Monday, October 26, 2009

Universal Monster Monday VII (Sort Of)

Well, not really at all. These are my Outer Limits cards. The originals from 1965 or so. But first, the night. The Monday readings are somewhat split in two, and today there were no readings at all. I spent time talking with Mike about DC Comics and when the first Julie, Darci, and Becky showed, we just talked in a surprisingly empty room. I was in the bathroom when a girl opened the door, luckily it wasn't a scene from FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. Oh, and I found an ad in FILMFAX for the old Diver Dan shows that aired on Ray Rayner. It was surprisingly warm up north but fairly chilly, so my hands are curled up like crab hands or whatever crabs have. First night of gloves for me. Rare for October. Hardly any cars on the rainy streets, neither on Cicero OR 87th, and it was very, very quiet out. No wind to hit the leaves and make them fall. Silent like a winter night when you can hear your footsteps on an inch of snow like erasers hitting a blackboard.

I love the face on The Thing From Mercury, but could care less about the medallion. Maybe they have have Scientology on other planets, I dunno. But I ALWAYS wanted me one of those masks, if they ever had them made. Television Terror was, I believe, the first episode. Cliff Robertson hangs out at this scientist's pad, the guy built what he thought would be, well, it was like an ant form with the supposed atmosphere for a planet circling Wolf 359. I think this is why the episode stuck with me, the name of the star. Certainly not obscure, it is about 14 light years away, but for me, just plain cool that they didn't just make up a star like they did on STAR TREK. Captain's Log, Stardate 1111.11, we are circling the star Proxima Batshit X-3, etc. etc. Well, actually this WAS the first episode, this is card #1. This silicon being comes out of a TV and wanders a deserted street, lots of leaves and scary reflections in business windows. Robertson gets rid of it by turning the TV off.

I believe The Man From The Future (#11) was played by David McCallum. He tells everyone about an atomic war and vanishes, then the world leaders all shake hands. This was way before suicide bombers. Another dude from Mercury, this one wearing a hip, mohair sweater. I have NO idea who or what Jelly Man is, maybe for the better.

I end this with what is both the coolest episode name as well as the far-outedness of the bugs with little Abe Vigoda-like faces. The Xanthi Misfits, how about that for a name? Bruce Dern wanders in the desert after his car breakss down, his girl staying behind. We see this spaceship land and the silhouette of these guys looking out a viewscreen at Dern pretty much getting paid for stumbling around in a circle. We all see the Abe Vigoda bugs in the very last scene. But I absolutely love that name...The Xanthi Misfits. Someone had their thinking cap on that day.


Charles Gramlich said...

The thing from Mercury looks really happy to be here. I guess our weather is better.

Capcom said...


I thought that the first one had a really odd side message, i.e., if you don't like this freaky new show, just turn off the TV. Haha. As it turns out, I got as addicted to the show as Robertson did to his freaky transmission in the ep.

BTW, I finally got to rewatch that episode with McCallum and all the clocks last week. The RTV channel runs O.L. around 4 or 5a.m. and if I happen to wake up I turn it on.

There definitely should have been a band called The Xanthi Misfits, if there wasn't ever one.

G. W. Ferguson said...


I wish--oh, how I wish--I still had my Outer Limits trading cards. Growing up in an area ringed by mountains meant very poor TV reception (and we only received 3 channels anyway), so what few episodes I saw during the original airings were, well, "pointillist" would be a kind description. Those cards (true fetish items in my elementary school) were my Windexed window to a brave new world of monsterdom.

G. W. Ferguson said...

Oh! And my friend Sam probably has a complete set safely stored (with all his thousands of other monster cards) amidst his archives.

Rich Chwedyk said...

Here's the weird deal with those Outer Limits trading cards: the stories on the backs of the cards have nothing to do with the episodes the photos come from. A sports editor where I work recently unearthed a shoe box of trading cards he collected when he was a kid. He had a number of the original set of Universal monster cards, the tinier cards with all the photos from AIP films, and the Outer Limits cards.

I knew at the time, but completely forgot until I looked at them again, the the stories on the backs of those OL cards were little bits of flash fiction, sorta.

Rich Chwedyk said...

P.S. : "Zanti Misfits." That episode scared the shit out of me when I was a kid.