austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

We'll make you a movie that's long and immense

The show got started about 8:30, with a warmup routine hosted by Dave ``Gruber'' Allen and in turn May Jo Pehl, Josh Weinstein, and Frank Conniff. I never had much sense ``Gruber'' despite hearing the name, since I didn't have access to Comedy Central back when The Higgins Boys And Gruber was on, although the Mystery Science Theater 3000 folks seem fond of him. I liked the taste, though, and was a little surprised that he was just the warmup guy and host for segments like Frank Conniff's ``Convoluted Man'' --- the excessively complicated opening theme for a hypothetical TV show which, I later learned, wasn't written just for this show or just this tour but which has been used as a warmup thing for a while now --- and talking with Josh Weinstein, who was astoundingly funny on the original show considering he was about twelve years old at the time, and he's grown in ability since.

The movie itself, Danger On Tiki Island, might as well be the template for MST3K-grade movies: a bunch of moderately clueless white folks vaguely attached to the Peace Corps --- allowing the movie to be made late enough it was in color --- come in nominally to teach the natives about whatever and really to putter around the old colonial lodges until the monster starts killing folks. So you know the sort of pacing that's involved and the level of how much things won't be happening. Foreshadowing is covered by the rich landowner in the colonial hut mentioning how sick he gets if he doesn't get his pills regularly.

One surprising movie-related feature was that they set up this thing where plants were alive and tree branches or vines or whatever they were exactly --- it wasn't a very clear print; this is the sort of movie which never in its existence had a clear print --- which I guess was connected to the original monster problem, although the characters seemed to keep running into the one tree most demonstrated to be a killer. People in this grade movie are never smart enough to avoid the peril that has a clearly defined and fixed location.

I didn't think the monster costume was quite as bad as the introductory warnings about it being the least successful monster costume ever made it out to be, although the description of it as the Michelin Man after a scarring fire is pretty much on target. Well, long story short, stuff gets destroyed and the Danger on Tiki Island passes.

Trivia: There was no official Coronation Medal struck by the Royal Mint for the coronation of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, breaking a tradition which had reached back to the coronation of Edward VII. Source: The Invention Of Tradition, Editors Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger.

Currently Reading: The Fourth Part Of The World: The Race To The Ends Of The Earth, And The Epic Story Of The Map That Gave America Its Name, Toby Lester.


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