Sunday, October 30, 2011

Record #1968 - The Story of Blackbeard's Ghost

In honor of (almost) Halloween, today's record is the (sort of) Halloween-related album -- The Story of Blackbeard's Ghost, featuring Peter Ustinov. HEY! There's a ghost! Ghost = Halloween. Deal with it, you batty beatniks!

The film, Blackbeard's Ghost is probably my favorite Disney movie. It's just another movie that I absolutely love, but can't explain exactly why. It's definitely got something to do with the oddness of Peter Ustinov though...

Blackbeard's Ghost is the story of Steve, played by Dean Jones, who moves to the small town of Godolphin to become the new track coach at the college. When he arrives, he stumbles upon a charity auction to save Blackbeard's Inn (where he is staying) from an evil casino owner (are all casino owners evil, or is that just in the movies?). He ends up winning an antique bed warmer in the auction, but when he gets up to his room, he accidentally sits on it, breaking it in half. Inside, he finds an old book of magic spells that used to belong to Blackbeard's wife. He reads one of the spells, unknowingly conjuring up Blackbeard himself, played perfectly by Peter Ustinov. Because of the spell, Steve and Blackbeard are now bonded by magic, and Blackbeard will remain in limbo (and with Steve) until he completes one good deed. All the while, Steve tries to bring his losing track team to the top, and win over a psychology professor played by Suzanne Pleshette. Hilarity ensues. No, really. It does! I'm really not kidding this time! I swear! WHY WON'T YOU BELIEVE ME?!?

This movie is just crazy fun. Blackbeard is basically one very big, drunk kid who has fun using his invisibility just to screw around with people and make Dean Jones go insane.

As with most older Disney movies, this one has a story album. Since they obviously didn't have the option of releasing a VHS tape or a DVD of their movies for home, they would release these story albums, usually with an accompanying book, to keep the films in the kids' heads until they were re-released in theaters after a few years.

The Story of Blackbeard's Ghost is different from all the rest, as this one is not just narrated by some nameless, faceless, freaky, generic-y voice-over guy -- this is narrated by Peter Ustinov in character as Blackbeard! It is a little odd to listen to at times, especially when they use sound clips from the actual movie, but hearing Peter Ustinov narrate in character as our drunken friend Blackbeard is surely entertaining enough to keep your interest through the whole story!

Now, this film is available on DVD, but I warn you, the transfer is the most horrifyingly hideous DVD transfer I have ever seen. It really looks like they transfered a copy of the film that someone had forgotten under their couch for 40 years. To top it all off, it's not even framed right, and there is even a part where a talking character's face is only half visible on the screen! Stupid crappiness of the DVDness.

Blackbeard always smiles
before he kills someone for releasing
a bad DVD of a great movie.

Hopefully, the atrociousness of the DVD won't keep you from enjoying this record of The Story of Blackbeard's Ghost! Have fun, and... Arrrr! (That's Piratespeak for "Enjoy!")

Download the record HERE.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Girl in Gold Boots Memorabilia (Part 1 of 3)

Ted V. Mikels' 1968 film, Girl in Gold Boots, is one of my favorite movies. I wish I could explain why I love it so much, but I can't exactly do that. It's got everything you could ask for - action, music, guitars, motorcycles, girls, gold boots, gold bikinis, lips like sweet wine, a dune buggy, a Lonely Cowboy Santa, a draft-dodger named Critter, drugs, prison, a nightclub called The Haunted House, and a pretty miiiiiind!

Now, since I gauge the greatness of a movie by the amount of go-go dancing in it, this one is by far, the greatest film ever made. Take that, Orson Welles!

If you don't believe me, check out the trailer below and see for yourself!

As you can see, this movie rules. I was initially introduced to it by the awesome TV show, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and I am forever indebted to them for introducing this magnificent cinema masterpiece to me.

Since seeing it that first time, I've grown almost completely obsessed with the movie, and have purchased a bunch of memorabilia that this movie produced, and this (obviously) is the first installment of my ever-growing collection.

The item we have today is an original promotional flyer for the movie. Now, this isn't just your standard-issue rectangular, Kinko's produced flyer - this one is shaped like a freakin' GOLD BOOT. Oh, man. I am in Heaven.

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Stay tuned for the rest of the collection, yak boy!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Kenner Give-a-Show Slide Collection (part 4 of 16)

Today's episode of the Kenner Give-a-Show Slide comic collection features our favorite cartoon basketball bunch, the Harlem Globetrotters® in the captivating chronicle, "Pinpoint Accuracy"!

With only ten seconds to go and a tie game, our glorious grandmother cheerleader and dandy dog mascot are cheering on the Globetrotters, while knocking over a bucket of milk for some reason, as a flashlight and a bunch of flesh-colored and black jelly beans float behind them.

Apparently the Globetrotters have stolen the DNA of Stretch Armstrong, as one of them was able to stretch their freakishly long arm behind the backboard to make a score point! GO TEAM!

