Monday, June 21, 2021

TALES OF TOMORROW / "Blunder" - 1951

I have a new-found respect for these early episodes from this seminal sci-fi series, this one in particular. It stars Robert Allen and Ann Loring with nine other actors, for a total of eleven cast members for this one, wow! Charles O'Neil wrote the teleplay from a story by Philip Wylie, directed by Leonard Valenta.

In the story, a scientist is working on a new kind of nuclear reactor that he hopes will provide unlimited energy for all people in the future. Or, it could destroy the world since no one before him has ever been able to create a detonation with the element he's about to use. Scientists around the world are concerned that he has made a flaw in his calculations and they all try to contact him before he proceeds with his plan... Will he?.. Or, won't he? That is the question!!

Except for in some of the early episodes, I don't remember seeing this card for The Science-Fiction League Of America. Forry's probably in there somewhere.

It starts with this observatory lecturer talking about what the Earth would look like from Venus if it blew up in some kind of 'what if'' scenario?! Get ready for a rocky ride!

Don't make me say it!

Carl Everson, with the help from his wife Ann, is just hours away from starting up his new nuclear reactor built over a deposit of an atomic element that has never been used, but he's convinced that it will work and he'll create free energy for the world.

When a friend tries to contact him on the radio to tell him about his miscalculations brought to attention by other scientists, Carl just hangs up on him, he doesn't want to hear it! 

In fact, one scientist wrote an article about the danger and had it published in Carl's favorite journal, but Carl refuses to read the article, why should he, it will change nothing, he's going through with the plan...

When these two scientists in England read to article in the journal, they board a flight to the arctic, because they have to stop Carl from proceeding with his potential world disaster.

Even the scientist in New Jersey that wrote the article tries to get through to Carl, and of course, to no avail.

The two guys from England get to the radio operator's shack but he doesn't want to bother Carl again. But at gunpoint, one of the men forces him to try again. There's no answer so the guy on the right boards an airplane to parachute in on Carl. He must be stopped!

Back at the ranch, Carl and Ann are celebrating the event that's about to happen...

But Ann is scared to death about the fact that Carl holds the world hostage with his new energy producing device, there's a chance that a disaster like no other could happen.

From the airplane, the guy tries to get ahold of Carl, no dice, so he gets ready to parachute out of the plane over Carl's place.

The message is even being spread over the radio but Ann turns it off because she heard a sad song, there's one minute left before...

Carl pushes the switch up...

And pushes the plunger down!!..

OH... MY... EFFING... GOD!!!..

Then, all other places feel the tremble just before...

The world blows itself sky high!! It was nice knowing you..

The observatory lecturer says that this could not happen in real life, you know, the people in charge would never be so derelict in their duties! Great episode!!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

LURED - "Killer Bait" (1947)

Tonight's Saturday Night Special is a fun and very interesting film from 1947 that features Lucille Ball in a non-comedic film noir, with an all-star cast!

"Lured" was directed by Douglas (Written On The Wind) Sirk, and that in itself should be enough to make you want to see it, and I seriously doubt you will be disappointed when you do!

Lucy is an American named Sandra Carpenter who has come to London searching for a better life. She works as a hostess in a dance club full of lonely men willing to pay anything just to dance with a woman.

She doesn't really like her job, but then, who does? One of her fellow dancers has just become a victim of a weird serial killer who meets his victims through the personal columns, and then sends the police cryptic Baudelaire styled poems before each murder happens, just to mess with them!
So Sandra is enlisted as bait to try and flush out the killer. She is to be watched all the time by members of the force to guarantee her safety.

Sandra has to meet all kinds of strange men under strange circumstances in strange locations.

One of her first encounters is with a very odd old dude named Charles van Druten as played by Boris Karloff. I've seen a lot of films with Boris Karloff in them, and I'll tell you one thing........

............I think this is one of the most bizarre roles Boris has ever had!

Charles is a fashion designer, and this is an outfit from one of his finest hours!

