Sci-Fi Sunday: Land Of The Giants – “The Crash” (1968)

SciFi Sunday
Welcome back friends to another installment of Sci-Fi Sunday! We are sharing the first episode of the 1968 Land of the Giants series entitled “The Crash”. The series was produced and created by Irwin Allen, the same man who created Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel, The Poseidon Adventure, and The Towering Inferno to name just a few!

Land of the Giants

Set in the future…of 1983…the plot of the series involves the crew and passengers aboard the sub-orbital ship the Spindrift, as they encounter a strange storm that transports them to a planet where everything is twelve times larger than that on Earth. A Land of Giants. The show starred Gary Conway as Captain Steve Burton, Don Matheson as Mark Wilson, Stefan Arngrim as Barry Lockridge, Deanna Lund as Valerie Scott, Heather Young as Betty Hamilton, Kurt Kasznar as Alexander Fitzhugh, and Don Marshall as Dan Erickson.

Sci-Fi Sunday: The Adventures Of The Galaxy Rangers – “Phoenix” (1986)

SciFi Sunday
Welcome back to another Sci-Fi Sunday! This week we are presenting the first episode of the 1986 animated series The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers entitled “Phoenix”. With this episode the foundation would be laid for the entire series, not just introducing the main cast of characters mind you, but the events that occur in Phoenix get revisited throughout the series.

We’ve talked more than once on the site about memories of watching this series in our youth and I think one of the reasons is for the time it was doing something a bit different, perhaps not necessarily mature themes but I would say they were at least aiming for the teenage viewer with their storylines. So please take some time for yourself and become introduced or reintroduced to Captain Zachary Fox, Niko, Walter ‘Doc’ Hartford, and of course Shane Gooseman…the Galaxy Rangers!

Sci-Fi Sunday: UFO – “Identified” (1970)

SciFi Sunday
Welcome back friends to another installment of Sci-Fi Sunday! This week we are checking out the first episode of the 1970 British TV series UFO entitled “Identified”. The live-action series was created by Gerry Anderson, Sylvia Anderson, and Reg Hill and produced by the Andersons in association with Lew Grade’s Century 21 Productions. You might recognize the Anderson name as they were also responsible for the Thunderbirds, Supercar, Stingray, and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. Gerry Anderson and Christoper Burr would also create the Terrahawks series ten years later!

In the series the Earth is under attack by aliens…they are secretly harvesting Humans for their organs. Thankfully for us their is SHADO (Supreme Headquarters, Alien Defense Organization) doing their best to keep us safe…though judging by the first few minutes of the first episode…they are dropping the ball. That was one of the things the show had to fight against, people who knew the Andersons for their children shows were shocked by the amount of violence as well as the characters experiencing adultery, and sometimes drug use.

So prepare yourself for a treat and join us in the Retroist Vault for this Sci-Fi Sunday as we keep our eyes peeled for UFO!

[Via] Stephen Nicolas

Sci-Fi Sunday: Beginning Of The End (1957)

SciFi Sunday
Welcome back to the latest installment of Sci-Fi Sunday! This week we are watching the 1957 cult film “Beginning of the End”, which was originally released on June 28, 1957. This film was directed by Bert I. Gordon (Village of the Giants, Food of the Gods, Empire of the Ants), or as “Mr. B.I.G.” as the late Forrest J. Ackerman used to call him. The story is one that Gordon would revisit quite a bit as a director, mainly some type of animal growing to enormous size and causing mass hysteria and devastation in their wake. In this case it’s giant grasshoppers that were created at a secret Illinois State farm.

Image courtesy of IMP Awards.

Image courtesy of IMP Awards.

The films stars Peter Graves (Mission Impossible, Airplane) as Dr. Ed Wainwright, the one inadvertently responsible for the enormous grasshoppers thanks to his research in producing equally giant vegetables. Peggie Castle (Invasion U.S.A., Target Zero) co-stars as Audrey Aimes, a journalist who is one of the first people to stumble on the growing menace to the world.

A bit of gruesome trivia for you…they started out with 200 grasshoppers when the production began but they started to cannibalize each other so that when shooting had wrapped there were only a dozen left.

Can the two alert the higher-ups in the Military in time to save the world? Well, find out and join us for Sci-Fin Sunday as we witness the “Beginning of the End”!

[Via] Sasha 1900 1900

A big thanks as always to IMP Awards for the original poster you see above.

Sci-Fi Sunday: Jason Of Star Command – Attack Of The Dragonship/Prisoner Of Dragos (1978)

SciFi Sunday
Welcome back to another installment of Sci-Fi Sunday! This week we are heading back to serialized television with the cult classic Saturday morning TV show entitled “Jason of Star Command”! This TV series was actually a spin-off of another Filmation show that featured Lost in Space’s Jonathan Harris called “Space Academy” and his character would have in fact appeared in this new series if not for the unfortunate falling out between the actor and Filmation studios. Though they were able to get none other than James Doohan (Star Trek) to play a new character called Commander Carnarvin that filled what would have been Harris’ role in the series though he left in the second season as to join the original cast for Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The series originally aired as something of a throwback to the movie serials of the 1930s and was a 15 minute segment of the Tarzan and the Super 7 TV show. With the second season the running time for each episode was increased to a half-hour and wasn’t attached to another program.

