Welcome back to another brand new episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers! Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking a trip down memory lane, covering an epic story from a monumental television series from our collective youth. The boys are revisiting the animated classic G.I. Joe, and the 5-parter storyline that premiered Season 2 and reset the series, called “Arise, Serpentor, Arise! “, from 1986.
Blake and Dion analyze the origins and history of G.I. Joe as a toyline from Hasbro, and how with its reinvention in 1982 (with the help of Marvel Comics), became one of the biggest and most popular toy lines in history. In typical SNMS fashion, they discuss the Serpentor storyline and utilize as a cross reference, the differences in the comic book‘s story arc, to unpack how ahead of its time this and other core stories were in G.I. Joe, and how the Season 2 reset launched an entire new line of toys for us to buy. So come on and have a listen as the boys revisit a classic, on an all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
*The 1945 Robert Mitchum/Burgess Meredith film is titled The Story of G.I. Joe, not just G.I. Joe.
*Dion misspoke and said Lifeline when he meant Lift-Ticket, who piloted the Tomahawk helicopter.
As discussed in the podcast, Blake & Dion attended Hascon in September of 2017. Here are some photos they took of the G.I. Joe display (We apologize for the reflections in some of the pictures- we just couldn’t eliminate those pesky things; and for the framing of other pics- we were moving as quickly as we could to see all the displays! ):
- Check out some original 12inch Joes from the 1960s-70s Here, here, here and here;
- Some amazing original character sketches and designs from Series One, Here here, here, here, here, here, here, and here;
- Here is some beautiful original paintings and artwork done for G.I. Joe in the 1980s by legendary artist Hector Garrido here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here!
- The original designs and prototypes from characters that appear in 1987‘s G.I. Joe: The Movie : here, here, here, and here!
- Post 1987 movie designs and prototypes for characters, here (note the size of prototypes), here, here, here, here, and here!
For more extras, click more!
With Christmas just days away, J. Blake and Dion Baia decided to seek out a film that actually was the first to attempt to lay out the backstory of old St. Nick; a movie that sadly came and went, and like any good holiday film, it’s a perfect time capsule for the era it was made within. We’ve got Santa pitted against the evil and greed of the 1980s, in Jeannot Szwarc‘s Santa Claus: The Movie, from 1985.
This forgotten gem starring the great Dudley Moore, David Huddleston and John Lithgow immediately have the boys thinking back to the Christmas’ of their childhood, and the memories that come along with those experiences, like the Sears and J.C. Penney catalogs and their toy sections, or shopping with Mom and watching her use coupons for everything and then get rainchecks for what was on sale but had been 86-ed. And because of the product placement and connected marketing campaign, it has Dion and Blake longing for a McDonald‘s meal circa 1985, and all it’s unhealthy heavenly glory. They discuss the superhero-esque origin story, and relish in the glorious pre-CGI practical effects, and the beauty that has been lost in those antiquated Special Effects. So playing the SNMS-patented “What-if ?” game, who were some of the other directors considered to helm this film? Was a legendary horror director actually topping the list to, at one point, oversee this project? Was this entire movie, including the parts in New York City, shot on a soundstage in another country entirely? And is it really unheard of to have that many wild reindeer pull a sleigh? Well, this week the boys hook up with the Vendequm and watch them fulfill their centuries-old prophecy, in an all new Holiday Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Check out the original trailer for Santa Claus: The Movie!
Take a look at an original 1985 TV spot.
Here’s a great example of the product endorsements tied into the movie, where we have the elves selling Kodak Disk Cameras!
And here’s local reporter Roy Leonard from WGN Channel 9 reviewing the film on the nightly news, circa 1985.
Welcome to a very special, New Years edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers. Blake and Dion picked a classic to usher in 2016, a film very close to the hearts at SNMS, a movie that shows us that anyone can go the distance, as long as you have the drive and determination. This week, the boys are taking on Rocky, from 1976.
After Dion and Blake quickly chat the Rick Baker Gremlins clay bust they forgot to bring up in their last podcast on Gremlins, the boys try to pack as much information as they can into a 2+ hour podcast about Rocky. They kick things off by speaking about their personal love for the film, which for Blake, ranks up in his top 3. From discussing the origins of Stallone’s story and the serendipitous moment for how Sly was even able to pitch it, to his firmness to play the lead and the shoe-string budget to get the film made, was it all really like catching lightning in a bottle? Is it really a sweet, upbeat story about never giving up? Could this film be done today and have the same feel and power? Did having such a tight budget actually end up making the film better ? Was Stallone’s guiding force the lone pilot that kept the project on course, seeing the movie through to completion? Well you’ll have to listen to find out in this brand new, New Years Edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Take a look at the story of getting Rocky made, as told by Sylvester Stallone himself, in Part 1 of 4. Here’s Part 2. Here’s Part 3. And here’s Part 4.
Check out the legendary fight that Sly (used to say) was the inspiration for his story of Rocky. Here is the March 24, 1975 Championship Match between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner.
Here’s really rare footage of Sylvester Stallone Choreographing the end fight with Carl Weathers.
