Saturday, April 04, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Mystery Island (1977): "Valley of Fire"

In episode five of Mystery Island (1977), titled “Valley of Fire,” the robot P.O.P.S. (voiced by Frank Welker) is a captive of the island’s indigenous mud-people. They believe him to be a deity.

Soon, however, P.O.P.S. is rescued by a Lava Man. The Lava Man is returning a favor since he was saved by P.O.P.S. and his friends in a previous episode.

Meanwhile, Dr. Strange’s (Michael Kermoyan) lead minion, Krieg, attempts to steal the much-sought after robot for his master…

Mystery Island -- a segment of The Skatebrids (1977 – 1978) -- plays best (meaning least painfully....) if you consider it a kind of campy 1930s pulp serial, only filmed in color. 

The focus of each fifteen-minute segment is action and some lame humor, but there is no depth whatsoever in terms of the storytelling or the characterization. Instead, it's all just a run-around with captures, rescues, captures, and rescues.

Dr. Strange, from his “Cave of Science,” is always trying to capture P.O.P.S. and the robot -- who notes here that it is “hard being a God” -- is always getting through one scrape after another with his trio of human friends.  

Here, a kind act (the rescue of the Lava Man) is rewarded, and the beat goes on.

Frankly, there’s not a whole lot more to say about “Valley of Fire,” beyond noting that it is pure, pulpy phantasmagoria.  

If the next few episodes don’t get better -- or at least more interesting -- I think I’m going to move on to the next 1970s Saturday morning series I’ve been wanting to re-visit (or at least the few episodes available on YouTube: Run, Joe Run).

Next week on Mystery Island, episode #6: “Sentinels of Time.”

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