My review of The World Of Sid & Marty Krofft boxset

Discussion in 'DVD' started by BrianS, Sep 10, 2003.

  1. BrianS

    BrianS Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought this the other day & have never seen a review for it so I thought I would just jot some thoughts down about the set for those of you who might have an interest (though if any of you have an interest, you probably already own it).

    I, like many of you, grew up when Saturday morning meant something and you would highlight the TV Guide and fight with your sibling all morning over who got to watch what. I haven't seen may of these shows since the time they were last shown on TV ( or the once in a lifetime reruns shown on Nickelodeon a few years ago). Some of the shows on the set I have fond memories of, some I don't care for, and some I don't remember.

    The set is good b/c it gives an episode from each of their shows and lets you have a little taste to see if you want (or can stand) more.

    Disc 1: H.R. Pufnstuf
    Episode #12: Book, Flute & Candle (aka Flute, Book, and Candle)
    Theme Song Rating: A-
    Laughtrack: Yes
    Transfer: Poor with lots of dirt, scratches, and some minor film skips
    Sound: Fair
    Story: Smoking mushrooms turns Freddy the Flute into a mushroom. Jimmy (Jack Wild) dresses as a beggar and wears a modified version of his Artful Dodger costume from "Oliver!" so I guess you "Oliver!" completists out there have to buy this one. Jimmy dances and sings a song.
    For the uninitiated: A boy and his dragon have adventures against an evil witch in a strange world. Think Wizard of Oz on acid.
    Episode rating: B+

    The Bugaloos
    Episode #14 though one book says it is #8: Benita's Double Trouble
    Theme Song Rating: A
    Laughtrack: Yes
    Transfer: Faded but suprisingly clean
    Sound: I don't know if I have a defective disc but all the dialogue & major sound seemed to come from the left front speaker only.
    Story: Bugaloo I.Q. dresses up as Benita to rescue the kidnapped Peter Platter to save the day (and sing a song).
    For the uninitiated: English accented humans with wings are tormented by crazy Benita (Martha Raye). The Bugaloos usually perform an original song in every episode (kinda like an early Kidd Video). The song in this episode sounds a little like The Mamas And The Papas.
    Episode Rating: B+

    Lidsville
    Episode #7: Take Me To Your Rabbit
    Theme Song Rating: A
    Closing Credit Song Rating: C
    Laughtrack: Yes
    Transfer: Clean for it's age
    Sound: Fair
    Story: Hoo Doo (Charles Nelson Reilly) loses his powers & dresses up as a seductive female bunny (ala Bugs Bunny) to get his powers back. Must be seen to be believed.
    For the uninitiated: Mark (Eddie Munster himself Butch Patrick) falls into a large hat at a Six Flags and emerges in Lidsville, a strange place populated by talking hats. Mark keeps trying to return home but his efforts always seem to fall short. Patrick is really too old for the role but Reilly makes up for it chewing on every piece of cheap cardboard scenery he can find.
    Episode Rating: B+

    Sigmund & The Sea Monsters
    Episode #13: Trick Or Treat (aka Trigger Treat)
    Theme Song Rating: A (star Johnny Whitaker sings it Beach Boys style!)
    Closing Credits Song Rating: B-
    Laughtrack: Yes
    Transfer & Sound: Fair for both
    Story: It's Halloween and Sigmund dresses as a boy dressed as Sigmund. Johnny sings a scary song.
    For the Uninitiated: Sigmund is a sea monster who is befriended by two human brothers.
    Episode Rating: B-

    Disc 2: Land Of The Lost
    Episode #5 though one book says #8: Skylons
    Theme Song Rating: A
    Closing Credits Song Rating: A+
    Laughtrack: No
    Transfer: the colors seem a bit off. Overall - poor
    Sound: Fair
    Story: One of the dullest episodes of Land of the Lost (which is a shame since it is my favorite Krofft show). Will and Holly change the weather inside a mysterious pylon.
    For the Uninitiated: Father, son, and daughter fall down a waterfall into a prehistoric age and face the dangers there. Check out the separate dvd release for some better episodes.
    Episode Rating: C-

