I don’t know what made me do it, but we went to see Land of the Lost this evening. It wasn’t particularly funny, though it had its moments. But I just had to see Sleestaks on the big screen.
I’m not quite sure why, but I loved this show when I was a kid.
Dinosaurs and bizarre time and space warp plots. Yes, part of it was making fun of the special effects, and the Sleestaks were hilariously bumbling. But they scared the bejeesus out of me. They were always creeping up around dark corners and grabbing people, and those two toes and hisses were really freaky. They were like something out of a Japanese horror film.
And hey — the theme song had banjos (dig those special effects!). You think maybe my fascination with pylon started here? or my love of bright colors?
Actually, I loved anything from the imagination of Sid & Marty Krofft. HR Pufnstuf, Sigmund the Sea Monster . . . and do you remember Lidsville? (and are you beginning to see the pattern here?) One of the biggest events of my childhood was the brief opening of the World of Sid & Marty Croft about where CNN is now. Life used to be so local.
So the movie had lots of fun sight gag references to the old show. Those damn plastic jugs they were always hauling around make a disgusting appearance, and apparently the little girl Holly, all grown up now, makes a cameo (she must’ve been the teacher at the beginning).
But it got the Sleestaks wrong! They looked great, but they didn’t act like those ’70s Sleestaks (or is the plural Sleestak?). In the movie they’re all out in droves in broad daylight, but in the TV show they traveled alone or in threes, and all you had to do to get rid of them was shine a bright light at ’em. And come to think of it, they never actually caused anyone any harm, did they?