A lovely familar face to genre fans due to ongoing roles on Beastmaster and Farscape, Natalie Jackson Mendoza survived The Descent and made it thru most of the sequel film, but the perils of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark have done her in!
She had already been injured at the production's very first preview performance, but continued like a trouper until December 20th, when fellow performer Christopher Tierney suffered major injury. At that point, she said "Enough", and despite her extensive conceptual work on the look and movement of the original character Arachne, decided to leave the problem-plagued production.
When a local wax museum updates it's displays to include The Green Hornet and Kato, the wax figure of the previous "star" exhibit, The Scarf, apparently comes to life and resumes his murderous ways!
One of the weirder shows in the series, heavy on mood, no fight scenes, and no appearance of The Black Beauty!
Legendary horror film star John Carradine as museum researcher (with an ominous secret) James Rancourt was the only famous guest-star on the series. Unlike Batman, where famous performers from Tallulah Bankhead to Liberace were given villain roles written especially for them, Green Hornet used dependable, but little-known, character actors as villains. Side Notes:
John Carradine had been considered for the role of The Joker on Batman, but his poor health precluded his doing the role.
SPOILER (sorta): The Scarf's statue really should have shown a younger version of Carradine. Since it looks just like the elderly James Rancourt (albeit with a Van Dyke beard) played by Carradine, it's obvious who The Scarfreally is from the very beginning!
The music score written specifically for this episode was never reused! (Most of the music on the series was reedited and reused in at several other episodes besides the ones they were originally written for.)
Background info on a number of the unnamed city's villains from the early 1900s up to the late 1940s, when The Scarf disappeared, is presented during a tour of the museum, but there's no mention of an earlier Green Hornet. So, the mention of gangster Glen Connors framing Britt Reid's father in "Frog is a Deadly Weapon"doesn't refer to Reid Sr being the 1940s Hornet. What the elder Reid had been blamed for is never explained.
Here's the 23rd filmed and aired episode..."Alias the Scarf".
Digitally-restored and remastered from the actual comic books (not second-gen pix from reference books or low-rez Internet files), these kool prints area available from comic-book cover size to 16"x23" on a variety of papers and canvas!
After Christmas, our entertainment tastes run to a hefty dose of mayhem to wash the sugary taste of all those other Yuletide movies and tv shows.
Besides both versions (1974 and 2006) of Black Christmas,which are fun, but basically just mad-slasher pix with an Xmas setting, we at Atomic Kommie Comics™were in the mood for something a bit more...supernatural.
Why should Scrooge have all the holiday fun with specters and supernatural beings?
So, we've cuddled by the fireplace and watched Santa's Slay and Rare Exports!
Santa's Slay postulates that Santa is actually the Son of Satan, who lost a bet with an angel and was forced to be NICE to children on Christmas for a millennium.
But the bet's 1,000 year time-frame has just expired, and Santa's eager to make up for lost time!
WWE wrestler Goldberg is absolutely hysterical as Satan's Son. Robert Culp, in one of his final roles, is entertaining as the crabby angel who tricked Santa and is awaiting his return.
The rest of the cast get into the insane spirit of the project, and the cgi FX, though low-budget are surprisingly-effective!
It's now on our annual must-see Christmas film list, along with the 1971 animated Christmas Carol, Nightmare before Christmas, and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians!
The other flick, Rare Exports, is not out on DVD, yet. It's playing at arthouses throughout the US.
In this one, a huge demonic figure who looks a lot like a cross between Santa Claus and Krampus has been buried for centuries in Scandinavian tundra. Americans come along, inadvertently unearth him, and mayhem ensues.
While played straighter than Santa's Slay, it's just as much fun, and even more gruesome!
Catch it in theatres now, then go for a healthy dose of post-theatre glogg!
Actually, she hasn't done any genre stuff, but Geethali Norah Jones Shankar is my favorite vocalist, and I wanted to run a couple of pix of her.
Since it's Christmas Eve, I do have a unique version of "12 Days of Christmas" she did with Jimmy Kimmel...
..so it sorta fits. (And it's MY Blog, so THERE!) ;-)
One of our favorite types of pop culture collectible here at the Atomic Kommie Comics™ offices are calendars, in particular the multi-page 12-month kind, with a different illustration for each month.
I have over a decade's worth of James Bond 007 movie poster calendars.
Each year the new one adorns the wall over my computer.
When the year is over, I cut it up and use the art the next year as mini-posters to decorate whatever vacation place I rent during the summer.
