In praise of the Sleestak

SleestaksI 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?

you can't imagine how exciting this map is for me.

you can't imagine how exciting this map is for me.

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).

only 198 shopping days left 'til Christmas!

only 198 shopping days left 'til Christmas!

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?


click for the theme song



Filed under Movies (and Tube)

3 responses to “In praise of the Sleestak

  1. Lyta Norman

    Stephen watched this show all the time. I just couldn’t get past that banjo music in the theme song. Drove me nuts. I would like to see the movie though. Thank god they didn’t try to make some semi-serious flick out of that show.

    My favorite Sid & Marty Krofft character of all time – WitchyPoo!

  2. Jennifer

    This is another one of those shows that offended me as a child because it was so stupid. I used to watch it to laugh at how lame it was. And no, the Sleestax never hurt anyone – apparently the horror of their hissing and stiff walk was enough. Remember when they finally made “friends” with one of the Sleestax and not only could it talk, but it also knew English, although with a weird kind of Japanese accent? I just remember it always called the kids “Will and Horry”. Somehow this Sleestax friend’s speech impediment allowed it to say the “l” at the end of Will’s name, but not the “l” in the middle of HOLLY’s name. Or maybe I misremember, and it said all of them like “r”. Good thing there was no “flied lice” on the menu in Land of the Lost (or should that be Rand of the Rost?).

    In any case, it’s sure to be the summer blockbuster of the Creationist set, given that it shows humans and dinosaurs living together.

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