Saturn 3

Do You Remember 1980’s Saturn 3?

Let’s visit Saturn 3. It’s a neat 1980 sci-fi film starring Farrah Fawcett , Kirk Douglas and Harvey Keitel, directed by Stanley Donne and John Barry. Be warned as SPOILERS are straight ahead!

Set in the future, Saturn 3 is an outpost where scientists are working to hydroponically grow food for Earth.They do this beneath the surface of Saturn’s third moon, Titan. When they (Farrah Fawcett as Alex, Kirk Douglas as Adam) aren’t working they are lovers in space. They exercise together, play together, etc.
Saturn 3

Things get complicated quickly…Arriving as a stowaway, is Benson (Harvey Keitel ) and he is up to no good! He killed a fellow astronaut scientist and took his place for the voyage. He brings a bunch of cargo and one special canister. What could it be? Be patient, I’ll tell ya. Don’t worry. Benson is immediately smitten with Alex (Farrah) and who could blame him! He offers her various drugs and explains that this is the way of present Earth. He also lets her know that body sharing is very common. He
insists that Adam(Kirk) is the old and obsolete man.

He’s really pushing the issue.
Saturn 3

Very shortly, he introduces his cargo- a set of Tinker Toys! I mean, assembles a huge robot named “Hector.” There is fresh lab grown brains in the special canister, that is a blank page, with no thoughts, input, or experience. Kind of like me.

Benson (Keitel) is mind linked to the robot via a transmitter inserted into the back of his head. Hector soon falls for Alex (Farrah) as he picks up every nuance of Benson’s brain.
Saturn 3

The robot kills a dog owned by Alex and Adam, and this kind of makes the already rocky relationship fall apart quickly. Following a cringe worthy “robot needle instrument to eye” scene, the space lovers square off against the robot and master.

Alex and Adam set up traps and the robot trumps them at every turn. At some point Benson (Keitel) dies and becomes one with the robot, taking over both the space post and unfortunately, Adam. He put one of the outlets in his head. Wonder if he got good TV reception?

Adam conceives a plan and doesn’t let Alex in on it. Meanwhile, The Robot, now Benson and Hector combined, commands them to report to work, to increase productivity. Adam sacrifices himself and knocks the robot into a leftover trap. It works, even though it didn’t before.

Jump to Alex (Farrah) on board a vessel that is approaching Earth, with a small crowd exchanging pills while viewing the planet through large windows.

[Via] Scream Factory TV

The good and not so good notes…
Now, that last scene kind of falls flat for me, it had dialogue that feels like it could’ve been changed to finish the film in a better manner. Kind of tie it up. I loved the set design of the Saturn 3 outpost.Some weird labyrinth of metals and ramps and a lot of deep blue colors.

I didn’t like Keitel’s tiny ponytail. It made me want to snip it! His speech pattern was cold and empty in contrast to Alex (Farrah) and Adam (Kirk). It gave him a real creep factor.
Saturn 3

Overall, I liked the film a lot- the robot was cool, there was action, humor, drama, everything you’d want! So, I recommend Saturn 3. You can order your copy from Shout Factory and as always they’ve packed in some extras:

  • New High Definition Transfer
  • Commentary by Greg Moss (Saturn 3 Fan site) and film critic David Bradley
  • Interviews with Academy Award winning Special Effects artist Colin Chilvers and actor Roy Dotrice
  • Deleted Scene
  • Additional scenes from the network television version
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery

Saturn 3
Just be ready to figure out if you’re obsolete or not.

New Jersey’s Own: The Short Life of Kid’s World

Kid’s World. It has a nice generic ring to it, doesn’t it?

All Those Amusement Parks…

I thought I’d heard of all the known amusement parks in the Delaware Valley and Jersey shore regions. I even worked for one (Fantasy Island Amusement Park in Beach Haven, NJ).

However, when you grow up hearing about/watching a steady stream of commercials for Six Flags Great Adventure, Dorney Park, Hershey Park, Sesame Place, and the infamous Action (Traction) Park, it is easy to miss the smaller amusement parks.

Uploaded by WeirdNJTV

Admit it, we watched these commercials just to see if someone ate it or broke their neck in the background. Half the fun of Action Park wasn’t actually going, but also learning about their spectacularly infamous history.

There are amusement parks (some local to my area), that I have never heard of, but no longer exist. For instance, a “castle” haunted house in one of the shore communities off Atlantic City, a whole Dinosaur-themed pier in the famous Wildwoods (that didn’t last long), and a park in Long Branch that I only heard of when I spotted two commercials on an old tape.

