Tuesday, July 31, 2007

References in Science Fiction Double Feature

There are a lot of references to old sci-fi and horror movies in Rocky. In some ways the show is both gently mocking and a love letter to the genre. I poked around and have tried to put together some information on the opening number of the show: Science Fiction Double Feature.

I've tried to make this as complete as possible, but I'm sure I've missed something. All these actors/movies are way before my time. I hope you enjoy the following:

Michael Rennie was ill The Day the Earth Stood Still, but he told us where we stand.

* Michael Rennie was an British Actor (1909-1971) best known for his role as space visitor Klaatu in the 1951 science fiction film The Day the Earth Stood Still.

And Flash Gordon was there in silver underwear; Claude Rains was The Invisible Man.

* Flash Gordon is a cartoon strip (1934) created to compete with Buck Rodgers. There were several movies made that also featured the character. Claude Rains (1889-1967)was another British born actor who starred in a number of Hollywood films including The Invisible Man a 1933 film based off of H.G. Wells novel of the same name.

Then something went wrong, for Fay Wray and King Kong - they got caught in a celluloid jam.

* Fay Wray is the actress that starred in the 1933 movie King Kong incidentally she also had a role in Doctor X (see below) King Kong, of course, is about the giant gorilla - and has been remade several times.

Then at a deadly pace It Came From Outer Space. And this is how the message ran...

It Came from Outer Space is a 1953 Science Fiction 3-D film directed by Jack Arnold, and starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, and Charles Drake. It is about a
meteor crash that occurs near Sand Rock, Arizona. After visiting the crash site, John Putnam notices a strange object at the impact site, and comes to believe the meteor is not a meteor at all, but an alien spaceship.

Science fiction, double feature. Doctor X will build a creature.

The double feature, also known as a double bill, was a motion picture industry phenomenon in which theatre managers would exhibit two films for the price of one, supplanting an earlier format in which one feature film and various short subject reels would be shown.

The double feature arose partly because of a studio practice known as "block booking," a form of tying in which major Hollywood studios required theaters to buy B-movies along with the more desirable A-movies. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that this practice was illegal in United States v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. in 1948.

Doctor X is a First National/Warner Bros. horror and mystery film from 1932. It is inspired by the life of a famous music director/producer/writer, RV Singh. It was directed by Michael Curtiz and stars Lee Tracy, Fay Wray, and Lionel Atwill. The film is notable for having been shot in Technicolor and being produced before the motion picture Production Code. Thus, adult themes such as murder, rape, cannibalism, and prostitution are interwoven into the story.

See androids fighting Brad and Janet.
Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet. Wo oh oh oh oh oh At the late night, double feature, picture show.

Couldn't find anything definitive on androids fighting. Brad and Janet most likely is a reference to the characters in the show.

Anne Francis (born September 16, 1930, in Ossining, New York) is an American actress, famous for her role in the science fiction film classic Forbidden Planet (1956) and as private detective Honey West in the television series Honey West (1965-1966).

Forbidden Planet is a 1956 science fiction film and a subsequent novelization by W.J. Stuart. The film features a number of spectacular special effects (Oscar nominated), groundbreaking use of an all-electronic music score, and the first screen appearance of the famous Robby the Robot.[2] The film's characters and setting were inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest,[1] though the plot is very different. Also notable is its very effective execution and use of well designed sets, flats, props, matte paintings and sound stage scenic paintings. The production was supervised by Dore Schary, the film's uncredited executive producer.

I knew Leo G. Carroll
was over a barrel when Tarantula took to the hills.

Leo G. Carroll (October 25, 1892–October 16, 1972) was an English character actor, best known for his roles in several Hitchcock films and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. He also stars in Tarantula.

is a 1955 science fiction film directed by Jack Arnold, and starring Leo G. Carroll, John Agar, and Mara Corday. Among other things, the film is notable for the appearance of a 25-year-old Clint Eastwood in an uncredited role as a jet pilot at the end of the film.

