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Monday, July 6, 2020

RIP ENNIO MORRICONE 1928-2020

One of the greatest composers of music has passed away.

Morricone had over 300 music scores to his credit and that is quite an accomplishment.

He scored such claccis pictures as "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly", "A Fist Full Of Dollars", "Nightmare Castle", "For A Few Dollars More", "Danger Diabolik" and so many more.

He was born in Rome in 1928. His accomplishments in the world of film scoring at too numerous to mention here, but lets just say that everyone has heard a Morricone score at some point in their film watching life.

He passed away on July 6th, 2020 from complications after a fall. He was 91.

KING KONG VS. GODZILLA 1962 (CRITERION) BLU-RAY JAPANESE VERSION

It has been a very long time since I saw this version.

On the Criterion Showa Era Godzilla set this film is located on the 8th disc which is also loaded with tons of extras, and I mean tons.

This is a much better film without the added American scenes, and to me anyway, the story moves along better. It does have it's added comedy moments involving TV advertising and such, but it's much better in it's original form.

Godzilla emerges from an iceberg and sinks a submarine in the process while an advertising executive wants his two agents to go to an island in the Pacific and investigate the rumors of a huge monster worshiped by the natives as a God.

Finally both King Kong and Godzilla square off in a epic battle. This film has been a favorite since my early childhood and it always will be. The cast for the movie is perfect for what it is and includes two of the most beautiful Japanese actresses, Mia Hama and Akiko Wakabayashi. It was quite a treat to see both women in the same film. This film is being remade and should be released in November of 2020, but I already know it'll be nowhere near as good a the original.

The quality of this print it simply beautiful I was glad Criterion included it in the set. All of the extras on the disc are well worth taking a look at as well. I have said it before over the last month of reviewing this set, and I'll say it again, The Godzilla Showa Era Set is one, if not THE top release of 2020.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Sylvester Stallone is 74, Burt Ward is 75, and June Kenney is 87.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

REMEMBERING AMERICAN TOP 40

I simply can't believe it's been 50 years since the first broadcast on July 4th, 1970.

The show was the brainchild of Casey Kasem and Don Bustany and on the first broadcast in was heard on 8 stations and soon became the most listened to syndicated show in the USA on over 600 plus station.

I listened to it religiously and kept my own written record of the songs and their chart movement. The show captivated me and I have every episode from the 70's and almost all of the 80's as well.

This is the show that made me want to get into broadcasting and be on the radio. Kasem passed away in 2014 but his legacy with AT 40 still lives on thru re-broadcasts as well as internet groups, books and much more.

As I write this I am indeed listening to the first ever broadcast of AT 40 and the memories come flooding back with great things. Wow....50 YEARS...very hard to believe. LONG LIVE AT 40 FROM THE 70'S AND 80'S.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Eva Marie Saint is 96, and Gina Lollobrigida is 93.

Friday, July 3, 2020

MONSTERS 1988-1990 SEASON 1

I never got a chance to watch this on it's initial run and am visiting it for the first time.

Produced by Richard Rubinstein, this show debuted the same year as "Tales From The Darkside" ended and it follows the same format, but each show features a different monster.

I am surprised this isn't better known, but I have been enjoying it a lot. It ran for 3 years and here is what season 1 has to offer.

THE FEVERMAN 10/22/88... A man tries to prove a local healer is a fake, but gets something very unexpected. David McCallum stars.

HOLLY'S HOUSE 10/29/88... Holly is a mechanized doll and host of a kiddie show, and she isn't as nice and cute as she appears to be. A fun little episode that really impressed me.

NEW YORK HONEY 11/5/88... A man blackmails his neighbor who makes a very tasty honey into sharing his profits and he also falls for the beekeepers sexy young girlfriend.

THE VAMPIRE HUNTER 11/12/88...Robert Lansing stars as a vampire hunter who tries to stop a bloodsucker from turning his young assistant into a creature like himself.

MY ZOMBIE LOVER 11/19/88... A great comedy episode about a night each year when the dead come back to life. A young dead man visits the home of a young woman he was to scared to admit he liked when he was alive. Tempestt Bledsoe stars. Gotta love the ending!!

