Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Blood on the Rocks

This is my entry in the Gothic Horror Blogathon hosted by Pale Writer.

The original film vampire, predating Bela Lugosi by almost 10 years was the German expressionist version of the classic Stoker novel Dracula titled Nosferatu.

Nosferatu (1922):

The classic first adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula had its problems from the start.  First, Murnau and company were unable to secure the rights to the original novel, so being the obsessive sort of people, they just went with the story, changing the names and locations, but not much else.  Which really pissed off Stoker's widow.  She had all the prints collected up and destroyed.  And thus we would have lost a timeless gem from the silent era.  Except that one or two of the copies were not destroyed.

In Wisborg, Thomas Hutter (Gustav von Wangenheim) is tasked by his boss, Herr Knock (Alexander Granach) with going to Transylvania to secure a deal with Count Orlok (Max Schreck) to buy a house in Wisborg (coincidentally an abandoned castle next door to Hutter). 

Upon arriving in Transylvania most of the residents try to discourage him from continuing on his mission.  They talk of werewolves and monsters, but Hutter dismisses the superstitions.

When he arrives at the Count's castle he is met by Orlok.  And despite several bizarre incidents, including the count trying to suck the blood from a cut on Hutter's finger, Hutter and Orlok are able to seal the deal.  Only after he has completed the deal does Hutter discover some truly bizarre behavior, including discovering Orlok's true nature as a vampire.

Back in Wisborg, the ship carrying Orlok and his coffins arrives.  Orlok has killed off the entire crew, but the authorities blame it on a plague.  There is a panic within the town as people are encouraged to stay inside to avoid contracting the "plague".  Of course, all of Orlok's victims in the town are attributed to this "plague" so no one but Hutter seems to be aware of the imminent danger of the new resident.

Hutter's wife, Ellen (Greta Schroder) discovers a book that Hutter has brought back with him and tries to use it to defeat the vampire.  The story takes a different turn here as, instead of Orlok escaping back to his home after being discovered, he sticks around.  Mainly because he is very intent on seducing Hutter's wife.  Which, of course, proves to be his undoing.

The classic film is now available in various forms, since it is in the public domain.  I highly suggest you look for some recording like Criterion to watch it, however.  Some companies take some liberties with the film.  The most egregious one, my first attempt to find a copy, is put out by November Fire Productions.  Avoid this one at all costs.  Not only do they cut down the film somewhat, but they add (egads) sound, with people actually speaking.  It is not, as the back of the package says "a great way to experience this vampire classic".

Shadow of the Vampire (2000):

Shadow of the Vampire takes a look at the production of the aforementioned Nosferatu.  In 1921 Friedrich (F.W.) Murnau (John Malkovich) endeavored to film what he considered to be his masterpiece, a film somewhat based on the Bram Stoker novel Dracula.  Although the film is entirely fictional, we get some insight into the time period, if not an accurate portrayal of the principal figures.

Murnau is wrapping up production in Berlin, and preparing to transfer everyone on site to film scenes in Czechoslovakia.  Waiting there for them is the actor that Murnau hired to be his vampire, Max Shreck (Willem Dafoe).  Shreck is described to the rest of the crew as what is surely on of the earliest incarnations of a "method actor".  Murnau tells his crew that Shreck will only appear in costume and must be addressed by his character name of "Count Orlok".

None of the crew has ever heard of the guy.  Murnau says he found him in the Russian theater company of Stanislavski ( a well known theater director of the time).  As with any production there are a few dissenters, especially from his producer, Albin Grau (Udo Kier) who objects to an unknown being cast in the title role.  He also gets some flak from his female star, Greta Schroeder (Catherine McCormack) who objects to being taken away from Berlin at the height of the theater season.

On location, the scene takes on some bizarre turns.  Wolfgang Muller (Ronan Vibert) starts to act more and more like he is suffering from exhaustion.  And Schreck/Orlok makes several attempts to actual complete his "transformation" to a vampire by trying to drink the blood of one of his co-stars.  Gradually it is revealed that Count Orlok is not really an actor but someone that Murnau found living in the castle already. (And, although unknown to the rest of the crew, Murnau knows that Orlok is really a vampire, and has lived for centuries in the castle.)

A battle of wills occurs as Orlok and Murnau fight over whether Orlok has any rights to make Murnau's production crew victims for his bloodlust.  Midways into the film a great exchange occurs between Orlok and Murnau over whom may or may not be indispensable to the production.  Murnau threatens Orlok, but Orlok is unimpressed, since he feels that after centuries he is almost indestructible.

