Saturday, August 18, 2018

THE BAMBOO SAUCER - "To Control Its Power Is To Rule The World" (1968)

 There's a hidden flying saucer inside a Catholic church in a remote part of China. The Americans want it, and the Russians want it, and supposedly the Chinese don't even know it's there!
Welcome to a Saturday Night Special in The Dungeon! The star, Dan Duryea was in the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "Mr. Denton On Doomsday!" Dan passed away a couple of months before the movie was released! Lois Nettleton was also in a "Twilight Zone" called "The Midnight Sun!" Lois died in 2008. John (Out There) Ericson stopped acting about 10 years ago, but is still around! The names on this DVD box don't even match the pictures except for Lois, and the action is slightly exaggerated!

 How could there possibly be a 60's Sci-Fi movie I'm not at least vaguely familiar with? Well it's easy, and I'll tell you the reason why............

 "The Bamboo Saucer" is more fact than it is fiction, and it doesn't have one of three essential elements a 60's Sci-Fi movie needs to have to make it interesting! There are no Alien Space Men, no Monsters, and no Robots! WTF!? So what you're left with is a cold war adventure film about the tensions between Russia, China, and the U.S.A.

 Pretty swanky pad!!

 Hot and Cold! It works every time!

 Whoa is right! What you have here might be one of the best reversals of modern times! In a world where half the junk we have is made in China, here's a movie that's supposed to be in China, but is shot in Lone Pine, California instead! Pretty tricky, not made in China!

 If you look close enough, you'll see there's a blonde with her naked back to you in the distance! She's a Russian who is on the same search as the American team!

 First there's a standoff, then there's a truce, then there's betrayal, and the landscape is beautiful! If they had just had a monster, "The Bamboo Saucer" would have cult status today instead of being largely forgotten!

 The flying saucer is pretty cool about half the time like here!

 There's no way in until one of the guy's electric shaver accidentally sends out the correct signal!

 Although appearing solid from the outside, you can see out from the inside like a two-way mirror!!

  I like this shot a lot!

 Here's the closest thing to a hidden horror, or actually a horror of any kind! One of the Russian guys gets fried by the saucer!

The saucer is powered by magnetism, so when it fires up, all the loose tools with iron on them stick to the saucer! It's also quite painful for the Russian guy with steel fillings in his teeth! Here's another missed opportunity! Why just have him hold his mouth and cry out in pain? He should have flown face first into the saucer! SPLAT! Now that would have been some more exciting film making!

 Finally, the American hot shot, and the Russian woman scientist figure out how to get the ship off the ground!

 So they got away with a lot of bullshit before being detected by the Chinese Red Army! Now what? The movie has turned into "The Magnificent Seven" and The Red Army are the Mexican banditos!?

 Now this is an awesome whack job of a shot! They fly the saucer up through the thatched roof of the church! That couple of seconds is almost worth the price of admission!

The flying saucer doesn't usually look quite this cartoonish most of the time, but that cloud looking like it's pooting out of the saucer's exhaust pipe is pretty darn funny! Toot! Toot! "I think I can, I think I can!"

 FINALLY! Some real action for about two minutes!

Yes! Right there! Got it? Look there's almost more writing on this poster than everything I just wrote! I did tell you there were no space men or monsters, right? Why would somebody even try that? It's just not logical! One of the taglines reads "Please...See it from the "Edge of the Seat" beginning to the "Seat Gripping" ending." That's really a lot of ass-clinching thrills! Too bad they don't deliver! I've had spicy Chinese food that was more exciting!

Friday, August 17, 2018

LIGHTS OUT: The Last Will Of Dr. Rant / Season 3 Episode 37 - 1951

In this TV episode from 1951, a beloved older woman is supposed to inherit the fortune of her uncle, Dr. John Rant, as soon as she can find his will. He only tells her that it's in a book and that she probably won't recognize when she sees it! But, the cryptic clue could result in the inheritance going to another relative, and, the late Dr. Rant is not happy about this!

