Wednesday, January 4, 2017

There Were Giants in the Earth always left a distinct impression through almost exclusively one scene (and there are many considering this episode was one of a few using incredible footage from the "test" pilot that didn't have Dr. Smith or the Robot). There is this great giant with one eye, leaving behind enormous footsteps. In fact one footprint crushes a weather instrument Major Don West left behind. While in their all-terrain planetary vehicle, The Chariot, there's a lengthy pass of the fallen giant, the family looking out of their window to view the now-dead carcass of the "creature of the week". It is so eerie, the eye open and dead-staring, such an impressive creature no longer to hurl objects at the family or pose them harm, a laser pistol in the hand of Will Robinson its conqueror.

There was a question on the Lost in Space message board regarding when exactly Dr. Smith began to transition into the cowardly nuisance with brainy quips and extra motivation to squirm out of labor. I felt this episode was part of the groundwork laid by Jonathan Harris for the Smith that would progressively become more and more silly and cartoonish as the three season series continued. Here, you get Harris waking up, eluding help setting up the forcefield ship protection device as John Robinson and West commence the grunt work, appropriately arriving at the hydroponic garden as Judy and Penny were planting seeds in a unique type of soil from the ship towards the very end, plants some of the seeds in the dirt of the planet to see if food would actually grow at greater advantage for the family (actually just so he could have the excuse to grab a handful of soil for a baggy so he could get away from helping the ladies, claiming he would be studying samples), and arriving behind little Will Robinson as he was working on gadgets on the bridge of the Jupiter 2 having avoided any type of assistance to anyone. Oh Will asks Smith to help him but Smith uses the soil to free himself from that as well. Eventually Smith dumps the baggy in the garbage in the kitchen area of the ship when Maureen Robinson emerges to question his reason for not helping the family tend to matters of importance to the livelihood of all. Smith of course uses "cooking meal preparation" to further his cause of avoiding assisting anybody. This ten minute or so sequence of events is a layout of just what Smith was about in regards to being useful to the family. He worked hard at getting out of work! As far as his being dastardly, that real villainous side of Smith would fade into sheer self-preservation and self-servitude, eyeing all chances to return to Earth or bettering his own situation. For most of the series, Smith was out for Smith.

Irwin Allen was a producer who avoided using funds when able. And he had all that unused footage for the pilot that never aired for his perusal. The giant was so worthy of its own highlight episode. You get a chance to see John in rescue mode, in flight in his manual jet pack, a device I absolutely loved when I was a kid watching the show. There were all these toys the series had, some eventually abandoned much to my disappointment. Just the same, Penny and her "alien primate" ("Bloop, bloop") have wandered off and gotten lost. John sets off in his jet pack to find them, eventually doing so. This rescue effort put them in serious danger of being left behind by West (ordered by John to drive the Chariot away at a scheduled time, with Judy, Maureen, and Will in tow) as inclement freezing was on its way to their area of the planet. The weather problem was a clever way to leave Smith and Robot behind while the Robinson family (and West) retreat South to a warmer part of the planet until the "season" passes. Actually lots of footage from the unaired pilot featuring just the Robinsons (and West) could then be focused on (when the giant threatens John and West by hurling giant boulders at them, West actually calls John "Doc" at one point, a nickname not used during the season commissioned after the first pilot, but during the unaired pilot), with only small bits featuring Smith and Robot needing to be filmed so we won't forget about them.

The footage is so good, I was always (and continue to be) happy with the first episodes of the first season. Despite some hokey and rather laughable episodes even in this highly regarded season, in comparison to the second (and plenty of the third) season the first was a masterclass of storytelling. Even several of the episodes geared completely towards children, they sure were better than West of Mars. There Were Giants... gets the episode starting on a thrilling note by having Will in need of quick thinking to avoid being hit with electrical bolts charged by Robot, seemingly triggered to kill by Smith and his malicious programming (Robot, at the beginning of this episode, was programmed to obey only Smith's voice). He mimics Smith and causes Robot to "check his programming". Later Will disobeys his father's stern warning not to fool around with Robot, but the boy, brilliant as he might be, only makes matters worse by plugging in its power pack with it moving off towards parts unknown, including its turning off the forcefield generator, endangering the entire family. John has a few moments of scolding Will in the episode. Will and his wanting to "fix" Robot puts him at odds with his pops. John sits Will down and the two have a father-son talk that airs the grievances, with the Full House soft music that makes many cringe and others go "Awww." LiS fans would see Will eventually soften Robot into a friend. As Smith was transitioning into the work-avoiding cowardly sneak, Will and Robot were beginning their own transition into pals. Like Smith, who is at first this malevolent saboteur with no redeeming qualities and with the shelf life of a Bond villain, Robot was a monotone mechanical dullard certain to be ordered around to do manual labor. Robot, much like Smith, would be a tool for comedy and sight gags. The end has the Robinsons fleeing a major lightning storm for a cavern housing a former alien civilization long gone as a quake arises, with the walls and ceiling literally caving in on them. It is a rather gnarly way to set the next cliffhanger.