The only thing that Murnau can hold over Orlok is his promise that Orlok can have Greta as one of his victims, but only if he, Orlok, plays along and behaves himself until the final scene.  But Orlok is his own man (vampire) and doesn't exactly conform completely.

Obviously the movie is fiction (since no sane person believes vampires exist).  The movie takes a few liberties while covering the history behind the story. Several of the crew die, when in fact  all of them went on to longer careers in film. The movie is entertaining on it's own merits.  The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Makeup (losing to How the Grinch Stole Christmas).  And Willem Dafoe lost an Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actor to Benicio del Toro (in Traffic).  Roger Ebert named it as one of his "Best 10 Movies of 2000".

An anecdote that I thought was interesting.  The original title was going to be Burned to Light, but when Dafoe asked director Merhige "Who's Ed?, he changed it.  Dafoe supposedly thought the title was going to be Burn Ed to Light...  (The anecdote may be apocryphal.  I have trouble believing it.  But it's interesting nonetheless).

Time to head home.  Drive safely folks.  And don't pick up any hitchhikers with really long fingernails and ugly features.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Sunshine Blogger Award #2

There are numerous ways to get me to open up, but the best way is to make me write about something in which I have an avid interest; movies.  I don't do this blog for readers (although I do appreciate each and every one of you).  I do it because I have a love of film and an inherent need to express my opinion on them.

So I got another nom for a Sunshine Blogger Award.  That means at least somebody likes what I'm putting down on the screen.  Since I don't really know much about the Sunshine Blogger award following is the opening from my first SB award (with the link changed to acknowledge the new nominator...)

Realweegiemidget Reviews  nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger award.  Don't know much about it, it appears to be a clone of a Liebster Award.  One thing for sure, if "Sunshine" is a synonym for happy and carefree, my output so far has been on the darker side of happy.  (They make me happy, I'll grant that.)  But who am I to quibble.

So I'll first answer the questions that she poses for me:

1. Which actor or actress who hasn’t received an Oscar do you think deserves one? And for what film? 

The first part is easy peasy.  Peter O'Toole.  Narrowing it down to one of his films is a bit harder.  But being as I wrote about what a great job he did in the 1980 film The Stunt Man I will go with that.

2. Who is your favourite child actor who is still acting and now an adult?

Kurt Russell.  First appearance (for me) as a Jungle Boy on "Gilligan's Island."

3. If you are on Twitter, have you any celebrity followers?

Not on Twitter.  Probably wouldn't have ANY followers if I did...

4. Who or what do you think needs to have a blogathon tribute?

I'm still looking for a Vincent Price blogathon.  Just don't want to run it myself...  I'm too busy setting up two for the new year anyway.

5. Who would you cast as you in a biopic.

Steve Buscemi
6. Who would you like to see a biopic made about, and who would you cast in this role..
John Wayne.  Don't know who could play him though.

7. What film has had the greatest impact on you?

Pleasantville always exemplified my philosophy of questioning why things are the way they are and what can be done to open the world to new possibilities.

8. If you could rename your blog what would you change it to?

I don't know, but it would have to have "Drive-In" still in the title.   Maybe "The Drive-In at the Edge of the Universe"?

9. Which famous starry couple (of any time and place) would you want as neighbours?

R2D2 and C3PO.  (You didn't say they had to be real... and besides starry could easily be read as "star"ry)

10. First actor / actress crush and your latest one.

I don't remember way back, but I fell in love with Meg Foster (those eyes) in the TV movie "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".  My current is still Charlize Theron.

11. Who would you most like to interview for your blog in a one off exclusive interview and what three questions would you ask.

I have been and still am a groupie for director John Carpenter.  But coming up with questions is a problem.  I'd probably be too starstruck to do more than stutter.

Now I have to name 11 bloggers. The last time I tried that I ended up with no entries and a couple of brushoffs.  So I'll just leave it up to you.  Want to answer these questions?  Leave me a link to your blog if you do.  These are Halloween themed questions since Halloween is a few days away:

1.  Which actor or actress really scared the hell out of you and in what role?

2.  What scary movie tops your list of scary movies?

3.  If you could direct a film version of a scary novel which one would you choose?

4.  What horror movie would you like to see remade?

5.  Is there any horror film location that is on your bucket list to visit?  If so, where is it?

6.  Of vampires, werewolves or zombies, which would you be most frightened to bump into in a dark alley?

7.  How many horror movies do you own?

8.  What is your fondest memory of a costume you wore for Halloween?  (Doesn't have to be as a kid.  Could be one you wore to an adult party.)

