Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Funnies - Resuce from Gilligan's Island (1978) - starring Bob Denver and Alan Hale Jr.

Ok, so yeah, I could have waited until tomorrow and posted this one under TV shows, but since it is feature length and with the recent announcement of an impending big-screen remake (starring Michael Cera, which pleases me, though considering Hollywood's track record at adapting classic shows to the silver screen I am very trepidatious.) i figured it could fit in just as well here.

Well, fifteen years have passed for our favorite castaways, but really nothing much has changed. They're still up to the usual shenanigans, but somehow have managed to not devolve into the callous, back-biting, ravenous excuses for humanity that can be seen on any given episode of Survivor. However, when a Soviet spy satellite goes out of control and has to be exploded rather than letting the Americans find out about it, a metal data disk from it falls to earth and lands in the island's lagoon practically at Gilligan's feet. Taking his discovery to the Professor, the master of ingenuity is soon able to fashion a new, astoundingly accurate barometer with which he predicts a huge tsunami is about to hit the island, and if the castaways are to have any chance of surviving it, they are going to have to lash their huts together so that hopefully they will not only survive, but might actually get far enough out to sea to get caught up in the shipping lanes and be rescued. Amazingly, the plan actually works, and our heroes are soon picked up by a US Coast Guard ship. Soon the group is back on land and trying to adjust to life in a world with which they have had no contact for years.

Pretty much all of the original cast is back for this adventure, except for Tina Louise who apparently waffled about returning to the role that she blamed for the downturn of her "serious" acting career and then demanded too much money for the comeback. Instead she was replaced as Ginger by Judith Baldwin, who was close enough in looks for the replacement not to be too jarring. The rest of the cast, though obviously older - which is acknowledged and actually made a central part of the script - are in fine form and seem to easily slip right back into their roles. Actually, watching this again for the first time since it was originally broadcast, I was surprised at how much like catching up with old friends this installment was. After all, as a child I spent far too many afternoons watching the Skipper bap Gilligan over his silly head with that damned captain's hat.

Instead of a preview today (after all, let's face it, if you don't know what you're getting with this one, a preview isn't really going to help), I'm going to give you the original theme song for the TV series. Yes, as aired, it became one of the most iconic tunes of the TV age, but this version... well, let's just say the producers made the right choice. It does, however give an interesting look at how the conceptions of some of the characters changed.

Ok, here's the Skinny:
Title: Rescue from Gilligan's Island
Release Date: 1978
Running Time: 95 min
Starring: Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jr.
Directed by: Leslie H. Martinson
Production Company: Redwood Productions

Rescue from Gilligan's Island is available to download or watch for free here.
Amazon has it on DVD: Rescue from Gilligan's Island.
It's also available for rental or on "watch Now" from Netflix: Rescue from Gilligan's Island.

Until next time, Happy Treasure Hunting,
-Professor Damian


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