We most certainly live in interesting times, my friends. Who of us could have ever thought that after 34 years, Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence would face off again? That however is exactly what is about to take place with Cobra Kai. The upcoming YouTube Red original series will fill us in on what has taken place for both Daniel and Johnny, since that epic encounter at the All Valley Karate Championship!
Fathom Events and YouTube Red are teaming up for a special event. The premiere of Cobra Kai as well as a screening of the 1984 classic TThe Karate Kid. This even will be for one evening only on April 25th at 7:00 p.m. local time.
This will be held in the U.S. with around 700 theaters participating in the event. You can check out if a movie theater in your neck of the woods will be hosting the Cobra Kai premiere by visiting Fathom Events. I assume of course that The Karate Kid will be shown first with the new YouTube Red series following.
While getting a chance to see The Karate Kid back up on the big screen is great. I will definitely admit I am itching to see how things are going to play out in the new series. It doesn’t appear as if time has been kind to Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka)…
…instead of course favoring Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). Now let’s be honest here. It isn’t like when we walked out of the movie theater in 1984 we would have wanted it any other way. Although judging by the trailer there might be a little twist we didn’t see coming.
Heads up, friends. There is just a bit of salty language in this trailer for Cobra Kai!
Without a doubt, at least the way the trailer paints it, Daniel has become the bully. I personally find this incredibly interesting and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing the series.
Here is the press release sent to us by Fathom Events:
“This special event screens in cinemas nationwide for one night on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. local time. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in nearly 700 select movie theaters. A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).
In the highly-anticipated return of two iconic characters, the arch-rivals from the legendary “Karate Kid” film reunite in “Cobra Kai.” Now living in the affluent hills of Encino, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) leads an enviable life with his beautiful family, while running a successful string of car dealerships throughout the valley. Meanwhile, his high school adversary, Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), whose life has taken a rocky turn, seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai karate dojo. Their lives inevitably become intertwined and the rivalry is reignited, setting forth the next generation of “karate kids” in “Cobra Kai,” a YouTube Red Original Series. “Cobra Kai” is produced by Overbrook Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television.
The YouTube Red Original series “Cobra Kai” will have its world debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24 and will later launch to audiences around the world May 2 on YouTube Red.”
Spoiler Alert: “The Devil’s Gift” is terrible regardless of the version.
But first, on a semi-related note…
It’s my BIRTHDAY!!!!
I’ll give you all the pertinents:
I’m aware I don’t look it.
This post is relevant to birthdays.
All of that said…
The Devil’s Gift…Is A Hell Of A Birthday Present!
Let’s face it, we all get that one gift we don’t like. We suck it up and thank the giver for their efforts…then focus our time and undivided attention on something else. I’ve never had that experience (honest!), as rumor has it I’m easy to shop for.
Someone needs to tell the kid in this movie that he should have played with his other birthday gifts. Because this movie would have been over faster!
The Devil’s Gift is a 1984 feature film directed by Kenneth J. Berton, he of the stinker Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders, which is only watchable with riffing and Ernest Borgnine.
For me, that’s probably because my Uncle Sam looked just like him. This is actually Borgnine, not my Uncle Sam.
The Devil’s Gift is infamously known in its heavily-edited, child-friendly form (as seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000), and until recently, this was the only version I knew about. I figured, “oh, it’s a short film and it was needed to pad out the runtime of this longer film.” It was version I saw as a sixteen-year-old MSTie in 1999, and several times years later.
…and the DVD cover that makes me scream B.S.!
The Devil’s Gift is an actual living, breathing representation of what a truly terrible movie one can make (that doesn’t involve Tommy Wiseau), and how it can absolutely feel disjointed even without heavy editing. Again, not involving Tommy Wiseau.
The original version is darker and more “violent,” but just as cheap, ugly, poorly-plotted and clunky as the version seen on MST3K.
Again, I’m absolutely certain Tommy Wiseau’s name does not appear anywhere in the credits.