WHERE'S THE REST OF ME 11/26/88... In a small South American country a mad doctor keeps body parts for harvesting until one of the cadavers comes back to seek revenge. Meat Loaf and Franco Harris star.

THE LEGACY 12/3/88... An writer named Dale finds the private sanctuary of a long dead actor named Pulton Pierce. Very soon Dale's life starts down a VERY dark road.

SLEEPING DRAGON 12/10/88...During a raging snow storm scientists must fight for their lives against a prehistoric monster that is running loose in a lab complex. This is a very fun episode.

POOL SHARKS 12/17/88...A pool hustler gets involved in a game with a very sexy female who is not what she seems...or is she? Rebecca Downs steals this show with ease.

PILLOW TALK 12/24/88...A man whose bed is possessed by a bizarre creature like something out of Lovecraft story meets a woman (Mary Woronov) who starts to make him have second thoughts about everything. Bizarre and unusual episode.

ROUSE HIM NOT 12/31/88...A woman living in an old house is visited by a man who is researching a warlock who used to live in the home. They both get a surprise when they discover the warlock has come back to life. Alex Cord stars.

FOOLS GOLD 1/21/89...Three construction workes find a hidden treasure guarded by a very evil and nasty troll.

GLIM GLIM 2/4/89... Another bizarre episode. The last three surviving humans on Earth find an alien who might be able to help them. However human emotions play a big part and the ending is somewhat twisted and very sad. A HIGHLY RECOMMENDED episode.

PARENTS FROM SPACE 2/11/89...A young girl's cruel and uncaring parents are replaced by aliens who show her what love really is. Peggy Cass and Frank Gorshin star.

THE MOTHER INSTINCT 2/18/89...A woman develops a melon juice that produces great strength. Her evil son in law wants to steal it but finds she has the plants protected by blood worms. Great ending.

THEIR DIVIDED SELF 2/25/89... A doctor tries to counsel Siamese twins who are on the verge of killing each other.

TAPS 3/4/89...A female dancer tries to separate herself from her possessive partner, and she finds herself haunted in a most unusual way after dismembering him.

THE MATCH GAME 4/15/89...Grim and interesting story about two couples in a haunted mansion playing a story telling game. When an avenging dead man comes to life they realize the story they are telling is coming to life.

RAIN DANCE 4/22/89... Kent McCord and the gorgeous Teri Copley as a couple of treasure hunters who get way more than they bargained for when they receive a statue of an ancient Indian god.

COCOON 4/29/89...A cop asks his psychic girlfriend to help him identify a beautiful young woman involved in an auto accident who now has amnesia. A great twist ending.

ALL IN A DAY'S WORK 5/6/89...A man haunted by an evil doppelganger seeks the help of a white witch. Adrienne Barbeau stars.

SATAN IN THE SUBURBS 5/13/89...A charming demon enlists the aid of a young, single mother to help him write his biography before time runs out on him.

MANNIKINS OF HORROR 5/20/89... Based of the Robert Bloch story also featured in the 1972 movie "Asylum", this grim tale is about a brilliant doctor kept in an asylum in a 1984 type totalitarian world who is trying to give life to his small clay figurines before his time is up. A truly shocking and bizarre ending. ONE OF THE BEST!!

LA STREGA 5/27/89... Gorgeous Linda Blair stars as a young woman who may or may not be a witch that a young man has come to destroy.

That wraps up the first season of this great and still underrated little show. In season 2 there was still tons of fun to be had and some truly unforgettable episodes.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Susan Penhaligon is 71.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

THE LOST VOLCANO 1950 (AMAZON PRIME)

This is one of many films from Monogram Studios starring Johnny Sheffield as Bomba.

I have not seen many of these films, but since I had nothing to do on this particular afternoon, I decided to give it a whirl,and it's wasn't too bad.

Two men kidnap a young boy named David (Tommy Ivo) when they discover that he knows the whereabouts to a fabulous treasure hidden inside a hidden volcano. The boy is friends with Bomba and so out young jungle hero is off to the rescue.

Along on the rescue as well is David's parents, Ruth and Paul (Marjorie Lord and Donald Woods) as well as their housekeeper, a young a beautiful woman named Nona (Elena Verdugo).

