Archive for the TV shows Category

AWESOME-tober-fest 2020: Tiny Toons – Daniel Webfoot and the Devil (1995)

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, The Devil, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on October 28, 2020 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2020

Today I’m going to look at a cartoon special that has an adaptation of The Devil and Daniel Webster.  It was a Tiny Toons special called Night Ghoulery.

Night Ghoulery

It was originally supposed to air in October 1994, but it was pushed to May 1995. The overall premise of the special is a parody of the Rod Serling anthology show, Night Gallery, which ran on NBC from 1970-1973.  There are several segments each parodying a different story, like Tell-Tale Heart, Hound of the Baskervilles, Night of the Living Dead, and there’s even an adaptation of that classic Twilight Zone episode Terror at 20,000 Feet.  And they also do a version of The Devil and Daniel Webster.  But before we get to that I want to point out the awesomely spookified opening.

We see Buster and Babs as zombies.


We see them using flashlights to create spooky lighting.


Still in the intro, we get to see the gang trick or treating.  We can see Plucky in the back on the right dressed as Freddy Krueger.  In front of him is Fifi La Fume and she’s dressed as what looks like Dot from the Animaniacs.  Moving left I see Shirley the Loon and I think she’s dressed as Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie.  And finally Hampton is dressed as Barney Rubble.

Now let’s get on to the show.  The wraparound segments, like I said, are based on Rod Serling’s Night Gallery.


Babs is the host of this special and she’s standing in a spooky old art gallery which is what Rod Serling did for Night Gallery.


We actually get an appearance of an animated Siskel & Ebert about half way through and they give their review of the special so far.

But let’s take a look at the segment, Daniel Webfoot and the Devil.


Daniel Webfoot and his driver arrive at the mansion answering a distress call.  Webfoot can already see there are spooky shenanigans going on.


We see Montana Max quivering in front of a large figure.  He clearly looks in trouble.


The camera pans to see the Devil.  In a purple suit, spats and matching top hat.  This Devil is actually voiced by Ron Perlman and he’s a very likable chap.  Perlman being the Devil here feels like an homage to him being Hellboy.  I mean the Devil even looks like an interpretation of Hellboy.  But that movie wouldn’t happen for another 9 years.  So maybe Ron Perlman in Hellboy is an homage to *this* cartoon.  (I know, I just blew your f**king mind).


Webfoot arrives and immediately tries to wheel and deal with him.  And the Devil is totally open to negotiation.  Webfoot tries to claim that Montana Max was unduly forced into his contract…


…and we hear from Montana himself that, no, he entered into the contract of his own free will.  He’s sitting amongst a bunch of money to prove it.


Like the original story, the Devil pulls in a group of damned souls to mediate the negotiation.


Ultimately, Webfoot can’t get around the signed contract…


…and both he and Montana wind up in Hell by the end.

I love Tiny Toons, so of course I love this very loose adaptation of The Devil and Daniel Webster.  And I love Ron Perlman’s strong voice behind this very likeable Devil.  Apparently people liked it because Perlman would return to voice the devil in another episode.  But not Tiny Toons!

Stay tuned to see Ron Perlman’s second appearance as a cartoon Devil on Friday!



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2020: I Read Movies – The Halloween (1978) movie novelization by Curtis Richards

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, The Devil, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on October 26, 2020 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2020

We are in the home stretch, guys.  Halloween is on Saturday!  So to begin this week long Halloween party I’m going to divest from the Devilspeak for a day and point you to the Halloween episode of my movie novelization podcast, I Read Movies.  This month is my 4th annual Halloween episode and I am covering the highly coveted and rare novelization to John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) by Curtis Richards.

Lots of amazing extra insights into the nature of Michael Myers in this book. I think you’re really going to enjoy this episode.  Download and check it out in all the typical podcast places.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2020: Fantasy Island – The Devil and Mr Roarke Part 2

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, The Devil, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2020 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2020

So last time I looked at a 1980 episode of Fantasy Island from the 4th season featuring an appearance of the Devil as played by Mr Roddy McDowell.  Ricardo Montalban’s Mr Roarke ultimately defeated McDowell’s Mephistopheles, but not without the Devil claiming they shall meet again.

It was a great episode of a great show, and was obviously popular because Roddy Mcdowell would return for another appearance in the second episode of Season 5, called The Devil and Mr Roarke.

So let’s take a look at that episode, shall we?


