Oct 21, 2005

Everything Is Chrome, In The Future!

Okay, so what's up with this channel called UAN? Urban America Network...wha?

I went home for lunch like I usually do, sat my butt down on the couch with my ham on wheat and big glass of tea, and flipped on the tele, which is something I NEVER do. Usually I sit at the table with my book of the moment in hand, or in the case of the past two or so weeks, sit and feed Fiona her milk and try to play her down until she's falling asleep so I can leave with her in her box and me not feeling bad when she screams because she's lonely.

Just not this time. This time, and I guess all the times from here forward, she's now old enough to be let out to play around, so while she gamboled and clawed her way around my toes I sat back on the couch, took a deep breath, and flipped on the tele, and on a completely out-of-character mood, I turned off the sattelite and did a fast scan through the local cable stations.

I had to stop on something called UAPN or something like that..."Urban America something Network," something to that effect. See, they had a black and white movie on.

A science fiction movie.

From the 50's.

You know what that means:

  • Pointy chrome space ships with fins
  • Control rooms full of dials and flip switches
  • Excitingly clunky chairs
  • Huge exposed steel girders on every surface
  • Very peculiar costumes
  • Very peculiar makeup implying "aliens"
  • Some kind of space dictator
  • Full-figured 50's women in skimpy tunics/robes/habits

I never caught the name, but gathering from the lantern-jawed Air-Force style hero and the black and silver uniforms his crew wore and the lawn-dart space rocket I'd have to say it was "Rocky Jones And The Space Rangers" or something to that effect. Sounds about right. And it was WONDERFUL!

Rogue planets. Questionable science. Space ships suspended by thin wires racing across the black empty spaces of the Universe made from a black sheet with pinholes poked in it. Speeds that boggle the imagination. Huge guys being aliens simply by standing in an almost empty room wearing huge finned boots and tunics with lightning bolts across their chests. Palace Guards armed with blinking silver ray guns menacing Rocky and his young sidekick Winky, while Our Hero shields the beautiful but sensible Heroine with his body.

My stars and garters, that's the kind of movie you can sink your teeth into. Cliffhangers. Bug Eyed Monsters. Ravishing alien women, and a horrific alien dictator lording over his cowering court. It doesn't get any better, back when budgets were miniscule, sets were minimal, and handsome men and beautiful women were a dime a dozen. Throw in one mediocre costume, a few prop ray guns, some sand and an exposed girder or two and you've got the makings for a movie that will Make You Tremble In Your Seat! Be Dazzled By Epic Space Battles! Thrill As Monster Stalk The Silver Screen!

I didn't live through them, but darn it Winky, I sure miss the good old days.

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