Previously, On Allison’s Written Words…

Last week, I spotted a commercial for an amusement park in Long Branch, NJ called Kid’s World. Aside from the obvious belief that the name was a tad generic, I’d never heard of this place.

Naturally, it became Throwback Thursday on my blog!

Lo and behold, I was looking through the tape for my Flashback Friday commercial (it wound up being about Slip n’ Slide), and I found I missed out on a second commercial for the same amusement park.

This park, my friends, is Kid’s World, and it was a victim of circumstance.

Kid’s World

In 1985, Pat Cicalese and his business partner, Carmen Ricci, re-themed the pier, pool, waterslide, and Bumper Boats on the Ocean Avenue Long Branch Pier. They purchased the pier six years earlier (and leased it the year prior to that), and called it Kid’s World.

Their inspiration came from Langhorne, PA’s more famous amusement park, Sesame Place.

Kid’s World: It’s a Do-Be!

See what I did there!

Oh, wait, a bee.

Kid’s World was a child/family-friendly amusement park that not only had a rides, but a Romper Room-themed area. Sesame Place had Big Bird and all his friends, and Kid’s World…had Mr. Do-Be. Who may or may not have stolen souls.

It was Mr. Do-Be’s MO for getting you to come there!

It also had all this!

And also in live action!

But seriously, this was the best part!

“Honey, get the kids in the car!  They have SHADOW PUPPETS!!!!”

While Kid’s World had water slides and kid-friendly stuff, it also had a Haunted Mansion right there for the adults. Not exactly their target audience, don’t ya think?

Uploaded by clarkkent1367

Also not wanted? Doobies that aren’t Do-Be’s! (How could I make that plural?)

Unfortunately, fate had other plans for Kid’s World, and didn’t involve Shadow Puppets or Mr. Do-Be.

The Fire…And The End

On the afternoon of June 8, 1987, a fire broke out at the McDonald’s on the pier, sparing only the water attractions across the street. Couple that with slowing business, and Kid’s World closed for good at the end of the season.

Both videos uploaded by Ted M

The story only gets more depressing, as Cicalese’s plans to rebuild the pier were dashed by insurance that didn’t cover the cost, and Long Branch Township’s unwillingness to fund a rebuilding, resulting in Kid’s World’s abandonment until the pier and water park were demolished in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

But From Those Ashes And Abandonment…

For that depressing story, there actually is a happy one!

Pier Village (opened in 2005) was built on the former site of Kid’s World, and is a mixed-use community of 100,000 square feet of 536 rental residences, retail space, a grassy area for events, shops, restaurants, a salon, and a gym.


The Commercial!

Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share one more VERY important thing!

The commercial for the other  Kid’s world commercial I found on my tape…taped from WNYW in June 1987!

Wow, back when Monmouth County had “201” numbers.

And there you have it, one of those lesser-known amusement parks (because of its lack of longevity), and the mixed-use community that succeeded its charred remains.

Not every sad defunct amusement park has a sad ending, folks.

Bugs Bunny

Do You Recall This 1982 Bugs Bunny PSA Commercial?

You know, most people would say that Bugs Bunny was a pretty smart rabbit. Even though his quasi original appearance and some characteristics can be found in 1938’s Porky’s Hare Hunt. It was a more zany as well as madcap rabbit on display – acting almost like Daffy Duck.
Bugs Bunny - Porky Pig

It wasn’t however until the 1940 theatrical short entitled A Wild Hare that Bugs Bunny really made the scene. Even then he wasn’t know as Bugs, but he was still voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc, although he initially wasn’t credited.

So began Bugs Bunny’s meteoric rise to stardom. Over the past 77 years our favorite wisecracking hare has certainly changed. For example the character evolved into a role as sort of the straight man. Case in point when he was teamed up with Daffy Duck in 1956’s A Star is Bored!

Being a beloved icon for so many children and as well as their parents. It was of course only natural that Bugs Bunny be tapped as a spokesman for this public service announcement for the Shriners Hospital. In this 1982 PSA he warns children in addition to adults about ways to make the kitchen safer.

That is most certainly a fantastic looking kitchen.

While there are in fact a few bits that could be considered scary images as you see, none of them cross the line into truly frightening. The boiling pot I will have to admit does creep me out a little though.

The advice from 1982 is just as important today so take a minute and listen to Bugs Bunny!

Bugs Bunny wasn’t the only Looney Tunes character to help out with PSA ads. Check out this 1990 version featuring Tweety Bird!

Come On Along, I’ll Take You To, Two Places 1980s New York City-Area Kids Wanted to Go!

Why I hadn’t already written about this topic is beyond me.