Watching the opening credits, I totally forgot about Julie. She was a second assistant to Mr Roarke.  She showed up for the majority of Season 5, but then disappeared by Season 6.  She was Mr Roarke’s goddaughter.


Suddenly, as the guests are getting off the plane, Mr Roarke gets a surprised but concerned look on his face. And we soon see why. We see a man get off the plane as a guest wearing a black suit and white tie (notice it’s the reverse colors of Mr Roarke). It’s Roddy MacDowell. As Mephistopheles. Julie is very concerned. She asks why Mr Roarke let Satan come to Fantasy Island. Great question, Julie.  Mr Roarke says evil exists in all the world and he has no power to keep it off Fantasy Island.  I did not expect this episode to bring back MacDowell’s Satan as a guest. Well played, Fantasy Island. Well. Played.


If nothing else we get the Devil sipping a cocktail in front of a tropical bird.

Unlike the last episode there are *two* other stories going on concurrently with the devil story. One has two old ladies wanting to relive their hey day in the Ziegfeld Follies in the 20s. The other is a character played by Arte Johnson (who was on the *last* Devil episode playing a completely different character!) wanting to go back to the Old West to meet his favorite gunfighter, Kid Corey, who disappeared after robbing a bank for $1 million. After setting up these stories, we return to the devil.


Meanwhile, the Devil is sitting in a throne watching droves of young adults dance to a rock band and a weird sparkly statue of a devil. It’s kind of ubsurd, but I love it.  Mr Roarke shows up with Julie to find out what is the Devil’s game. The Devil claims he isn’t there on business. That he’s taking a few days off.  Mr Roarke offers to set up his full retirement.  The Devil says he would *love* to step down but his services are too much in demand.  Roddy McDowell is so great here.  So is Montalban, honestly.


Tired of the chit chat, Mr Roarke tells Mephistopheles to come off it.  He knows what’s going on. The Devil wants Roarke’s immortal soul. The Devil looks surprised and says, “Your soul? What ego, Roarke. There are other souls here worth having too.” It becomes clear he means Julie.  Roarke looks concerned at this, so does Julie.


After returning to the other two storylines we then see Julie meet up with Mephistopheles in the jungle. One of the island girls shows up and the Devil makes her fall into quicksand. Julie begs the Devil to help and he does. He leaves saying he’ll see her later, they have “business” to discuss.  Oh snap.  Julie just entered into a deal with the Devil.


Let’s break here to admire Tatoo in the Old West. Playing a jaunty tune on the squeeze box.


So the Devil does return to talk to Julie. He tells her Roarke is not her master anymore. He is. Concerned, Julie goes to talk to Mr Roarke.


So Julie goes to see Mr Roarke.  He gives her a wood box and tells her never to open it. She asks what’s in it, and he says it’s something that will help in outwitting the Devil. After Roarke leaves we then see Julie look in a mirror and see the Devil looking back. He tells her he’s always with her now. Later on, Julie returns the box to Mr Roarke and reveals that she knows that there’s nothing in it but a brick. Mr Roarke now knows Julie is being controlled by the Devil as his goddaughter would never have broken her word and looked in the box.


The Devil possesses Julie for a bit and Roarke gets him to get out of her. Roarke realizes this is serious business. Now Roarke has got to step in and help Julie by tricking the devil.


Roarke and Julie go out into what looks like the same woods as the first Devil episode. They have their confrontation, and Roarke pulls a fast one on the Devil…AGAIN. However, there’s a swerve. Roarke’s fast one doesn’t work. And Roarke has to offer his own soul to save the soul of his goddaughter. The Devil is ecstatic. He finally won.


Roarke asks if he’s going to Hell. The Devil says he has much loftier goals in mind.  Mr Roarke will continue to run Fantasy Island, but he’s going to cater to much darker fantasies. Fantasies of evil. Fantasies of lust. Fantasies of corruption. The Devil says, “Your lovely island will become the gateway to Hell!” But then, they pull *another* fast one on the Devil. A double fast one.  And it is orchestrated by Julie.


Again, the Devil is furious over losing. And like the last time, he reverts to his horned form.  Then he disappears amongst a lot of smoke and fire back into Hell. Which is unfortunate, because I wanted to see the Devil get back on the plane at the end of the episode in the farewell.


Islandmobile!


Btw, I just thought you should know, the name of the actor on the right is Dack Rambo. Carry on.