This one stars Leslie (FORBIDDEN PLANET) Nielsen, Russell (FAIL-SAFE) Collins, Pat (THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN) Englund (she died January 6, 2018, at age 92), Eva (KISS OF DEATH) Condon and John (THE SWIMMER) Gerstad.

Our host Frank Gallop clues us in on the story before he blows the candle out...

The story starts with an older gentleman who comes to a library looking for a rare book. Bill, the librarian, then goes to the book aisle to look for it.

Bill notices someone looking through the books. When Bill asks if he can help, the man turns around, Bill screams in horror, then, faints...

Bill lays on the floor as his fellow workers come to his aid. After Bill returns to the land of the living, he says that there was a man dressed in black that had the face of a monster, there were even spider webs on him!! Alas, no one else even saw the man there.

Look at the awkward position Bill's in for the shot, that's live TV in the early fifties for you!

Anyway, Bill needs a rest so takes a train to his destination for a small vacation.

But, in the hallway shadows at the train station, a strange man is watching over Bill.

Wow, Bill meets up with Mary Simpson and her mother on the train. He's invited to stay with them and the topic of a will comes up. Of all things, mom is supposed to find the will in an obscure book. Bill puts two and two together and it dawns on him that the book he was looking for at the library was the book with the will in it.

So, he heads back to the library to pick up the book. Unfortunately, the book has been mailed out to the man who had originally asked for it. Bill gets the address and heads out.

So, the man is picking up the book at his hotel, then, turns to see the mysterious man in black, who is actually his relative, the dead Dr. Rant!!

The man dies, Bill grabs the book and goes back to Mary and her mom's place...

They find the will and mom inherits the fortune! Then, Bill asks Mary to marry him, bringing our tale to a happy ending!.

Here's the book that caused all the trouble!

And, good old Frank closes the curtain after blowing out the candle. So, tune in tomorrow when Eegah!! is in the batting cage, with more cool junk just for you!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

WATTSTAX - "A Soulful Expression Of The Living Word" (1973)

It's pure and simple! I love good music, and tonight's Wednesday Concert is a film from 1973 about a 1972 concert in Watts, California to commemorate the 7 year anniversary of "The Watts Riots." The movie is called "Wattstax" and gives the viewer some rare historical insight into how the black community was feeling in 1972, good and bad.

So where was black music in the United States in 1972? "Wattstax" features only artists from the Memphis based Stax Label and it's affiliates, but there were also regional scenes happening all over the country!

 The "Wattstax" concert was held at The Coliseum in Los Angeles on a Sunday, August 20, 1972!
There was a bit of a problem, because there was an NFL football game the Saturday night before between Los Angeles and Oakland!

 So they couldn't get in to build the stage until after the game was over. They also only had a few hours to get the stadium all cleaned up after the football game. This was a concert that was going to happen come Hell or high water, and somehow they magically got it all done!

 Kim Weston sang "The Star Spangled Banner," and she was followed by the Reverend Jesse Jackson who gave an introduction and a speech! Now it was time to get it really going with The Staples Singers! Stax's The Staple Singers had a huge hit in 1972 with "I'll Take You There," and that was the last of the five songs they performed!

 Up next was the lesser known Jimmy Jones doing "Somebody Bigger than You and I."

 One of my all-time favorite singers is Rance Allen. I Think I still have three of his records. He's a big guy with a high voice that's powered by The Lord. Rance is just the best, and the song they chose for the film was called "Lying on the Truth," and it rocks!

 The shots of the 1972 crowd are always interesting!

 This show only ran from 2:38 in the afternoon until about 7:30 at night, but man, did they pack in a massive amount of entertainment in that small amount of time! Here, The Golden Thirteen perform "Old Time Religion." There is so much going on that when I first watched this movie, I thought this festival must have run for at least two days, not only five hours!