He has a mini-theater set up in his flat with a dog and a mannequin as his audience.

Sandra decides that Charles is off his nut a little, but is not a serial killer by any means!

The mood changes quickly, and it appears that Charles night be a little more than just eccentric!
Sandra is saved by a stranger who has a big tussle with Charles who then falls down some stairs and we never see or hear from him again!

Sandra is then shuffled off into a car with another weirdo in it!

The weirdo turns out to be George Zucco as Police Officer H.R. Barrett, who was also the one who saved her from Charles. It was really refreshing to see George Zucco in the role of a quasi-comedic crossword-puzzle-junkie police officer instead of some dour and menacing villain!

After that, every one of the gentlemen that Sandra meets has the potential to be the killer, and if they are not that guy, they are usually into something equally against the law, or just losers in general.
Alan (Terror By Night) Mowbray is the creepy butler Lyle Maxwell who is up to his elbows in graft, but he's not a serial killer!

Sandra is sent a note and a ticket to a concert by an admirer called Music Lover, and in a pretty funny scene she waits for the seat next to her to fill up. When this guy sits down she slyly tries to find out if he's the guy, but it turns out he's in the wrong seat!

I should be showing you shots of some of the other great actors in this film like Charles (Around The World In 80 Days) Coburn as Inspector Harley Temple, and the star of the film, George (Village Of The Damned) Sanders as Robert Fleming, and Sir Cedric (Uncle Simon, The Forms Of Things Unknown) Hardwicke as Julian Wilde, but there's not room for everything, and I just really like this shot of Lucy and George better! It's such an odd pairing!

Joseph (Touch Of Evil) Calleia as Dr. Nicholas Moryani is an extremely likely suspect, but despite all the nefarious activities he's into, he's not a serial killer! Joseph was in two very cool gorilla movies, "The Monster And The Girl," and "The Gorilla."

It's very mysterious that Lucy was 5' 7½" but Sandra's I.D. card shows that she was only five foot six.

Sandra is just about to get married to Peter Fleming when she finds this photo of her dead friend who had been abducted in the drawer of her future husband's desk, so they finally have a suspect. Too bad he's not the serial killer either! Tanis (Spook Busters) Chandler had the role of Lucy Barnard.

In the end, the serial killer makes a move on Sandra Carpenter, but Police Officer Barrett is there too, and the case is finally solved, the murderer is revealed, and Lucille Ball gets to go on to entertain us for years in "I Love Lucy!"

Friday, June 18, 2021

BEANY AND CECIL / "There Goes A Good Squid" - 1963

Here's a little Beany and Cecil cartoon near the end of their run. In this one, DJ the Dirty Guy tries to spoil the guy's fun on their way to the Seattle World's Fair, err, I mean.. The Sea Atoll World's Square...

I was at Fort Lewis in 1968 and spent many hours in Seattle at the World's Fair, loved all the shops at the underground mall, they even had a Wild Mouse ride!

No, we're going here, to an island in the middle of the ocean.

Everything's cool, Beany plays a record on his cap and Cecil sings "Ragg Mopp" as they sail along in the Leakin' Lena.

The boys are being followed by Dishonest John in his mechanical squid, there's no way he's going to let them get away with having fun!

DJ fills Cecil full of cannon balls for an appetizer...

Then he brings out the big guns in the form of a killer submarine.

That sparks some good old American patriotism (which exists no more) and Crowy bonks himself on the noggin for the stars on the flag and signals all hands on deck!

Cecil impersonates Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt to put some fear into DJ.

And sure enough, DJ turns into a yellow chicken, a double-doobie.

Cecil flings the big squid and it knocks around like a pinball.

Cecil takes a palm tree and beats the crap out of DJ with it.

Then he grabs the squid and bangs it against the ground a number of times.

He flings it around so fast that it stretches way out...

And becomes a space needle with a restaurant on top!

Everyone wants to eat in the restaurant and the line is long.

And DJ gets to wash all the dishes! Make sure and tune in tomorrow!

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??