Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kindertrauma Funhouse... Made for TV Mayhem Style!

Oh, am I ever excited! The wonderful folks at Kindertrauma have honored me with the joy of hosting their awesome weekly Funhouse series. Please check out this week's topic, Traumatic TV Movies! How many can you name?

And thanks to Unk Lancifer and Aunt John for always being so supportive with my unhealthy, obsessive love of small screen terror!

Tom Selleck turns 65!

As far as I’m concerned, there never has been and there never will be a show as wonderful as Magnum P.I. It actually gets better as time goes on. So does Tom, who has proved he’s more than just machismo on a stick (but I’m not complaining about that!). His likable persona and extraordinary talent have kept him going strong on the big and small screen for three decades! There’s something so guy-next-door about him and I think he deserves every bit of success he’s ever had.

Don't worry Tom. You still look great!

Currently Hulu is hosting the pilot and various episodes from the first season of Magnum. Watch and learn.

And don’t forget you can rent/stream all eight seasons of Magnum on Netflix! YAY!

Also, please check out Magnum Mania, which is an incredible Magnum fansite!

One of Tom's first appearances was in the 1970 TV movie The Movie Murderer, and he got a nifty "Introducing" credit. Greatness was waiting just around the corner! Strangely enough, this thriller also featured Elisha Cook, whom Magnum fans will instantly recognize as Icepick! Co-inky-dink or kismet?

I hope that Tom has a wonderful birthday with his family and friends. The fans are celebrating right along with you, Mr. Selleck! And here’s to 65 more!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Pernell Tribute

This is a great Adam Cartwright tribute. Enjoy!

Pernell Roberts 1928 - 2010

I just hate making these kinds of posts. I was so saddened last night when I read that Pernell Roberts, who I just adored on Trapper John M.D., has passed away at the age of 81.

Fans will remember him best as Adam Cartwright, the oldest (and hottest) brother on Bonanza, but to me he will always be good ol’ Trap. I just recently reacquainted myself with Trapper John on the American Life Network. One of my favorite bits was how Trap and Gonzo would get each other to do what they wanted by using copious amounts of reverse psychology. It was a fun ongoing writers’ quirk and it made the show that much more entertaining.

Trapper John M.D. was an interesting spin-off from MASH, featuring Trap as the chief of surgery at a large San Francisco hospital approximately 30 years after the Korean War! It was a fairly lighthearted show, much like its predecessor except it was done in the hour long format, sans laugh track. Still, there were plenty of poignant moments nestled amongst the silly ones.

Pernell retired from the small screen in 1997 after appearing in an episode of Diagnosis: Murder. I had wondered off and on over the years what he had been up to and I truly hope he enjoyed his retirement. Pernell had a wonderful career, having conquered not only the small screen but also the New York stage. He acted in several plays and in 1956 he even won the Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Macbeth! Here’s a nice look back at Pernell’s career courtesy of Playbill. And check out these articles on Pernell from an awesome blog called Better Living Through Television (which goes without saying!).

My heart goes out to Pernell's family and friends. I read a comment from a fan online that said they hoped Pernell had joined his Cartwright clan somewhere in the beyond and that they were all riding horseback together. I just love the idea of that.

Watch The Hitchhiker: Made for Each Other... Online!

The Hitchhiker is one of the incredible shows that you know you watched, but now hardly ever hear about. I have great memories of this wickedly dark series, even though I didn't have HBO back in the day. I was pretty much forced to rely on the kindness of my more sophisticated friends (i.e. rich). The Hitchiker ran for 8 solid seasons (1983 - 1991) and starred the babe-a-rific Page Fletcher as this guy who basically, uh, hitchhiked. He would guide the audience in the most ambiguous ways and was the barest of plot devices, but me likey!

He hitchhikes and reminds me of Rutger Hauer! **sigh**

There are two episodes I remember distinctly. One is O.D. Feelin' featuring a bag of coke making the rounds in a post apocalyptic (i.e. late 80s) world. My favorite line was, "I guess the rat just ain't selling tonight." I also remember an episode titled Made for Each Other, which features Bill Paxton and Bud Cort as two serial killers who cross paths and cross each other! This episode left me in awe with the wonderful acting and its nice, tidy ending. Give it a go, the whole episode is below:

And check out this awesome Hitchhiker Website

Monday, January 25, 2010

Linkage for U!

I turned some of my love for television movies over to Pretty Scary with a review of the ultra-rare horror flick The Last Bride of Salem. It's an oldie but a goodie!

In other creepy news, you can also stop by Retro Slashers and read my review of Happy Hell Night, one of my favorite late entry slashers.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Return of the Rebels (1981)

Network: CBS
Original Air Date: October 17th, 1981

Barbara Eden + Patrick Swayze = Television Gold.

I loved this movie and I won’t make any bones about it. It’s simply lighthearted, entertaining fare that was created solely to allow the viewer to shut their brain off and enjoy the ride.