And that’s the end of another successful weekend defeating the Devil at Fantasy Island.

This was another great episode featuring the great McDowell in an awesome portrayal of Satan. I really enjoyed this. I actually really like this show. I’m going to have to binge a few other episodes from now on.

Cheers from the Devil
Cheers!



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2020: Fantasy Island – The Devil and Mr Roarke Part 1

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, The Devil, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on October 16, 2020 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2020

Fantasy Island was on for 7 seasons starting with 2 TV movies, one in 1977 and one in 1978, followed by a 14 epiosde first season. It finally ended after its 7th season in 1984.  It starred Ricardo Montalban as Mr Roarke, and Herve Villichaize as his assistant, Tattoo.

I’ve been a big fan of Fantasy Island for a long time.  I used to watch it in its hey day.  Ricardo Montalban is fantastic as Mr Roarke and Herve was so much fun as Tattoo.  I remember loving this show.  It always hinted at supernatural events on the island, many of them mysterious and dangerous.   But I didn’t learn, until this year, that the Devil himself came to the Island to do battle with Mr Roarke.  Not once, but twice!

Today I’ll look at Roarke’s first encounter with Satan in the first episode of Season 4, titled The Devil and Mandy Breem.  It first aired on Friday, Oct 25, 1980, which would have put it right around Halloween.


The episode opens up with Mr Roarke and Tattoo getting in their custom Islandmobile and heading over to greet this episode’s incoming guests.  I’ve been fascinated by this Islandmobile ever since originally watching the show.  Look at it, it’s awesome.  Sort of a station wagon crossed with a Jeep with the ceiling cut off and replaced with a picnic table.

As with most Fantasy Island episodes, there are multiple concurrent fantasies happening at the same time (sometimes even three) and you jump back and forth between them.  I’m only going to focus on the Devil part of the story.


During the opening we meet Mandy Breem.  We learn her husband got into a terrible accident about a year ago and she miraculously nursed him back to health.  Mr Roarke only knows that she’s here to save her own life.

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Roarke tries to get Mandy to explain more, but she can’t at this time.  After Roarke leaves, we see a mysterious figure appear and talk to Mandy.  It’s here we learn that Mandy has made some sort of deal for the life of her husband.


And we also figure out that this mysterious figure, played by Roddy MacDowell, is possibly the Devil himself and has made the deal for her immortal soul.  And he’ll let her out of their agreement, if she uses her fantasy wish to obtain the rare Queen Omega Orchid.  Potted, not cut.  Blooming. It seems odd that the Devil would trade her soul for some mysterious plant, but that plant may get him something we don’t want him to have.  Don’t do it Mandy!


Quick shot of another one of the Islandmobiles.  I love them and I’ll never stop putting up screenshots of them.


Anyway, when Mandy makes obtaining the orchid her fantasy request to Roarke to “save her life”, it, of course, confuses Mr Roarke, but he acquiesces.  Oh, look, Mandy’s husband is Bruce Wayne!


Mandy gives the Devil the orchid to save her soul, but, as guessed, the Devil tricks her and she still must give up her soul. So, she goes to Mr Roarke for help.  Mandy tells Roarke and her husband all about the deal she made.  When Roarke hears that she made a pact with the Prince of Darkness, he is the opposite of surprised.  Actually, he’d already figured it out.  Mandy asks Mr Roarke for his help.  Mr Roarke tells her rather non-chalantly that she entered into the contract of her own free will.  And Satan has certain rights as anyone else.  But Roarke suggests that he will appear on her behalf as counsel for the defense.  The devil will grant them a trial.  This sounds like it’s going to do The Devil and Daniel Webster, which, now that I say that, I just realized the significance of the title of the episode; The Devil and Mandy Breem.  Anyway, Roarke speculates that the Devil wanted this the whole time.  That he is provoking this confrontation with Mr Roarke.  Roarke reveals that this is not the first time that they have done combat.  I love that Mr Roarke has occasionally battled the Devil as the proprietor of Fantasy Island.


Mandy Breem, her husband, and Mr Roarke confront the Devil in the woods.  Roarke demands a trial and offers that if the Devil wins, he’ll have all three of theirs souls.  But if the Devil loses, he gets nothing.  The Devil accepts.  I was kind of hoping the Devil would bring in a murder’s row of nasty famous bad people to be the judge and jury like in the original story, but no, Mr Roarke argues with the Devil alone.  And while he’s fighting for Mandy and her husband’s very souls…

…they sneak off into the woods to try to escape.  COWARDS.


