Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Herculoids: The Pod Creatures (1967)

The third Herculoids story, “The Pod Creatures” dramatizes the story of strange alien capsules that land in the Azmot jungle and proceed to attack Zandor and his family. 

The plain-looking metal capsules open up to reveal evil-looking robots that are bent on ensnaring the primate-like Igoo in restraining nets.  For his part, Igoo uses karate chops to destroy the restraints.

At the end of the story, the Herculoids defeat the Pod Creatures, and the alien spaceship -- a flying saucer -- leaves Azmot for good.

is the simplest (or most simple-minded….) so far of the Herculoids (1967) adventures.  There’s no stated reason for the attack of the “pod creatures,” and more so, no revelation regarding the source of the attack.  The alien saucer merely shows up, drops the capsules and attacks.  When the invasion fails…the saucer leaves.

Who are these guys?  What do they want? Why did they choose Azmot?  I always appreciate a good mystery, but this episode is set up almost purely as an action vehicle.

I’ve been cataloguing The Herculoids’ Edgar Rice Burroughs or Tarzan-like touches in previous posts, and there are fewer of them in this abundantly-direct installment.  About the only element that touches on this comparison is a visualization of Zandor’s family home, a weird alien tree/mushroom plant.  It indeed looks like the equivalent of Tarzan’s tree house in the African jungle, only transposed to an alien environment.

The paucity of new ideas or developed plot-line in “The Pod Creatures” suggests that The Herculoids works better as a concept -- Tarzan in an alien jungle -- that it does as a week-by-week, story-by-story enterprise.  I felt there was a lot to mull over while watching “The Pirates” and “Sarko the Arkman,” and, contrarily, almost nothing at all to discuss here.

We’ll see what the next episode brings…

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