Doing this a day early, since Thursday is my birthday. Feel free to send presents, but I'll be more than happy to accept cash.
Okay, here we go again. Barring any last minute changes, here's what's coming up this weekend on HCC.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2008
10:00 ALICE IN WONDERLAND (1951)
The Directors Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
The Plot In the hands of Disney's extraordinary animators, Lewis Carroll's immortal literary classic comes to life like never before! The surprises begin when a daydreaming Alice encounters a White Rabbit who is frantically running late. She chases him and falls into the magical, madcap world of Wonderland with its kaleidoscope of off-the-wall characters -- including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Cheshire Cat, and the manic Mad Hatter, who invites her to a memorable tea party! The crowning confrontation begins when Alice meets the notorious Queen of Hearts and her enchanted deck of playing cards. Tricked into a curious game of croquet, Alice, and her patience, end up on trial. Is there no escape from this whimsical escapade?
Fun Fact 1: Walt Disney had considered doing a feature film of this story for years. During the very early part of his career, throughout the 1920s, Walt Disney created a number of shorts with a live action Alice placed in an animated world. Walt Disney continued to make this series, generally referred to as "The Alice Comedies", which were all silent, right up to time he made Steamboat Willie.
Fun Fact 2: This was the first feature film for which Walt Disney was able to use television for cross-promotion. Walt Disney's very first television program, One Hour In Wonderland, which was broadcast on Christmas evening of 1950, was devoted to the production of this film. Naturally, the entire program, including the clips from the movie, were in black and white.
Fun Fact 3: Though the film was a box-office flop when first released, several years later it became the Disney studio's most requested 16mm film rental title for colleges and private individuals. In 1974, the studio took note of this fact, withdrew the rental prints, and reissued the film nationally themselves.
Fun Fact 4: Early drafts of the script had Alice encounter the Jabberwock (to have been voiced by Stan Freberg), from Lewis Carroll's poem "Jabberwocky". The sequence was rejected, either because it slowed the story down, or because of concerns that it would be too frightening. Elements of "Jabberwocky" remain in the film, however: the Cheshire Cat's song "Twas Brillig", consisting of the opening stanza; and the Tulgey Wood sequence, which includes at least one of the creatures mentioned in the poem, the Mome Raths.
Fun Fact 5: This was the first Disney theatrical film to be shown on television, in 1954. It was shown as the second installment of the Disneyland TV show, edited to fit into a one hour time slot.
Fun Fact 6: The movie took five years to complete, but was in development for over ten years before it entered active production.
Fun Fact 7: This movie is actually a combination of Lewis Carroll's "Alice" books, "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass".
11:00 THE TWILIGHT ZONE
#305 "A Game of Pool" - Original Airdate -- 10/13/1961
The Director Buzz Kulik (Villa Rides!, Shamus)
The Stars Jack Klugman, Jonathan Winters
The Plot A frustrated pool champ has beaten everyone. Everyone except one man; the legend, Fat's Brown. Brown is dead, and the champ can only curse his name. But guess who just walked in
12:00 COPS (2007)
The Plot Cops was among the earliest reality-based law enforcement shows, and remains one of the most popular of the genre. Each week, a camera crew followed the activities and daily beats of the officers of a different city's police department. Incidents ranged from routine traffic stops that evolve into charging the subjects with drug-related offenses; domestic violence; high-speed chases; and stakeouts and raids. The success of "Cops" led to other similar programs, with varying degrees of success.
Fun Fact 1: Was bought during the 1988 writers strike when Fox was starting to run low on new content.
Fun Fact 2: The camera operator is armed with nothing more than a bulletproof vest. One cameraman was shot one too many times and now eats all his meals through a straw. He hates this show.
12:30 THAT '70S SHOW
#422 "Eric's Corvette Caper" - Original Airdate -- 4/9/2002
The Director David Trianer
The Stars Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Wilmer Valderama, Mila Kunis, Kurtwood Smith, Don Stark, Deba Jo Rupp
The Plot When Red and Kitty go out of town, Eric takes the Corvette out and lets his date drive. She manages to get it all dirty and Eric scrambles to get it clean in time because his parents are coming home early. Jackie and Donna snoop around in Casey Kelso's room while he's away, and discover that Michael likes to hang out there.
