It doesn’t get much more goofy than Village of the Giants, but I am always a fan of campy teen movies from any decade. In 1965 Los Angeles the Whisky-a-Go-Go was the place to be, George Barris cars were the height of cool, and every teenager lived for pop hits and their accompanying dance moves (all of which were choreographed in this movie by Toni Basil). Village of the Giants puts all of these cultural phenomena on full display, with a supporting plot very loosely based on H.G. Wells‘ novel, The Food of the Gods.
The story goes, a young kid named Genius (Ron Howard) accidentally invents a substance that causes all animal life to grow to giant size. His business-minded sister Nancy and her boyfriend Mike see the money-making potential in the substance, romantically dubbed “the goo,” and plan to sell it in order to help solve what else but world hunger!
But when a greedy crew of delinquents decide to steal the goo in order to take over the city, and subordinate the evil rule-making adults, is up to Genius and Mike to save Los Angeles. They either have to come up with more goo so that Mike and his friends can grow and take on the evil giant teenage gang in a fair fight, or find an antidote to shrink the delinquents back down to size. How will this story end?!
Hot Rod Herman was the 36th episode of the wonderful Munsters TV show. On it, Herman’s son Eddie tells his friend Sandy Baylor that his father can beat Mr. Baylor at the Mockingbird Heights drag strip. Instead, Herman ends up losing the Munsters Koach on a bet. Determined to win it back, Grandpa constructs his own roadster, the Drag-u-la, to beat ‘Leadfoot’ Baylor at his own game and win back the family’s beloved Koach.
This episode is especially excellent for a few reasons. First, it’s the only real documentation of the Lion’s Drag Strip, the most legendary drag racing strip of the 50s and 60s. It also features two of George Barris’ greatest creations – the Muster Koach and Drag-u-la. Not only that, but you get to see Herman Munster dressed like Marlon Brando in the Wild One, complete with a leather motorcycle jacket and cap! Throw in as many mid-60s pop culture references as you can in half an hour, and you have an incredible document of mid 60s cool.
And when Grandpa says,”Well, there he is, my son in law, the 150 year old teenage punk,” it might just be the first ever reference to the word “punk” on national television!
And Rob Zombie loves this episode so much that there is not a single excerpt from it on youtube that doesn’t feature his song “Dragula (Hot Rod Herman Remix),” from the Matrix. It is definitely worth watching…
Anytime you turned on the TV in the 60s and 70s and spotted a cool car, chances are it was designed by George Barris of the Barris Brothers. The Batmobile, the Black Beauty from the Green Hornet, the Monkees’ Mobile, the Munster’s car, and the Flint Mobile were all designed by one man, him. In fact, Barris’ designs were so cool that when the Green Hornet was made last year, many people were bummed that it wasn’t as cool and tripped out as the original. Here is a look at the tricked out world of George Barris, one of the original kings of Kustom Kulture cars.
The Original Batmobile
The Munster Mobile
The Pink Panther
The Vox Mobile
The Original Black Beauty
The Flint Mobile
The Original General Lee