Mark and I want to wish all of our podcast listeners and Facebook followers a very Happy and Safe Holidays.
Our one holiday wish is to spend the holidays with everyone and share a spiked eggnog while sitting in front of your Christmas tree or, as applicable, share a Manischewitz Sangria Martini (which sounds delicious: http://www.chron.com/life/food/article/Next-year-a-Manischewitz-Sangria-Martini-in-1780314.php) while sitting around the Menorah.
We hope you will take us into your home this holiday weekend as we present to you a special episode devoted to some off-the-beaten-track holiday music (all focused on the Christmas holidays – sorry Jews!).
You will not hear any of * this * Christmas music playing in your local Walmart while you do your holiday shopping.
This playlist covers the entire musical spectrum of the holidays: blues; disco; funk; pop; the weird, the unclassifiable. And, as an extra special treat, Lorne Greene joins the show to tell several (!) stories that teach us all the true Spirit of Christmas. He also sings (!!) a song about Christmas too.
We hope you answer our holiday wish by downloading the episode and give it a listen as you sip your (hopefully very potent) holiday drink.
Mark and Christopher discuss the wonderful Meet me at the Fair episode which originally aired Wednesday Nov 28, 1977. It is Season 4 Episode 11
The Ingalls and Oleson families are spending the day at a county fair, and there is plenty of fun and excitement in store for everyone. While sparks fly between Mary and a smooth-talking balloonist, Caroline and Harriet face off in a pie-baking contest, and Charles and Nels enter a gritty competition of their own. As for Laura, she wastes all her spending money in a surprising way, and Carrie faces serious danger when Laura fails to supervise her.
With this week’s episode, VHS Rewind is correcting a major faux pas: we have never before tackled any of the output of one of the shining stars of our youth: Mr. Captain Kirk/T.J Hooker himself, William Shatner.
The Shat was always around while we were growing up in the 1970s/1980s, not just because of STAR TREK and, later, T.J. HOOKER but because Shat was everywhere on TV: BARBARY COAST was another show he did which we watched because, well, Captain Kirk was on it; guest spots on every show we watched as kids: SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN; BARNABY JONES; HAWAII 5-O; IRONSIDE, KUNG FU; and guest spots on every tv show we didn’t watch as kids (PIONEER WOMAN, anyone? POLICE SURGEON??).
Then there were some incredible TV movies like HORROR AT 37,000 FEET, DISASTER ON THE COASTLINER and the classic PRAY FOR THE WILDCATS (with that once of a lifetime cast of Andy Griffith (playing the dangerous psychotic for a change) + Shat + Robert Reed + Marjoe Gortner (!!) + Angie Dickinson & Lorraine Gary.
Folks may forget that Shat’s theatrical features include more than the STAR TREK motion pictures: THE DEVIL’S RAIN; THE KIDNAPPING OF THE PRESIDENT; VISITING HOURS; AIRPLANE II: THE SEQUEL and, the subject our episode, KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS.
KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS is part of the subgenre of films we love: the nature-runs-amok-and-strikes-back genre which includes DAYS OF THE ANIMALS (all animals attack); FROGS (frogs attack); NIGHT OF THE LEPUS (giant bunnies attck); SSSSSSS (sssssnakessss attack); PHASE IV (little ants attack): EMPIRE OF THE ANTS (giant ants attack); a few movies about bees attacking; SQUIRM (somehow, worms attack); and yes, you know JAWS, JAWS 2 etc. In this one, we get to see spiders attack.
If the Shat seems to be dialing his Shatner-ness back somewhat (this isn’t the Shatner of STAR TREK V), remember that the Shat remains a singular actor and he gives us a lot to talk about. Shat certainly has a way with the ladies in this flick – part Donald Trump, part Pepe Le Peu, all creepy, sleazy sexual predator.
We hope you take a listen to this week’s episode so you can hear our thoughts about KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS and where, in the pantheon of spider flicks this one falls: is it as good as 1955’s TARANTULA? No but that 1955 flick is a personal, nostalgic favorite. Is KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS as unintentionally funny as 1975’s THE GIANT SPIDER INVASION? No, alas. Does KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS feature incredible rock-n-roll songs like 1958’s EARTH VS THE SPIDER. No, but there are plenty of songs in KINGDOM OF THE SPIDERS and we play every damn one of ‘em on the show because they are amazing.
Mark, Christopher and Chris discuss the dark and classic episode from Season 4, My Ellen. My Ellen is the 3rd episode in the 4th Season and First aired on September 26, 1977.
Eloise Taylor: I asked God for a miracle today. I prayed by my baby’s grave. I asked him to make her alive today. He can do that. He’s done greater things than that.
Reverend Robert Alden: Eloise, it’s not…
Eloise Taylor: Don’t tell me it’s not my place to question God. They’re covering my baby out there with dirt. It’ll be so dark… My Ellen was always so afraid of the dark. God doesn’t care about me and God doesn’t care about Ellen. Don’t you come around here no more. No more!
Cal Taylor: Eloise…
Reverend Robert Alden: It’s alright. I’ll go.
Eloise Taylor: [Picks up bible] And take your damn book with you!
[throws Bible at him]
Christopher Hasler: After the exuberant, life-affirming, Christmas-is-here holiday cheer provided by the Osmond family on our last episode, the BING CROSBY MERRIE OLDE CHRISTMAS simply sucked every ounce of life and good cheer from your estimable VHS Rewind hosts. We thought the mix of the Christmas season with Bing (Mr. White Christmas himself) Crosby would yield at leats an hour of perfectly pleasant Christmas carols (if nothing else) but Bing and his producers throw us a curve by not only giving us a Christmas special that is devoid of any Christmas spirit but by having Bing and his talent-less family pack their bags and go to England for the duration of the program(!)…we are treated not to the kind of kitsch that was a hallmark of the Osmond special but some rather dry, droll (veddy veddy droll) british humor(!)…Bing not only has a conversation with (the ghost of) Charles Dickens but Twiggy (yes, Twiggy) has an extended musical number where she essays a few of Dickens’ better known characters…an excruciating 50 minute program is enlivened by a few small (very few, very small) bits including an appearance by David Bowie, some hilarious jibes at former Crosby partner Bob Hope, terrible line readings by the Crosby family members, a few pleasantly sung christmas carols…Bing filmed this program in Sept 1977 and was dead by the time this puppy aired in November 1977…it damned near killed us at VHS Rewind…