Let the experiment begin!
"Turn Down Your Lights (Where applicable)"
Experiment #206 ~ RING OF TERROR (1962)
with short The Phantom Creeps (1939) ~ (Ch.3)
Original Air Date: November 3, 1990
Studio: Playstar Productions. Inc.
Starring: George Mather, Austin Green, Esther Furst, Norman Ollestad, Lomax Study
Directed By: Clark L. Paylow
Theatrical Running Time: 71 Minutes
Tagline: "The Darkness Holds His Greatest Terror!"
Chapter 3: "Crashing Timbers"
Total Number of Chapters: 12
Genre: Serial Sci-Fi/Mystery
Studio: Commonwealth Pictures Corporation
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Robert Kent, Dorothy Arnold, Regis Toomey, Jack C. Smith
Directed By: Ford Beebe
Chapter Running Time: 22 Minutes
Tagline: "12 Spine-Shivering Action Chapters!"
Shorts Chapter Synopsis:
Captain Bob West is thrown clear of the automobile before it plunges over the cliff. Bob and Jean try to capture one of Zorka's mechanical spiders for analysis, but it self destructs. Zorka uses his invisibility belt to steal a car. The foreign spy ring gets ready to work Monk over. Monk escapes and returns to Zorka's lab. Bob and Dr. Mallory get involved in a shoot-out with members of the spy ring. Back at the lab, Zorka shares the source of his amazing powers and inventions with Monk. Bob and the G-Men head to Zorka's lab. With Zorka absent, Monk steals the doctors secrets, but is apprehended by Bob and the G-Men. As Bob transports Monk back to headquarters, Monk fiddles with the box containg Zorka's secrets. The automobile stops running as the high voltage power lines overhead come crashing down onto the vehicle. Will any one survive?!
Find out in Chapter Four of 'The Phantom Creeps
... but FIRST! ...
...OUR FEATURE PRESENTATION!
A group of medical students (portrayed by aging actors who look like they should have been in 'practice' for more than 20 years rather than be in college) undertake some stupid and dangerous challenges in order to pledge a fraternity. Student Lewis Moffitt (George Mather
) has to go to a mausoleum as his initiation rite, and remove the ring off a finger of a freshly autopsied body. However, Lewis has childhood issues with being afraid of the dark and ends up panicking in the mausoleum. His coat gets caught on the corpse's arm and Lewis dies of a heart attack.
Joel begins to welcome the viewers to this week's show, but Crow, Tom and Cambot trick him into believing it's "Movie Sign!". Joel jumps into the "Spiral-on-Down" hatch, instead of using the traditional hallway to the auditorium. The bots laugh it up until Magic Voice announces "Commercial Sign." Tom can't push the button because his arms don't work. Crow eventually pushes the button by repeatedly slamming his own head on it.
The Mads explore the possibilities of self-surgery ("All you need is a willing subject, a tank of nitrous oxide and the "oversize version of the board game 'Operation'."). Joel presents the "Pin-bolus", (a 'day-glo', X-ray fluoroscope which, when one swallows a barium enhanced meatball, allows the player to see his internal organs bouncing the ball through the digestive tract and it eventually drains out the ball return). (You don't have to imagine too hard about that part).
Joel and the bots make a pitch for 'The Old School', (if you're over 50, you can't be turned down). The campus boasts such facilities as the 'Irene Ryan Hip Clinic', and the 'Will Geer Institute for Truss Research'. Cheer on the school team in the stadiums Barcaloungers aa you do 'the nod', or sing the school fight song, 'It's a Good Day for a B.M.". The curriculum includes topics like 'Napping 101', 'Upper Level Soup Slurping' and 'Advanced Check Paying and Tip Shorting'. Some guest speakers during the semester include Estelle Getty, Lawrence Welk, Art Linkletter and Garrett Morris.
Very good segment recreating the autopsy scene from the film. Joel conducts the autopsy of one Mr. Hoover (an upright vacuum cleaner) for the benefit of the med student bots (Tom, Crow and Gypsy).
A "Good thing/Bad thing" session about the movie for the bots to receive a 'ram-chip'. Nobody can come up with one good thing about the film (except that it was short). Since the film was short, the Mads send up a short, Chapter 3 of "The Phantom Creeps".
Joel and the bots complain about having to watch 'one' movie, then having to watch a short. Afterwords, an absolutely hilarious musical number is presented by Frank, a song titled, "If Chauffeurs Ruled the World."
"Weird? Yeah, I guess that is
the word for it. Weird."
Items of Note:
~ Joel's jumpsuit is green (instead of the traditional 'red').
~ Tom's haircut is holding it's shape nicely.
~ Final "Good thing/Bad thing".
~ Final "Phantom Creeps" chapter.
~ The only time that a short follows the film.
~ Frank's first song.
~ This episode is the last of the "Give me a good thing and a bad thing about the film" bit that was a staple in Season One.
~ This is the first and only time that a short follows the feature. (Which was just a bad idea from the start, IMHO).
~ This is the last chapter of 'The Phantom Creeps' that they will riff on. (Shoot! Now we'll never know how it turns out).
~ Song is written by Frank Coniff, with music by (of course) Mike Nelson.
~ After Frank presents his musical number, Dr. Forrester tells him to "Push the button, Judy Garland!".
Some real gems this time out like...
~ "You'll be the slickest chick at the hop." ( 'Cause I'm gonna cover you with bear grease!
~ "It's going to get sticky in here." (Just let it lay, guys.
~ "We just finished making out..." (...our wills
~ "When we do an autopsy of this kind, let me say to you, feel free to leave the class." (...to "do the technicolor yawn", to "blow chow", to "talk to the chinaman on the white porcelain phone", to "summon the earl"
Pop culture references from 'The Wizard of Oz' to 'Margaret Dumont' to 'Dave Brubeck', the gang at BBI stands firm with this one, consistent throughout.
3-1/2 'Ring Fingers' out of 5
"Keep Trading the Discs (and Tapes)"
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