9.   Speaking of Halloween, are you handing out candy?  If I show up to your door, can I have some?

10.  Are you going to answer the door in costume this year?

11.  How man zombies does it take to chang a lightbulb?

Enjoy people.


Friday, October 25, 2019

Ralph the Spaceman

This is my entry in the Honeymooners Blogathon hosted by MovieMovieBlogBlogII.

A scene from the movie Back to the Future:

Marty McFly, transported from 1985 to 1955 via a time machine, is having dinner at the home of his then teenage mother.  His grandfather wheels in the TV to the dining room so they can watch the "Honeymooners" while they eat.  The episode is "The Man from Space" which Marty's father had just been watching earlier in the movie (in 1985).

Marty: Hey!  I've seen this one!  This is a classic.  This is where Ralph dresses up as a man from space!

Milton (Marty's uncle, now just an obnoxious kid):  What do you mean you've seen it.  This is brand new.

Marty:  Yeah, well, I saw it on a rerun.

Milton:  What's a rerun?

An interesting fact (in case you didn't know it).  Marty was transported by the time machine to a specific date in 1955, the day his pal Doc Brown had discovered the concept of time travel, Nov.5, 1955.  This particular episode of The Honeymooners" wasn't  actually aired until Dec. 31, 1955, 8 whole weeks later.  Which means Marty's time machine works in exquisitely anachronistic ways, I guess.

Alternately known over the years as Cavalcade of Stars, The Jackie Gleason Show, and American Scene Magazine, Jackie Gleason had a variety show than spanned  from 1952 to 1970.  Gleason tried various formats, mostly a variety show style (and one incredibly inept attempt at a game show that only lasted one episode and for which Gleason apologized the next week, returning to a variety show format.)

Over the years, one of the favorite segments of the variety show included a vignette involving a working class man, his wife and their neighbors.  It was so popular that it became a show of it's own.  (However, unlike The Simpsons, which was a spinoff of The Tracy Ullman Show, this show merely replaced the regular time slot of Gleason's variety show.  It ran in it's The Honeymooners format for a brief one season before returning to the variety show format.

The Honeymooners (Dec. 31, 1955):

Ralph has an idea on how to win the costume contest at The Raccoon Lodge.  He is going to rent a costume.  After all, the competition down at the Lodge is pretty slim.  As Ralph says, the others use the same ideas over and over each year:  one guy will wear a sheet and be the ghost of Julius Caesar, and another guy goes in his wife's dress as Tugboat Annie. 

The only problem is that he hasn't got the money to rent the costume.  So he goes to his friend Ed Norton (Art Carney) to borrow the money.  But Norton already had the same idea, and doesn't have the money.  Which, of course, ticks Ralph off because he claims Norton stole his idea.  He decides to ask his wife Alice for the money but she tells him she doesn't have it either.

So Ralph has to go into dangerous territory.  He has to use his brains.  (Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!)  Ralph tries to come up with an original idea using scraps and tools from around the apartment.  To spur him on he has the intention of doing better than Norton, whose costume is supposed to be the 18th century French designer of the sewers of Paris. (Norton, who works as a sewer worker actually idolizes the French "hero")   Norton is decked out in a stunning French aristocrat costume, which has to be seen to be believed

But that's nothing compared to what Ralph and his rattletrap mind can come up with.  Ralph is going to win this contest as

"The Man from Space!"

But his plan to upstage his buddy Norton in his French aristocrat uniform hits a snag.  Norton is called in to work at the last minute to fix a problem  in the sewers.  So Ralph thinks he's a shoo-in for the $50 prize money.  (although the contest judges misinterpret his costume.  They think he is dressed up as a pinball machine.)

If you are a fan of sitcoms you know how all of this will end.  The egocentric Ralph absolutely MUST be put in his place.  But I'll bet you can't guess how his comeuppance actually comes about.  In case you'd like to watch it, I include a youtube link to the episode.

That's it for today folks.


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Nothing Funny About "Joker"

This makes only the second time since I inaugurated this blog that I've chosen to give some thoughts on a movie I saw that is currently in theaters.

