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This means it contains some movies that are lost, some movies that Universal no longer owns, and some movies (mostly Paramount) that it did not produce but has since acquired.
It also contains some films whose status as horror (or the other above mentioned genres and sub-genres) is questionable, or even doubtful, all in the name of thoroughness.
I hope to continue to update this list, adding new entries and describing the status of the more obscure ones listed.
Though the packages were padded with non-horror thrillers like Danger Woman and the Man Who Cried Wolf, a number of films from 1931 to 1946 (the years covered by the Shock packages) were not included.
Not all of these films are pure horror films, but most would have been more welcome late night viewing than Chinatown Squad or Reported Missing.
Some of the films were probably considered to "classy" to be part of the package. Some might have already been released on another package. Some might have been missing, overlooked, or lacking a decent print.
In any case, here are some notable Universal films that were not released as part of the Shock packages.
NOTE: This list doesn't include any of the many Paramount films (like Island of Lost Souls or The Monster and the Girl) which MCA purchased in 1958. None were ever included in a Shock film package, possibly because MCA did not take over Universal until 1962.
The list also does not include films that Universal lost the rights to, like The Old Dark House and Life Returns.
You Bet Your Life: Episode #4.1 (1953)
Fifi steals the show
In this fun episode, Groucho meets a chess grand master who can play blindfolded, a Nicaraguan actor and Romeo who demonstrates the art of sitting down, and a woman who is a fan of Tony Curtis for a very particular reason..
But the show is stolen by a seemingly unassuming woman when Groucho asks her why she has a sideshow act in which she calls herself Fifi the Sheep-Headed Girl.
Another entertaining episode, and it's always fun to see quizmaster Groucho giving hints to contestants to the right answer, and trying to get them to reconsider wrong ones. He got his name by being a Grouch, but as a game show host he was just a big softy.
The Best Episode, Because the Inventors are Do-It-Yourselfers Like Wallace
I knew this show wouldn't be as fun as the usual AArdman animated effort. Not matter how hard the human hosts try, the kids know they're just filler between the brief, wonderfully animated clips of Wallace & Gromit hosting the show.
But this episode is different, because most of the inventors are do-it-yourselfers Like Wallace, and they are also just as spirited. See for yourself if you don't get a lump in your throat when Tony Sale reactivates the robot he created over 60 years ago, and the two oldsters go out shopping.
Two other inventors are nothing short of heroic: William Kamkwamba, who used instructions in a book to make a windmill which brought power to his family's house in Malawi; and Trevor Baylis, an Englishman who invented a wind-up radio that would bring the information age to places that had no way to power standard devices.
On the more whimsical side, there's the Einstein Fridge, which proves even ol' Albert didn't bat a thousand.
And for the capper, or should I say "cupper," there's the Teasmade, an alarm clock that has a freshly brewed cup of tea ready for you when it wakes you up. It's the kind of uniquely UK Gadget that Wallace himself probably wishes he had invented.
Probably the funnest episode
Josie and the Pussycats was a fun, mostly successful attempt to combine the teen music approach of the Archies with the "meddling kids" adventures of Scooby-Doo, except that, in the tradition of the Beatles Help!, Josie and her gang stumbled onto evil masterminds and criminal organizations instead of ghostly mysteries.
This episode has some of the scariest scenes of the series, especially the appearance of the T. Rex and when D. Madreau devolves his scientific rivals into gorillas, Of course, it's a much lighter approach when the cowardly Alex gets the gorilla treatment. Unlike the other victims, he retains his intelligence, and doesn't even doff his glasses. What's really funny, however, is how he is no more impressive as a gorilla then he was as a human.
It's too bad the Pussycats failed to match the Archie's success in the music charts, because their songs were often fun, as are pretty much all of their adventures.
Goodie, the Gremlin (1961)
The title alone tells you it's a rip-off
By 1961, Paramount had sold off Casper to Harvey Comics and ended his popular cartoon series.
Obviously, someone at Paramount regretted the decision. How else can you explain Goodie the Gremlin, a thinly disguised redesign of Casper? Aside from Goodie's pointed ears, the main differences between him and Casper are that Goodie is green and wants to do good deeds instead of "making friends." The rip-off alone would make it less than desirable, but the animation is severely limited, and the gags and story are weak. Like Casper, Goodie seems aimed at the very young, but the story is resolved by getting arguing neighbors drunk.
Which Is Witch? (1958)
Wendy's Un-Spook-Tacular debut
As a kid, I loved the Harvey Comics version of Casper, with its enchanted forest setting and big supporting cast led by his girlfriend Wendy, the Good Little Witch.
I later was thrilled to find out that Casper starred in cartoons, but was a little let down that they generally omitted the enchanted forest and its denizens.
