Wednesday, February 2, 2011

THE MONITORS - Fred Kaz - "Peace Brings Happiness" (1969)

Tonight's special feature is a freaky deaky affair from the year 1969 entitled "THE MONITORS!" I've been looking forward to seeing "The Monitors" for quite some time now, and I must say, I was not disappointed, and I've got one word for you, Weirdsville!!

"The Monitors" IS a comedy, I'm pretty sure, but sometimes you just can't tell, because it also has some seriously dark moments and some biting social commentary!

"The Monitors" themselves are these derby and trench coat kinda guys from another planet, and are only here to keep the human race from doing any harm to itself, and it's all fine and well as long as The Earthlings don't get in the way or out of line!

Even the Honourable Senator Everett Dirkson who was still in office when this film was made, and died before it was released, chimes in with his approval of what a great job "The Monitors" are doing!! Everett was quite an interesting guy for being a Senator, and he recorded 4 patriotic albums, including one called "Gallant Men," that won a Grammy!

This is Guy Stockwell as Harry, the Hero of the film! Guy was the older brother of actor Dean Stockwell, and had quite an amazing career that included lots of TV, like a 26 episode run as Chris in the early 60's "Adventure In Paradise," or the fact that he was in 14 episodes of the dramatic "Richard Boone Show," and he played a different character in each show!

If for nothing else, Larry Storch will always be remembered for his role in 65 episodes of "F-Troop" as Corporal Agarn, but his role in "The Monitors" as Colonel Stutz, the leader of the resistance movement is just a little bit too far over the top, almost to the point of annoying! I'm sure as a teenager, I would have found him hilarious!

Susan Oliver is the blonde two-timing agent Barbara. Susan will always be remembered as Vina from "Star Trek," but she was so much more than that, spending a great deal of her time as a pilot of some renown!

I'm upside down over the beautiful Sherry Jackson as Mona!! Sherry was the daughter Terry on 132 episodes of "The Danny Thomas Show," and has her 69th birthday coming up on the 15th of this month!

Even the fantastic bandleader Xavier Cugat shows up to make a joke about himself!!

One of those kind of guys with a face you always remember, but you can't remember his name, Shepperd Strudwick had the role of the almighty leader of "The Monitors," Tersh Jeterax!

"The Monitors" is a like a dictionary of 60's Pop Culture! The very cool music was composed by a fine gentleman named Fred Kaz! Fred is an exemplary musician, who prefers to play jazz piano, but was also the musical director for "Second City" for right about 30 years! Fred didn't do a lot of acting, but he did have a role in the 1993 movie "...And God Spoke," as Noah. That very same film had our "Offbeat" Girl Christy Taylor in it too, in the role of Eve!! For some odd reason, our public access TV show, "Offbeat" is not listed in Christy's acting credits on IMDB! She was a good sport, and never missed a show, but when she got an agent, he told her to get as far away from us as possible, which was probably good advice!!!

The other main character back there with the moustache is the face of Doritos, Avery Schreiber as Max. A very funny comedian by trade, his role here is just as irritating as Larry Storch's! This movie would have been a Helluva lot funnier if it wasn't a comedy!

The gang is on the run which leads to no good, that's for sure!!

Guy Stockwell's character gets detained for a while until "The Monitors" can decide what to do with him!

Mona kinda falls for Harry, and in turn, helps him escape!!

Now get this, when she was a little girl, Sherry Jackson had the role of Susie Kettle in 4 Ma and Pa Kettle movies! Sherry Jackson was Mignonne McCurdy on "The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis," and has also been on all these now cult TV shows, "Twilight Zone," "Lost In Space," "Batman," and "Star Trek!" Sherry was also supposedly in a 1972 flick with Adam West that nobody can seem to produce a copy of, called "Curse Of The Moon Child!"

The brilliant cinematography throughout is by Wünderkind Vilmos Zsigmond, who has worked with everybody from Al Adamson to Steven Spielberg!!

Being chased by "The Monitors," Harry and Mona find the perfect place to hide, in a fountain!!

Harry is lucky enough to get tangled up with both Barbara, and Mona!!

How's this for scathing commentary? The President of the United States of America is so useless and unnecessary that his desk has been taken over by spiders, and he spends all his time doing what's really important, crossword puzzles!!!

There's yet one more blonde in Harry's mixed up life, it's Larry Stortch again, with his best friend, a bomb!

Maybe we do need the help of "The Monitors!"

10 comments:

prof. grewbeard said...

i-never-heard-of-this-movie-(stunned)...

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

"The Monitors" was on our list of almost impossible to find flicks for the last 3 years, then a couple of weeks ago, I found it streaming on Netflix!

Anonymous said...

>>>I found it streaming on Netflix!

Goods deal and great coverage. I remember this film THE MONITORS was broadcast in the 1970s in a
local stations Saturday night horror flick slot. Hasn't been seen since!

So i guess this is not (yet) on a readily available, commercial DVD?

Whenever you can, PLEASE let us know exactly where you got your copy of the RARE films your cover. (Therefore where we viewers can also find them!)

Questions?/Comments? * This Has Been e-mail From:
"Dr. Mark" Hill * The Doctor Of Pop Culture /*/ drmark7@juno.com
MY WEBPAGE: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/popmusicpopculture

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Greg Goodsell said...

Gotta love those vocoders! In all honesty, THE MONITORS is a comedic take on the “Utopia at the price of freedom” theme which is highly more effective than the deadly serious approaches found in other sci-fi films.

Exeter said...

WoW!
Now I just gotta find that VHS copy I made off the TV many years ago!
Thanks!

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Who'd a thunk the lowly VCR would up being the hero of an era?

Chris said...

Fred Kaz wrote a great score for this film, which has to be heard! ("We are here to serve humanity..."). You didn't mention that the film also includes a pretty song performed by Odetta called "Voice of the Flower", which I don't think was ever released.

Beautiful screen shots! I've only ever seen faded, splicy, scratchy 16mm prints of this film - I'll definitely have to check it out on Netflix!

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Dr Charles Forbin said...

I have a copy I bought from a commercial video company years ago, but the captures are vastly superior to the VHS copy I have.

I did discover through a friend that Ed Begley Jr had never seen the film, so I made him a copy.

I showed The Monitors to a friend and she waited through the whole movie for them to turn into monsters..but the punch line of the film is that we are the monsters.

"We will not kill in the name of good ..." - Tersh Jeterax

I would love a remastered DVD copy and it would be great if Fred Katz could have somebody like LaLa Land Records put out the musical score.


Monster Music

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