Friday, September 21, 2012

Captain's Theatre: GORGO

You've read the comic adaptation HERE and HERE... see the movie itself!
(After the trailer, that is!
This is, after all, the Captain's Theatre, and you always have trailers in theaters!)
Now, here's the film itself... Plus, a "Making of" feature... Finally, since you've been such a lovely audience, the never-rerun Gorgo episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 with guest star Leonard Maltin!
We hope you've enjoyed our contribution to the
(which you can find details about HERE)
 and hope you stop by again.
(We have some really kool stuff coming up in October to celebrate Halloween!)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Captain's Library: GORGO Conclusion

Art by Dick Giordano
While conducting salvage operations off the Gaelic island of Nara, the S.S. Triton is almost sunk by an undersea volcano eruption.
Barely making port, the ship's owners, Joe Ryan and Sam Slade discover dead fish in the water unlike anything seen by modern man.
But, when questioned, the local sailors literally clam up.
The next day, the Triton follows some locals to discover an ancient Viking ship has been uncovered by the eruption...a ship filled with gold.
But the ship wasn't the only thing the eruption freed, as Ryan and Slade encounter a giant reptile and barely escape with their lives!
That night, the local populace conducts a weird ritual, invoking the name of "Ogra", who appears before them...
You'll note artist Steve Ditko didn't use the likenesses of actors William Sylvester and Bill Travers as Sam Slade and Joe Ryan.
Whether this was because Charlton didn't have the licensing rights or Ditko simply didn't receive photo reference is unknown.
While this is the end of the comic adaptation of Gorgo, it's not the end of his comic book adventures!
Charlton Comics did a follow-up mini-series, then an ongoing series which followed the Godzilla movie formula by making Gorgo a heroic character, defending Earth from other terrestrial monsters and alien invaders!
UPDATE: We've just learned that IDW Comics will be reprinting both the Gorgo and Konga series in hardcover sometime in 2013.

Be here tomorrow as we present the movie itself, as well as trailers and the rarely-seen Mystery Science Theatre 3000 version!
It's all part of the Secret Sanctum's contribution to the
(which you can find details about HERE)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Captain's Library: GORGO Part 1

As the Secret Sanctum's contribution to the
(which you can find details about HERE)
we present the following tender tale of a mother's love for her child...
To paraphrase David Letterman; "Ogra...Gorgo, Gorgo...Ogra."
No matter what you call it, you've got a real problem on your hands!
 The story continues tomorrow!
The writer of this 1960 Charlton comic book adaptation is unknown.
The artist is Steve Ditko, who a year later would co-create one of the most famous characters in history...The Amazing Spider-Man, for Marvel Comics.

In 1960, with the success of the Toho Godzilla series and a planned revival of King Kong (which eventually became King Kong vs Godzilla), studios in several other countries decided do their own kaiju (giant monster) films featuring puppets or men in costumes rather than stop-motion animation.
Within a year, two British studios had cranked out both Konga and Gorgo, while a Danish/American company produced two versions of Reptilicus, one with a Danish-speaking cast, one with an English-speaking cast.
(Oddly, other Japanese studios nor American companies wouldn't produce their own kaiju flicks until the mid-1960s.
But, once rival studio Daiei released Gamera in 1965, the floodgates opened...)

Eugène Lourié, who previously directed and co-wrote both Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and Giant Behemoth also directed and co-wrote this film.
After completing Gorgo, Lourié returned full-time to production design and art direction, never to direct again, feeling he had become typecast as a monster-movie director.
He did do occasional work in genre films and TV including Crack in the World, Time Travelers, the mini-series Amazing Captain Nemo, and the series Quark and Kung Fu.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

LIFE Magazine's Flawed James Bond 50th Anniversary Special

LIFE Magazine has produced a 50th Anniversary special on 007...
..which I eagerly picked up.
I was severely disappointed with it on two counts.
1) Most of the pix are not from LIFE's amazing archives!
2) It's riddled with factual flaws.
Here's the most obvious...
page 51 "For some reason, in You Only Live Twice, James Bond did not pilot any kind of vehicle--first time ever."
I guess that's not James Bond in the cockpit of that mini-copter...on the POSTER?
Sure as hell looks like Sean Connery (aka James Bond: 007) to me!
That's the most obvious mistake!
I've found several other mistakes (and a number of omissions), and that's just a cursory run-through!
Sloppy work, kids.
For several years, I edited, wrote, and (if there was time in the schedule) designed the licensed movie souvenir books that were sold in theaters. This sort of inept fact-checking would've had me out of a job the second the licensors saw it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Captain's Library: ROCKY JONES: SPACE RANGER "Forbidden Frequency"

With so much modulated energy (wi-fi, digital tv, am-fm, etc) floating in the ether...
...I'm truly surprised something like this hasn't come to pass by 2012!
Or...has it?
The concept of subliminal programming goes back to the 1860s.
Usually, it involves audio or visual stimulation beyond human perception, but in this case, it's an energy frequency that interferes with the human mind's function.
Queen Cleolanthe was the ongoing villainess on the Rocky Jones series.
Played with fun "bad girl" panache by Patsy Parsons, Cleolanthe both fought against Rocky and was uncontrollably-drawn to him.
From Flash Gordon and Princess Aura to Rocky Jones and Cleolanthe to James T Kirk and (insert Girl of the Week here, scantly-clad space babes just can't resist square-jawed Earthmen on tv and in movies!
(Not that I'm complaining...)
This story from Charlton's Space Adventures #16 (1955) was illustrated by Ted Galindo and Ray Osrin.
The writer is unknown.

Almost all of the Rocky Jones tv episode-compilation movies are available on inexpensive DVDs and two of them Crash of the Moons and Manhunt in Space were roasted on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Rocky Jones will return in the near future...