Alien Terror

Take A Look At The 1979 “Alien Terror” Movie Viewer!

I think it is more than fair to say that Kenner went all in with Alien in 1979. For example last month I shared the stunning revelation they had produced a board game based on the film. While Ridley Scott’s sci-/horror movie is a masterpiece it was an R rated feature as well. So you might be able to picture my confusion when I learned Kenner had in addition released the “Alien Terror” movie viewer.

In this case “Alien Terror” is an abridged version of the 1979 movie. In fact it is so short that in all honesty if you hadn’t seen the movie it wouldn’t make any sense. Of course there is only so much that Kenner could share from Alien with kids, right?
Alien Terror

By all means, try to convince me this movie cartridge didn’t cause a few nightmares in 1979.

[Via] Mazinz2

With this in mind – try to remember that Kenner had certainly found success with their line of movie viewers. Beginning in 1975 when they released film catridges and viewers for Snoopy, The Six Million Dollar Man, and The Bionic Woman.

Especially successful for Kenner was the Star Wars movie viewer and cartridges set in 1977. On the other hand there were only four film cartridges produced for that series, plus a fifth that was included with the set.

Many fans have wondered why Kenner didn’t continue with the line. Because of this mystery some people feel that perhaps 20th Century Fox stepped in and asked Kenner to cease production. For fear of cutting into the profits of repeat viewings in the theater.

Now that we’ve taken a look at 1979’s “Alien Terror” why not check out Snoopy Meets the Red Baron?


This film cartridge comes from the Fisher Price Movie Viewer line. It did better than Kenner, lasting until the middle of the 1980s. Thanks to the many licensing agreements with the likes of Walt Disney, Marvel, Hasbro and many more.

[Via] Snoopsbme

The Black Hole

Retro Records: The Black Hole Book and Record (1979)

It’s turning out to be a Black Hole kind of weekend. I mean – just look at Earl Green’s excellent Cygnus model post from the other day. A fan made piece of art that blew us away to say the very least. And now in addition we have this offering. The book and record adaptation of The Black Hole from 1979!
The Black Hole

Thanks to this video upload by Old Disney Records we can thrill once again to the exploits of the crew from the U.S.S. Palomino. Crossing paths in the darkness of space with the crazed Dr. Hans Reinhardt and the dangerous Maximilian. Aboard the mysterious Cygnus and the very real threat of the ravenous Black Hole.

I have an incredible amount of fond memories concerning the Walt Disney Productions’ book and records. I still have many of those I grew up with including this record. TRON, Davy Crockett, Mary Poppins, and more. Granted not all of them are in as good a condition as the one you will hear in the video below.

While the book and records were well known in their adaptations of trimming the fat for a story. Of course I will remind you they only had a small amount of time on the 33 and 1/3 records. The fact is the total running time for The Black Hole is a little over 9 minutes. To help in this process the adaptation of the Black Hole cuts loose two crew members of the Palomino.

For example Ernest Borgnine’s role of Harry Booth, the engineer, has been excised.
The Black Hole

As well as Anthony Perkins’ part as Dr. Alex Durant.

Having said that it is still a solid package. Managing to keep the main gist of the story and exciting moments intact. They even use some of John Barry’s excellent soundtrack as well as sound effects from the film.

The most interesting aspect of it is how it tackles the ending of the movie. For those of you that haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing The Black Hole the conclusion is…equal parts terrifying and subject to interpretation.

Now without further ado, joins us on Retro Records as we listen to 1979’s The Black Hole!

How To Build The Black Hole’s Cygnus

The Black Hole was one of the most heavily-promoted flicks of the late seventies’ burgeoning category of post-Star-Wars sci-fi blockbuster-wanna-bes. Back then, the Star Wars universe was not yet a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney, and so Disney – like the rest of the studios – desperately tried to play catch-up with George Lucas’ (and 20th Century Fox’s) blockbuster.

The result was a flawed, but much-loved-by-fans-of-a-certain-age, epic. With the marketing might of Disney behind it, there were puzzles, read-along storybooks, model kits, and – perhaps best of all – Mego’s line of Black Hole action figures.

[Via] Action Figure King.Com

But what the model kits of the time couldn’t hope to duplicate was the sheer intricacy of The Black Hole’s delicate spacecraft. And you can’t really fault them for that: the complicated, visible girders gave the movie’s main setting, the wayward U.S.S. Cygnus, a cathedralesque look. Trying to mass-produce a replica of that in lightweight plastic would be begging for trouble: a model too delicate to stand up under its own weight.

