Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Saturday Morning Sci-fi Ritual - What Happened To It?

Way back when I was a young kid, one of the great things about Friday nights and Saturday mornings (and sometimes afternoons) was that you could plop your butt in front of the tube and blast off to other worlds or fight alien creatures right here at home. Friday night and even more so Saturday mornings (for us little kids) were sci-fi time. I got to enjoy an awful lot of science fiction movies from the 50s and 60s on television (and a couple in the movie theater now and then) when I was young. It did not matter much that we only had a black and white TV for at least several years of my youth, a lot of the older movies were in B&W anyway and they were all great adventures regardless. When we got a color set, it just got better and the science fiction seemed all that more real to me.

After watching a couple or few cartoons - beginning with Colonel Bleep (the first cartoon to air each Saturday morning), it would be time to delve into aliens worlds, radiation poisoned America, the minds of madmen, forbidden jungles yet unexplored or anything more adult than a cartoon. Movies like The Creature From The Black Lagoon, The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Plant, The Invasion of The Body Snatchers, Them, or probably what is one of my all times favorites if not actually my favorite 1950s sci-fi movie - The Thing From Another Planet (aka: The Thing) were their for our viewing pleasure and to fire up our imaginations. Getting engrossed in those films and maybe even being scared to the point of just about peeing in your pants was a right of passage back then and it was a sort of a ritual.

The other part of the ritual surrounding those movies was that after watching a good sci-fi, it would be out onto the street to play with my friends and imagine we were one of the adventurous characters in the movie that at least some of us had mutually watched unknown to one another at the time we were watching. Those were the days when we spent time alone watching a movie much like a kid today with a video game but the big difference is that after the movies we got together, socialized and played those parts - many times for hours on end. Too bad kids today do not do likewise. They all seem more self centered and engrossed in their I-pads, smart phones, video games, I-pods and so on that they have forgotten how to have fun playing together (unless they play a video game against one another but I mean physical play not video bullshit).

For those of you that do remember those days, or in other words are at least half as old as Methuselah like me, here is a short video clip that lists the so called 20 best sci-fi films of the 1950s. I don't agree with all of the selections, I think some great ones were left off of the list and some others were placed out of order of how good they were but that is personal taste. Regardless of what I think about which were best, this video is sure to bring back some fond memories to many of you older folks around my age.

I was going to include a video of the top 10 sci-fi movies of the 1960s but the video gives honorable mention to Barbarella which starred that commie loving cunt Jane Fonda and which also gave the number one rating to one of the worst sci-fi movies ever, in my opinion, 2001 A Space Odyssey. So, I did not bother to repost it here. How 2001... got number one and Planet of The Apes was rated as number two in comparison is beyond me but I am guessing that is how leftists would see it. I say leftists because of the inclusion of Barbarella as an honorable mention. Oh well, there were some excellent sci-fi movies in the 60s and that holds true for every decade along the way to now.

Of course, the best sci-fi movie of them all was made long before I was born and was made when my mom (RIP) was only 8 years old. Although the special effects and film techniques for a movie that old have been far surpassed today, and a lot of the acting was pretty corny, I still get a thrill out of watching it now and again. Now that I think of it - I suppose this one is my all time favorite, I think it may even beat out The Thing From Another World (hard to say right now, I guess they are running in a dead heat). Yes, I am talking about the 1933 classic King Kong. It is a sci-fi adventure movie like no other and none is ever likely to match it except maybe The Thing or possibly The Fifth Element (one of my other all time favorites in the sci-fi genre). Watch the trailer for King Kong here, or you can rent the whole thing on YouTube, Amazon or Netflix:

King Kong - it was and remains one heck of an excellent sci-fi movie, maybe the best ever and will always be among the very best I have ever seen.

Seeing those trailers makes me wish I could wake up on any Saturday morning, turn on the tube watch an episode of Colonel Bleep and then a decent to excellent sci-fi film. Those days seem to be lost forever though with the crap on TV in the early AM on Saturdays nowadays. Makes me wonder what happened to all those old movies and what happened to the ritual of Saturday morning Sci-fi.

All the best,
Glenn B

1 comment:

John in Philly said...

Yesterday while doing yard work with my wife, I picked up a piece of 4 by 4 with one hand and raised my hand in a threatening gesture with the other hand. My wife glanced at me and said hello Jim.

The Thing is a great story, the dialog, the pacing, and the action are all top notch. We must communicate, and look to the skies are just a couple of the insider phrases we use.

I suggest that Them is also well up there in quality, and there is a stunning similarity between the flame thrower in the nest scene in Them, and Ripley's flame thrower use in Aliens. Sometimes I am sure there is nothing new in Hollywood and scenes and plots are endlessly recycled.

And now to watch the youtube videos you suggested.

Thank you.