Have a look at Sylvester Stallone & Talia Shire Introducing Rocky at the American Film Institute.
Have a listen to the incredible Bill Conti Soundtrack.
And take a look at the moment when they won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Well boys and girls, this week Dion Baia and J. Blake have a real treat lined up, a personal favorite of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers, the 1980 cult classic Maniac, directed by William Lustig and starring the late, great, Joe Spinell.
The guys attempt to fit as much as they can into a humble little podcast about this movie, while not trying to go too overboard and show their true colors as absolute fanatics for this film. They discuss the amazing actor that was Joe Spinell, and how he hoped that this pet project of his would do for him what Rocky did for his close friend Sylvester Stallone. Dion and Blake also go on about how it all came together and who Spinell was able to get on board, like SFX legend Tom Savini and iconic director Bill Lustig, to name a few. And the love the boys have for this movie brings up very interesting topics: Is there really an homage to Spielberg‘s Jaws in the film? What were student reactions when J. Blake screened it for his college horror class? Does this movie maybe contain the best head explosion ever? How does the 2012 remake starring Elijah Wood compare? And why do the lads keep butchering actress Catherine Munro‘s name? Well all these questions and a few more get answered in this very exciting and quite informative all new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
(Well here we go again- in lamenting his love for X-rated star Sharon Mitchell who cameos in the film, Dion mistakenly referred to her as “Shannon Mitchell”. Please except his apologies)
(Here’s Mr. Spinell being interviewed on The Joe Franklin Show about his new film, Maniac)
(PLEASE check out this great documentary by David Gregory called “The Joe Spinell Story“, which is a MUST watch for any fan.)
(Check out the promo film to the unmade Maniac 2, aka Mister Robbie, starring Joe Spinell)
(Have a look at Tom Savini and others talk about his memories of Joe Spinell)
(Here’s Elijah Wood discussing Joe Spinell’s characterization of Frank Zito, verses is own.)
(Take a look at the International trailer for 1980’s Maniac)
(Please have a gander at Dion‘s exclusive interview with Randy Jurgensen where they discuss his iconic career as an NYPD Detective and then his legendary film career, Joe Spinell (among many others), and his book Circle of Six: The True Story of New York’s Most Notorious Cop Killer and the Cop Who Risked Everything to Catch Him)
Straight out of Hasbro, toy’s with attitude, Dion Baia and J.Blake are back for a spontaneous Part 2 of their momentous Podcast to ring in the 2015 New Year, deciding to take on the supremely unrated G.I.Joe the Movie, from 1987.
Following up Part 1 where they went head to head with the super-iconic 1986 favorite Transformers the Movie, J. Blake and Dion flip the record over and check out side B of that Marvel/Hasbro late-80’s film mash-up, screening yet another childhood classic. They dissect and analyze, while peppering historical context and lightly salt with some personal reflections regarding the film and the era it was released. Had Joe been released prior to Transformers, would Optimus Prime still have died? What would that have said then about Duke’s fate? While bringing up a third and largely unknown venture that was released and hence sealed the fate for the now defunct Sunbow Animation Studios, Dion learns for the first time on tape exactly what “Bronies” are and how the heck they relate to Autobots or Cobra. And how did this new film along with Transformers the Movie ultimately nix a theatrical release for G.I.Joe a year later? Well grab your notebooks, VCRs, and your hats because the boys are chatting up another fun one for this new edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!
Here’s an ultra rare VHS promo for G.I.Joe the Movie!
Check out a chance to win your very own Sgt. Slaughter figure! (Full disclosure, offer expires January 31st, 1987)
And do you remember all your friends having the ‘The Refrigator’ Perry toy except you?!
Finally, here is the complete, super-rare vintage 1980’s G.I.Joe commercials for the Marvel Comic books, complete with original animation done for selling the books!
Dion and J. Blake usher in 2015 with an absolute cult-classic from their childhood, the 1986 feature film Transformers the Movie.
This fact-filled podcast sizes up the 1986 adaptation of a beloved daily TV show’s journey from the small to the silver screen, taking on the HUGE elephant in the room- the ramifications on the toy industry, children’s psyches, and future cartoon properties regarding the hugely controversial death of Optimus Prime. What the heck were the Execs thinking? Also the boys attempt to fill in some plot holes and see if the film still holds up; finally dispel some of the myths that had been linked to the film like the Orson Welles controversy, this being his last theatrical performance; and compare it on a whole to the recent Michael Bay franchise reboot. Well, if you were a fan of Transformers or cartoons like G.I.Joe in your childhood or you still geek out on the timeless Cybertonions galactic battles, you’ll love the 2015 Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers debut.
(Have a read of a great recent interview with the scriptwriter Ron Friedman)
(Check out another great interview with writer and story editor Flint Dille)
(Here are the legendary and hilarious outtakes of Orson Welles ripping producers, writers, and engineers alike in a VoiceOver session for a British Frozen Peas Commercial)
(Finally, check out the late great actor Chris Latta [aka Chris Collin in this clip] who voiced Starscream, Gung-Ho and Cobra Commander among others, doing his passion, stand up comedy.)