Oh, the “Plot…”
Michael Andrews receives a cymbal-banging monkey as a birthday present, purchased by his father David’s girlfriend, Susan. The toy monkey was found among the ruins of a burned-down house, untouched by the damage surrounding it, and brought to an antiques shop, where Susan later decides this monkey is a Great Gift Idea.
And that’s where the fun begins!
Each time the monkey bangs his cymbals of his own accord (the first clue this “toy” could not possibly be safe to play with), something happens. And by “something,” I mean death. Houseplants, the family dog, a housefly. And if it isn’t death, it is near-misses involving Michael: a near hit-and-run, attempting smothering, and attempted drowning. The monkey wants this kid dead, and two out of three times, it wants Susan to be the killer. The other time, it wants a car to kill him.
This is a terrible, horrible, ugly, schlock-filled, low-rent film that tries to be horror/thriller, and comes up comedy/Not Thriller. And the ending…let’s just say Merlin doesn’t arrive to retrieve his monkey.
The plot of the film is similar to Stephen King’s short story The Monkey, which is obviously an insult to King’s genius, since this movie is far from the caliber of Stephen King’s genius (it is alleged that the movie is plagiarized from that story). I’ve used “clunky,” “ugly,” “cheap,” and “poorly-plotted” to describe this movie, all of which is accurate. The acting is ugly, the people are ugly, the general look of the film is ugly, and I swear that 1970s couch every grandparent had is prominent in this house. I recall laughing at the riff “Hello, 1970s house” hysterically as a teenager, acting like I totally got why it was so funny. As an adult, I get the joke…this is a 1970s house. This is 1976 trying to masquerade as 1984.
The runner up for laughs? This scene with riffing…
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If the guys from RiffTrax ever get their hands on it, I will be proudly claim firsties forking over the cost to see it in the theater. I have no shame.
The Devil’s Gift
Behold, the gift you don’t want, in its original form, complete with home video logos and trailers at the end.
For me, the real “gift” is that it is the 1985 Vestron Video print, complete with that screeching logo.
Anyway, celebrate my birthday with me over a movie about a possessed toy, and that toy’s determination to kill. It’s a helluva gift that you might just say the devil had something to do with…
Admit it, you giggled a little.
Anyway, here’s the ugly truth of a film…
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But, if you prefer the equally awkward, heavily edited, family-friendly B-story of a Z-grade film, then by all means, watch the original, if only for Ernest Borgnine.
I remember a whole other time in the world of My Little Pony. It was pre-brony, but just as colorful and cheesy.
Didn’t They Make This My Little Pony Movie Already?
So there’s this movie out this weekend, you’ve probably seen at least one movie poster for it on your way to the bathroom in your local movie theater…
*Snort* I wish.
It’s more like this…
If you type in the exact title My Little Pony: The Movie, you’re going to see two very different posters. And depending what era MLP you like, you’ll likely react with nostalgic awe toward one, and revulsion toward the other.
Can you imagine that dividing line, moms versus their daughters?
Just Like Her Aunt…
I have a 2 1/2 year old niece. Right now, she’s not watching My Little Pony in any way, shape, or form, but she has a sippy cup (courtesy of my mom), a MLP figure (also courtesy of my mom), a Ty Beanie Plushie (courtesy of me), and a t-shirt (again, courtesy of me). The sippy cup was kept at my parents’ house, and my niece loved it so much, she took it home. My sister-in-law told my mom on the phone a week later that all my niece wanted to drink from was her “pony cup” and she would yell “PONY CUP! PONY CUP!” constantly. Kid loves that cup.
Of course, I loved my cup when I was three years old, but mine had a spinning pony attached to the straw! I’ve tried to find pictures of that cup, to no avail.
Me with my brother (my niece’s daddy) at four years old (1986). That’s also the same year I started watching and collecting My Little Pony stuff.