So you can imagine how happy I was to catch this cartoon, which starts with Casper and Spooky (my favorite Harvey character, even more than Casper), and then introduces Wendy! After that, however, it was downhill. I actually didn't mind that Spooky plays the bad guy here; Casper needed a foil, and even Spooky's solo comic book adventures made it clear he could be troublemaker.
Wendy, however is ill served in this, her animated debut. First her hair seems a little different. That isn't so bad in itself, but as soon as she goes on a date with Casper at the beach, she changes into a swimsuit and becomes completely unrecognizable. To make it worse, she doesn't use even a lick of magic.
The formulaic plot has Spooky sabotaging her day at the beach, and making poor Casper his fall guy, but there are no remarkable gags, and neither Casper not Wendy ever turns the tables on Spooky. That's left up to Wendy's roommate Hazel, who puts Spooky into place with broomstick-powered baseball skills.
So, Casper finally gets to share the spotlight with two of his supporting characters, only to have all three of them upstaged by a one-shot witch.
Bouncing Benny (1960)
Gerald McBoing-Boing this is definitely not-not
This simple short, plainly derivative of 1951's Gerald McBoing-Boing, is about a hapless couple whose new baby has a bouncy spring for a spine. His incessant bouncing causes him and his parents no end of trouble, but when the home football team needs a miracle, it may finally prove to be a blessing.
I would rate this film a little higher, but for two distracting flaws: 1) At the end of the film, Benny shrinks in size from a teenager to a boy, dues to carelessness on the animators' part, and 2) the "cute" gag at the opening, when Benny's powers are discovered after Benny's father drops him over a railing!
Boo Bop (1957)
Casper shows some musical talents (and some originality)
This is certainly one of the better Casper shorts, largely because of its new ideas.
Instead of that standard plot of Casper trying to find a friend, this time he visits a museum, where he meets the ghost of Franz Schubert, still at his piano trying to finish his unfinished symphony.
Schubert can't concentrate, however, because of the noise of the modern world, so the kindly Casper strives to make things a quiet as possible.
The story is good, the gags smooth, and the twist ending is satisfying.
Also good is the animation. Paramount had trouble adapting to the limited animation style that had come into vogue, but nothing here looks too weird or stiff.
Abusement Park (1947)
Old Plot, New Gags
Bluto tries to steal Olive Oyl by besting Popeye at various game booths at the amusement park, a pretty basic plot that they used in the very first Popeye theatrical short.
But while they first couple of gags are good, the short becomes increasingly wild, starting when Popeye and Olive enter the tunnel of Love,and climaxing on an outrageous chase on a roller coaster.
If the the craziness is a bit haphazard, lacking the timing and comic sense of someone like Tex Avery, the ambition is still appreciated.
The establishing shots and backgrounds of the park and roller coaster are wild and beautiful, with an impressive watercolor glow.
Be prepared, however, to see Olive get even rougher treatment than usual. A lot of people understandably dislike the way she's treated on screen, but I have to admit, it's never bothered me. Olive is more a living rubber band than a person.
It is odd, however, that the driving plot device is the protection of Olive, a woman who can be hurled against a factory smokestack hard enough to knock it off its perch without even getting as much as a scratch.
A Ventriloquist Dummy Gets a Solo Act
I really think Muppets Tonight was an underrated effort by Henson & Co., even if the show was a little weighed down by the attempts to stay "hip." "The Gary Cahuenga Episode" has always been my personal favorite, even if it never lived up to its potential. The basic premise - a '60s Rat Pack era ventriloquist dummy rescued from a long neglected suitcase and adjusting to life with he Muppets in the'90s - is terrific. Unfortunately, the Gary Cahuenga character never got a chance to develop or find a niche within the show. The presence of crooner Johnny Fiama, another swinging '60s character, only made it harder.
This is too bad, because he looks great, a realistic ventriloquist dummy with a retro tux and graying hair. There's also a generally moving moment when he contemplates suicide rather than going it alone without his human partner. This is resolved with just the right balance between humor and drama when guest stars Penn & Teller impersonate the ghost of his partner to lift Gary's spirits.
I think the main reason I like Gary is that he's a tribute to the ventriloquist acts like Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy who helped inspired Henson and his cohorts in their early days. It's nice to know that they aren't forgotten.
The people who park your cars
This is a funny, breezy look at an odd little parking lot with an odd little crew of undergrads, grad, and grad students, all biding their time while pursuing their various interests. The lot is located near the University of Virginia and right behind a stretch of bars, which guarantees plenty of obnoxious, privileged, entitled jerks who drive $100,000 cars and are outrages at the thought of paying a couple of bucks to park them.
The attendants deal with it all in a way that's quirky and funny. They're treated as the lowest of the low (some customers delight in pitching their payments on the ground; some just crash the gate) and giving out a little hostility as well(one attendant always engages the emergency break when parking cars, ostensibly for safety but actually in hopes the driver will neglect to disengage it).
A good time, and a reminder that documentaries need not be too serious.