In true basketball fashion, the ball goes to the opposing team, who almost immediately decide to shoot the ball from the middle of nowhere, whilst one Globetrotter dances in the foreground, and the others skip by in the back.

Our sunburnt sports-guy shoots a last second shot and OH NO! It's going in!

Then, out of what appears to be nowhere, there is an explosion! (POOFF SSSSSSSS)

As it turns out, it was the ball that exploded! The now flattened ball is just hanging on the edge of the basket looking (to me, at least) like a deflated peanut. THE GLOBETROTTERS WIN, as usual. Yeesh. These guys need to lose eventually, they're getting wayyyy too cocky.

After winning (again, ugh), the Globetrotters walk over and talk to the question mark flying over the referee's head, telling it that the game had them on pins and needles, as a platoon of UFOs fly behind them. WAIT A GOSH DARN MINUTE!! THOSE GLOBETROTTERS FLATTENED THE BALL WITH A SHINY PIN!!

Aaaaaaand the moral of the story is -- cheaters ALWAYS prosper.

Godspeed, you fantastic fraudsters!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Record #604 - The Bob Crane/Pat Buttram Record

Today we've got a promotional compilation album of classic radio personalities Bob Crane and Pat Buttram entitled "Laffter Sweet and Profane". Alrighty then. As you most assuredly know, both of these guys went on to bigger careers, and I shall fill you in with all the Trivial Pursuit-ish information that you will never find any use for. After all, that's what this blog is all about. Duh.

Side one of this record is entitled "Extricated from a 5-Year Shambles Caused by Bob Crane". Now, this side is actually pretty entertaining. It's basically (well, exactly) a compilation of the best of Bob Crane's morning radio show. You get cigarette commercials, banter with the crazy co-hosts and producers, and the best part of the whole thing -- an improv scene with Jonathan Winters.

Bob Crane was, as you'll hear, a really superly duperly awesome radio show host. The format they used for the show was insanely ahead of its time, and that's probably why he was so popular. In fact, it was the number one rated morning show in Los Angeles and he was known as "The King of the Los Angeles Airwaves". Take THAT, whoever-the-heck-is-number-one-on-the-radio-now!

He was also an accomplished drummer, and sat in with many great jazz musicians on his show, as well as playing with them as the special guest drummer in club shows. Check out this video of him drumming along to "These Boots are Made for Walking" while some crazy dancers attempt to dance!!

Eventually he moved on from radio and into TV with spots on The Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and the Dick Van Dyke Show. This led to him starring as Col. Hogan on Hogan's Heroes, which was extremely popular and ran for 6 years.

Unfortunately, after Hogan's Heroes, he couldn't find too many jobs. He did become the star of a TV series called The Bob Crane Show (how the heck they came up with that brilliant title, I'll never know), but that only lasted one season. He did get some parts in a couple of the most obscure Disney movies, starring in "Superdad" and a cameo in "Gus" - a Don Knotts movie about a football-kicking mule. Yep, you read that right. The 70s weren't really a high point for Disney (minus the awesome Kurt Russell/Cesar Romero movie, "Now You See Him, Now You Don't"). Other than guest-starring bits on TV, he wasn't really able to find too much work, so he resorted to traveling around the country performing in dinner theaters.

On one of his dinner theater stints in Scottsdale, Arizona, he was murdered as he was sleeping in his hotel room - apparently being face-crushed by a camera tripod. The murder, which occurred wayyyyy back in 1978, is still unsolved. He supposedly led an (how do I say this politely…) interesting lifestyle in his later years. Yeah. Uh… just look it up... I won't go any further. This is a family blog, after all! His life is documented in the book and movie "Auto-Focus", and both are really awesome, if I do say so myself (and I do).

Now, away from the creepy, murdery, death stuff, and on to Pat Buttram!!

Side two of this record is entitled "Excerpted from the Triumphant Toastmaster of Pat Buttram". Of course everybody needs a toastmaster. One of the main ingredients of any good party is a toastmaster, and when your party is the Democratic or the Republican party or the Friars Club, you apparently hire puberty-voice himself, the triumphant toastmaster, Pat Buttram.

Now, as we said before, the title of this album is "Laffter Sweet and Profane". Unfortunately for Pat Buttram, there really isn't too much "laffter". It's definitely not sweet. Technically speaking, it's not very profane, either. This is just… odd, and maybe a little politically incorrect. His toasts (if you can even call them that) are sufficiently abundant of really, really, really corny jokes. Some almost as bad as those dreadful "Take my wife, please" jokes. By far the best part of this side of the record is towards the end when Jack Benny shows up for like 30 seconds. Oh wait, um… SPOILER AL… meh, who cares.

Pat Buttram (a man saddled with one of the most unfortunate last names of all time) was originally known as the sidekick to Roy Rogers, then later, Gene Autry. He moved into TV along with Gene Autry, and kept moving forward from there onto Green Acres as Mr. Haney. He was known for his voice that he described as "never quite made it through puberty".