But we live in the future now, and enterprising fans with mad 3-D skills – and no readily apparent budget ceiling – have finally put the Cygnus within your reach…for a price. (To quote a robot from a much more recent Disney sci-fi epic, it’s high…it’s very high.)

Industrious, and quite possibly even-madder-than-Dr.-Hans-Reinhardt Black Hole fan “Primitive Dave” has made it possible, via 3-D printing service Shapeways, to accumulate and assemble the pieces necessary for an almost-filming-ready model of the Cygnus.


This is not a project for the faint of heart, the scarce of budget, or those short on skills: some assembly, to put it mildly, is required. Better assemble some funds, too: all of the pieces necessary to put together the model itself run nearly $1,200.

A Flickr album by “The Lazy Modeler”, a.k.a. Jeff Bond, shows the painstaking construction of not just a complete U.S.S. Cygnus model from the Shapeways page, but one with internal lighting and blue LEDs for the engines.
Cygnus - Jeff Bond
Cygnus - Jeff Bond

(Jeff Bond played Dr. McCoy in some of the final episodes of the incredibly well-produced fan-made series Star Trek: New Voyages, and wrote the liner notes to the long-overdue official cd release of the complete soundtrack from The Black Hole itself. If building this model – and the eye-popping selection of other models in the background – doesn’t earn Mr. Bond serious geek cred, then those credentials, and the wealth of liner notes he’s written for many other soundtrack CDs, should put him over the top.)

The other thing about this entirely 3-D printed Cygnus model? It’s huge. Clear a shelf…a shelf that runs the length of an entire wall.
By the time it’s completed, and LED-lit, the only thing missing…is an equally detailed scale model of the relatively tiny U.S.S. Palomino berthed in the docking elevator.

Maybe “Primitive Dave” will have us covered on that in due time. (By the way, I suspect that Jeff Bond is not lazy, nor is Dave really very primitive. Call it a hunch.)

If you seek a massive modeling challenge, go in(sane), through (your entire bank balance), and beyond (the available space in your living room) aboard the Cygnus! Floaty robot buddies not included.

Haunted Mansion - Knight

A Knight For A Fright In Disney’s Haunted Mansion


I’ve ridden the Haunted Mansion dozens of times. But one time I rode it was different from any other. I vaguely remember that one of the very first times I rode Haunted Mansion, there was someone in costume that jumped out at you.

Turns out my memory is correct. In the 1980s, Disneyland had a cast member dressed up a knight in armor. They were part of the ride and would jump out at guests.

All images courtesy of DoomBuggies.Com

All images courtesy of DoomBuggies.Com

The wonderful Haunted Mansion site DoomBuggies has an interview with one of the cast members who played the knight.

Want more Haunted Mansion goodies?

Please stop by my pop culture food blog – Between the Pages. I’ve featured tons of cool Haunted Mansion treats.

(One of my favorite posts from Karen’s site is this Hatbox Ghost by Dan Szczepanski – Vic)
hatbox-ghost-between-the-pages

Retro Records: The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow (1969)

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: The Story and Songs was originally released back in 1969. I can’t think of a better way to help get you in the spirit of the Season than listening to this offering.

This particular LP is a bit different than others that Walt Disney produced and released. For one thing it doesn’t feature Bing Crosby’s narration or singing from the 1949 animated short film. This record is narrated by Billy Bletcher and contains two songs. Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, the latter sounds like it is sung by Thurl Ravenscroft.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow story for this record is an abbreviated version used in the 1949 theatrical short. While I do wish it ran a little longer, I am glad it manages to hit all of the beats of the animated offering. Also while sadly not included on the video below – the LP came with a booklet featuring 11 pages of story and art. For kids to follow along with the record of course.
sleepy-hollow-headless-horseman

On the second side of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: The Story and Songs was another Washington Irving story. Rip Van Winkle. This too was narrated by Billy Bletcher and featured two songs but sadly I’ve not been able to find it online.

So join us on Retro Records as we gather around to hear The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: The Story and Songs!
sleepy-hollow-brom-bones

Disney Audio Archive

Now that you’ve enjoyed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow how about we give a listen to Rip Van Winkle?


I already told you that I wasn’t able to locate the second side of the 1969 album. But since we are in the mood for more Washington Irving stories, why not enjoy this Mercury Records version instead?

[Via] Kiddie Records Weekly