Barbara plays Mary Beth, a beautiful widow who is desperate to keep her campground business afloat after her husband’s passing. She’s doing a fairly good job except this gang of obnoxious hoodlums, headed by this hot guy called K.C. Barnes (Patrick Swayze), keep running off her customers. The depression of her situation makes her nostalgic for the good old days and she looks up some of her old friends from her motorcycle gang! When she reunites with Sonny (Don Murray), an old flame is reignited and to prove his undying love for her, he pledges to get rid of K.C. and his merry band of troublemakers. Sonny calls upon the rest of the Rebels, and after a fun get-back-in-shape montage, they head off to the campgrounds to put a little foot to ass. Too bad they aren’t that good at it!

The leer...

Return of the Rebels is chock full of great faces. Besides Swayze, Eden and Murray, you see a hilarious Jamie Farr, Robert Mandan and Chris Connelly donning leather and looking pretty good as the aging biker gang. It’s hard to say much more about this movie because essentially it’s a dip into the pool of nothingness. And I mean that as a good thing. A very good thing. You know how some films aren’t great works of art but manage to lift your spirits no matter what? Well, Rebels is one of those films. There’s no real message here, just goofy giggles and a chance to watch some of the greatest faces of the small screen band together against future film star Patrick Swayze.

Let the good times roll!

A few words about Swayze’s character: He’s interesting as K.C. because even though I know Swayze has taken on some darker roles, he really had such a likable persona that in Rebels he comes across as not-that-bad (not to mention, he pays Mary Beth good money to crash out at her grounds every week!). He doesn’t really steal or anything, he just runs around and leers a bit. It’s a great precursor to what Johnny Castle was probably like before Dirty Dancing. I watched this movie just a few weeks before Swayze’s untimely passing and I think this is a great little unknown part that more of his fans should seek out. He’s a lot of fun to watch.

Jamie Farr burns rubber! Kinda...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dallas Pop Art!

Look at all of Nightwing's fabulous Dallas Art Here!

Also check out the following sites:

This is a great Dalls fansite called Dallas Fanzine

Check out Larry Hagman's Official Site!

And of course, you must visit the Official Dallas Website. It's the most ut!

Sue Ellen Breaks Up with Dusty! One of My Favorite Moments

It was so Endless Love but not creepy! It's by far the most moving scene in all of Dallas. Sue Ellen finally finds happiness and gives it up so Dusty can find his. **sniff sniff**

Dallas Episode #1: Digger’s Daughter

Network: CBS
Original Air Date: April 2nd, 1978

The stage has been set and the players are already in place.

Dallas arrived in the 70s, owned the early 80s, remained awesome throughout the decade and faded gracefully into the sunset in the 90s. In a world where new shows are lucky to get more than few episodes on air and popular shows are fortunate to go more than few seasons (and I’m not counting the shortened run cable shows), Dallas was a grand mainstay and featured actors of all ages making deals, making love and making good television. Those were the days indeed.

Digger is none too pleased with the nuptial news!

The first episode of Dallas was a multifaceted yet straightforward introduction to the Ewings and the Barnes, two feuding families who mix in oil, sex and deception. It introduces Pamela Barnes and Bobby Ewing as a newly married couple. No one in either clan cares to see the two together and J.R. (under Jock’s stern advisement) sees fit to do something about it. Although Pam is painted here in a basically dimwitted light (something the writers dropped almost instantly), she also has a few cards up her sleeve and proves to be a formidable foe for J.R.

So Ginger became Julie and then got a job with J.R.? Geez...

Digger’s Daughter is grandly lush, yet simple and understated, and the characters presented here in the very first episode will remain extraordinarily consistent. Sure Ray finds himself in cahoots with J.R. in the beginning (and Lucy’s sexy suitor!), but his road to going from bad guy to decent cowboy starts here. My only real complaint is that Sue Ellen has so little screen time. Based on a re-watch of Digger’s Daughter, I believe that Dallas was originally meant to be viewed through Pam’s eyes. It was a good fish-out-of-water premise, but as time has told, the evils of J.R. and his complex relationship with Sue Ellen became the real stars of the series.

So grab yourself a bourbon, put on that ten gallon hat and get to watchin’, ya hear?

The Most Dysfunctional Group in Dallas:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ewing Oil: A Character All Its Own

Dallas entertained several incredible locations. The show was mostly shot in Los Angeles, but the makers of the greatest night time soap caught the awesome aura of the Ewing clan with breathtaking exteriors shots all around Texas. Although I loved Southfork, I think the building that really captured the personality of the show best was Ewing Oil. It’s menacing presence became an extension of J.R.’s cool and intimidating power. He was one of our favorite love-to-hate-villains and the steel exterior of the Renaissance Tower (located at 1201 Elm Street) was J.R. through and through.

The Renaissance Tower, located in the heart of downtown Dallas, was the tallest building when it was constructed in 1974 and now stands as the fifth tallest building in Texas and one of the largest structures in the United States. Although you saw little of the interiors aside from J.R. and Bobby’s offices and the reception area, the Tower came to represent the mega-empire that was Ewing Oil. It seemed that the company took up all 56 floors and that J.R. had a bug in every phone! That guy was on it!

Dallas re-used a lot of the exterior shots of the building, and here’s a look at some of my favorites:

Sue Ellen is Arrested! One of My Favorite Moments...

But she didn't do it... Do you remember who did?