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Dexter - Seeing Red

Sure enough, Pellegrino pops up yet again, as Rita's loathsome, trouble-making ex. Tonight's episode presented Dexter with yet anoth...

Ahs

Ahs

Edc

Edc
Blog's Dead all Over
"... perhaps we invent artificial terrors to cope with the real ones."

--host, Donald Pleasence, Terror in the Aisles (1984)

Sbut

Sbut
Snip. Snip

Hal

Hal
There are many things under the sun
---Dr. Werdegast, The Black Cat

hal1

It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.

Jtm 2

Jtm 2

Rave

Rave

Mrub

Mrub

Gb

"Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

--Ghostbusters

sm6

sm6

Rv1

Rv1

Nas

Nas

nos3

nos3

Lok

Lok

Po

Po

Ra6

Ra6

dawn

dawn

Dracula's Daughter ('36)

Countess Zaleska: Be thou exorcised oh Dracula, and thy body long undead find destruction throughout eternity in the name of thy dark unholy Master.

mh2

mh2

z2

z2

Hiii

Hiii

Fred

Fred

Ghspo

Ghspo
Movie, so-so, but poster, cool

Enl

Enl

nos4

nos4

gm

To a new world of gods and monsters!


No 2

No 2
Jason Lives

clothes line

clothes line

Ahorr

Ahorr

Cbi1

Cbi1
Case of the bloody iris

Wsha

Wsha

Mouth3

Mouth3
In the Mouth of Madness

Fdfn2

Fdfn2
Freddy's Dead '91

Vyr

Vyr
Vampyres 1974

Sh fr

Sh fr
Friday the 13th Part 2

Vlov

Vlov
Carmilla's kiss

f133

f133

Edpos

Edpos

Ttf2

Ttf2

Jm2

Jm2
El Hombre Lobo

Psycho '60

It's sad, when a mother has to speak the words that condemn her own son. But I couldn't allow them to believe that I would commit murder. They'll put him away now, as I should have years ago. He was always bad, and in the end he intended to tell them I killed those girls and that man... as if I could do anything but just sit and stare, like one of his stuffed birds. They know I can't move a finger, and I won't. I'll just sit here and be quiet, just in case they do... suspect me. They're probably watching me. Well, let them. Let them see what kind of a person I am. I'm not even going to swat that fly. I hope they are watching... they'll see. They'll see and they'll know, and they'll say, "Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly..."

Kife

Kife
Knife is calling, Psycho 2

Meg

Meg
Meg Tilly, Psycho II

ring 2

ring 2
the ring 2002, "the tape"

poster

poster

exor1

exor1
"the visitor" The Exorcist (1973)

Conj

Conj

Tz1

Tz1
"Masks", Twilight Zone

In the kitchen, The Shape

In the kitchen, The Shape
In the kitchen, The Shape

exc4

exc4

Ps56

Ps56

Hun

Hun
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932

Ps89

Ps89

Cof

Cof
Victor and Paul, with their Monster

pcushig

pcushig

His

His

Efny

Efny

sus

sus
I'm going to grind you down to blood and screams.

--Innocent Blood 1992
Rest in Peace, Robert Loggia

wb

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

WZ

WZ

Edfen

Edfen
"Do not enter the city...It belongs to the dead now."

h1

h1
Look behind you!

Bs

Bs
"There is no terror in the bang, only the anticipation of it."
--Alfred Hitchcock

linnea

linnea

Amer

Amer
Taste of metal

The h gang

The h gang

Nlc

Nlc
Old Skool Nostalgia

Hp

Hp

Smoke

Smoke
Got a smoke?

Strek

Strek
Live long and prosper

Hill

Hill

Castle

Castle

SRW

"This seems to be the place where the plot begins to thicken..."
--Spooks Run Wild (1941)

Frere and dummy

Frere and dummy

Mlove

Mlove

Alone/dark

"There are no crazy people, doctor. We're all just on vacation."

--Alone in the Dark (1982)

Lips

Lips

Fhz

Fhz

Ph

Ph

Vestron

Vestron
Vintage VHS

sm 3

sm 3

Monique parent

Monique parent
Erotique in Review

Were5

Were5

f13

f13
November 2015

Bmate

Bmate

--Wes Craven

I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that's not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.

Ms45 w

Ms45 w

Churcvh

Churcvh
The Church 1989

Ww

Ww
The Whip and the Body 1963

Lsho

"Now, no novacaine....it dulls the senses"

--Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Christopher Lee

Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.

Vampyros lesbos

You are one of us now. The Queen of the Night will bear you up on her black wings

The Unknown 1927

No....not sick. But I have lost some flesh.

Alonzo, the Armless.

Ckvh

Ckvh

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Glen: We'd like to speak to the Townsends, please.

The Butler: They are not available till after sunset.

Bw5

Bw5

Jill

Jill

Mad Love 1935

Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?

Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.

Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.

Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.