Tag Archives: Ralph Bakshi

Throwback Thursday: “Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell” (1978)!

“Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell” (1978) was yet another made-for-television movie that rocked my world when I saw it in early grade school.  But it didn’t age well — not even by a narrow margin.  When I saw it on TV again a few years down the line, like maybe when I was in junior high, I realized it was … truly a third-rate horror movie.  (It was every bit s campy as the trailer below suggests.)

It wasn’t all bad, I guess.  It stars Richard Crenna.  And whatever special effects they used to show the titular monster after its demonic transformation were surprisingly decent for a 70’s TV movie.  (I actually wonder if they used the same rotoscope process that Ralph Bakshi used in the same year’s animated “The Lord of the Rings.”)

 

 

Throwback Thursday: the “Galaxy 1” children’s science fiction books

Harriette Sheffer Abels’ “Galaxy 1” books appear to be fully consigned to obscurity — I don’t have a single friend who remembers them.  They were published by Crestwood House in 1979; I certainly loved the ones I found in my elementary school library in the 1980’s.  And that says a lot, because I was a kid who loved the fantasy genre far more than science fiction.  (I had an older brother who played “Dungeons & Dragons,” and Ralph Bakshi’s animated take on “The Lord of the Rings” had captured a lot of kids’ imaginations since 1978.)  I remember how pleased I was to discover anthology-style books that featured the same cast of characters on different space-based adventures.

I’m pretty sure that “Mystery on Mars,” “Medical Emergency,” and “Silent Invaders” were among those that I read.  My favorite, however, was “Green Invasion,” which featured alien vines that grew uncontrollably and crushed anything they could ensnare and tangle.  Lord knows that was a scenario I re-created with my G.I. Joes at home.

 

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A late Throwback Thursday: “Clash of the Titans” action figures

One of the things the Internet has taught me is that a hell of a lot of people my age loved “The Neverending Story” (1984).  They seem to recall it with nostalgia bordering on open reverence, as though it was the seminal film for defining the power of fantasy and imagination for children.

That movie just never took with me.  Maybe, at 12, I was too old to enjoy it?  The … dog-dragon, to me, seemed silly.  And maybe I was old enough to get the sense that it was preachy and saccharine, with a heavy-handed parent-approved message.

Or maybe I was just into the harder stuff.   The movies that defined fantasy and imagination for me were Ralph Bakshi’s “The Lord of the Rings” (1978) , “Beastmaster” (1982) and “Clash of the Titans” (1981).

Which brings us to a fun little ghost of Christmas past — “Clash of the Titans” action figures.  They showed up unrequested under my Christmas tree one year, but I didn’t complain, because I’d be damned if my parents didn’t pick cool toys for me even if I hadn’t asked for them.  I became the quite happy owner of Perseus, Charon, Pegasus and … (drum roll, please) … THE KRAKEN.

Don’t let that snazzy catalog layout below fool you — these weren’t especially well made toys.  Good luck getting Perseus to hang on to that sword or shield for very long.  Pegasus was fun, but … it was really a just a cheap plastic molded horse with soft plastic wings.

The mighty Kraken paradoxically just couldn’t hold himself together.  His arms detached just a bit to easily.  And if you turned him, those flipper feet were likely to collapse under him and he’d just sort of keel over.  Perseus (or my G.I. Joes, with whom he’d had a longstanding mutual acrimony) could just sort of yell, “HEY!  What’s over there?!”  And if he were gullible enough, he’d turn, lose a leg-flipper and teeter over to an embarrassed defeat.  (He was much more badass in the movie.)

I still have the Kraken in my storage unit.  I’m pretty sure he’s missing an arm.

 

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