I have my doubts that my niece will see the current (and same titled) My Little Pony: The Movie right now, but when I was slightly older than her, I saw the original 1986 movie, albeit not in the movie theater. I know I liked it at the time, but time has made it look kinda cheesy, and well, the Cinema Snob made it look downright terrible. I’m sure in 30 years, this new release will look just as bad. And of course, the 1986 version will flat out look ancient.
In the Beginning…There Were Ponies!
35 years ago, My Little Pony took the toy world by storm, and it was only a matter of time before the toys became primetime specials, a movie, and then two TV series during Generation 1 (I should note that the original TV series actually came after the movie). The toy series has gone through several generations’ worth of changes from that point to now, and my mom decided to tell me in a store that the newer generation (G4) is much cuter than the ones I played with 30 years ago (G1). I always knew that she believed they were ugly, but to say these new ones are cute…um, no.
Over on You Tube, I was looking (like my search for the cup, completely to no avail) for the 1984 special which was pre-movie and pre-orginal series, and I came across a promo for it (which was the proposed pilot)..including the special. And as you know with anything nostalgia, I’m in my glory.
My Little Pony: Rescue at Midnight Castle Promo
This obvious end-of-another-video trailer is for the 1984 primetime special known as “Rescue from Midnight Castle,” and omits the scary part where the ponies get turned into dragons. Good lord, that scared me when I was little!
If you need something to compare it to, I recommend that scene in The Care Bears In the Land Without Feelings where Professor Coldheart turns the little boy, Kevin, into one of his green servants. That’s just scary now because the animation is terrible, but the dragons in this special are well-animated and terrifying.
This looks like a marketing trailer for retailers, based on the narration. In fact, on a Vestron/Children’s Video Library video, this trailer and Rainbow Brite: Peril in the Pits (that show’s pilot) come complete with prices should you want to buy it…
Seriously?! It’s not like Vestron was this amazing film company. People were buying these for their children – do you know how many kids watched videos until the tape eventually broke? $29.95 USD in 1986 equals…$66.16 today.
And don’t get me started on the Canadian price!
Now I understand why I didn’t own any videos that weren’t destined to become timeless classics. Because this price!
My Little Specifics
Marvel (yes, THAT Marvel), Hasbro, Sunbow, and Toei produced the special, with Claster Television distributing it. The pilot originally aired on April 14, 1984, and was followed by “Escape from Catrina.” The feature film opened in theaters in the spring of 1986, was a box office disappointment, and combined with the disappointing box office returns on Transformers: The Movie (why, I have no idea), resulted in a proposed Jem movie’s cancellation, and GI Joe: The Movie releasing direct-to-video in 1987.
But don’t weep for the ponies! They had another chance when they got their own series! My Little Pony‘n Friends. The “friends” were a B-side cartoon featuring either GloFriends, MoonDreamers, or Mr. Potato Head, his wife, and their children (the cartoon centered around the Potato Head Kids). The series ran in first-run syndication on weekdays from September 15, 1986 until September 23, 1987, spanning two seasons and 65 episodes. The GloFriends had 27 segments, Potato Head Kids 23 segments, and the MoonDreamers had 16 segments.
Fun fact: The first ten episodes of that series, “The End of Flutter Valley,” (airing September 15-26, 1986) served as the sequel of sorts to the feature film.
Of course, something had to come first, and after quite the search, I found the original special in its entirety!
I also made this. Because I can. :-)
That’s just as freaky as I remember. And the songs are terrible! I remember this plot like I just saw it (especially that Sea Ponies song, which sounds like a commercial jingle), and it has been at least 9-10 years since I’ve seen it on You Tube. Like everything else we loved growing up, this hasn’t aged well in terms of the actual dialogue, but the animation is pretty.
I remember in the original cut, an overly excited voiceover informs us that Sandy Duncan and Tony Randall are the stars of this show! And no, they didn’t make it to the actual TV series, though Randall did play the Moochick in the feature film. As an adult, this feels dark.
