Friday, September 22, 2006

HALF-REMEMBERED REVIEWS...

...in which I, Greg, render opinions on things which I mostly draw a blank on.

QUARK

TV Show (Sci Fi Comedy)

Year: 1979?

Half-remembered plot points:
Richard Benjamin is the frustrated captain of a space garbage scow, who takes orders from a giant floating head with sort of a big gay moustache. I seem to remember some blond bimbo twins being involved. Then again, they’re were a lot twin blond bimbos on TV back in the day. Was Buck Henry the creator?

Review: I think I liked it, and I have a vague sense that my dad might have liked it to. Or he might have hated it. I don’t remember.


ARK II

TV Show (Crap live action kid show)

Year: 1979?

Half-remembered plot points:
Some kind of ecological disaster plunges society into a medieval existence, and superstition takes sway across the land. Some scientists have somehow remained all scientific and what not and roam the countryside in a tricked out van, educating about hygiene and the scientific method. I remember the head scientist looking a little like Harry Nilsson and that a chimp was somehow involved.

Review: I think I liked it. It sounds unbelievably stupid now, of course. But I’m pushing 40.


BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES

Film (Well, a movie anyway)

Year: ??? ’75?

Half-remembered plot points:
A bunch of bald, pale people who all look like Donald Pleasence live underground live underground and they worship an ICBM. I think the final scene is the Earth floating in space and a narrator intoning: “Earth, the green planet, is dead.” This creeped me out. Don’t recall what the Apes got up to.

Review: I think it really gave me the heebie jeebies. Although I saw it to the end, so I must have liked it somewhat. Curious enough to watch it on late night TV, if I have insomnia and nothing else is on.


HORROR EXPRESS? HORROR TRAIN? HORROR SOMETHING?

Film

Year: Your guess is as good as mine.

Half-remembered plot points:
Rasputin is a zombie with glowing red eyes aboard the Trans-Siberian express. Features Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing!

Review: Based on the fragment I remember, Rasputin clawing his way through the snow with glowing red eyes, it must have been either very creepy or really stupid. I’m guessing stupid. I also suspect it was an Italian production. It has that vibe. Points for the Lee/Cushing pairing.


BA-BA BLACKSHEEP

TV Show

Year: ’77?

Half-remembered plot points:
Robert Conrad stars as Pappy Boyington, a Navy lieutenant who leads a rag-tag Corsair fighter squadron off some godforsaken atoll during WWII. Used a lot of cool WWII stock footage shot from actual fighter cockpits. Pappy Boyington has a pet Bull terrier. Peter Frampton guess starred in an episode, sporting a historically suspect shag cut. Each show started with some scrolling type about something deep about courage or perseverance or some sort of lofty crap, while a military chorus sang “We are poor little lambs/Who have lost their way/Ba-Ba-Baaaaa.” FUCK YES!

Review:
Oh, come ON! It’s a goddamn World War II show! How could it not be good? The only way to improve on it would be to somehow get a Nazi u-boat pack over to the South Pacific.


HUNTING LODGE/ “Fire the Tribal Warning Shot” 12”

Vinyl 12” single

Year: 1986

Half-remembered plot points:
Matt Woodruff invited me over to his house and we drank his mom’s schnapps. He put this on the turntable and we listened mutely to a guy grunting “Fire the Tribal Warning Shot” over tribal drums for ten minutes. I puked.

Review: At the time I probably thought is was deep, but now I suspect puking was probably the best response.


WHAT IS THIS?/ “SQUEEZED”

5 song EP cassette

Year: 1984

Half-remembered plot point:
Was the first band of original Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Hillel Slovak. Sort of LA New Wave, sort of like that band that sang that song about being on a Mexican radio. Wall of Voodoo?

Review: I played the shit out of one song, an instrumental that sounded like a song a New Wave band would be playing in a New Wave bar on Miami Vice. I think I wouldn’t like it.


SOME SHITTY POSEUR BAND/THE BATTERIES/THE UPTONES

Live Show at The Palladium in San Francisco. Or was it The Stone?

Year: 1985

Half-remembered plot point:
An all-ages show in San Francisco. My first or second concert?

Review: The first band with the unremembered name (Secret Affair? That might have been a crappy UK Mod band actually. More about Mod bands below)featured this sort of fey James Brown looking dude and a keyboardist with a unibrow and giant bleached orange fuzzy Jean Beauvoir Mohawk. People threw beer cups at ‘em. The guy with the Mohawk had some kind of attitude problem and nudged me on the way to the bar. I slapped the back of his head.
Don’t remember any of the songs.

The Batteries featured a guy who looked like Keith from the Prodigy as lead singer, and a chubby guitarist who alternately nodded and shook his head in time to the music throughout their set. One song chorus went like this “Radio, radio/Got no soul”. Beyond that, I’m at a loss.

I remember the Uptones being great, and I picked up their EP a couple months later. They were sort of a ska-ish sort of band, with horns and pork pie hats. Now I’d probably hate them.


MODS MAYDAY (Compilation)

Vinyl LP

Year: 1986

Half-remembered plot point:
My friend John was a mod, replete with a parka, Fred Perry everything and a little blue Vespa. Why American suburbanites jumped on an archaic British youth movement is a mystery left to the ages, I’m a afraid. This LP was a loner from John.

Review: Holy shit, did this one suck. Dull music, poorly played and recorded through a burlap bag. A bunch of English people singing about having sex on Vespas, while any asshole knows that English people singing about the death of Bela Lugosi is the shit.


LIQUID SKY

Film

Year: 198?