Besides 007, over the years, I've picked up, or been given, variousStar Trek, Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and other licensed property calendars.
I've always enjoyed using them, and often thought of the person who gave them to me!
But, there are pop culture categories and subjects we've wanted in calendar form as presents for others (or for ourselves), but were never produced!
So, we decided to create them ourselves, using the wildest, rarest, kitchiest comic book, pulp magazine covers and movie posters we could find, each image digitally-restored and remastered from hi-rez scans of the original items, NO reprints or low-rez files! (Would we do that to you?)
It's Christmastime, so let's go with the most-demanded Green Hornet vids of all...
When Titans Clash :
BatmanvsThe Green Hornet!
A decade before Superman vs Spider-Man, this was the first inter-company superhero crossover. The Hornet and Kato had already cameoed on Batman, in the episode "The Spell of Tut", where they appeared in a window during a Bat-Climb.
Celebrities ranging from Sammy Davis Jr. to Edward G. Robinson popped up for brief appearances during these sequences. Even characters from other ABC series like Lurch (Ted Cassidy) from the Addams Family and Col. Klink (Werner Klemperer) from Hogan's Heroes showed up!
Curiously, the visiting duo are regarded as heroes, not villains, and Britt introduces Kato by name.
(Metafiction aficionados have been driven nuts by these interludes, trying to fit them into their respective universes...)
And, as we've pointed out before, both Batman and The Green Hornet featured their characters watching each others' show on tv!
All that was basically ignored when it was decided that, to boost Green Hornet's decent (but not Batman-level) ratings, GH and K would appear as "Visiting Heroes" on Batman.
For whatever reason, none of the established Batman villains were used. (And The Green Hornet had no costumed or even ongoing opponents.)
Instead, a new baddie, Colonel Gumm, played by Roger C. Carmel*, was introduced, along with a plotline involving counterfeit stamps which drew The Hornet and Kato to Gotham.
The motif of GH and K being perceived as villains was utilized, resulting in the Dynamic Duo being as eager to capture them as to jail the corny counterfeiter!
In addition, it's shown that the two heroes' millionaire alter-egos, Bruce Wayne and Britt Reid, have known each other since childhood, and constantly competed over almost everything, including women!
So, it was inevitable the two costumed frat-boys would square-off in the climax...
On-set photo of Van Williams and Adam West during the climactic fight scene
Unfortunately, the gambit didn't pay off. The Green Hornet's ratings didn't improve, and the show was cancelled.
(Note: the show's ratings were good enough to make them eligible for renewal, but, since the producers didn't want to implement network-demanded budget cuts, the network axed the series anyway. Batman, OTOH, continued, with a reduced budget and cut from being twice-weekly to weekly, for another year, before being cancelled.)
Without further adieu, here is the legendary two-parter; "A Piece of the Action" and "Batman's Satisfaction"...
*Roger C. Carmel played numerous flamboyant villains on everything from The Man from U.N.C.L.E. to Hawaii Five-0 to Transformers to Star Trek, where he portrayed Harcourt Fenton "Harry" Mudd on both the classic and animated series!
He's also the answer to the trivia question; "Who's the only actor to play a villain opposite Batman, Captain Kirk, and The Green Hornet?"
At this time of year, Christmas carols are in continuous rotation on the stereo in the Atomic Kommie Comics™ office.
One of our favorites is Christmas at Ground Zero by "Weird" Al Yankovic. (You were expecting maybe Adeste Fidelis?)
Which brings us to, perhaps, the most unusual theme for potential Christmas presents (and, you gotta admit, we've had some real weirdies!)...atomic Armageddon!
Within our sci-fi-oriented The Future WAS Fantastic!™ section is the Atomic War line of kool collectibles with classic comic book covers from the fear-filled '50s, featuring the nuclear destruction of New York City (see above), Washington DC, and Moscow on black hoodies, sweats, and tees, as well as mugs and other tchochkies!
So for all you survivalists out there, while you duck n' cover under the Christmas tree, prepare for the irradiated end stylishly with our radiation-proof (well...not really!) garb and goodies!
Posters derived from the covers to the hard-to-find (and never reprinted) three-issue comic book run based on the 1960s tv series, digitally-restored and remastered. Available in several sizes up to 16" x 23".
With a new movie coming out right after Christmas, any (or all) would be the perfect Christmas gift under the evergreen for the Green Hornet fan in your life!