Because of that crackly voice, he was often used in animated films, and especially a lot of Disney movies. He was the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, Chief in The Fox and the Hound, one of the bullets in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and my favorite (and his last role), the old Possum Park animatronic show presenter in A Goofy Movie.

Finally, we come to the end of a plentiferous plethora of useless information, and to the part where you can download the record. Have a grand old time!

Download it HERE.

And just because I love you, here's an educational short entitled "Patriotism" featuring America's greatest patriot, Bob Crane. Woo!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Kenner Give-a-Show Slide Collection (part 3 of 16)

It's been a while since I've posted about these, but then again, it's been a while since I posted at all. But hey, who's counting?

Welcome, one and all, to part 3 of my astounding collection of the bewitchingly compelling Give-a-Show Slide comics.

Today's installment features the adventures of that pleasant pup we all know and love - Scooby Doo, starring in an enchanting tale entitled "Fogbound Hound".

In this adventure, Scooby and his dangerously sunburnt pals from Mystery Inc. are out on a groovy night on the lake when they accidentally turn into a spooky fogbank! (GASP*)

Then, to much surprise, their motor quits on them! (SPUT SPUTTER)

Unable to be seen under the heavy fog, the fabulous fivesome are being approached on by a ship! With no warning, Scooby belts out a loud "OOOOOOOOOOOOOO" as Shaggy looks on with wonder.

Oh, thank the Lord! It worked! The sailors on the ship were able to see them, and not run them over! Phew! It sure was lucky they had a "built-in foghorn"! Aaaaaannnd cue the canned laughter.

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*GASP added by me, not actually in comic. Void in Texas, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and wherever fine books are sold.*

Record #66 - Wild, Wild Winter - Soundtrack

If you really know me (which you don't, but that's okay), then you most certainly know that I LOVE Beach Party movies. All the ones with Frankie and Annette, It's a Bikini World, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, and even the non-Beach Party, but Beach Party-esque films, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, Sergeant Deadhead, and Village of the Giants.

Interestingly enough, those folks in the mid 60s decided for some reason they needed to move away from the hustle and bustle and sunshine of the beach, and move into the cold, snowy winter. It started with Ski Party, with Frankie Avalon (with only a cameo from Annette! Blasphemy! Although, there is Yvonne Craig... Hmmm... I forgive them, I guess.). Apparently that went well, so Universal decided to rip off American International Pictures (as is the custom in Hollywood), and film the masterpiece Wild, Wild Winter, the second of the three Beach Party-esque (and only) films directed by Lennie Weinrib, the original voice of Scrappy-Doo and H.R. Pufnstuf. Um... yeah.

It's not filmdom's finest hour and a half, but it gets the job done. The premise of the movie is as follows (if you can follow along at all, you win a gold cookie) - Two frat brothers go to the mountains, bringing their surfer friend, Ronnie Duke (a surfer name if I've ever heard one (and I have)) along to seduce the head of a sorority, who also happens to be the dean's secretary. Apparently the head of the sorority, Susan, has brainwashed the other female students to avoid dating all the boys in school for some reason. Of course, Ronnie finds a way to become the captain of the ski team and wins over Susan from her evil fiancee, John Harris (such an evil name). Hilarity ensues.

Oh, and did I mention he joined the ski team to help save the school from its financial troubles? I didn't? Oh well.

As with all Beach Party movies, this one has a soundtrack (that's not available on CD, mind you) featuring a few 60s pop groups, and this is the part of the blog where I tell you about it. This soundtrack is chock (well, actually half) full of some great pop songs by some of the "exciting hit groups" of their day. They are - Jay and the Americans, The Astronauts, The Beau Brummels (who are also featured in Village of the Giants), Dick and Dee Dee, and last, but not least, Jackie and Gayle. Jackie and Gayle also perform "Our Love's Gonna Snowball" (GET IT?!? BECAUSE OF WINTER!! HAHAHA), the unofficial theme song to the movie.

In case you were wondering what you're getting into here, here's Jay and the Americans performing their song "Two of a Kind" in the film!

The flip side of this disc includes some of the score/incidental music from the film, which is actually pretty cool. You don't usually get that kind of stuff from these 60s B-movie type thingamajigs. The main title song is by Chester Pipkin, and the rest are by Jerry Long, whose score is, as the back cover states, "the tastiest treat you've had in a long, long time". Wonderful.

This was another super groovy record store find, and while I may be two dollars poorer, I am forever rich with the ultimate happiness bestowed upon me by this record.

Wild, Wild Winter (1966)

1. Jay and the Americans - Two of a Kind
2. The Astronauts - A Change of Heart
3. The Beau Brummels - Just Wait and See
4. Dick and Dee Dee - Heartbeats
5. Jackie and Gayle - Our Love's Gonna Snowball
6. Chester Pipkin - Main Title
7. Jerry Long - Latin Source
8. Jerry Long - Wild Watuse
9. Jerry Long - Hawaii to Military
10. Jerry Long - The Chase
11. Jerry Long - End Title

Download it HERE.