There is a lot of trekking thru the jungle and chasing the basd guys, but it's still a fun little movie. Sheffield, of course, starred in the Tarzan films of the 30's and 40's as Boy, the son of Tarzan, so seeing him in this setting is almost very natural.

The rest of the cast includes John Ridgley, Don C. Harvey, and Grandon Rhodes. The print on Amazon is very good and if you're a fan of these films you can't really go wrong.

I have since caught a couple more of these movies and will be listing them here in the future.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Pamela Anderson is 53, Olivia de Havilland is 104, Jean Marsh is 86, and Debbie Harry is 75.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA 1975 (CRITERION) BLU-RAY

This is the final Showa Era Godzilla movie.

The big guy wouldn't make another screen appearance for 9 years. I have seen the standard edition DVD of this film, but the Criterion version makes that pale by comparison.

The ape-like aliens are back once again trying to take over Earth and they now have a scientist/traitor helping them. Dr. Shinzo Mafune (Akihiko Hirata) has turned on the human race after his scientific theories got him laughed at and fired.

Mafune also has discovered a huge sea monster named Titanosaurus and the aliens use this monster as well as their Mechagodzilla to terrorize the world.

Mafune's daughter Katsura (Tomoko Ai) is very aloof and won't help anyone who is trying to stop the aliens. We soon discover that the aliens saved her life and implanted a control device for Mechagodzilla inside of her. She slowly starts to fall in love with a young biologist named Akira (Katsuhiko Sasaki).

The alien's plans start to falls apart with the arrival of Godzilla and soon there is a three monster battle for the world. Ishiro Honda returned to the directing chair for this final epic and you can tell.

This is the only Godzilla movie with a slight bit of nudity in it as we see Katsura's breasts during a surgery scene, but it's downlayed so much as to be obsolete.

This version is simply beautiful looking and it's not too bad for the final Godzilla film. He took a hiatus from movies until he returned in the film Godzilla 1984 which is better known as Return Of Godzilla.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, this set from Criterion is a MUST for and Godzilla fan. VERY, VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Terry Funk is 76, and Victoria Crawford is 34.

Monday, June 29, 2020

GILLIGAN'S ISLAND 1964-1967 SEASON 1 (WARNER)

I don't know if there is anyone I know that hasn't seen this show at one point or another.

The show ran for 3 years on CBS and was a huge hit. Over the years it was syndicated on TV continuously and I think I have seen every episode hundreds of times. I love this show, and it was a huge part of my childhood. It starred Bob Denver as Gilligan, Alan Hale as The Skipper, Jim Backus as Mr. Howell, Natalie Schafer as Mrs. Howell, Tina Louise as Ginger, Dawn Wells as Mary Ann and Russell Johnson as The Professor.

TWO ON A RAFT 9/26/64...The pilot episode finds the SS Minnow wrecked on a deserted island so the Skipper (Alan Hale) and Gilligan (Bob Denver) decide to take a raft and get help. The shark attack scene is a classic!

HOME SWEET HUT 10/3/64...The castaways decide to build their own huts instead of a communal one. Will they be hurricane and Gilligan proof?

VOODOO SOMETHING TO ME...10/10/64...The Skipper is convinced that Gilligan has been turned into a chimp via a voodoo curse.

GOODNIGHT SWEET SKIPPER 10/17/64...The Skipper dreams about fixing the transmitter, but cannot remember what he dreamed. The Professor (Russell Johnson) tries to induce sleep so rescue might be at hand.

WRONGWAY FELDMAN 10/24/64... The Castaways discover a once famous pilot named "Wrong Way" Feldman (Hans Conried) is on the island and might provide their rescue.

PRESIDENT GILLIGAN 10/31/64...Gilligan is voted president of the island but nobody listens to him anyway.

THE SOUND OF QUACKING 11/7/64...A duck discovered by the castaways is used as a way of carrying a message back for rescue. When that fails they decide the duck might make a good meal.

GOODBYE ISLAND 11/21/64...Gilligan discovers a tree sap that might be able to hold the SS Minnow together and enable the castaways to sail away.

THE BIG GOLD STRIKE 11/28/654...Mr. Howell (Jim Backus) and Gilligan (Bob Denver) discover a huge gold mine and Howell wants to keep it a secret.