Until ten years ago, I lived in an area served by both the New York City and Philadelphia television markets. But having grown up with parents who were raised on New York stations and watched them by habit, I was raised doing the same. I love going back to my pre-September 2006 (that’s when I moved away from the area served by this television market) VHS tapes and recorded DVDs and finding stuff that I remember about watching television from the New York market. I love New York, and last October, I took a day trip there for the first time since 2007.

I may have only been there for the day, and didn’t need a hotel, but there was always this one commercial that made me (and many other kids from the area) want to stay at this one particular hotel in the heart of Broadway.

That was well-known 1980s commercial was the long-running Milford Plaza commercial, memorable if only for the catchy jingle and talented “staff.”

With the catchy jingle (to the tune of Lullaby of Broadway), as sung by the friendly staff of the Milford Plaza (who are obviously actors and not actual hotel staff), the perks of staying here are glorious.

Uploaded by Tigercat919

That price!

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The promise of service in the heart of everything!

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That phone greeting is nice, but I’m really just calling to book my hotel room.

That singing and dancing! This was place was the dream destination of all kids in the 1980s!

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And it no longer exists.

No, seriously. When I was planning my day trip to New York last year, I looked this place up, and all I got were this commercial and links for “Row NYC,” which is the hotel’s new name under new management and renovations. In a way, it makes me sad that if I ever do stay in New York City overnight, I’ll never get to stay at the Milford Plaza. But I’ll always have fond memories of the hotel I never go to experience, thanks to the jingle I’ve never gotten out of my head.

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I’m convinced I would have been horribly disappointed when I arrived there, and they didn’t do this for me.

And speaking of jingles I’ll never get out of my head, and places I’ll never get to experience…

Uploaded by Ted Dennison

Oh my goodness, this song! The promise of that quaint and perfect couples getaway, that guest who does the back flip off the diving board, a pool in your hotel room! Golf! Tennis! Live shows! DANCING! That jingle! Call 1-800-441-4410, we’re freakin’ going to Mount Airy Lodge.

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Or not…

Screenshot (292) Sorry guys, this is another one of those splashy places all kids in the New York City market (and probably in the Philadelphia market too) knew that no longer stands as the place it was known to be in these commercials. Its original heyday of the 1960s and 1970s was highlighted by 1000 acres of everything, and was the premiere honeymoon hideaway. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors, velvet canopy beds, and heart-shaped bathtubs were the norm. Did you see kids in the commercial? I didn’t. Was the jingle really the very reason we wanted to stay here so badly?

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Hey, if a mysterious arm is handing me drinks, then yes, I want to go there!

This commercial came at a time of decline for Mount Airy Lodge, and the version you see here went into foreclosure in 1999, before closing for good in October 2001. So, the end of my childhood (I turned 19 in October 2001, and was a freshman in college) came at the end of a Poconos legacy.

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We’ll be optimistic that their love outlasted Mount Airy Lodge’s life.

The Mount Airy name did make its return, in the form of a casino that opened in 2007. I still see commercials for it, but it’s not Mount Airy Lodge, and you don’t have to bring your love for everything. Because you probably love gambling and that’s why you’re there. And to think, that was where we were all going to go on our honeymoons.

There are pictures on the interwebs (especially Pinterest) of Mount Airy Lodge’s decline after it went into foreclosure and was reclaimed by nature.

I used to work with a woman who told me she cringed over that commercial, and one of our funniest conversations involved the heart-shaped hot tubs. I told her about a photo I saw online of a heart-shaped hot tub along the side of the road up in the Poconos, and she was all “ewwwww!” about it.

Heart Tub

She says “ewwwww!”, I say it’s time to renovate my house and make way for this beauty.

heart tub 2


And yes, use of this necessitates the use of the Mount Airy Lodge jingle.

They do have places like this in the Poconos (heck, they have a scary, low-rent version in the next town over from me), but nothing will ever be as famous in my eyes (or earworms) as Mount Airy Lodge!

After watching both of these ads, I feel nostalgic and sad that two places I believed I was going to visit when I grew up no longer exist in the way these commercials depict them, but then reality hits and I say, “did I ever really want to stay at Mount Airy Lodge?!”

But that Milford Plaza would probably have disappointed me and my extremely high expectations.

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Just for the cameras, folks.

Allison is hardly the seasoned tourist (though she loves to travel!), but commercials are a big thing in her life, and as an impressionable kid, they really sparked her imagination and desire to be in the thick of everything. Today, these commercials are campy nostalgia, but they’re great memories of a time gone by. Allison loves nostalgia, and waxes much nostalgic on her blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and she’s also on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

She had to mute the commercials while taking screenshots, the earworm factor of these ads are too fierce!