officers (Don Johnson and Robert Forster) bring this troubled teen to justice?  A great movie from back in the day!  This movie was released on VHS tape in the 1980's but has yet to have an official DVD or Blu-Ray release.

View this movie on YouTube HERE:

The VHS release of "The City"
"The City" is copyright (c) Quinn Martin Productions and CBS / Paramount.

Quinn Martin's 'Tales of the Unexpected' - 3 episodes of this 'lost' 1977 TV series are on YouTube! :-)

In 1977, Quinn Martin produced "Tales of the Unexpected" for NBC-TV.  Eight episodes of this anthology series were produced (one episode "The Force of Evil" was movie-length) for a total of nine hours of science fiction, horror and suspense.  Popular guest stars on the series include Lloyd Bridges, Roy Thinnes, Bill Bixby, Dean Stockwell, Ned Beatty, Tim O'Connor, Robert Foxworth, Rick Nelson, David Birney, Van Williams, Ronny Cox, Carl Weathers, Gary Collins, Robert Pine, Eve Plumb and Christine Belford.

There weren't many VCRs in use in 1977 and the few that were around probably weren't taping "Tales of the Unexpected".  In the past 38 years, only three episodes have surfaced in the video trading community - "The Nomads", "No Way Out" (from a one time airing on TV Land of this episode only circa 2000 - no others were shown) and "The Force of Evil" (which was released on VHS tape in the 1980's).  The episode "The Nomads" is particularly interesting to fans of THE INVADERS - this episode is a remake / reboot of the pilot episode "Beachhead" - updated to the 1970's!

CBS / Paramount owns "Tales of the Unexpected".  It would be great if the entire series were released on DVD.  In the meantime, fans can enjoy these three classic episodes on YouTube.

Episode #4 - "The Nomads" (a remake / reboot of THE INVADERS pilot episode "Beachhead") - View this episode HERE:

Episode #9 - "No Way Out" - starring Bill Bixby and Dean Stockwell.  View this episode HERE:

Episode #6 / #7 - "The Force of Evil" (movie-length episode) - starring Lloyd Bridges, Patricia Crowley and Eve Plumb.  View this episode HERE:

The VHS release of "The Force of Evil"
Tales of the Unexpected is copyright (c) Quinn Martin Productions and CBS / Paramount.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Take a "Fantastic Journey" with "V"! :-)

Check out this cool vintage NBC promo for "V" - the announcer urges viewers to "...go on a FANTASTIC JOURNEY - with V"!  Is this a sideways acknowledgement that NBC erred in cancelling "The Fantastic Journey" back in 1977 after half a season?  Still, it could have been even more awkward...imagine if the announcer had urged viewers to "...go on a STAR TREK - with V"!  :-)

View this vintage promo on YouTube HERE:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Richard Hatch and Bruce Davison in "Deadman's Curve: The Story of Jan and Dean" (1978)

Just prior to his starring role as Captain Apollo on "Battlestar Galactica", Richard Hatch portrayed 1960's rock star Jan Berry (of Jan and Dean fame) in the CBS TV movie of the week "Deadman's Curve: The Story of Jan and Dean" (aired on Feb. 12, 1978).  In early 1966 Jan Berry was involved in a tragic car accident in Los Angeles that left him severely brain damaged.  Bruce Davison ("The Lathe of Heaven", "Lost") co-stars as Dean Torrence.  Watch for a brief appearance by Anne-Marie Martin (Dori Doreau on "Sledge Hammer!").  The movie was released on VHS tape decades ago but has yet to have an official DVD or Blu-Ray release.

Watch this fantastic movie on YouTube HERE:

It's Oct. 21, 2015 - Anyone up for a "joke fax"?

We've arrived.

Today is Wednesday, October 21, 2015 - the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown arrive in the future via the time-traveling Delorean.  2015 has some amazing technology to be sure, but no flying cars powered by self-lacing Nike's...not even a Cafe 80's.

