Here is the truth of the matter. There have been so many television programs, good as well as bad over the years that I am bound to have missed a few. Case in point 1966’s It’s About Time. Which aired for only one season on CBS for a total of 26 episodes. I find it odd that I had not heard of it before as the show was created by Sherwood Schwartz of Gilligan’s Island fame. Furthermore, did I mention that It’s About Time concerns…time travel?
As you can plainly tell from that intro. The story indeed concerns two Astronauts who are stranded in the prehistoric era. The hapless voyagers, Mac McKenzie and Hector Canfield, were played by Frank Aletter and Jack Mullaney.
Things might have becomes serious for Mac and Hector if not for help from a cave family. Filled with legendary character actors like Joe. E Ross who played Grok. As well as Imogene Coca who portrayed Shad, who was credited as Shag in the first episode. However, I am going to assume you will know Ross best for his role in Car 54, Where Are You?. Imogene is probably best known as Aunt Edna in 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation, having said that she was certainly a Broadway legend.
I should add that the show not only was created by Sherwood Schwartz. It in addition borrowed sets and props as well as incidental music from Gilligan’s Island. When it originally debuted on September 11 it did quite well. However after a few weeks the showrunners and network noticed ratings were dipping fast.
Schwartz was a smart cookie. He realized a couple of things were hampering It’s About Time. And they all revolved around the fact that Mac and Hector were stuck in prehistoric times. It was caught in a series of repetitive situations.
So with the 19th episode entitled “20th Century Here We Come”, the duo return to modern times…with a few cave people in tow. The intro not only had new animation but of course new lyrics too.
Hey there, friends. Back in April we shared some exciting bit of news from Jonathan of CryptTube. He had in fact discovered that in the 90’s, HBO had planned on releasing a CryptKeeper game. Or an interactive Tales from the Crypt PC game. Considering how popular the series had become, it is little wonder Home Box Office decided to go this route. However while the Tales from the Crypt PC title wasn’t released, there is plenty of info left to exhume!
Remember that while the HBO Tales from the Crypt series was obviously mature. The truth of the matter is that the CryptKeeper himself was incredibly charming. Thanks in no small part to the voice talent of John Kassir. So much so of course there were two animated series featuring the CryptKeeper in the early 90’s. To say nothing of the face our favorite horror host had his own game show!
So as I was just saying a second ago. Jonathan, who is indeed a huge Tales from the Crypt fan, found out about this proposed PC title. He was even able to make contact with one of the head artists for the Tales from the Crypt PC game. Who was kind enough to send him artwork from the unreleased video game.
Which was Mike Vosburg. The same guy who was responsible for making nearly all of the comic covers in the HBO show.
However it appears that there is even more info out there on the game. Which Jonathan was able to uncover and share on his YouTube page. For example the title would have in fact been akin to an interactive comic book. With the players attempting to make it through three different stories entitled The Works in the Wax, High Tide and Big Top Terror. In addition the Players would take on the role of an comics illustrator who goes by the moniker of Killyjoy.
Jonathan was also able to interview Russell Lees, a writer for Inscape at the time. Which was of course the company who was developing the Tales from the Crypt PC game. Where we learn some interesting information such as different stories would feature different artists. One of those artists was Al Columbia whose artwork for the game would be included in the anthology comic series Zero Zero!
More importantly, Jonathan was able to secure a demo CD of Inscape titles. While not offering a playable version of the title. It does however provide the opening cinematic to the game!
Ready to learn more about the Tales from the Crypt PC game?
In the mid-1980s, Malcolm-Jamal Warner was not just Theo Huxtable, he was the host of several child-friendly pseudo-instructional videos on various topics, from being cool at parties to a home safety video for those times kids find themselves…home alone!
Home Safety Video For Kids…Starring Kids!
And now for a whole other kind of training video of the “departure from my usual training video” type!
I’m talking a home safety video for the younger set!
In 1987, Nelvana Limited and Hi-Tops Video produced a home safety video called Home Alone: A Kid’s Guide to Playing it Safe When On Your Own.
Malcolm-Jamal Warner hosts the program, along with a cast of child actors, all of whom were actual working child actors, and none of whom appear on the box cover.
Now, before we start, I have something important to get out of the way!
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Ah yes. Now we can start!
Anyway, the actual kids…
From right to left (As they introduce themselves): Alyson (Alyson Court), Sunny (Sunny Besen-Thrasher), Mike (Ian Heath, because why use his real name?), and Wendy (Wendy Chong).
For those not in the know, Alyson and Sunny were prominent voice actors who (at the time) starred as siblings in the live-action My Pet Monster, Wendy was a regular on The Elephant Show, and Ian/Mike made appearances on The Edison Twins (Sunny played the twins’ younger sibling, Paul) and starred in the mini-series Anne of Avonlea. He’s probably the least well-known of the four child actors. Malcolm himself was playing Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show, and is the only non-Canadian of the group.
So…did he go up to Canada to film this?
The video’s aim is to teach kids how to stay safe in any possible situation when by themselves. The instruction is done through scenarios and role play, and done in a way that kids understand.
And there’s kiddie game show-style theme music and eighties transition magic. Because 1987.
What scenarios do they act out, you ask?
