Librarians, Dungeons and Dragons, mad science and cartoons: movies and TV

The fourth and final season of THE LIBRARIANS has the team coping with not only a new wave of magical threats but the need to tether the Library to reality (a ritual that will put more responsibility on Flynn than he’s ready for) and the return of Flynn’s original Guardian, Nicole (from the first Librarian TV movie, Quest for the Spear), immortal and very pissed off. The usual fun, though while the ending (involving banishing the Library and the dystopia that results) was good, it wasn’t great (possibly because I’ve seen too many stories where a last minute bit of time travel resolves everything). “They say you can kill a man but not an idea — but I did just that, I killed the idea of the Library!”

Right-wing Christian Jack Chick became legendary for his bizarre “Chick Tracts,” comic strips showing how watching Dark Shadows or playing Dungeons and Dragons would damn your soul to Hell. The short film DARK DUNGEONS (2014) is a comedy fantasy that takes the latter premise literally: two nice young Christian college women are seduced into playing D&D (“People have tried to get those RPGers off campus, but they’re just too popular!”), after which one of them turns to Satanism to get real magical power while the other snaps under the strain. Fun, but the elements it adds to the original don’t all work, from errors (clerics don’t cast magic missile) to making Debbie as ignorant about Christianity in the end bit as she was in the Tract, even though she’s now written as Christian. And throwing Cthulhu into the mix felt like they didn’t have enough faith in their premise. Still, I did enjoy this. “I am proud to announce that more people have decided to become homosexuals this year than ever before!”

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN (1974) didn’t lighten the purging phase of colonoscopy prep as much as I expected so I didn’t laugh as much as I usually do. Still, it’s never a waste of time to watch Frankenstein descendant Gene Wilder reanimate dead flesh, Marty Feldman robbing a brain depository (“It was someone called … Abby Normal.”), Teri Garr showing off her knockers (it may show a generational gap that while I think of this as her big role, TYG thought of Mr. Mom), Cloris Leachman gets outed as Victor’s ex (“He was my — boyfriend!”), Peter Boyle tap dances and Richard Haydn and Kenneth Mars round out the cast. “Tonight we shall hurl the gauntlet of science into the frightful face of death itself!”

THE TOP 10 FORGOTTEN CARTOONS OF ALL TIME doesn’t live up to its billing; the cartoons are perfectly entertaining, but they’re not better than lots of other obscure ‘toons I’ve seen (as four of them come from the 1930s Rainbow Parade series, I wonder if rights to that series influenced what was picked). Still, I did enjoy watching a rabbit trying to wear out a hound dog the night before a hunt, honeymoon couples going “Dancing on the Moon,” an RCMP-clad Cupid uniting two squabbling neighbors, the Toonerville Trolley comic strip coming to life and the rough-hewn mutt Dog Face protesting against being a pampered pet. The weakest was probably the one I was most interested in, Ub Iwerks’ (Disney’s partner in Walt’s early career) “Happy Days,” about a group of kids going fishing. “If he’s a real burglar, I’m Seabiscuit — wait, I am Seabiscuit!”

#SFWApro, all rights to poster image remain with current holder.

2 Comments

Filed under Movies, TV

2 responses to “Librarians, Dungeons and Dragons, mad science and cartoons: movies and TV

  1. Dark Dungeons is amusing but the scene that evokes sexual assault during LARPing kind of soured me on the whole thing. Humans and Households (from the same team) is much more wholesome fun.

    • Found it and bookmarked it for viewing.
      You have a point about that one scene. I was puzzled why they imply one of the protagonists is a repressed lesbian, but do nothing with the idea. It wasn’t part of the original Tract.

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