I'd give anything to for a good "joke fax" today (does anyone in 2015 still use fax machines?).

Back to the Future, Part II is copyright (c) and trademark Universal Studios; photos used for illustrative purposes only.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming" Trailer (1999) and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Trailer (2015)

In 1999, actor Richard Hatch (Captain Apollo on "Battlestar Galactica") created a very well-received Trailer called "Battlestar Galactica: The Second Coming".  This Trailer picked up the story of the Colonial fleet some 20 years later with the Galactica being menaced by a new and more evolved Cylon threat.  This trailer is very well-put together (and remember this was created YEARS before YouTube made fan-made Trailers all the rage).  The classic BSG characters are reintroduced...and new "next generation" warriors are seen as well.  This Trailer is concise and to the point.  It tells a "story" in 4 minutes.  It works!

Watch this Trailer on YouTube HERE:

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (2015).  A bit of the classic characters....and the "next generation" characters as well.  This Trailer works!  December 18th can't come fast enough!  :-)

Battlestar Galactica - created by Glen A. Larson; copyright (c) NBC / Universal.
Star Wars - created by George Lucas; copyright Lucasfilm / Disney.

Monday, October 19, 2015

1976 - 1982: Hollywood's Haunted House Obsession

Hollywood was definitely on a "haunted house" kick for about 6 years, starting in 1976 with "Burnt Offerings", "The Amityville Horror" (1979), "The Shining" (1980) and "Poltergeist" (1982).  For a fun (sometimes totally surreal) viewing experience, I recommend watching all 4 of these classic horror films back-to-back - on the same day if you can manage it(!)

I won't go so far as to say that these movies are identical -  far from it - but they definitely all draw from the same general idea: a typical American family moves into an old house / hotel / new house built on an ancient Indian burial ground - one (or more) family members seemingly become "possessed" by unseen forces within the house - seemingly going crazy - and of course total chaos and carnage eventually ensues. It's a kick seeing these 'like' horror movies from the same era tackle similar plot points from different angles...

"Burnt Offerings" (1976); directed by Dan Curtis
"The Amityville Horror" (1979);
directed by Stuart Rosenberg

"The Shining" (1980); directed by Stanley Kubrick

"Poltergeist" (1982); directed by Tobe Hooper

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Time Travelers...on Trial! ("Voyagers!" and "Doctor Who")

Voyagers! - ("The Trial of Phineas Bogg") - 1983

Doctor Who - ("The Trial of a Time Lord") - 1986
For some fun, back-to-back viewing, don't miss Voyagers! ("The Trial of Phineas Bogg") and Doctor Who ("The Trial of a Time Lord").  The time-travelers in both productions are accused of violating the laws of time and put on trial for their (alleged) transgressions...!

Check out the Trailers for both of these epic adventures on YouTube HERE:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

One fan's quest to RECREATE the Cylon voices from "Battlestar Galactica"!

Cy and Starbuck -
Galactica: 1980 ("The Return of Starbuck")
One unforgettable aspect of Battlestar Galactica are the souless computerized voices of the Cylon Centurians.  Don't miss this fantastic 16 minute video featuring one fan's quest to recreate Gary Owens' Cylon voice-over from the Galactica: 1980 episode "The Return of Starbuck" using 1970's audio equipment!

Things really start to happen at the 12:30 mark!  View this amazing video HERE:

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

"The Fugitive" - NuVentures VHS promo! ("It's a hard habit to break!")

Check out this absolutely amazing 5 minute promo for the 1990's NuVentures VHS release of The Fugitive ("It's a hard habit to break!").

View this promo on YouTube HERE:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My 3 all-time favorite "Muppet Show" musical moments! :-)

Ah...The Muppet Show - a classic TV series from a long-ago are my 3 all-time favorite musical segments from this wonderful series... 

Kenny Rogers sings "The Gambler"!

Crystal Gayle sings "We Must Believe in Magic"!

Crystal Gayle sings "River Road"!