What if Black Panther had been the pilot for a TV show, but when they went to series they took out Wakanda and most of the black people? You’d have M.A.N.T.I.S.! HYST superfan mugrimm joins Tim and Jen to talk about what was lost when the Sam Raimi/Sam Hamm/Rob Tapert pilot became a politically toothless show with white sidekicks.
She also sorta muffed the description of Ken Loach’s teleplay Cathy Come Home, which horrified the British public with its account of a homeless couple (to little material effect, according to Loach). This short article describes the production and draws from some of the news coverage of the time.
One valiant effort to market the movie: Krull-themed weddings! To our knowledge, none of the brides or grooms have come forward to admit to their participation. But it’s hard to see how the movie missed with marketing concepts this good:
One [marketing gimmick] suggests approaching the local bakery about creating special pastries in the shape of the Glaive and dubbing them the punny ‘Krullers’. “Everyone knows what a cruller is…a tasty glazed donut. Now comes the Kruller…a tasty Glaived donut.
ERRATA: Jen speculates in the episode about the reason for the lack of cultural impact the film made in the United States. It turns out there’s a good reason. Planet of Storms didn’t arrive in the US in official, unadulterated home video form until some time in the 90s. As we mentioned, the film was cannibalized for two different American productions. One was Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet, with new footage directed by eventual New Queer Cinema trailblazer Curtis Harrington. The other, as we mentioned in the episode, was Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women. They both suck.
The Astrologer had a theatrical run from at least 1976 through part of 1977, but was considered lost for many years. It eventually resurfaced in 2021 on YouTube. Paramount appears to have a copyright claim on the picture (amazing that they’d even want it), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be seen if you know where to look.
The story of auteur Craig Denney is as mysterious as it is surprising. Jim Vorel has a good rundown at Paste Magazine. Long story short, Denney made a bold play for notoriety, only to disappear sometime in the 80s. No one knows when he died, if he’s actually dead, or even his real birthdate! And that’s just the start of the confusion! From the article:
Denney’s friend and associate Arthyr Chadbourne (who plays business manager Arthyr in the film) has disputed these figures, suggesting instead at L.A. screenings/Q&As that Denney was notorious for exaggeration and self-aggrandizing. As Chadbourne reportedly said then, “Craig was wonderful with hype. Everything was millions … you should read some of the things we used to send out to investors.”
Screenwriter Josh Olson returns to share the Russ Meyer phantasmagoria Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and to make it clear that he did NOT write Gigli. The film was a hit when it arrived in 1970, but it was too strong for the studio and effectively ended Meyer’s career as a mainstream filmmaker. Meyer followed BTVOTD with the leaden legal drama Seven Minutes before going back to making titty flicks, thank god. In the episode Josh holds forth on Roger Ebert’s wonderful script, and we all weigh in on “fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke” filmmaking (we all think it’s good).