I don't have a TV anymore.  Unless I happen to be in a bar watching a sports game I don't see any commercials for coming attractions or for movies that are in their first run.  My first indication that they had made this movie was when an email notice from EVO (where I have a rewards app to get points when I go to movies and/or eat a meal there) appeared in my in-box.  It offered first chance at pre-sale tickets.

Because I happen to like superhero movies and have watched nearly every one that has been produced in the past 20 or 30 years in the theater, and because I knew The Joker character from reading DC comics well before then, I was intrigued by the concept of a movie focusing on him.

It's an origin story, and one that delves very much into the same stark portrayal that Frank Miller's Dark Knight comic series did with Batman. "The Joker" as portrayed in that comic book was as far from Caesar Romero's "Joker" in the 60's Batman TV show as, say, Jack Spade (I'm Gonna Git You Sucka) is from Paul Kersey (Death Wish).

But Joker takes it several steps farther.  Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck is a mentally unstable man long before the tribulations of his life transform him into his ultimate alter-ego.  At least Jack Nicholson's Jack Napier (Batman) had some slight hold on sanity before his transformation into the iconic villain.  Fleck has no such semblances towards a normal mentality.  He is already unhinged.

Joker, which is rated R, so that should send up flags to any of you parents considering sending the kids in to see this movie, has absolutely got insanity under wraps (warps?).  I personally felt extremely dirty after watching this movie.  And if you are familiar with some of the more outre output I have reviewed in the past three years, you must know it would take something extroadinary to make me feel uncomfortable.

It is a credit to Phoenix that he was able to pull this off.  In 40 years of watching movies I have NEVER walked out on a movie mid-showing.  I can count on the fingers of one hand the times that I considered it.  But all those other times was because the movie was so damn boring.  (The Postman was the most egregious offender in that category.)  I read a Yahoo feed that quite a few people HAVE walked out mid-showing on this film, which says something.

Phoenix's Joker, in my opinion, makes Heath Ledger's Joker look like Barney the Purple Dinosaur.  And he will probably get an Oscar nom for his portrayal.  I think he did a damn decent job in the role.  But I just didn't like the way the movie made me feel.  It doesn't let up.  The comic relief of the movie (his attempts at trying to start a career as a stand-up comedian, I think, is supposed to be "comic relief") does nothing to quell the inner turmoil that the movie creates in the viewer.

A word of advice.  If you choose to watch this film, be sure you go in the daytime.  Leaving the theater after dark may make you a little nervous about the trip to the car.

Drive safely, folks


Friday, October 4, 2019

Man on the Edge

This is my entry in the Unemployment Blogathon hosted by MovieMovieBlogBlogii

(Forenote on the title of this entry:  I came up with the title on my own.  But afterwards I found that it was not exactly original.  The heavy metal band Iron Maiden wrote a song called "Man on the Edge" released on the album The X Factor.  Since I am not an Iron Maiden fan, I had not heard the song.  It is based on the movie, however.  I was reluctant to change the title I had come up with.  As a consolation to Iron Maiden, though, I include here the lyrics to what is a pretty decent song:

The freeway is jammed and it's backed up for miles
This car is an oven and baking is wild
Nothing is ever the way it should be
What we deserve we don't get, you see
A briefcase, a lunch, and a man on the edge
Each step he's closer to losing his head
Is someone in heaven? Are they looking down?
Nothing is fair, you look around
Falling down
Lyrics:  Blaze Bayley, Janick Gers)

 So what would it take to send you over the edge?  Losing your job? Being stuck in a traffic jam with no AC in the middle of summer?  Having an ex-wife who refuses to let you see your daughter?  Or just the fact that society in general is falling apart at the seams?

The film Falling Down gives us a look at a man who has issues with all of the above.  William Foster is not really a bad man, but he is a bit mentally unstable even before society starts to Break down the breach of his defenses.

Michael Douglas stars as "D-Fens" (the name is what he is credited as in the movie, based on his car's  license plate, but he does have a name, William "Bill" Foster).  Five years earlier Douglas had won the Oscar for his role as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street.  He was not nominated for his role here, and I really couldn't switch places with any of the five nominees that year, but I think he does an spot-on job in the role.

The movie also stars Robert Duvall as Sgt. Prendergast, a man who is on his last day on the police force before his imminent retirement.  Duvall as Prendergast is a desk jockey, due to some event prior to the film which caused him, at the behest of his wife, to get off the streets.  He is the one who realizes there is a connection between several random incidents happen in a ghetto area of L.A.

