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Miraculously Shows Trailer from 1981 Flash Gordon

4/10
Author: Michael Donovan (donovanmedieval@aol.com) from Springfield, VA, USA
11 February 2006

Even though this listed by the IMDb as having been made in 1965, somehow we are able to see the teaser trailer from the 1981 version of Flash Gordon. Also, the backgrounds look like cheap, 2D CG of the sort that was used in the '80s. WOW! Amazing! Al Lewis, best known for playing Grandpa Munster on the '60s TV show "The Munsters," and its various spin-off movies, is seen here, in various sf and horror settings, introducing trailers from old sf/horror movies (including several for installments of the '30s serial version of "Flash Gordon"), making bad jokes about them, and making disparaging comments to and about his unseen assistant, Igor. While he can be said to be reprising his role from the series, no mention is made of it, and he just calls himself, "Grampa," not "Grampa Munster." They probably couldn't get the rights to mention the show or its characters, but anyone can dress up in a Dracula costume and call themselves "Grampa." This is good campy fun, if you're into that sort of thing. Anyone who likes old sf/horror movies, or watching old trailers, or making fun of them, or going out to the Rocky Horror Show, should probably enjoy this. Though it's not as good as MST3K, or Rocky Horror with an audience. Some of the trailers shown are for movies that were on MST3K. Watch it with someone you love.

As of this writing (February 11, 2006), I saw it a few days ago with a crowd of those able to appreciate it at the Washington Psychotronic Film Society, and that was also where and how I learned of Lewis' recent death.

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Good ole Al!

Author: Jim-500 (jpsned@hotmail.com) from Sunderland, MA
20 August 2008

Yes, no way was this made in 1965. Al Lewis is clearly much older than he was when he was making The Munsters in the mid-60s. He did have a renaissance with this character in the mid-to-late '80s, so I suspect that's when it was really produced.

As far as his name goes, on The Munsters he was known as "Grandpa"; so I think changing it to "Grampa" got them around the copyright law. (Funny, though that his pet bat on the TV show was also named Igor; I suspect that you can't copyright a real name.) It's hard to say which is worse--the inane dialogue he's spouting or the trailers from the actual movies. But a job is a job, and you can tell that Al Lewis is a veteran pro, and he does a splendid job with what he has to work with. The movie trailers are ridiculous, which makes them enjoyable in their own way: we get to see how many different methods monsters of various persuasions used to destroy the earth a few decades ago.

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