Half-remembered plot point:
Something about Alien vampires feeding on the orgasm of Heroin addicts, or something. The lead roles, a man and woman, are both played by one person, a woman. I remember when the man uses a urinal in the film, the actress unloads the character’s junk like he’s carrying a bowling ball in his trousers. Stand out scene features a shrill woman who looks like Ricky Lee Jones reciting a poem about a beat box.

Review: Was baffled and pissed off. Probably would just be pissed off at this point. Vaguely remember being disappointed there was no nudity.


THE INFECTIOUS GROOVE/THE SUGARCUBES

Live Show, Loco Ranchero, San Luis Obispo, California

Year: 1993ish

Half-remembered plot point:
I think I had a fight with my girlfriend that night.

Review:Infectious Grooves were hideous. They are actually most of the guys from Suicidal Tendencies playing 3rd P-Funk. Abyssmal.

The Sugarcubes were amazing. Bjork was roaring like a kid in full tantrum mode, and the bassist was wearing a baseball cap that read “Stoned”. Great! I saw Einar in the mens toilet, arranging his hair with a wet comb right before. Also great.


KING KONG/GUS THE FOOTBALL MULE

Double Feature, Festival Cinemas, Walnut Creek, California

Year: 1976

Half-remembered plot points:
My first cinema experience was apparently Herbie the Love Bug, but I don’t remember it. This odd pairing is my first memory of sitting in a cinema. The King Kong was the Jessica Lange/Jeff Bridges version. I just remember Kong in the cargo hold of the ship going back to New York and feeling rather bummed for the ape. Too young to appreciate Jessica Lange’s semi-topless scene in the jungle. “Gus” was the story of an Austrian mule that is trained by his teenaged owner to kick soccer balls. Somehow the pair come to America and win the big game for some sadsack Gridiron football team.

Review: I remember the movie theater being dark and loud. King Kong was great, Gus so-so.


BIG JOHN, LITTLE JOHN

TV SHOW (Crap Live Action Kids Show)

Year: 1975?

Half-remembered plot points:
Something about a grade school teacher who finds the fountain of youth and drinks from it, but it only works half the time. Thus, Big John will morph into Little John (the child version of himself), usually at comically inopportune times. One episode involved somebody stealing cookies. The actor that played Big John was a regular on the Golden Girls years later.

Review: The theme song (“Big John! Little John! Something, something SIZE!”) was fucking genius, and I recall this being Saturday morning appointment television. I’m at a loss as to what drove my passion for such a patently retarded premise. Maybe it was because I was six.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Crackpot Press said...

The Uptones! The album was weak.. the live show was great.

Fun Fact: The Uptones continue the saga of great bands that came out of San Ramon Valley High-- like Night Ranger.

But they may have been from one of the Pleasant Hill High Schools... Like North- something. I dated a girl that went to high school with them for a summer. Should this be true... my point is moot.


She talk me how to smoke cigarettes.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Crackpot Press said...

http://www.myspace.com/uptoneska

They weren't from Berkeley... I guess Pleasant Hill or San Ramon just doesn't flow well off of the indie tongue.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Walking Spanish said...

Ark 2! I Loved that show! I just wish the future we're in now had those jetpacks - even if it was the same recycled navy footge used over and over again...

another show of note during that era was: Shazam!
A client of mine told me the story of how his mother wouldn't let him watch the show when he was young for fear of the "gay" themes subconsciously implanted in the show...-my reaction was one of amazement as he spelled this out...

A Young man "Billy" is travelling in a Winnebago accross the country with an older gentleman (mentor) (seemingly innocent at this point), but every time some trouble would arise, mentor would beckon to billy... "Come Billy, come inside the van..." and in he would go - then - SHA-ZAMMM!!! The real payoff was how after they solved whatever crime was happening, as soon as the police got involved, Billy & Mentor would drive off in the Winnebago accross state lines for their next "adventure"

a stretch? or not?

2:08 PM  
Blogger Greg Mills said...

My friend is writing a book blowing the lid off the whole jet-pack thing. Seriously.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Walking Spanish said...

jet pack thing lid?
i always thought it was a fuel/bodymass ratio issue.
but do elaborate...

5:03 PM  
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5:54 PM  
Blogger G. said...

Liquid Sky sounds suspiciously similar to Dolph Lundgren's movie "I Come In Peace," where space aliens inject earthlings with heroine and remove their...I don't know what they remove, but it's some drug in the brain. Hilarity ensues.

Best line of the fil:

Bad Alien (played by German action hero-wanna-be Matthius Hues): I come in peace...
Dolph Lundgren: But you go in pieces, asshole.

I think he blows him up the bad alien with a grenade or something but the double entendre of "peace" and "pieces" is pricesless.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Greg Mills said...

"i always thought it was a fuel/bodymass ratio issue." Well, it is. What the book is about is Mac's personal quest to acquire a jet pack. He also gets into the history of jet packs. Should be a good read. Mac is very funny.

His Dad is this guy.

And G. -- Were you drunk when you wrote that? Just curious.

11:33 AM  
Blogger Walking Spanish said...

very interesting interview with mac's dad - btw, did you ever get the free playboy/penthouse stuff from the comments guy?

12:42 PM  
Blogger Greg Mills said...

All porn is free in this New Century, thank god. It'll soften our descent as a nation.

12:55 PM  
Blogger G. said...

Not drunk, it was pre-coffee. Friends don't let friends "comment" before 16 ounces of light roast.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All 15 episode of ARK II are to be released in a four dvd set on November 7th for $29.98.

http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/newsitem.cfm?NewsID=6480

2:37 PM  

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