    Far Out Space Nuts
    Episode #13: Birds Of A Feather
    Theme Song Rating: B+
    Closing Credits Song: D
    Laughtrack: Yes
    Transfer & sound: Fair
    Story: Two chicken men kidnap the space nuts to take care of an egg. Look for a scene which directly rips off Laurel & Hardy with very unfunny results.
    For the Uninitiated: Highly silly show with Bob Denver and Chuck McCann as two NASA employees who launch themselves into space.
    Episode Rating: D-

    The Lost Saucer
    Episode #10: Return To The Valley Of The Chickaphants
    Theme Song Rating: B-
    Laughtrack: Yes
    Transfer & sound: Fair
    Story: Highly obnoxious episode with lots of screeching sound effects. The only saving factor is an embarrassed Jim Nabors. A Caveman kidnaps Fi while Fum tries to take care of a Elephicken. Um...I am not making this up.
    For the Uninitiated: Two androids pick up a couple of kids and get lost in time and space where they meet all sorts of creatures. Look for the irritating "Dorse".
    Episode Rating: F

    Electrawoman and Dynagirl
    Episode #6: The Pharaoh
    Theme Song Rating: A
    Laughtrack: No
    Transfer & sound: Fair, although the framing seems off in places.
    Story: The Pharoh tries to rule the world. E & D come to the rescue.
    For the Uninitiated: Poor Batman rip-off with the delicious & young Deidre Hall and her cute electra-Robin. They use Electro Comp wristbands (three times the size of your current cell phone...on their wrists...in normal clothes...) to activate numerous electra-crime fighting devices. Electra-terrible...but fun.
    Episode Rating: C+

    Disc #3: Dr. Shrinker
    Episode #9: Slowly I Turn
    Theme Song Rating: B+
    Laughtrack: Yes but very subdued
    Transfer & sound: Fair
    Story: Gordie does his best impression of Dr. Shrinker as he gets hit in the head over & over (and over and over and over).
    For the Uninitiated: Dr. Shrinker shrinks (duh!) three teenagers and chases them. Much adventure ensues.
    Episode Rating: A-

    Wonderbug
    Episode #5: Maltese Gooneybird (aka Gooney Bird)
    Theme Song Rating: C
    Laughtrack: Yes but very subdued
    Transfer & sound: Fair
    Story: The kids get their packages switched with some spies. Spies get pissed. Speedy (oops)...uh...Wonderbug to the rescue.
    For the Uninitiated: Three meddling kids ride in a beat-up dune buggy which turns in a super buggy whenever trouble rears its ugly head (which is every episode). A live action rip-off of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Speed Buggy. Gotta love the car sounds though.
    Episode Rating: B-

    Magic Mongo
    Episode #8: Huli's Vacation
    Theme Song Rating: B+ (sounds like ABBA guest-sang...sung...)
    Laughtrack: Yes
    Transfer & sound: Fair, although there is some occasional loud pops.
    Story: Money stolen...kids must recover. No laughs ensue.
    For the Uninitiated: An innocent Three's Company with a Genie! The best part is listening to the Genie talk. Lennie Weinrib plays Magic Mongo and if you watched one cartoon in the 70's or 80's...you know his voice.
    Episode Rating: C+

    Bigfoot And Wildboy
    Episode #17 (though one book says #18): Return Of The Vampire
    Theme Song Rating: A- (70's instrumental with narration & sound effects...awesome!)
    Laughtrack: No
    Transfer & sound: Fair
    Story: Two crooks wake up an attractive female vampire complete with black cape, wax fangs & Jordache jeans. Bigfoot saves the day. Wildboy talks a lot and Bigfoot throws things. Awesome!
    For the Uninitiated: Bigfoot raises boy in the wild...decides to name him...take a guess...Wildboy! They travel and have adventures. Bigfoot looks like a large Pakuni. Excellent new use of bionic sound effects when jumping, running and throwing things...which is often in just one episode! Slow-mo running with sound effects to simulate super-speed...it just doesn't get any better.
    Episode Rating: A+

