Thanksgiving may dominate in the areas of meals and football, but it lags woefully far behind Christmas and Halloween when it comes to animated specials. It’s not that there aren’t any Thanksgiving-themed cartoons, it’s that there aren’t any that won’t make you want to heave your pumpkin pie all over the TV screen. Dull stories of Pilgrims and Native Americans compete with ill-advised weird Turkey Day entries in such well known franchises as the Berenstain Bears and the Wizard of Oz. What follows is a list of such specials you should only put on if your goal is to clear out those lingering in-laws and friends who don’t know when it’s time to call it a night. Continue reading “Thanksgiving Cartoons That Make You Thankful for Christmas Cartoons”
A group of art thieves hijack a plane by using knockout gas! The pilot is a progressive man who wants to marry his girlfriend, but she’s straight out of Ms. Magazine and is too career minded to commit! Familiar TV faces abound on this doomed flight including Brenda Vacarro, Darren McGavin and Gil Gerard! The plane comes equipped with gartguan-sized videodisc player! Even better, it also comes equipped with a lounge singer! And the whole thing crashes into the Bermuda Triangle! Truly, Airport ’77 is the most gloriously 70s of the four Airport movies! (Or any movie for that matter!) Continue reading “Airport ’77 (1977)”
Frankenstein Conquers the World is yet another example of why it was such a bad idea for the Japanese to team up with Germany in World War II. In the waning days of the conflict, the Germans decide to do their Axis ally one last “solid” and deliver a mysterious briefcase to them. The case is opened once it is safely in a Japanese lab. Inside is a mint condition eternally beating Frankenstein heart! Thanks for that, Fritz! Continue reading “Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)”
We all know that on every Halloween we put jack-o’-lanterns on our porches and window sills to ward off evil spirits intent on ruining the year’s harvest of trick or treat candy. Ask any kid who ended up with a bag full of pencils, toothpaste and loose candy corn and they’ll tell you their mom was too damn lazy to help carve a pumpkin that year. But how did that tradition begin? Like any good joke/holiday tale it all starts when a witch, leprechaun, vampire and angry billy goat walk into a barn. Continue reading “Jack O’Lantern (1972)”
I don’t know how Casper left this mortal coil and became a ghost. The death of a child is always a tragedy and any circumstances that lead to poor Casper the human boy dying are undoubtedly heartbreaking. As a boy, I am sure he was the love of his parent’s life and the passing of such a sweet, gentle soul left them shattered. As a ghost though, Casper is such a simpleton, you wonder if somehow whatever process that allowed to him attain his ethereal form didn’t account for brain damage at the time of his death. Continue reading “Casper’s Halloween Special (1979)”
With its all star cast of Charlton Heston, George Kennedy, Karen Black’s crazy eyes and the plane’s altimeter, Airport 1975 is easily five years better than 1970’s Airport!
Wisely tripling the fatalities (from one to three), ramping up the drama among the passengers (Will Linda Blair’s Janice survive the trip to get her kidney transplant? Will Myrna Loy’s Mrs. Devaney create an even worse crisis following the mid air collision that kills the crew by drinking the airplane’s in flight adult beverage selection completely dry? Will the singing nun further traumatize the already shellshocked stewardesses by doing an acoustic version of “Seasons in the Sun?”), casting Erik Estrada (CHiPS‘s Ponch) as a cringe-inducing horny Latin stereotype and being a half hour shorter than Airport‘s transatlantic length 137 minutes, Airport 1975 is perfectly crafted to improbably make the overheated and silly original feel like a classic of nuance and sophistication. Continue reading “Airport 1975 (1974)”
Airport is a disaster movie where I kept waiting for the disaster to happen. Was it going to be Burt Lancaster’s airport manager Bakersfeld stroking out from fighting with his boss and his shrewish wife? Was it going to be George Kennedy’s airport maintenance chief Joe Patroni having a heart attack due to shoveling too much snow? Or would Dean Martin’s smarmy playboy pilot have a fainting spell right there in the middle of the airplane once his stewardess mistress (Jacqueline Bissett) announces she’s pregnant? Continue reading “Airport (1970)”