Working on Sex for Dinner, Death for Breakfast put me in mind of Fred Flintstone’s turn as a stone-age James Bond, 1966’s THE MAN CALLED FLINTSTONE (all rights to poster belong to current holder). This seems to be riffing on From Russia With Love in having a female agent offer to sell out her evil master, the Green Goose (“He has a missile that can blow up the world, and might just use it.”) in return for a meeting with irresistibly sexy spy Rock Slag — who happens to be Fred’s double (I must admit, the first moment when Slag speaks and I realize it’s not Fred is kind of startling). So when Slag is injured, who does the government recruit to fill in for him? Making it an animated spy-spoof musical was a mistake (though Louis Prima does a great job with Pensa Amore) and it really isn’t any more outrageous than some of Fred’s TV adventures (like one episode where he gets involved in a spy thriller concerning the evil genius Stonefinger). But I really like the animated credits, which are up on YouTube. “Pardon me, but do you know about the fifty fighting fireflies?”
I’ve accumulated a number of DVD multi-movie sets over the years, and when I pulled them out to check for time-travel movies, kept them on the shelf to watch the rest of the material. SLIPSTREAM (1989), which is in the same collection as Journey to the Center of Time, is a standard-issue low-budget SF film in which bounty hunter Mark Hamill and wannabe bounty hunter Bill Paxton pursue a wanted android through a post-apocalypse world — though like TV’s Revolution, it’s low-tech rather than ravaged — where the powerful Slipstream winds make it easy to cross the country by glider. Forgettable. “If the gods decide in his favor, the wind will set him free.”
I watched the first episode of the new series EMERALD CITY this week and didn’t bother to finish. Even before the ads billing it as “Oz meets Game of Thrones” I had the latter influence pegged—we got the grim, we got the gritty, we got the stuff that’s not as original as they may have thought (the implication the 20something Dorothy is some kind of Oz founding was done in the 1925 silent version of Wizard), we have dark touches that don’t add anything (the yellow brick road is composed of opium) and we generally lack an Oz feel — the Scarecrow, for example, isn’t an animate scarecrow, he’s just a guy Dorothy finds crucified in a field with crows watching for him to die. Return to Oz and other dark versions I’ve seen (The Oz Encounter by Ted White for instance) go dark but manage to keep the Oz feel. But as I have more than enough stuff to watch, this turning out to suck works out well for me.
I thought the first season of BLACK BUTLER ended perfectly, but I thought they did a good job keeping things going for Season Two: a rival wealthy child, Alois, contrives to deny Sebastian the soul of Ciel Phantomhive and pits his own demonic butler against Sebastian. As I mentioned recently, Netflix dropped the series, but the actual story arc was wrapped up, leaving just direct-to-video specials to fill out the run (though the Making Of special, in which the “cast” discuss the decision to come back for another season, is a deft parody).