Falling Down (1993):

It's hot.  Bill Foster (Michael Douglas) is stuck in a traffic jam.  His AC isn't working.  Finally something just snaps and he abandons his car in the middle of the road, telling a fellow frustrated driver that he is "going home."

Sgt. Martin Prendergast (Robert Duvall) just happens to be in the same traffic jam.  He helps the police push Foster's abandoned car out f traffic, noting that the license plate is one of those vanity plates, with the name "D-FENS" on it.

We follow both characters as they progress through the day.  Prendergast ends up eventually at his desk in the police station, while Foster progresses across the low-rent neighborhoods of L.A.  Foster has a goal to reach the home of his ex-wife in time for his daughter's birthday party.

The first indication that something is really wrong with Foster comes early on as he tries to get change for a phone call.  (In case you are a product of the 21st century, there used to be pay phone booths were you could make phone calls...I don't know if there are any left anymore.  I haven't seen one in years.  To my American readers:  Have you seen one recently?))

The Korean store owner refuses to give Foster change, instead demanding that he buy something.  When Foster learns that his can of soda is going to cost him such a rate that will leave him with not enough change to make the phone call he initially wanted the change for he begins to rant about the injustice of the economy.  Foster relieves the storekeeper of his baseball bat that he pulled out to chase off Foster and uses it to smash several displays.

While sitting on the remains of a demolished building, Foster is accosted by two gang members who confront him about trespassing in their gang territory.  One of them pulls a switchblade, but Foster uses his newly acquired baseball bat and chases them off.  He trades the bat for the knife that the gang member dropped.

Not long after, the two gang members are cruising the streets with a couple of others in a car when they spot the offending Foster.   They attempt to perform a drive-by shooting, but only manage to either kill or wound several innocent bystanders.  And wreck their car.  Foster comes along and sees the carnage and takes their gym bag full of guns, leaving behind the knife.

Several events occur over the course of the film in which Foster becomes increasingly agitated over the state of affairs in society.  The most impressive scene (and one in which I can relate) is when he walks into a fast food restaurant wanting breakfast, only to be told that they are only serving lunch menu items now.  They stopped serving breakfast at 11:30.  (It's 11:33, according to Foster's watch.)

(I had a similar incident happen at a McDonald's some years back.  I wanted breakfast and because it was 5 minutes past the breakfast menu, they refused to sell me breakfast.  I, however, did not pull out a gun at my frustration.  I just went elsewhere, where I found a place that would serve me a breakfast.)

Back at the station, Prendergast is dealing with certain events that come up and putting two and two together eventually draws a connection to the abandoned car, the harassed storekeeper, the gangland shooting and the to-do at the fast food restaurant.  All the while dealing with his own connection to instability with a wife (Tuesday Weld) who is insistent that he come home and forget about his last day at work.

Prendergast runs into a bit of a brick wall because no one else will believe that the events are interconnected.  No one except his confidante in the force, Det. Sandra Torres (Rachel Ticotin).  With the help of Torres however, Prendergast ends up on the trail of Foster, whom he determines is trying to get to the home of his ex-wife.

A final confrontation between Foster and Prendergast occurs on the pier near the ex-wife's home.  And its not going to go down easy, although Foster can't believe that he is the "bad guy".  After all all he wanted to do was see his daughter and give her a birthday present.

I have to admit I can relate to Foster on some level.  He isn't really a bad guy.  After all, he only really kills one person in the film and that is a guy that most of us probably wouldn't feel much compassion for in the first place, whether or not we can agree to the self-appointed execution of him by Foster.  Really, Foster is just a man who has become disgusted with the way society seems to be crumbling around him.  He just takes it to another level that most of us would not.

The film got a lot of good reviews at the time it came out, although there were a few dissenting views.  Most of those, as you can probably guess, disparaged the vigilante theme of the movie.  One can't help but think of parallels between it and Death Wish, although I think Paul Kersey kept his head for the most part in that film, even if he did kill more people.

Well folks, time to fire up the old Plymouth.  Fortunately, my AC works.  Drive home safely.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Family That Commits Crime Together Does Time Together

This is my entry in the Shelley Winters Blogathon hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews and Poppity Talks Classic Films

Batman, the 1960's camp TV series had just about everyone in Hollywood banging on the door to be cast as a supervillain, if the hype can be believed.  You can't help but love some of the takes that some of those Hollywood stars that got lucky enough to get the nod took with their roles.  My personal favorite of these second tier villains would be Vincent Price as Egghead.  (Note: by 'second tier" I'm not impugning their status as actors.  I just consider the quadrumvirate of The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin and Catwoman to be "first tier" because they were such frequent guest villains.)

