Much of my childhood was spent watching monster movies. That was in the days when the TV stations aired everything, including anything in black and white. Within about ten years of that, all the black and white films and shows starting disappearing. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had one season in black and white and three in color, and suddenly it was hard to find the first season. And the movies that I watched every Saturday that came from the 1950s and 1960s started disappearing. Even the color movies have largely disappeared now.
There were many films about the fears of what atomic power would do or our push into scientific fields. Them! had giant ants roaming the sewer systems of Los Angeles (with James Arness of Gunsmoke). The Creature From the Black Lagoon had an underwater creature stalking people (Ricou Browning did the underwater stunts without diving gear). The Fly, which starred David Hedison (though he was then using his first name, Al), had a scientist experimenting with transporter technology and ending up part man, part fly.
A few really scared me. There was one involving rats in a basket being put over someone’s head (no clue what the title is). In another, shockingly for the time, a man’s arm got torn off on camera (I believe that was The Brain That Wouldn’t Die).
And then there was Godzilla, and all the monster movies that came with it like Rodan and Monster Island. I think I saw the original only once or twice. It had a very different tone, more suited for the fears of science gone wild, so the local channels may have passed on it in favor of the other movies. Those were just plain monster-destroys-Tokoyo, and Godzilla even became a good monster with children
Every now and then I run into a show where the director used the “shaky camera” filming technique. It’s where the camera is hand held or simulates hand held. The camera might be focused on one actor, and it jiggles and moves around.
It probably originated from The Blair Witch Project. According to stories at the time, the camera was so shaky that people got ill from motion sickness.
I think some directors use it because it creates a sense of urgency. You get all this camera jiggling–pay attention! Pay attention!
It also evokes a sense of realism. If you film a home movie, it’s going to have the same shaky effect.
For me, I don’t like it, except maybe very sparingly. I could see it in a big action scene where things are moving fast because it fits there. One of the things producer Irwin Allen did was what was called The Seaview Rock and Roll. He banged a metal bucket, the camera would tilt, and the actors would all lurch to the left, or even fall to the deck. It was a very effective special effect.
The shaky camera works here because it’s only a few minutes, and then goes back to the normal stable camera shots.
As an entire episode or movie? No.
One of the problems with the shaky camera is that if used in excess, it constantly disrupts the suspension of disbelief and reminds us that is a film. I know that the new version of Battlestar Galactica is highly praised, and I’ve been able to watch it. Just a few minutes in of shaky camera and I was paying more attention to the camera movement than the story.
When I returned home to California in 1997, my father said, “Do you want to see the Batcave?”
Batcave? He was referring to the cave used in the opening credits of the Batman TV series.
Dog in hand (she wanted the ride), we drove up to the cave, which is called Bronson Cave. It’s located in Griffith Park. When we arrived, some construction was going on. A big wooden frame was being built around the cave, and there was a man inside, pumping some water out.
So we walked over and asked. They told us it was for the coming Star Trek film. Pretty cool just walking around and finding a Star Trek set.
I had to look it up again–couldn’t remember the name–for my book Golden Lies. This is an article on it (he says in the video it’s the 4th film; it’s actually the 6th film).
I have to really think about that. A long time. I like Patrick Stewart…but Charlie’s Angels…
I saw the show in the original run. I think everybody did because it was pretty popular. Aaron Spelling produced, so David Hedison showed up twice on the show (first season and one of the later seasons). It was new and different–remember this was the era when women were just getting into West Point.
The original angels were Farrah Fawcett-Majors (who passed away a few years back), Jaclyn Smith (doing a K-Mart brand of clothes), and Kate Jackson (seen her show up on TV in a few places). David Doyle played Bosley, who gave them their cases and did other legwork (he passed away relatively young). John Forsythe rounded up the group by being the mysterious Charlie that no one had ever seen (he was doing double duty on Dynasty). While the costuming is tame by today’s standards, Spelling put the ladies in skimpy clothing that led to the media using the term “jiggle shows.”
And Charlie’s Angels does its own nod to the Airport movies. Given Aaron Spelling produced, they also crossed shows with The Love Boat. That was a weird combination, and much later in the series when they were going through Angels.
Charlie’s Angels showed up on MeTV, so I tuned in. The original show has not aged well. The stories are surprisingly not well-written, and the thing that drew audiences too it then are standard for films and TV now.
I’m not sure if Patrick Stewart’s presence can improve the show. Without the era and changes going on at the time, it’s a very standard private eye movie. Doesn’t have anything special to it.