Another Islandmobile


Ultimately, Mr Roarke pulls a miracle and outmaneuvers the Devil in the negotiations.  This causes the Devil to become so enraged he changes to his horned form.  He accepts his defeat but he assures Roarke that they will meet again.


And then Mandy, her husband, and his plaid jacket board the plane back to civilization free and clear of the devil’s influence. All thanks to Mr Roarke being a complete bad ass.

This was a *really* good episode.  Roddy McDowell is fantastic as Mephistopheles.  And I love that McDowell’s Devil and Roarke have a history.  It’s totally believable.  McDowell plays the Devil as a sort of refined gentleman.  He rarely gets upset, until the end when he loses.  This is a portrayal of the Devil that I really like.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2020: Betty Boop in Red Hot Mama (1934)

Posted in AWESOME-tober-fest, Blog Series, cartoons, Halloween, holiday, monsters, pop culture, The Devil with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2020 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest 2020

Today I wanted to look at another vintage cartoon to sort of echo the Silly Symphony cartoon I showed you last week.  So let’s go all the way back to the 30s and a Betty Boop cartoon.  Yes, at one point, Betty Boop met the Devil.

Betty Boop as a character began in 1930 in one of the Fleischer Studios‘ Talkartoons shorts.  Betty Boop actually started off as a French poodle character, then slowly transitioned into a caricature of a Jazz Age flapper.  By 1932, Betty was the sole star of Talkartoons and she became one of the most recognizable characters in the world.  In 1934, Fleischer Studios released Betty Boop in Red Hot Mama.  In this short, Betty was voiced by Bonnie Poe, who would also voice Olive Oyl in the Fleischer Popeye series.

In this cartoon, Betty Boop travels to Hell and confronts the Devil and his minions.  Like in Disney’s Hell’s Bells, the Devil here isn’t really fleshed out much more than “he’s the ruler of Hell”.  No negotiations for souls, no pranky shenanigans, and he doesn’t really do anything evil that we get to see.

It’s a mostly musical cartoon that relies on the visuals to tell the story.  Let’s take a look at the cartoon “Red Hot Mama” from 1934.


Title cards. As you can see, this short was presented by Max Fleischer and directed by Dave Fleischer, owners of the famous Fleischer Bros Studios.


And it stars, of course, the adorable Betty Boop.


The short starts with Betty, for some reason, sleeping with the windows WIDE ASS OPEN in the middle of a blizzard.  At first, she just adjusts her blanket.  THEN she decides that maybe she should shut the windows.


Betty decides to throw a bunch of logs and coal into the fireplace and start a fire. She then moves to right in front of the fireplace.


Suddenly the room becomes blazing hot. You know it’s super hot because the thermostat rises all the way to the top and then explodes.


Betty has a picture of an Eskimo posing with a fish in front of an igloo. Not exactly sure why, but it’s there.  Well, the room is so hot that the Eskimo takes off his jacket and the igloo melts.


Suddenly the fireplace becomes overrun with flames and a PORTAL TO HELL opens up within.


Betty, seemingly not concerned about the open portal to Hell, just walks right in. We get a cheeky shot of her in a sheer nightgown walking in front of flames. She trips and falls and, like AC/DC, rings “Hell’s Bells”.


Betty sees new souls coming into Hell. They are called “Freshman”. They drop down the chute, land in a devil suit, then have their tail and horns attached.  Notice the new guys are white, while all the other devils are black.



The white Freshman are led into “Freshman Hall”, which looks like a giant Viking helmet.  A devil fire brigade shows up and, using a dragon hose, they set fire to Freshman Hall and turn all the white devils black.  Lots of imagery going on here.


Next, we finally get to meet the Devil himself, wearing a crown, surrounded by flames, and eating a flame cone.  Then he walks over to Hell’s Furnace and cranks up the heat from “warm”, to “hot”, and finally to “hotter”.


Once they spot her, all of the devils become fascinated by Betty. They surround her and it looks like their intentions aren’t good.


However, Betty’s been in this situation before. She turns and gives them a cold shoulder so ice cold it freezes all the devils solid.  You can see the block of ice on her shoulder in the picture.


Then the devil comes swaggering over like a big dog to take his turn, but Betty just gives him the cold stare and freezes him solid.


And then all of Hell freezes over from Betty Boop’s cold stare. *Mic drop*