1:00 JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER (1966)
The Director William Beaudline (Mom and Dad, Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, Billy the Kid versus Dracula)
The Stars John Upton (Battle Cry), Narda Onyx, Estella Rodriguez (Rio Bravo), Cal Bolder, Jim Davis (The Parallax View, Comes a Horseman, The Day Time Ended, Dallas), Steven Geray, Rayford Barnes, William Fawcett
The Plot Residing in an eerie hilltop mansion are Dr. Maria Frankenstein and her brother Rudolph, conducting the same bizarre and deadly artificial brain transplant experiments that forced them to flee their European homeland. In a nearby town, the legendary Jesse James and his companion, Hank Tracy, are caught in a gunfight that leaves Hank seriously wounded. Jesse brings back the only nearby doctor...the sinister Maria Frankenstein. Hank will be the perfect subject for her next experiment and Jesse the perfect target of her romantic desires. She successfully transplants an artificial brain into the skull of Hank, transforming him into a monstrous creature named Igor.
Fun Fact 1: William Beaudline was an amazingly prolific director with a career spanning from the silent era all the way to the 1970s. An estimate of his filmography comes up with numbers between 350 and 500 film projects, plus hundreds of television episodes. He was nicknamed William "One-Shot" Beaudline for his no nonsense, workmanlike ethic.
Fun Fact 2: Produced as part of a double feature with Billy the Kid versus Dracula which was also directed by William Beaudine.
Fun Fact 3: Shot in eight days.
Fun Fact 4: The lab equipment was provided by Ken Strickfaden who used the same gadgets in the Frankenstein films made by Universal, as well as Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. This is one of the few times the equipment was filmed in color.
Fun Fact 5: Frankenstein's Great Granddaughter has proposed Jesse James might have done better against the Monster, if its neck bolts hadn't slowed its reaction time.
#102 "The Unholy Alliance" - Original Airdate -- 1/23/1985
The Plot The mutants also manage to land on earth, and they encounter an old pyramid. It turned out to be the home of Mumm-Ra, the ever-living, and they join forces with each other to possess the Sword of Omens. (Mumm-Ra sinks their space ship, and the mutants really have no choice but to join with Mumm-Ra). Both the mutants and Mumm-Ra attempt to attack Lion-O to possess the Sword, but miserably fail.
Fun Fact: Mumm-Ra transforms for the first time in this episode.
3:00 FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN (2007)
The Plot FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman is a children's television series on PBS during the PBS Kids GO! block of educational programming. It is a game show/reality show parody that is hosted by an animated anthropomorphic dog who dispenses challenges to the show's real-life contestants.
#106 "Better Halves" - Original Airdate -- 10/30/2006
The Director Greg Beeman (License to Drive, Mom and Dad Save the World, Bushwhacked)
The Stars Sendhil Ramamurthy, Masi Oka, Hayden Panettiere, Ali Larter, Santiago Cabrera, Milo Ventimiglia, James Kyson Lee, Jack Coleman
The Plot Hiro and Ando plan to continue on their journey to New York, but they are given a tempting offer by a high-roller while still in Las Vegas. Mr. Bennet, the man in the horn-rimmed glasses, arranges a meeting for his daughter, Claire, with her biological parents. Claire hopes that this meeting can shed some light on her abilities. Hiro calls Isaac's again, but Peter answers and is able to relay the message from the future. Mohinder returns to India to bury his father, saying goodbye to Eden. Niki receives a surprise visitor at her home.
Fun Fact 1: When we first see Niki and Micah in this episode, the table by their bed has the "smooshed face" wax lion from the show Wonderfalls sitting on it.
Fun Fact 2: When Niki Sanders goes into the roof cavity to find the briefcase full of money, the banknotes clearly state "FOR MOTION PICTURE USE ONLY". Also, the banknotes all have the same serial number "G3 00005967 T"
#102 "Death Lends a Hand" - Original Airdate -- 10/6/1971
The Director Bernard L. Kowalski (Night of the Blood Beast, Attack of the Giant Leeches, Krakatoa: East of Java, Sssssss)
The Stars Peter Falk, Robert Culp, Pat Crowley, Ray Milland, Brett Halsey, Eric James
The Plot Brimmer, a short-tempered private detective, is hired by Arthur Kennicut, a prominent Los Angeles publisher, to investigate the publisher's wife's activities under suspicion of an extra-marital affair. Although his investigation discovers an affair with a golf instructor, Brimmer chooses not to tell Kennicut about it and proposes Mrs. Kennicut to act, in return for Brimmer's silence, as a "pipeline" for information involving powerful persons with whom her husband is involved. When Mrs. Kennicut refuses to cooperate and threatens to tell her husband about Brimmer's unsavory proposal, Brimmer becomes enraged and accidentally kills her. He then transports her body across Los Angeles and dumps it in an industrial area, hoping her death will look like a robbery gone awry. Enter Lieutenant Columbo, the cigar-smoking detective in a rumpled raincoat, who does not accept the murder-by-mugging theory surrounding the woman's death. When Kennicut assigns Brimmer to assist Columbo in the murder investigation, Brimmer struggles to deflect Columbo's increasing suspicions that he was involved in Mrs. Kennicut's demise.
