The following is a detailed synopsis (Storyline) of one of my favorite films, THE SEVERED ARM (1973). I warn you in advance in case you haven't seen the movie: "SIX FRIENDS SPEND THEIR VACATION EXPLORING A CAVE WHEN IT COLLAPSES. AFTER 30 DAYS WITH NO FOOD, THE GROUP DECIDES TO DRAW STRAWS, THE LOSER HAS TO GIVE UP AN ARM SO THE OTHERS CAN EAT IT. TED IS THE LOSER AND HAS HIS ARM CUT OFF (MUCH TO HIS PROTEST OF "PLEASE WAIT A FEW HOURS MORE!") AND MINUTES LATER, THE GROUP HEARS DIGGING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CAVE-IN, THEY ARE SAVED! REALIZING THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS, THE GROUP CONCOCTS A STORY THAT TED HAD HIS ARM CRUSHED IN THE CAVE-IN AND THEY HAD TO CUT IT OFF TO SAVE HIS LIFE. TED ENDS UP IN AN INSANE ASYLUM AND VOWS REVENGE. FIVE YEARS PASS AND TED IS RELEASED FROM THE ASYLUM. ONE OF THE SURVIVERS RECIEVES A HUMAN ARM IN THE MAIL AND CALLS THE OTHER FOUR TO GET TOGETHER FOR A MEETING. SINCE THEY ARE ALL SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSMEN (DOCTOR, POLICE DETECTIVE, TV WRITER, ARCHITECT, RADIO DISC JOCKEY) AND THEY DO NOT WANT THE TRUTH TO COME OUT, THEY DECIDE TO HUNT DOWN TED AND PUT HIM BACK IN THE ASYLUM. TED HAS OTHER PLANS. THE DOCTOR IS HIS FIRST VICTIM, HIS ARM IS CUT OFF WITH AN AXE. THE D.J. IS NEXT. HE HAS HIS ARM HACKED OFF WHILE HE IS LIVE ON THE AIR. THE ARCHITECT GETS HIS ARM CUT OFF WHILE IN AN ELEVATOR. THE REMAINING TWO ENLIST THE HELP OF TED'S DAUGHTER TO HELP THEM CAPTURE TED. SHE HAS A MEETING WITH HER FATHER AT THE BEACH, SO THE TWO DECIDE TO LAY A TRAP, BUT JUST WHO IS LAYING THE TRAP? THE TRAP BACKFIRES AND THE DETECTIVE HAS HIS ARM RIPPED OFF (HE IS TOSSED OFF A CLIFF WITH A ROPE ATTACHED TO HIS ARM; THIS SCENE IS EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE). IN THE END, IT TURNS OUT THAT TED'S DAUGHTER AND SON ARE THE REAL KILLERS. THEY ARE AVENGING THEIR FATHER WHO IS NOW A VEGETABLE IN A WHEELCHAIR. THEY LOCK UP THE TV WRITER IN A PADDED ROOM WITH NOTHING BUT A SHARP KNIFE, TELLING HIM THAT WHEN HE GET'S HUNGRY ENOUGH, HE WILL CUT OFF HIS OWN ARM FOR NOURISHMENT. THE CHILDREN GLEEFULLY SHOW THEIR FATHER WHAT THEY HAVE DONE, BUT HE JUST STARES BLANKLY INTO SPACE, NOT ABLE TO RELISH THE RETRIBUTION HE SO STRONGLY DESIRED TO PERFORM." THE END. Tomorrow will be a writeup of the cast and crew of THE SEVERED ARM. I hope everyone has a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
One movie that I fondly remember fron my teens is THE SEVERED ARM (1973). I first experienced this movie on the old KMUV Channel 31 (now CW 31 KMAX) Sacramento which was then an Independent TV Station specializing in ALL MOVIES. Kind of like what AMC is today. KMUV signed on the air on October 5, 1974 and was ALL MOVIES until May 1, 1976 when they switched to SPANISH LANGUAGE PROGRAMMING.The schedule was like this, they showed 3 movies 3 times a day (Horror/Sci Fi 7:30AM/5:30PM/11:30PM, Comedy/Musical/Dramas 9:AM/1:PM/7:PM, Action/Westerns 11:AM/3:PM/9:PM as well as Old Time Serials called SOLID GOLD HEROES 7:AM/5:PM/11:PM). Anyway, My first viewing Of THE SEVERED ARM was on KMUV Channel 31 on February 7, 1975. I later saw it on Bob Wilkins CREATURE FEATURES on KTVU Channel 2. It really impressed me. Amazing that it was shown on Movie Theatres in 1973, but went directly to TV 2 years later. This movie definately deserves a Remastered Special Edition DVD WITH EXTRAS!!! (Hint, Hint, Hint: Anchor Bay or Dark Sky or Synapse?) The next 3 posts will be DEADICATED to THE SEVERED ARM. Part 1 will be the synopsis (storyline), Part 2 will be on its cast and Part 3 will be on its checkered VHS and DVD releases. Hope you enjoy it!!!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Well after showing such classics as HOMICIDAL, THE OLD DARK HOUSE and THE HOUSE OF WAX, Thanksgiving seems to have come to Bob's KCRA Channel 3 show with this TURKEY!: THE EYE CREATURES (1965) starring John Ashley. Part of a series of color remakes of old AIP Films, directed by Larry Buchanan, intended for television broadcast. This is a remake of the MUCH MORE SUPERIOR AIP Classic: INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN. It is amazing that this piece of cr*p is available on DVD, while the original lingers away in the studio vault. A crying shame in my opinion!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Bob showed a classic tonight, Warner Bros. HOUSE OF WAX which starred Vincent Price, Phyllis Craig and Charles Bronson in one of his first roles. When it was released in the movie theaters, it was in 3-D. This is a remake of the Lionel Atwill chiller MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM and itself was remade in 2005 in a very dreaful movie. The first 2 films (1933 and 1953) were released together on DVD. This is the movie that started Vincent Price's long stretch of Horror Movies.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Bob Wilkins showed THE OLD DARK HOUSE, a remake of the old Universal Classic from 1932 starring Boris Karloff. Unlike the original, this is more of a mystery/comedy. It is directed by the master of movie gimmicks, William Castle and was a co-production between Hammer Films and Columbia Pictures and was released at theaters on Halloween of 1963. "An american who sells cars in England recieves a mysterious invitation from an old excentric millionare to visit his house in which he lives with his twin brother and other unusual occupants". This film stars Tom Poston and Robert Morley. Though not as good as the original, it is still a pretty decent film. Ironically, while this movie was filmed in and released in color, initially it was shown on television in Black And White for many years. In fact, it is the Black And White version that was shown on Bob's Seven Arts Theatre that night.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
