Tagged: HOF

Hawk the Slayer,
is a low-budget, B-movie easily described as terrible, cinematic rubbish.  Its wooden acting, matte paintings, and indiscriminate use of fog machines adds charm to a script a 13 year old boy, with a icosahedron clutched in his fist, could come up with.  Perhaps, we should look away and not be hypnotized by hula hoops and glowing ping pong balls.  Cover our ears for we may be seduced by its discotheque-flute soundtrack.  Can we shake off the many one-liners that borders between clever and dimwitted?   It’s a movie we can all laugh, even cry, together.



An unusual blend of martial arts in a western disguising a morality play.  Kung Fu poses its hero as a half Chinese drifter observing humanity requiring all his strength and wisdom to survive it.  It’s slow pacing, extensive dialog, and dystopian universe is something rarely exist in American media.  There is no single scene of greatness.  For Kung Fu’s liberal use of slow motion, still frames, and repetitious flashbacks robs the series of any polished presentation.   However, it is in its storytelling, narratives, and subtlety that makes Kung Fu unique.  Especially by today’s perspective, Kung Fu is a cruel world.  While there are good souls, those evil rarely converted and not always defeated.  David Carradine, while not a super hero, acted a super man overcoming injustice, bigotry, and bounty hunters.    Kung Fu’s three year run spun a variety of fairy tales that indulged in the supernatural.  It’s a long lost series happily reliving days when character development wasn’t a sin and martial arts not perfectly choreographed and the only means of resolution.

Watch carefully, Grasshopper.  Kung Fu is in our Hall of Favorites.



Kolchak: The Night Stalker
was introduced during the days without cable television where only three network stations existed.  A groundbreaking hour-long show of  supernatural themes, Karl Kolchak was a hero-unorthodox.  Not too many shows then and now would send an actor in his 50’s to fight monsters and demons.  It’s low budget style lived beyond its potential thanks to the help of our imagination.  Key cast members had timings of comedic genius before Karl left his typewriter saving Chicago.  Without technology, hip dialog, or flashes of modern editing, Kolchak: The Night Stalker was the inspiration for The X-Files.  It’s disregard for commercial demographics most likely makes the series never to be recreated in its form again.  For its cult following, it makes the Hall of Favorites.

Scooby Doo defies conventional wisdom in children’s animation.  Featuring unsupervised teenagers, who solve mysteries and chased down criminals.  It catered to children’s silent wishes to be frightened by monsters (but not too much).  The series played down the existence of the supernatural while at the same time featured a talking dog!  Over the decades it had been reborn without breaking sacred formulas; clever traps, veracious appetites, and globe trotting in their Mystery Machine.


William Shatner is Captain Kirk.

To explain the appeal and longevity of the original Star Trek and the franchise would take a thesis and hotly contested thereafter.  It did not pioneer Sci-Fi on television, but its ideas, imagined by Gene Roddenberry, outlived the three short years network television allowed.   Rather than hypnotizing viewers with special effects limited at the time, it focused on the stories and characters becoming a futuristic space opera with an occasional phaser and fisticuffs.

Rather than sticking to one, repeated formula, the series experimented with a variety of backdrops and morals.   From exciting space battles to drama of revenge, to even comedy, Star Trek kept a core team together as they visited fascinating worlds across the galaxy.

The original special effects is dated.  The acting at times is over dramatic.  The techno-babble is eye rolling.  But most of all it is fun!  There is no television science fiction franchise comparable today after so many decades starting in 1966.

Stuck in the world of black & white, The Andy Griffith Show remains timeless after 60+ years.   It avoided then-modern hot button issues of race, war, and political strife to near stubborn perfection.  A small town cast of characters helped tell stories still relevant today both in the hills and cities.   The Andy Griffith Show took advantage of many comedic techniques including very subtle use of physical humor with witty banter.  While it extended its run three additional years into the color era, the series is inducted into The Hall of Favorites for its monochrome days.

Never without his signature raincoat, Lt. Columbo is a sly, yet brilliant sleuth and detective.  His villains most always represent society’s most influential and famous.  It’s a Shakespearean play watching Columbo hound and wear his opponents down until they fall from their pedestals.   He deceives his villains by acting confused and starting meandering conversations frustrating the most cold-blooded of murderers.  But it’s only an act.  With Columbo, its never about who gets caught, but how.

With his wardrobe to his endearing love of his unseen wife, his love of chili to his rumpled, brown paper bag, Lt. Columbo is an icon.  For his three decades of crime drama that made us laugh at the right moments – Columbo is inducted into our Television Hall of Favorites.  Oh, there’s just one more thing …