Fun Fact: The first regular Columbo episode filmed, after two pilot movies. It was the second episode aired, however. After lunch breaks, director Kowalski could be heard cursing "that cocksucker Speilberg" and his industry ties.
#119 "The One Where the Monkey Gets Away" - Original Airdate -- 3/9/1995
The Director Peter Bonerz (Police Academy 6: City Under Siege)
The Stars Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer
The Plot The gang searches frantically for Marcel, who slipped out of the apartment while Rachel was baby-sitting him. After Marcel is found and safe, Ross finally gets up the courage to try to woo Rachel. But just when it looks like the two might actually spend a romantic evening alone together, Barry, the ex-Mr. Potato Head, barges into the apartment declaring his love for her.
Fun Fact: Peter Bonerz is a character actor turned director. He is most recognizable as having played Dr. Jerry Robinson on The Bob Newhart Show. He is known for always getting actors to look him in the eyes as he is giving direction. This is mainly because no one wants to look a man named Bonerz below the waist.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2008
10:00 WEIRD SCIENCE: THE TELEVISION SERIES
#206 "Nightmare On Chett Street" - Original Airdate -- 9/17/1994
The Director David Grossman (George of the Jungle 2)
The Stars Michael Manasseri, John Mallory Asher, Lee Tergeson, Vanessa Angel (Kingpin)
The Plot Lisa creates a new magical invention- Dream Chairs. These chairs let Gary and Wyatt enter the minds of anyone. Something goes wrong and Gary is trapped inside of Chett's head. The good part? Gary gets to control part of Chett's body. Chett is on the first day of his new job as a busboy at Java Man. If the job doesn't go smoothly, he's getting kicked out of the house. What does Gary do? Try and get Chett fired.
10:30 OUT OF THIS WORLD
#101 "Evie's Thirteenth Birthday" - Original Airdate -- 9/17/1987
The Director Bob Claver (Jaws of Satan)
The Stars Maureen Flannigan, Donna Pescow, Doug McClure, Joe Alaskey, Christina Nigra
The Plot After thirteen years of keeping Evie's identity from her, Donna is forced to reveal the truth at her thirteenth birthday party when Evie exhibits a special, alien power that enables her to freeze time. Evie learns she's half alien and that her father is from the planet Antareus—not a CIA agent as her mother has been telling her all along. She is given her father's gift of the cube, a genetic device which allows her to speak to her father on Antareus. Although anyone can hear her father over the cube, her father can only hear Evie.
Fun Fact: The voice of Evie's father was supplied by Burt Reynolds on the logic that it wouldn't be as humilating as Stroker Ace.
11:00 THE WEIRD AL SHOW
#105 "The Time Machine" - Original Airdate -- 10/11/1997
The Director Peyton Reed (Bring It On, Down with Love, The Break-Up)
The Stars Weird Al Yankovic, Teri Garr, Judy Tenuda, Gary LeRoi Gray, Brian Haley, Victoria Jackson, Steve Jay, Doug Jones
The Plot Al forgot to get Harvey a present for his birthday, so he travels back in time to get one. But Harvey only wants Al to sing for his birthday. As a present, Al sings "Yoda."
1:30 THE COSBY SHOW
#608 "The Day the Spores Landed" - Original Airdate -- 11/9/1989
The Director Neema Barnette (All You've Got, Super Sweet 16: the Movie)
The Stars Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Sabrina LeBeauf, Lisa Bonet, Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Geoffrey Owens, Joseph C. Phillips, Tempest Bledsoe, Raven Symone
The Plot Cliff dreams that the eruption of a volcano in Peru has sent spores into the drinking water and caused men to become pregnant. Cliff, Elvin, Martin and Theo are all pregnant. Theo deals with stares and unkind comments because he is an "unwed father." The pregnant men all become very emotional, while the women act insensitive toward them most of the time. The guys all go into labor at the same time, and suffer excruciating pain. Martin gives birth to a toy sailboat, while Theo has a mini sports car. Cliff has twins: a gigantic hoagie and a bottle of orange soda. After "experiencing" pregnancy and childbirth, Cliff wakes up and tells Clair how much he appreciates her and how much he admires all women.