    Pryor's Place
    Episode #4: Voyage To The Planet Of The Dumb
    Theme Song Rating: A+ (sung & written by Ghost-Buster Ray Parker Jr.)
    Laughtrack: Yes
    Transfer & sound: Unfortuately the best in the bunch
    Story: Kids skip school. They visit arcade. They realize that they don't want to be dumb. Heavy handed message will tire you out before 5 minutes have passed. Watch only for the great breakdancing and neon...neon everywhere! Pat Morita guest-stars!
    For the Uninitiated: Richard Pryor tries his hand at kid's TV. Since he can't curse...it fails. Really bad puppets...really bad acting...really bad stories...I just don't understand why it failed. You will be humming the Ray Parker Jr. song long after the TV has left your memories.
    Episode Rating: D+

    Overall Impression: The episodes average out to around a C+ but I have to raise it up to a B just because it's out there for sale. We are lucky to see any of these. I would have liked a better choice of episodes but it covers all of their main morning shows (with the exception of the 90's version of Land Of The Lost). No musical numbers from Kaptain Kool and the Kongs or The Bay City Rollers are included (which may or may not make you happy). I would have liked to have seen a whole episode of The Krofft Supershow or The Krofft Superstar Hour with everything but that may be asking too much.

    Also note that when I said the transfer is fair, that is in regards to the source. These were all very low-budget & probably have not been well cared for over the years. Most of these are sub-VCR quality but hey...better than nothing.

    So...that's is my take on these. For those of you out there...give your opinions. I love to wax nostalgic when it comes to my childhood Saturday mornings.
     
  2. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    Thanks for that, Brian.

    I've always been a fan of the Krofft shows if for nothing else that they're the weirdest shows to ever be produced outside of Japan. I held off on buying this set because of the kinda high price. I have some of the VHS tapes though. They're ultra cheap and you get three episodes per tape. They didn't release individual sets of anything but the most popular series, but it doesn't sound like I'm missing too much by not seeing PRYOR'S PLACE and FAR OUT SPACE NUTS. I would love to have me some BIGFOOT AND WILDBOY and ELECTRA WOMAN AND DYNA GIRL though. They were some of my favs.
     
  3. BrianS

    BrianS Stunt Coordinator

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    I couldn't find an affiliate tag thru here but I recently bought this set for the cheapest price I have seen at digitaleyes.net recently. I checked and they still have it for around $28 shipped (which is pretty good). If a Mod has a tag & wants to link it...feel free.
     
  4. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the reviews.

    As for the BUGALOO comment about all the sound coming from only one of the speakers, it is the same way on my DVD so it isn't just your disc. I don't know if it has something to do with the sound system we are watching it through (I have an ancient receiver, pre Dolby Digital) but when I first got it, the week it came out a year or so ago, I asked about the same problem in other groups and others didn't seem to have a problem with it.

    Great set. Wish they would all get season sets. But, I guess it didn't sell enough to justify them doing that.
     
  5. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

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    Definitely thinking of getting this.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the review, Brian. [​IMG]
     
  6. Chris Harrison

    Chris Harrison Stunt Coordinator

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    I think you may have sold me on this. This brings back fond memories.
     
  7. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    If Rhino had released the complete H.R. Pufnstuf and Land of the Lost like they implied they were going to, I would probably have bought both, but I hate incomplete series, so haven't bought either yet.
     
  8. Paul D G

    Paul D G Screenwriter

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    Can I just poke my head in here to say that today I got a mailer from the local cable company advertising all their features (including the new HDTV feed) and there was a wee little advert stating that on Saturday mornings they are having a Sid and Marty Kroft Retro block! 3 hours of Pufnstuff! Bugaloos! Land of the Lost! Lidsville! Sigmund!

    ...and of course I get this ON SATURDAY so I have to wait a week before I can see it.

    Dammit.

    -paul
     

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