Scenario #1: How to Safeguard Your Key
Featuring giant keys on a string around your neck, or attached to your belt loop, and Malcolm wearing a black Halloween mask and ski cap!
Scenario #2: Kitchen Safety (Making a Snack)
Not using sharp knives, the stove, or the oven. Also featuring Alyson Court’s giant sandwich!
I saw My Pet Monster. The Giant Sandwich and Sunny Besen-Thrasher in the same room does not end well, trust me!
And Malcolm’s slightly evil face next to knives.
I kid you not.
Scenario #3: Person at the Door
Malcolm tries to convince the kids to let him in, and almost succeeds with Wendy and Alyson.
Malcolm: “Knock, knock!”
Sunny: “Who’s there?”
Sunny: “Boo who?”
Malcolm: “Don’t cry, I’m here to fix the hot water heater!”
Scenario #4: Phone
That phone and its giant buttons are on point!
Scenario #5: Problems with Utilities (Water, Gas, Electricity) And First Aid
Malcolm demonstrates turning off water or gas in the event of a leak, and explains what to do if the power goes out.Malcolm reviews the First Aid kit, creating a contact list, and what to do in the event of a fire.
Scenario #6: Medical Emergency
Alyson and “Officer Warner” go over what to do in the event of a medical emergency.
And now that you know all of this, time to…
Put The Home Safety Video Details Together!
Mike/Ian and Wendy (as “Dad” and “Mom”) review all the scenarios and explanations with their “son” Malcolm.
And now that you know everything there is to know from this home safety video…
Make A Plan!
Create a plan that works well for you, practice it, and watch this tape once a month to refresh your memory. After all, Hi-Tops did throw this at the beginning of the video…
It is a nicer way of saying “BUY THIS HI-TOPS VIDEOCASSETTE!”
So, what do you think? You know the scenarios, but how about seeing them played out by our young stars?
Well, you’re in luck!
Home Alone: A Kid’s Guide To Playing It Safe When On Your Own
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Takeaways From Home Alone: A Kid’s Guide To Playing It Safe When On Your Own
1. Staying safe while home alone (especially at a younger age) never becomes a dated concept.
2. There was a time when cell phones didn’t exist, and we relied on handwritten contact lists and the home phone.
3. Alyson listened to records or the radio. A modern-day kid wants to know what a record is.
4. Sunny will get robbed or kidnapped leaving his window open and door unlocked.
(The perp won’t look like Malcolm-Jamal Warner).
5. Malcolm-Jamal Warner looks slightly evil standing next to knives.
That might be my screenshot skills, but seriously, that expression!
The music sting after each “incorrect” response makes so much sense!
6. Giant Sandwich a la Alyson!
And now that you know how to stay safe, 1987 style, it is time to put these strategies and to work! So write up your contact list in huge letters, put your giant key on a string around your neck, and don’t answer the door for anyone!
Holy cow, friends! I was working down here in the Retroist Vault this morning when we got in this bit of exciting news. Varese Sarabande has totally released the digital soundtrack for John Massari’s Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined today. There will be a physical CD released next week on May 25th. Furthermore Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined features a brand new version of the theme song from the film. Performed of course by the Dickies!
Much like Albert Pyun’s Radioactive Dreams, I first discovered Killer Klowns from Outer Space on VHS. The Chiodo Brothers released their cult classic while I was still in High School. I was in computer science class and the description of the film from a fellow student, forced me to rent it that very evening after class. In no way was I disappointed by Killer Klowns from Outer Space, indeed it became one of my favorite films.
Obviously what the Chiodo Brothers pulled off, it’s similar to 1984’s Gremlins. You are certainly a little creeped out by the alien clowns in the film but you are laughing too. Of course what do you expect from the same three brothers who worked on the likes of Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure as well as the Critters series?
Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined is being released at the perfect time. As May 27th in fact is the 30th anniversary of the cult classic film. The new soundtrack of course features the fantastic score by John Massari. However this time he is also being backed up by the 30-piece Hollywood Chamber Orchestra.
Did I forget to mention that Bear McCreary also is featured on the new album? Yeah, he sits in and plays both accordion and the hurdy-gurdy. The very same McCreary of Battlestar Galactica, God of War, as well as Outlander fame.
Let me be clear, the synth score for the original motion picture was great. Backed up with a full orchestra however and it has become absolutely epic. John Massari is no stranger to scoring for films and television either. In fact he got his start working on the likes of Little House on the Prairie, I, Madman, and 1986’s The New Adventures of Jonny Quest!
The film most assuredly contains elements of madcap comedy. However, it is still very much a horror film beneath those bright colors and bizarre situations. The same rings true with Massari’s score, there are jovial elements in it but they are darkly twisted. The soundtrack knows it is intended for a horror film. That I believe is one of the reasons that it is so remarkable, friends.
With the track Killer Klown March you have a toe-tapping calliope styled main melody. Which weaves itself in and out of other tracks throughout the score. The score is proudly ‘metal’, however there are softer elements in the score too. Overall the composer while sticking to a horror feel – still successfully injects fun into it.
You can hop on over to the official Varese Sarabande site to pre-order your CD now. The digital version of the score should be available there too as well as iTunes, etc.
Now then, with the 30th anniversary of the film just around the bend. There is one other super special event taking place besides the Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Reimagined release.
How would you like to see a live concert to film presentation of the movie?