"A WORD OF WARNING!!! PLEASE DO NOT REVEAL THE ENDING OF THIS PICTURE OR YOUR FRIENDS WILL KILL YOU- IF THEY DON'T, I WILL!!!-William Castle". The story centers around a murderous scheme to collect a rich inheritence. The object of muder is Miriam Webster. Wow! Another quality movie shown on Bob Wilkins KCRA show. This time, a William Castle gimmick film. When shown at a movie theatre, It was released with a "FRIGHT BREAK" that allowed patrons to recieve a refund if they were too scared to stay for the climax of the film. This "FRIGHT BREAK" is included on the DVD.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
This is a review of the new CAPTAIN COSMIC & 2T2 DVD now on sale from Scott Moon and Tom Wrysch of http://www.bobwilkins.net/ . This is another quality DVD-R effort by Tom Wrysch who now has access to what I call The Bob Wilkins Archives! Tom has produced many quality DVD-R's of both Bob Wilkins and John Stanley. I have done reviews on the other DVD's. Featured on the new CAPTAIN COSMIC DVD: 1.) Interview with Nichelle Nichols from 11/16/79. She talks about her role in both the tv series as well as the new upcoming STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE (1979). 2.) Interview with Walter Koenig from 11/17/79. He talks about his role in both the tv series and in the new Star Trek movie also. 3.) Interview with Mr. Darth Vader himself, David Prowse from 7/21/78. He talks about being Dart Vader in STAR WARS (1977) as well as his other movie roles he has done. Next up, there are 2 COMPLETE CAPTAIN COSMIC SHOWS. The first one is from 10/23/79. It is a Halloween themed show and his guests are children from THORNHILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL in Oakland wearing Halloween Costumes provided by WOOLWORTH'S (Remember Them?). The children are David Stone (as Superman), Paige Paine (as Little House On The Praire's Mary Ingells), Annie Festler (as Darth Vader), Laura Hyde (as C3PO), Tracy Cummings (as Wonder Woman) and a Nancy McGunchy (as Little Orphan Annie). Actually Nancy McGunchy is Bob Wilkins daughter, Nancy Beth under an assumed name. Nancy has appeared on many of Bob's shows as well as his son, Robby. In fact, Bob, or I mean Captain Cosmic asked Nancy to say Hi to her brother, Robby McGunchy. Obviously an Inside Joke. A complete FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE CHAPTER 7 is included with this show. The other one is the FINAL CAPTAIN COSMIC SHOW from 1/18/80. During the show, Captain Cosmic is given a message from the Planet Cosmos ( I think it is Bob Shaw as the cloaked Messanger?). Captain Cosmic's final guest is a local bay area magicion, THE GREAT ORLANDO. A complete FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE CHAPTER 12 is included with this show. Finally the extras are a treat. Though they are both silent, we are still lucky the footage is still around! First there is footage of Bob as Captain Cosmic racing a BART Train at a BART Station. Lots of different angles including a closeup. Then there is footage of the 2T2 Robot getting a fresh coat of paint at BEST AUTO PAINT prior to his debut in 1977 as well as being loaded in the back of a truck and being driven to KTVU Channel 2. Then there is a Bob Shaw interview with Bob Wilkins from February of 1997 discussing the Captain Cosmic Show, which is actually a fragment of a much longer interview which is available in the highly recommended "THE BOB WILKINS 3 DVD SET" from Tom Wrysch for $35. Back to the CAPTAIN COSMIC DVD, it is another high quality effort from Tom Wrysch. It is also excellent that he was able produce 2 complete shows to relive the good old days from the 1970's and reflects the way the show looked on TV. I do have to mention though that on these 2 complete shows, that he actually showed showed something different and not those FLASH GORDON serials included. The 10/23/79 show had a Japanese Anime type of show called STARBLAZERS (1979) while the 1/18/80 show originally had the british kids show, CAPTAIN SCARLET AND THE MYSTERIONS (1967). Yes, Captain Cosmic did show FLASH GORDON serials but on different Captain Cosmic shows as well as ULTRAMAN and a few Japanese GODZILLA movies broken up in 5 segments. The main reason probably had to do with the fact that FLASH GORDON serials are in the public domain and it would probably cost an arm and a leg to acquire the rights to both STARBLAZERS and CAPTAIN SCARLET. This DVD is worth every cent plus you get an exact replica of the Captain Cosmic membership card with a Secret Crypto-Code on the back. Thanks Tom for a high quality DVD. I am waiting for your next BOB WILKINS DVD you'll produce! The CAPTAIN COSMIC DVD is $15 which includes shipping. Contact Tom at his email address firstname.lastname@example.org