Besides James Doohan, this series boasts having Sid Haig (THX 1138, Coffy), Craig Little (Superbeast, Blazing Saddles), Charlie Dell (Invaders From Mars, Evening Shade), and Susan Pratt (All My Children, Guiding Light).

So come join us as we see if Jason can avoid the villainous Dragos in these two episodes of Jason of Star Command on Sci-Fi Sunday!

Sci-Fi Sunday: Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)

SciFi Sunday
Welcome back friends to another installment of Sci-Fi Sunday and with the Holidays just around the corner we decided to bring you a special ‘treat’ for your viewing pleasure, the cult classic ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”!

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

Originally released in 1964 this film has the distinction of being on the bottom 100 movie list over at the Internet Movie Database. The story deals with the Martian society finding itself becoming too rigid as the educating of their young is all done by machine, it’s not allowing the kids to develop independent thoughts. Thanks to the advice from a wise Martian named Chochem (I didn’t know that it was a Yiddish word meaning genius) a plan is hatched to kidnap Santa Claus from Earth and bring him back to Mars so he can help the Martian children experience what fun is. They know about Santa Claus thanks to two of the children watching a television broadcast from Earth featuring Santa in an interview. To help distinguish the real Santa Claus from all of the store and street corner versions, the Martians kidnap two children to help them find the real deal. Sadly one of the Martians named Voldar so strongly disagrees with this plan of teaching the Martian children to have fun he and his accomplices do their best to try and slay not only Santa but the two Earth children!

Can the Martian children be helped? Can Santa avoid be atomized by Voldar? Watch ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’ and find out for yourself!

A few bits of interesting trivia for this film:

1) The Martian Girl ‘Girmar’ is played by Pia Zadora (Butterfly, Hairspray), this was her film debut.
2) The guns the Martians use in the film are repainted Whammo Air Blasters.

[Via] GBF

Sci-Fi Sunday: The Dark Crystal “The Director’s Cut” (1982/2013)

SciFi Sunday
Welcome back to another installment of Sci-Fi Sunday! This week, thanks to Daniel XIII, we have the ‘Director’s Cut’ of “The Dark Crystal”! This is pretty special, my friends.

Fan of the film, Christopher Orgeron, has taken over two years to create a version of the film that resembles what was originally seen by the test audiences that necessitated changes to the original cut to make it more kid friendlier, easier to understand.

Two examples of this being the opening narration of the Dark Crystal which was included to help audiences get caught up very quickly with the backstory. Originally Jim Henson and Frank Oz planned to have very little voice over for the characters or even have the Skeksis speaking English at all, it all had to be changed once they got the notes back from that test audience.

From his uploaded YouTube video, Christopher supplied some explanations about what he has done. He was also interviewed over at Mental Floss!

“…Workprints are used by the production crew and this one has all the trappings of one. Grease marks on the film, rough cuts, tape slowdown, and unfinished special effects among other things. Now, this workprint is still out floating around on the internet but it’s really painful to watch and the sound is atrocious so I took it upon myself to clean up the audio, sync it to a clean treatment of the video, include some scenes that were unavailable anywhere else, and recut a watchable version that played out like the workprint.

Disclaimer: It’s still a little rough. My computer had lots of slowdown since I was syncing to a HQ vid and some of the missteps in editing weren’t noticeable until the 5 hour render was complete! They’re minor and not frequent so it might only take you out of the moment briefly.

Black and white scenes were included from the workprint occasionally since they’re not available elsewhere. They include: A matte painting of landscape in front of Skeksis castle that pans down to the ‘lost’ Jen swimming scene, an extended clip of ‘Trial By Stone’, an extended scene in Aughra’s home, with a little extra at the end.

Deleted funeral scenes from the DVD are restored to their proper place.

There is also some beautiful alternate music composed by Vangelis here and there

Credit goes to Demonoid user Aikousha for finding the workprint and making it available. All reassembly was done by me scoodidabop (aka Christopher Orgeron/Creedo). If anyone wishes to attempt restoring the black and white scenes I’ll gladly include them in a new edit of the film. For the record I attempted to contact the Henson company earlier this year when I had about half of the edit complete to ask about sharing this on youtube but they never responded to my inquiry. Also, I just found out today (Dec 2nd) that someone else attempted this same idea and called it “The Darker Crystal” and released it in September. This is NOT his version. I haven’t seen his version but I’m sure mine is similar to his.”