Shelley Winters got her chance to battle the Dynamic Duo in the second season of the show, as Ma Parker, a sort of parody of the real criminal Ma Barker (a character she actually played in Bloody Mama, a Roger Corman flick from 1970.  She may or may not have gotten the role in that movie in part due to her stint on Batman.)

Batman (TV series) "The Greatest Mother of Them All"/"Ma Parker" (original air date: Oct. 5-6, 1966)

What constitutes a great criminal? Is it the ingenious way he/she commits their crimes?  Is it their willingness to go to great lengths to their illicit gains?  Or maybe its just their ability to somehow outwit the local gendarmes when engineering their escapes.

"Ma" Parker (Shelley Winters) and her family of three boys, "Pretty Boy" (Richard Biheller), "Machine Gun" (Peter Brooks)  and "Mad Dog" (Michael Vandever) and her daughter "Legs" (Tisha Sterling) have managed to make a mockery of every major city in the nation and have ow set their sights on Gotham City.  No, Chief O'Hara, Ma Parker has not avoided Gotham because of the legendary derring-do and capabilities of the intrepid police force of the city.  She has been avoiding contact with Batman and Robin.

But now Ma and her brood have descended on Gotham, with a nefarious plan that even the quick-witted  Batman could never have deduced.  After all, why would the world's most notorious family of thieves intentionally get themselves arrested?  Which is what they proceed to do, but only as a matter of being "foiled" in their attempts at escape.

First is a shootout at the hideout of the Parker clan, in which Ma and the boys escape (only "Pretty Boy" is captured.

Next is a robbery of a charity event at a theater.  Ma escapes in an a truck, but "Machine Gun", having dropped his violin case, is left behind and captured.

Next, a armed robbery of a drugstore ends with the capture of "Mad Dog".

Batman, using his supercomputer, can't locate the whereabouts of Ma Parker, but the usually slower witted Robin observes that the best place for an old lady like ma to hide out would be an "Old Folks Home".  (Hey, don't blame me.  That's what they call it.  This show was made B.P.C. "Before Politically Correct")

Sure enough, Ma and her daughter are captured making it a family reunion in the prison.

(Note: "Legs" prison # is 35-23-34!  "Holy measurements, Batman!")

But now Ma can put her real plan into action.  You see, for months she has been surreptitiously replacing the guards at the prison with her own henchmen, thus making it possible for her to take over the prison.  And with Batman and Robin out of the way, it will be a piece of cake.

(Did I mention that one of the prison inmates installed a block of dynamite in the engine of the Batmobile, designed so it would set off when the car went over 60 MPH?  Of course, since Batman obeys every law, and the speed limit is only 55, Ma's plan is foiled...)  [and so much for those "atomic engines to power, turbines to speed" that Robin is so often saying after jumping in to the Batmobile]

After Ma takes over the prison, she has the perfect hideout for criminals.  After all, who would look for escaped criminals inside the prison....

Ma and an entourage of criminals escape from the prison and go on an armored car robbery gig.  Batman and Robin show up but are unable to capture any crooks.  They do come away with a piece of a sleeve, however.  Which the intrepid bat computer determines can only be from a prison uniform.  (I guess the prison must have an exclusive contract with J. Crime or something like that)

So the Dynamic Duo head back to the Gotham Pen, only to be captured by Ma and her boys.  They are hooked up to electric chairs where they will be turned into fried appetizers on the stroke of midnight.  Ma and the boys leave. leaving poor Legs to watch them.  Batman manages to use the girl's sense of insecurity to send he running to see what the boys are doing, and manages to make the electrocution plans go out like a light.   And this time Ma and her boys are thrown into prison for real.

The "Holy..." radar doesn't go off for very many of Robin's usual "holy..." exclamations in these two episodes.  "Holy Edison" has to be the lamest (said after it is revealed that Batman had telegraphed Alfred through his bat-belt to have the power shut off at the prison just before Ma can throw the switch to electrocute the duo.)  But I kinda got a kick out of "Holy Werner von Braun" when Ma tired to escape from the pair in a rocket powered wheelchair...

Well, folks, time to go visit mom.  She's living the life of Riley in an old folks home.  (Albeit one with bars on the windows, never understood why...)  Drive safely folks.