In between the musical segments, the makers of "Wattstax" decided to fill up the time with a bunch of interviews and commentary of mostly angry black men, and it's also injected with footage of a 32 year old Richard Pryor telling it like it is. He really was crazy, crazy like a fox! If you can't stand listening to people using the 'N' word, then you probably won't make it through this movie. It's kind of funny, the music is very spiritual, but the language would never be tolerated in church I'm sure! Kind of a strange juxtaposition! Just like the Film about the Monterey Pop Festival, I would have rather seen more music, maybe some of show that included Eddie Floyd or Little Sonny.

 The original Bar-Kays were also the backing band for Otis Redding, and four members also perished in the same plane crash that Otis died in.

 The trumpet player Ben Cauley was the only one to survive the crash, and the bassist James Alexander was on another plane. Together they reformed the band! The sax player with the white Afro is Harvey Henderson!

 The Bar-Kays had the great instrumental "Soul Finger," and here they perform "Son of Shaft" which is fitting since Issac Hayes is the headliner of the show! In 1978, The Bar-Kays released the classic "Shut The Funk Up!" Yeah!

The truly amazing Carla Thomas performs "Pick Up the Pieces!" 

 Stax Records were still firmly rooted in the blues, and the great Albert King performs "I'll Play The Blues For You!"

 Mr. "Walkin' The Dog" himself, Rufus Thomas puts on a fiery performance!!

 I could never do it, but Rufus can dress like this and still look cool, when I'd look like a fool! The very funky song he's performing is called "Breakdown!"

 I'm not sure what Rufus was thinking but during his performance of "Do The Funky Chicken" he tells everybody to come down on the field, something the promoters were trying to avoid, because they didn't want to do any damage to the grass on the field! So, Rufus calls everybody down, and when the song is over, he tells them to go back to their seats, which everybody isn't so agreeable to! Weird situation!

 Luther Ingram's big hit "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right" was on Koko Records, which was a Stax sub-label. They must have been on a very tight schedule, because I swear Luther is looking at this watch while he's singing!

 The show closes with a performance by the man known as Black Moses or Issac Hayes!

Issac does an incredible performance of "The Theme From Shaft" and "Soulsville!"

Thanx to Robert M. Lindsey for correcting me on my bonehead Aretha label error, and in the meantime I was able to locate my cassette tape of the soundtrack for "Wattstax" because I wanted you to see the Richard Pryor Warning sticker, and that they misspelled Jesse Jackson's name!
The list of Rhythm and Blues #1 hits from 1972 starts with Al Green, whose home base was also Memphis, but on a completely different label called "Hi Records."
The Dramatics were from Detroit but recorded for the "Volt Label," a subsidiary of "Stax Records!"
"King Records" was based in Cincinnati and had The Godfather of Soul on their label, James Brown whose hit that year was "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing (Pt. 1)."
Joe Tex had a big hit called "I Gotcha" on "Dial Records" out of Nashville! 
Our hearts go out to "The Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin who is very sick, and might not be with us much longer! Aretha had her hit "Day Dreaming" on "Atlantic Records" also in 1972!
The Chi-Lites from Chicago had a hit "Oh Girl" that was on the old school Brunswick Label.
And there were a bunch of Philadelphia artists that had hits in 1972, like The O'Jays with "Back Stabbers," Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes doing "If You Don't Know Me By Now, and Billy Paul and his huge hit "Me and Mrs. Jones!"
Detroit City's "Motown Label" only had a #1 hit by The Spinners in 1972, "I'll Be Around."
The list is rounded out by Bobby Womack (United Artists), Joe Simon (Spring), Bill Withers (Sussex), Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway (Atlantic,) and Billy Preston (A&M)
Sly and the Family Stone's hit "Family Affair" was on the "Epic" label, and they were from San Francisco! The whole Stax catalogue ended up being bought up by "Fantasy Records" from San Francisco, then sold to "Concord" and some albums have been licensed and are available today from "Rhino Records" in Los Angeles where "Wattstax" was recorded, so we've come full circle!
And remember, no matter who you are, "You are somebody!"

Monster Music

Monster Music
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