WAITING FOR WATUBI 12/5/64...This is one of my all time favorite episodes. The Skipper (Alan Hale) believes he is cursed by an ancient Tiki God, and the only one that can save him is Watubi, and ancient south seas island God.

ANGEL ON THE ISLAND 12/12/64... Ginger (Tina Louise) has a very off, off broadway play produced by Mr. Howell.

BIRDS GOTTA FLY, FISH GOTTA TALK 12/19/64...After reports of a possible rescue turn out to be false, the castaways holiday spirit is brought down.

THREE MILLION DOLLARS MORE OR LESS 12/26/64... A small bet between Gilligan and Howell turns into a 3 million dollar gain for Gilligan.

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE 1/2/65... With their fresh water supply dwindling, the castaway must look for a new supply...but where?

SO SORRY, MY ISLAND NOW 1/9/65...A Japanese sailor (Vito Scotti) captures the castaways because he thinks WW2 is still being fought.

PLANT YOU NOW, DIG YOU LATER 1/16/65...The castaways have a court hearing to determine who owns a treasure chest Gilligan found while digging a pit for Mr. Howell.

LITTLE ISLAND, BIG GUN 1/23/65...A bank robber (Larry Storch) comes to the island to hide out.

X MARKS THE SPOT 1/30/65... An unarmed US warhead lands on the island and the castaways think their days are numbered.

GILLIGAN MEETS JUNGLE BOT 2/6/65... A jungle boy (Kurt Russell) is discovered to be living on the island.

ST. GILLIGAN AND THE DRAGON 2/13/65... The men and women have an argument and decide to live in separate camps, but when a scary monster appears, they discover how much they really need one another.

BIG MAN ON A LITTLE STICK 2/20/65...A surfer (Denny Miller) lands on the island after riding a freak tsunami wave.

DIAMONDS ARE AN APES BEST FRIEND 2/27/65... A gorilla kidnaps Mrs. Howell (Natalie Schaefer) after also stealing some of her jewelry. How to rescue her?

HOW TO BE A HERO 3/6/65... The castaways attempt to make a depressed Gilligan a hero.

THE RETURN OF WRONG WAY FELDMAN 3/13/65... The pilot returns and decides to stay on the island forever. The castaways have other plans however.

THE MATCHMAKER 3/20/65... Mrs. Howell tries to play matchmaker between Gilligan and Mary Ann (Dawn Wells).

MUSIC HATH CHARMS 3/27/65...The castaways form a symphonic group and the music attracts headhunters to the island who believe the music to be war drums.

NEW NEIGHBOR SAM 4/3/65...A parrot tells the castaways about missing jewels and a boat. Now they have to find them.

THEY'RE OFF AND RUNNING 4/10/65...The Skipper loses everything including Gilligan in turtle racing against Mr. Howell.

THREE TO GET READY 4/17/65...Gilligan finds a magic stone that grants it's owner 3 wishes. Will this finally be the rescue the castaways have been waiting for?

FORGET ME NOT...The Professor (Russell Johnson) hypnotizes the Skipper to cure amnesia, but the skipper comes to believe they are all Japanese soldiers.

DIOGENES WONT YOU PLEASE GO HOME 5/1/65...The castaways begin writing their diaries about their adventures on the island.

PHYSICAL FATNESS 5/8/65...The Professor creates a glowing dye that might get the group rescued which means the Skipper will have to lose weight if he wants to rejoin the Navy.

IT'S MAGIC 5/15/65...A magicians crate washes ashore and the castaways decide to practice magic acts. Meanwhile a rift makes Gilligan disappear.

GOODBYE OLD PAIN 5/22/65...Harold J. Stone stars as Dubov, an artist who is also on the island. He refuses to leave since he hates people and the castaways decide to make his life miserable so he will get them rescued.

MY FAIR GILLIGAN 6/5/65...Gilligan saves the life of Mrs. Howell and Mr.Howell decides to adopt him as their son.

A NOSE BY ANY OTHER NAME 6/12/65...Gilligan gets a swollen nose from a fall and has a lot of trouble believing that it will go away soon. This was the final episode of season 1.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...

Gary Busey is 76.