Saturday, March 07, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Bigfoot and Wildboy: "Amazon Contest"

In “Amazon Contest,” three Amazonian women from a domed city of the future arrive in the 1970s Southwest and make plans to enslave men, and use them as gladiators.  Queen Kyra (Cynthia Sikes) sets her sights on a lumberjack named Bert (Rick Beckner), a friend of Wild Boy and Bigfoot.

Another woman from the same future, Deeda (Dee Wallace) claims that she has been deposed, and is the rightful ruler of the domed city. She thus recruits Bigfoot and Wild Boy to help her retrieve her magical mind control scepter, now in Kyra’s possession.

When Kyra lays her eyes on the “giant” Bigfoot, however, she decides he must be her new gladiatorial champion…

Okay, first things first: in nearly 20 years of writing books and ten years of blogging, I have rarely written a synopses as strange as the one featured above.

One quality that differentiates this Sid and Marty Krofft series, Bigfoot and Wildboy, from Filmation fare is its willingness to tell bizarre fantasy stories.  Isis and Shazam are grounded, in some sense, in reality, with superheroes interfacing with normal people, in normal 1970s environs.  Bigfoot and Wildboy had absolutely none of that. The episode stories are absolutely wacko, and then, oddly a “lesson” is thrown in at the last second, like an afterthought.

Case in point is “Amazon Contest,” a two-part episode from the series’ span as an element in The Krofft Supershow omnibus. Here, sexy women from a dystopian future teleport to the seventies, attempt to control men’s minds, and battle against Bigfoot. When Bert the lumberjack is enslaved, a pink rubber band materializes around his hair-line.  The pink means he’s under the control of women, right?

Indeed, there’s just some real kink underlining this one.  The women, in sheer white dresses and short skirts arrive, and lord it over the men, saying things like “kneel before the queen.” Then, the women ooh and ah when they see the hunky men of this time, and worse, Bigfoot.  It’s just so strange, and perverse.

I try to explain Saturday morning television of the 1970s to my son, Joel, but sometimes, there’s just no adequate explanation.  “You see, Joel, three Amazon women from the future come back in time to steal men to fight in gladiatorial games. But Bigfoot stops them!” 

I can hardly type those words with a straight face, let alone say them aloud.  And yet, truth be told, “Amazon Contest,” for all its weirdness, is extremely entertaining.  I may be biased, I’ll admit it. I was thrilled to see Dee Wallace in this episode. I didn’t realize she had ever appeared on Bigfoot and Wildboy. I met her at a convention here in Charlotte three years ago and she was so nice and friendly. She talked to Joel on the day he came to see me, and was just generally very open and warm with us.  She also looked like she hadn’t aged for the last thirty years.  Anyway, Wallace does her best here with the material, but honestly, I don’t know how she kept a straight face.

Otherwise, Bigfoot and Wildboy possesses the same creative deficits I noted in my review of “Abominable Snowman” last week.  A considerable amount of time in the episode consists of Bigfoot and Wildboy running around in slow-motion. We see it straight on. We see it from a tilted angle.  We see it straight on again.  We also see Bigfoot make the exact same “bionic” jump three times in just one twenty minute segment. 

Sheesh.  It’s pretty clear that the effort here was to ape, completely, The Six Million Dollar Man’s Sasquatch.

Also, the low-budget shows.  “Amazon contest” culminates at the exact same abandoned ghost town where Dr. Porthos was operating in “Abominable Snowman.”

No comments:

Post a Comment