Monday, July 24, 2017

LOST IN SPACE: Unaired Pilot Episode / Irwin Allen Productions - 1965

Here's an interesting item to check out... The original pilot episode, which never aired on TV, did not feature either the Robot or Dr. Smith, and were added later by 20th Century Fox, Dr. Smith as an antagonist. And, much of this original footage was reused in the first four televised episodes! In this story, the Robinsons, Earth's first family of outer space, head out to colonize Alpha Centauri in their flying saucer, Gemini 12, but crash land on an uncharted planet where they deal with its challenges and dangers.

This was quite an elaborate production with lots of workers and action in the command center before the Robinson family and Dr. West head off into the old deep, dark void.

Like in THIS ISLAND EARTH, the Robinsons are sealed in large glass (or, plastic) tubes to manage their trip through space, computers are in charge of running the ship, instead of the Robot.

In deep space, meteors pummel the ship, causing the electrical system to short circuit as the crew are still in hibernation. Luckily, the computer finally deploys the fire extinguishers, saving the day for the gang!

Still on automatic guidance, the Gemini 12 crash lands on a planet. The crew members all survive but the ship will not function now...

John and Don go exploring the hills and discover some giant footprints! It isn't long before the cyclops monster that left the prints shows up and starts causing a few tons of problems!

Will has just fixed the radio telescope and asks mom to check it out. She looks around and sees the giant monster near the location where John and Don are working on a weather device.

The men are stuck in in a cave and the thing wants them bad. Will runs to help his dad and Don, and they all escape before being stomped by the mighty beast!!

The gang take the Chariot, their all-terrain, amphibious tracked vehicle, out and encounter the monster yet again. This time though, Don uses his laser blaster to put and end to the creature!

They drive past the dead monster and catch a glimpse of its big ugly puss!

Later, the crew hides in a cave during an electrical storm. Once inside they discover an ancient underground maze of corridors. Everyone gets separated and Will is looking for Penny.

Will finds Penny but they get locked in a room that has dead alien bodies inside!..

In their last adventure, they take the Chariot into an ocean, looking for a more tropical area on the planet... Locations were filmed at the amazing Trona Pinnacles, in Ridgecrest, California.

Anyway, they get caught in a whirlpool and Don is almost lost before they escape the vortex and finally make their way to solid ground again.

The gang find a tropical area and stop to have a ceremony to thank the lord for their safe arrival... Only thing is, there are two STAR TREK type aliens watching them, a set up for the next episode. So, tune in on Wednesday for another cool post, here, at The Dungeon!!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

THE LAS VEGAS STORY - Hoagy Carmichael - "The Monkey Song" (1952)

Welcome to another Saturday Night Special down in The Dungeon! Tonight's feature has an extra special cast, and also features Vincent Price is one of his non-horror roles! It's a fun movie to watch for a lot of reasons!

As one of the producers, who knew Vegas better than Howard Hughes?

Vincent Price deserved to have his name on the main credits too!

Rather than "The Las Vegas Story, it really should have been titled "A Las Vegas Story!"

During the collage splash of a bunch of casino neon signs, you'll see all the great names including "The Golden Nugget," and "The Flamingo," but.......

.........On the stage of the movie, they call the main casino "The Fabulous," and they even use the same kind of lettering as the real one!

Too me, shots inside of a 1950's casino are fascinating!

Equally fascinating is the pairing of Vincent Price and Jane Russell as the less than happy couple! They both have problems, hers are love, and his are.......

Vincent's character is seriously in debt, and has a gambling problem, not a good combination!

Victor (One Million B.C.) Mature is the local cop and spurned lover, another bad combination!

 Brad Dexter went on to be one of the original "Magnificent Seven," and that's a feat all unto itself!

 All the two shots of Vinnie and Jane are fabulous too!

I love this shot of Jane in front of "The Last Chance" bar and casino! It looks like the entrance to Hell, or a kid's ride on the boardwalk!

My how times have changed!

Here's the fun part! Songwriter Hoagy Carmichael is Happy, the narrator and guy who plays the piano and performs at The Last Chance! Hoagy wrote classics like "Stardust," and "Georgia On My Mind!" My sound software is giving me problems, but I did find this video on You Tube of him here performing "The Monkey Song!" It's a must see!!! I wish the quality was a little better, but it's better than nothing for sure!

I thought this shot of them photographing one of the stiffs was pretty funny!

This is an odd shot!

Very cool penthouse shower!

Jane Russell was in a movie with Marilyn Monroe called "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," that pretty much underscored her career. Two years later they tried "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes," this time with Jeanne Crain, but Jane's career never really blasted off like it should have!

I'm not the biggest fan of long drawn out chase scenes, but how can you go wrong in a battle between a helicopter and a woody out in the desert? You can't, and that's just how good "The Las Vegas " story really is!

Friday, July 21, 2017

KARATE, THE HAND OF DEATH / Joseph Brenner Productions - 1961

It's Friday, and time for this title found on Something Weird Video, the story goes like this... Before the credits roll, a Nazi war criminal is in Tokyo to cash in his war loot, a million dollars in platinum, and is murdered by karate chops!! A visiting American is framed and must elude police as well as a gang that thinks he has the precious metal. The American, Matt Carver, has his own history, he was raised in Japan, he's fluent in Japanese and karate, and he was an American soldier in the Pacific in WWII. While in hiding, Matt turns to the Harakawa family that includes Akira, his boyhood friend. Matt's history with the family holds the key to the mystery of the dead Nazi, but how do these separate stories connect, and can he figure it out before it's too late?.. Well, keep reading!

Matt arrives in Tokyo and meets with the police, they notice the calluses on his hand, a sign of karate training, could he be the killer? He also receives a coin during the interview.

Then, two gangsters accost Matt and it looks like there will be a deadly fight, but...

Matt has a flashback where he kills a number of Japanese soldiers during the war with karate chops and feels like his karate training is a curse.

While Matt is daydreaming, the thugs beat him down and take him away.

When he comes to, he's in the company of Mr. Harakawa and is welcomed by the family. Matt then gives a karate demonstration at his pal Akira's gym!

Break time, Matt and his friend Ivan take in a show at a popular restaurant...

Matt digs out his secret recording device to see if he can get some poop on the killer!

Holy crap, guess what, freakin' Akira is behind the killing and theft!!

And, Akira's father has been listening in, hiding behind some crates! When dad gives Akira a sword to commit hara-kiri for dishonoring the family, he attacks his dad, and, the fight is on between him and Matt!

Akira has broken a big vat of acid on the floor and has pushed Matt into it!!.. YOW-EEE!!

Then, with a super quick karate jab to Akira's throat, well, the killer becomes the killed! You know, bad karma has a way of sneaking into the game.

Matt is not proud of what he's done, but, it had to be done! How's that for a brain twister?! Tune in tomorrow when Eegah!! haunts this spot...

Monster Music

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