12:00 ROBOCOP: THE SERIES
#101 "The Future of Law Enforcement" - Original Airdate -- 3/18/1994
The Director Paul Lynch (1980's Prom Night, Humungous, Bullies, The Keeper)
The Stars Richard Eden, Andrea Roth, Blu Mankuma, Yvette Nipar, David Gardner, Sarah Campbell, Cliff DeYoung
The Plot This time the future RoboCop is defending Delta City from a scarred maniac. A killer calling himself the Dogtown Ripper is killing thousands of people and stealing their brains. A trouble making pre-teen becomes the foster daughter of Stanely Parks. A secretary is killed but her spirit lives inside the computer mainframe.
Fun Fact: This is part one of the two-part pilot for the series. It was adapted from a rejected script for Robocop 2 by Ed Neumeier.
1:00 Infomercial: DIG AND DISCOVER
1:10 Infomercial: BLU STEP
1:20 Infomercial: TOTAL SAUNA
1:30 Infomercial: PERFECT DOG
2:00 BMX BANDITS (1983)
The Director Brian Trenchard-Smith (Dead End Drive-In, Night of the Demons 2, Leprechaun 3-4)
The Stars Nicole Kidman, David Argue (Gallipoli, Razorback), John Ley (Turkey Shoot), Angelo D'Angelo (Return to Eden), James Lugton, Brian Sloman, Bryan Marshall (The Long Good Friday)
The Plot Let's just quote one of the video boxes - "Get ready to take a wild BMX ride with three hilarious teens who've fallen into the middle of a mad-cap crime! You'll be hanging on to the edge of your seat as the tricky teenage trio tears through the streets - frantically escaping the crooks and the cops in crazy stunt-filled chases. Unbelievable excitement keeps you revved up from beginning to end!"
Fun Fact: Yes, this really is Nicole Kidman's first film. She was 16 at the time.
Fun Fact 2: A huge hit in its native Australia, it was nominated for four Australian Film Institute awards. And no, Nicole was not among the nominees. Kidman was said to have fleed to some Xenu-loving closet case in despair.
3:30 Commercial: MCDONALD'S HAPPY MEAL LEGOS
3:40 Commercial: TIGER ELECTRONICS HANDHELD GAMES
3:50 Commercial: MR. BUBBLE
4:00 WHO'S THE BOSS
#101 "Pilot" - Original Airdate -- 9/20/1984
The Director Bill Persky (Serial)
The Stars Tony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano, Danny Pintauro, Katherine Helmond
The Plot Single dad Tony Micelli and his street smart young daughter Samantha decide to leave the mean streets of their poor neighbourhood for a chance at a better life in Connecticut. Tony happens upon a job offer as a live-in housekeeper for wealthy business woman Angela Bower and her young son by means of her flirtatious mother Mona. He puts his machismo aside and takes the job for the betterment of his daughter and a new "family" is formed.
Fun Fact: This episode was filmed a year before it actually premiered. It was filmed in about October, 1983.
4:30 MORK & MINDY
#111 "Mork's Greatest Hits" - Original Airdate -- 11/23/1978
The Director Howard Storm
The Stars Robin Williams, Pam Dawber, Conrad Janis, Elizabeth Kerr, Ralph James
The Plot When a goon tries to put the moves on an unwilling Mindy, Mork can't protect her because Orkans don't believe in violence. When the goon insists on a fight, Mork uses Orkan strategies to deal with him without using violence.
5:00 LITTLE AUDREY
"Tarts and Flowers" (1950)
The Plot Little Audrey's listening to a cooking show ("The Friendly Chef") on the radio and the man is explaining how to make gingerbread cake. Little Audrey ready, and follows his direction. At a feverish pace, she puts all the ingredients in and the mixture in the oven. The fantasy comes in when the oven signals the 30 minutes is up and out pops a talking gingerbread man! He's off to Cakeland, he says, so Audrey follows him out the window and into the clouds. As I said, this is pure fantasy. During that time, Audrey is introduced to "Miss Angel Cake," who is going to marry the Gingerbread Man. There ceremony is interrupted by The Devil's Food Cake. At that point, the cartoon changes from a 3-year-old girls' story to a decent adult one with puns, good action and interesting sights.
5:30 THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS
#207 "Night Game" - Original Airdate -- 9/22/1987
The Plot Play ball! Rather grab a bat than a proton gun when an old Indian legend involves Winston in a baseball game of good vs. evil for the fate of one human soul. Question is, which human's soul are they fighting for?
Fun Fact 1: At the end of the episode, Egon mentions the Toronto Blue Jays being the baseball team to watch. This seems appropriate since Maurice LaMarche, Egon's voice actor, is originally from Toronto.
Fun Fact 2: According to TV.com, the title of the episode is a reference to the 1989 film, Night Game. Although both were thrillers with a baseball backdrop, this has not been confirmed. The film was a seldom seen B-movie starring Roy Scheider.