Image of the Week: Giger Dog
Plus, 1979's weirdest genre TV
In what comes as little surprise to me, Giger Dog was my most popular image of last week. Feast your eyes.
HR Giger apparently came up with the outfit for a 1968 film called Swiss Made, about an alien visiting Earth, but I don’t know much else about the movie beyond that.
Sorry for all the Dean Ellis art lately, I’ve just been putting together my book’s entry on him. The guy did too many great covers! Here are a few that I’m pretty sure are not making it in.
First, Han Solo’s Revenge. Not a bad cover and one that punches above its nostalgia weight for a lot of fans, but pretty rote from a cover art perspective.
Ellis has a handful of active disasters and action scenes like this next one in his repertoire, but I don’t think my book will cover them as deeply as his more scenic stuff (Still, I’ll try to slip this one or that one into the apocalypse section).
Finally, here’s one that might make it into a different entry in my book, as an example of classic sci-fi tropes: It has ray guns, jet packs, UFOs, and — a sci-fi trope all-timer — a city under a dome.
I’ve got 17 pages of Dean Ellis art on my tumblr, if you need more.
Author Grady Hendrix brought my attention to this one-season wonder from 1979: An hour-long TV show that was actually three 20-minute shows, each one a pastiche of an old genre of film serial. This promo fully explains just how gonzo it was:
The plan was to cycle out each serial after a ten-episode or so run, letting the less successful ones fade away while starting a second round with the popular ones (more on that here). Spinoffs were anticipated, too, making this entire show a potential hit-incubator. Sadly, it flopped too hard in the first season to get the runway it needed.
The first episode takes a page from Star Wars and opens with each serial’s first installment labelled number “2,” “3,” and “VI,” respectively. You can check out it out on YouTube with an absolutely terrible video quality. The dialogue actually lives up to the pulpy banter I was hoping for, with all the actors totally chewing their way through their one-note stock characters. This show may have been ahead of its time, honestly, given that it worked for my very 2020 attention span.
It was an NBC show, and if it shows up on Peacock I would definitely watch it. Until then, I’ll have to get my gonzo genre TV kicks with Legends of Tomorrow, a show that is successfully mashing up genres like nothing else right now.
Michael Nouri in 'World of Dracula' lifted that segment entirely above the other two, such that it was released by itself later. He really plays it well.