Welcome back friends to the Saturday Frights Podcast! Each podcast my co-host, the Projectionist and I will discuss a particular horror movie or horror themed TV episode from the Retroist Vault. This week we briefly discuss the 1933 classic film “The Invisible Man” and the Projectionist has brought along some vintage Drive-In ads for your listening pleasure.
If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in the future or comments, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook. The Projectionist may be reached at https://www.facebook.com/projectionist.haunteddrivein if you have any comments or questions for the shadowy cinephile from Haddonfield.
The Music at beginning of our show was provided by Peachy (The Fran Waxman of Wales), if you have musical needs why not contact him at peachy@Retroist.com. And be sure to “Like” him on his Facebook page.
The NEW ending music for the show is entitled “Twisted Toys”…suitable for working with the Projectionist and was provided by Tony Longworth, you can visit his site by clicking that link provided or hopping over to his Soundcloud Page!
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As a fan of Frankenstein I remember being excited for “Struck by Lightning.” It sounded like a fun take on the character. It’s kind of like “Newhart” with George played by Frankenstein’s monster. It starred Jack Elam as the monster and Jeffrey Kramer as Ted Stein, a descendent of the original Dr. Frankenstein. Ted inherits an old New England inn that comes with the monster who coincidentally needs a serum recreated to keep him alive.
Unfortunately, it didn’t make it past three episodes even though 11 were filmed. Jack Elam was perfect casting to play Frankenstein’s monster. And similar to “Young Frankenstein,” I like the idea of a descendent of the doctor having to deal with the monster.
Debuting in September 1979, “Struck by Lightning” was slotted on Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m. EST following “The Last Resort” and up against “Eight is Enough” on ABC and Real People on NBC. The latter two programs were ranked in the top 20 for that TV season. Wednesday night wasn’t CBS’s night.
Sitcoms with a fantasy element seem to be a hard sell. For the time only “Mork & Mindy” was successful. The TV sitcom ratings were dominated by M*A*S*H, Happy Days, Three’s Company, The Jeffersons and others. Still, it would be nice to see if the showed established itself with a style during those 11 episodes.
Thanks to The Retroist Vault being buried under 4,694 tons of snow; attendance is a little slim around here this week. But fret not oh fiendish ones, while Vic Sage, Doug McCoy, Claymation Werewolf and Phisbon3s are all outside fending off our air dropped shipment of nacho “cheese” from a horde of salivating yetis, I have selflessly volunteered to stay locked tightly inside and make sure that the projector is threaded properly…I know, it’s a burden but what can I say; I’m just that kind of ghoul!
So, what creature feature am I going to watch while my erstwhile co-workers are goofing off outside? Why none other than Toei’s 1981 anime flick “Kyoufu Densetsu Kaiki! Frankenstein”; an adaptation equal parts Mary Shelly’s iconic novel and Marvel’s comic series from the early 70’s (which is no surprise as Toei also adapted Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula a year earlier).
If you can’t join us in the Vault all is not lost! The entire opus is available in 10 (un)convenient installments on YouTube (the first of which I have posted below). So, turn down the lights, wrap up in a warm blanket, and let the depressing tale of violence and doomed monsters magically teleport you back to the 80’s; when visiting trauma upon your children via uninformed VHS rental habits was a weekly occurrence! Now if only my inconsiderate co-workers would knock off the blood curdling screams out there, I could enjoy my movie in peace!
I always have one eye open in thrift stores for cool Halloween decorations, so I was as happy as Dracula in a blood bank when I recently discovered this Playskools Big Frank. Poor Frankie seems to be missing a few critical internal gears, but that wouldn’t have stopped Dr. Frankenstein and so I did not let it stop me, either.
While Halloween is a great time to display Big Frank, I want limit him to this holiday. Frank can be the centerpiece at Thanksgiving. This green guy with a red coat would be great for Christmas.
If you are lucky enough to find a Big Frank out there, no matter what the shape, make sure to pick him up. I am certainly glad I did.
Watch this Playskools Big Frank Commercial
We’ve all gotten some great premiums in Happy Meals and other fast food kids’ dinners. Definitely in the running for the greatest premiums of all time, though, are the Burger King Universal Monster action figures.
Burger King was giving these gems away in 1997. They were 3.75 inches high (the proper height of an action figure, as we all know), had those Star Wars holes in the feet so they could be stood on those Star Wars pegs, had articulated heads and limbs, and came with little settings. The Wolf Man had a cellar he rose out of, Dracula a coffin, and Frankenstein’s Monster a lab table. I don’t know what set the Creature came with, but I doubt it was a lagoon.
These figures are really great, especially considering they were give-away toys, and you can still get them on Ebay, even unopened, fairly cheaply today.