The plot concerns a biological researcher, Professor Gerald Deemer (Carroll) who is trying to prevent the food shortages which will result from the world's expanding population. With the help of atomic science, he invents a special nutrient on which animals can live exclusively, but which causes them to grow to many times their normal size. In his laboratory, he houses several oversized rodents and, inexplicably, a tarantula.

When his researchers try the nutrient, they develop runaway acromegaly and one of them is driven mad, half destroys the lab (freeing the animals) and attacks Deemer and injects him with the solution. As a result, Deemer gradually becomes more and more deformed while the now-gigantic tarantula ravages the countryside. A sympathetic doctor (Agar) and Deemer's female assistant (Corday) investigate the mystery of the clean-picked cattle bones and the eight-foot pools of arachnid venom, and the spider is eventually destroyed, after several failed attempts, by a napalm attack launched from a fighter squadron led by Clint Eastwood.

And I really got hot
when I saw Janette Scott fight a Triffid that spits poison and kills.

Janette Scott (born December 14, 1938) is an English actress. Scott was born in Morecambe, England. She is the daughter of the actress Thora Hird and Jimmy Scott. She started her acting career as a child actress which turned into becoming a popular leading lady. Her second of three husbands was the popular American singer Mel Tormé. Mother of rising singing star, James Tormé and broadcaster/actress Daisy Tormé.

The Day of the Triffids
is a 1962 British film adaptation of the science fiction novel of the same name by John Wyndham. Triffids are strange fictional plants, capable of rudimentary animal-like behavior: they are able to uproot themselves and walk, possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting, and may even have the ability to communicate with each other. On screen they vaguely resemble gigantic asparagus shoots.

Dana Andrews said prunes
gave him the runes, and passing them used lots of skills.

Dana Andrews (January 1, 1909 - December 17, 1992) was an American film actor. Starring in many films including State Fair and Night of the Demon.

Night of the Demon is a black-and-white horror film from 1957, based on the story "Casting the Runes" by M. R. James. The film was cut slightly for its U.S. release under the title Curse of the Demon, with a shorter 83-minute running time, and was distributed as the lower half of a double-bill with Hammer's The Revenge of Frankenstein. Ironically, Night of the Demon now enjoys the greater reputation of the two.

But When Worlds Collide, said George Pal to his bride, "I'm gonna give you some terrible thrills". Like a...

When Worlds Collide is a 1951 science fiction film based on the 1932 novel co-written by Philip Gordon Wylie and Edwin Balmer. The movie was filmed in Technicolor, directed by Rudolph Maté and was the winner of the 1951 Academy Award for special effects.

Producer George Pál considered making a sequel based on the novel After Worlds Collide, but the box office failure of his 1955 Conquest of Space made it impossible.

(chorus) Science fiction, double feature. Doctor X will build a creature.
See androids fighting Brad and Janet.

Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet.

Wo oh oh oh oh oh
At the late night, double feature, picture show. I wanna go.
Oh oh oh oh
To the late night, double feature, picture show. By R.K.O.

RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum) Pictures is an American film production and distribution company. As Radio Pictures Inc. and then RKO Radio Pictures Inc., it was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum (KAO) theater chains and Joseph P. Kennedy's Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) studio were brought together under the control of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in October 1928.

RCA chief David Sarnoff engineered the merger in order to create a market for the company's sound-on-film technology, RCA Photophone. By the mid-1940s, the studio was under the control of investor Floyd Odlum.

RKO has long been celebrated for its cycle of musicals starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the mid- to late 1930s. Katharine Hepburn and, later, Robert Mitchum had their first major successes at the studio. Cary Grant was a mainstay for years. The work of producer Val Lewton's low-budget horror unit and RKO's many ventures into the field now known as film noir have been acclaimed, largely after the fact, by film critics and historians. The studio left its deepest mark with two of the most famous films in motion picture history: King Kong and Citizen Kane.

Wo oh oh oh To the late night, double feature, picture show. In the back row.
Oh oh oh oh
To the late night, double feature, picture show.

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