And Tirek the Centaur…*shudder*. As for Scorpan, you could feel his humanity trying to surface when he helps Megan and the ponies escape Tirek’s Rainbow of Darkness. And if you can last until the end, you’ll understand why.
As a plot, it works, but the uncut version is the better version. For some reason, the cut version that aired within the TV series feels disjointed when split up. Plus, one of those terrible songs was part of that cut. I hate to say it, but if that was the reason it felt disjointed, then maybe it was worth it?
And of course, there’s a happy ending. Because why not? Tirek is destroyed, his dragons are once again the innocent creatures they originally were…and Ember is allergic to butterflies. And giggling…lots of giggling to go around.
Oh, and bonus points if you remember which of the ponies you had.
Ten extra bonus points if you had the Megan and Baby Spike dolls (I did!).
Of course, if you’d like to see the special, you can! Just click play below!
My Little Pony: Rescue At Midnight Castle
From Daily Motion, Upload via Ponyrokkusu Pony
My Little Pony, My Little Pony…Now It’s Time To Say Goodbye
I have no doubt in my mind that today’s kids will have no clue there was originally a My Little Pony movie some ancient time 31 years ago, or how the whole animated world began with a pilot episode involving turning ponies into dragons. They were dark times indeed.
Do me a favor. If a little MLP-loving kid really needs to be shown the dark side of the Ponies, show them this special. If they question it, tell them this is all we had in the Dark Ages.
By the time that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom hit theaters back on May 23, 1984. I was impatiently counting the days up until it’s release. When my Father and I finally had the chance to see it, I was all set to join Indiana Jones again and brave that Temple of Doom.
Of course it helped that television ads were all over the place. It must be remembered as well that Raiders of the Lost Ark kind of took everyone by surprise in 1981. It seemed like the studio was truly doing its best to get the word out about Temple of Doom.
Having said that I must admit that I do not ever recall seeing the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom board game back in the day. Thankfully this matter was corrected when the Arkadia Retrocade received a copy of it a few months back.
Joining me for this special event was none other than my fellow author on The Retroist, PLCary.
I must point out the nice design of the Temple of Doom board itself.
Each Player also receives a little board that connects to the main board – which features exciting moments from the film as well. Such as the plane crash, waterfall, the palace and of course Club Obi Wan!
After a go with the spinner, a Player must travel the full number of steps. At the very beginning you must choose to take the shorter path which is more dangerous. Or the longer path giving you more opportunities to avoid landing on a danger – sending you back precious steps or even to the beginning.
Dotted across the board are symbols featuring both Indy’s hat and whip and the visage of Mola Ram. When landing on these symbols a Player spins the spinner – if it matches the symbol you have landed upon, two outcomes take place. A match of symbols while on Indy’s hat means a Player can move a piece up to 3 spaces. Where as if you match while on Mola Ram’s symbol – you lose your next turn…probably trying to avoid having your heart ripped out.
Another key point is that a Player isn’t allowed to jump over another of their pieces. Which means there are moments in fact during the game where you are stuck. An opposing Player is allowed to land on your piece – placing your piece where they just were. An act by and large that can become beneficial in certain cases, especially when you enter the temple itself.
After navigating the treacherous temple, avoiding the sulfurous pitfalls. By foot or using the stairwells as shortcuts, you begin to move Indy, Willie, and Short Round to the appropriate colored mine carts. A Player must get all three of their playing pieces on the cart before they can race for the finish line.
In our game, while PLCary pulled ahead at the beginning – I made it through the mines first. But on the negative side you need an exact number to cross the rope bridge and win the game. All three of your pieces must have crossed before you can claim victory.
I was getting bad spins and PLCary easily caught up with me. It was a battle across the rope bridge but in the end I lucked out and managed to get all of my pieces across first.
Which in the spirit of Temple of Doom meant I of course paused to cut the rope bridge.
Generally speaking board games based on 1980’s franchises were something of a crapshoot. I can say though that the Temple of Doom game was exceptionally fun. If you can get your hands on it – it is most worth adding to your collection.