Amazon Studios has released the first trailer for the highly anticipated Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot starring Joaquin Phoenix and written and directed by Gus Van Sant. The film is set to premiere later this month at the Sundance Film Festival.
So in case you had not noticed pilot season is in full swing at the moment, with each new release giving company execs the glimmer of hope that it will be a success and spawn a franchise. While there is no doubt that some of these will, there will also be some utter turkeys in the mix that will be instantly forgotten. This leads us to the focus of this article because I have (like a fat Indiana Jones) unearthed some of these forgotten unaired pilot treasures and proudly displayed them for all to see. These are the pilots that never got a chance, some due to circumstance and some due to the fact that after watching them you may need to sit back and absorb what utter dribble flowed out of your computer screen. If nothing else they can never be considered boring. So here are the top ten unaired pilots that caught my attention.
10) Heat Vision and Jack (1999)
Oh the 90s when Jack Black was a comedy god among men. His moment of stardom has slipped due to him appearing in some awful movies as well as, in my humble view, not possessing enough comedy skills to do anything other than fall down and shout a lot. But in his defence he has starred in some interesting items to say the least. Heat Vision and Jack is one of these curious pieces. From Ben Stiller’s production company and introduced by Stiller himself, we are given an introduction to the world of Jack Austin; an astronaut who flew too close to the sun. Given amazing new mental powers (but only in the day when his brain absorbs the sun) he is on the run from part time actor and full time assassin Ron Silver (yes the actor Ron Silver playing himself) who is trying to take him out. On his travels he has his companion and former room mate Doug, who has had his consciousness transferred to a motor bike (voiced by Owen Wilson). Together they are Heat Vision and Jack.
A great parody of all those 1970’s shows like the Incredible Hulk and The Six Million Dollar Man, it has its tongue firmly placed in its cheek. Cameos by Stiller’s wife Christine Taylor as a sheriff who falls for Jack and Vincent Schiavelli as a human possessed by the evil alien Paragon all add to the pilots quirky fun. The visual shots and soft focus show some serious care and attention went into this and for fans of those retro shows it is a must see. However saying that this would have been a hard sell for an actual series, as the parody element could have easily become tiresome over time. As a solo piece however it is loads of fun.
9) The Adventures of Super Pup (1958)
Flying right from the year 1958 and into no one’s living room is Super Pup. This unaired pilot pretty much follows the formula of the early Superman comics, but with one twist. All of the characters have become animals. So Clark Kent now becomes the adorable Bark Bent and Superman becomes the Pup of the title.
This seems just plain weird watching it today. I am not really sure what audience they were going for, but one can only assume that viewers would have gazed in shock and awe of what they had seen if this had ever reached households around America. One viewing of this makes it obvious that it was not going to be a mainstream hit, just because it seems so odd! It has a strange Muppets feel to it, with the human actors basically wearing just huge head masks. It makes you feel uneasy rather than entertained, like you have just walked into an adult fancy dress party that you really should not have. It also has that Tex Avery style humour which works… to a degree. It is a strange oddity, but it is hard not to laugh when seeing a tiny bulldog dressed like an editor barking orders while stood on a table.
8) Lookwell (1991)
Lookwell has quite a simple premise. Writer Conan O’Brien (yes that Conan) and Robert Smigel created this tale off a washed up actor (played by Adam West) who, having been deputized when he was a hit, believes he can actually solve crimes. This gem came from NBC in 1991 and though well received, never actually got a full series.
This had me in stitches just from the title scene alone where Adam West is doing an incredible job of camping it up, even more than he normally does. The 70’s style music and Adam’s confident stride through the yellow tape straight away tells you this is going to be something special. The self parody Adam employs in this show is incredible and it really out shines some of the other oddities that appear on this list. There is definitely some Batmanisms popping up in here and as you would expect he uses his acting skills to get the job done. It is great to see Adam West exercise his comedy chops before he became a cult icon with his appearances in Family Guy and a new audience finding his works from the old Batman series. Out of all the shows on this list this is the one that has the most legs for a series so it’s all the more tragic it was shot down before it had a chance. Lookwell was a role Adam West was born to play and we are lucky he at least got to play it once.
7) The Elvira Show (1993)
Elvira the scream queen with the large ……..assets has moved to Manhattan, Kansas. In tow is her talking cat who likes to drop sarcastic comments when ever possible, and her nutty aunt Minerva. Elvira has gotten a steady job as fortune teller and potion seller but a spanner is thrown into the works when handsome undercover cop Chip arrives on the scene. He is investigating a bad batch of her potions that put someone in the hospital, but Elvira is only interested in investigating him. Then out of no where Elvira’s long lost niece Paige arrives to stay. Antics ensue.
Yeah, this is as bad as it sounds, but for Elvira fans it is a must see as she basically does the same routine she did in her movie Elvira Mistress of the Dark but for an hour shorter. It feels like they were trying to create a show that was a throwback to the classic house based sitcoms of old but with an added element of a quirky family like Married with Children. Watching it now it is an odd mix that never really gels, nor is it really that funny. There are elements in this show that follow other witch related shows like Bewitched or Sabrina, with spells going wrong and annoying retorts from speaking animals. It is certainly an oddity worth viewing (if not for Elvira herself then for the stupidity on screen) but for how many viewings will really depend on how much you like the central character.
6) Dog Police (1990)
Adam Sandler gives us his idea of the perfect police force with this 1990 pilot Dog Police. Sandler turns up in this as a cameo but it mainly focuses on the antics of some alien crime fighting dogs. Yes, this is a real thing. The dogs are human sized and walk upright. Wearing trench coats, they search the streets looking for crime while moaning about the emotional issues (including divorce!) and are fully authorised by the police department. I really do not want to know what other animal detectives that police force has on retainer.
Sandler’s career has gone off the rails as of late with the heyday days of Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison long behind him, but it is kind of comforting to know that even before then he could conjure up utter tripe. This is just too weird a show to even dream of. Much like Super Pup it has actors wearing dog clothes, but the interaction between humans at least makes it a bit more accessible. However it’s just plain weird and not that funny really. Dogs in trench coats talking like Humphrey Bogart is almost bad enough but when you see those human eyes peeping out from the slightly disturbing dog masks it does chill you to the bone………the dog puns don’t help matters much either.
5) The Orson Welles Show (1979)
The Orson Welles Show was Orson’s attempt at getting himself a gig as a talk show host. Suffice to say, it did not end well. Struggling to engage an interesting banter with his audience who looked confused as much as they did amused, Orson in some scenes seems quite terrifying. Most of the footage for this proposed 90 minute show has never surfaced or been pulled for copyright reasons, but there are clips of it on the Orson Welles documentary one man band. The eclectic show had Burt Reynolds as one of the guests and some quick fire questions from the audience, none of which goes smoothly. The weirdest thing is Orson Welles justifying his amazing acting talents in an interview with none other than Kermit the Frog, it is an interesting state of affairs when you need the ear of a Muppet. This is just dying out for some kind of re-release as it seems incredible and has to be one of the lost gems of our time.
4) Wonder Woman (1967)
Poor Wonder Woman never seems to catch a break in TV. Sure she had an amazing run in 1975 with the beloved TV series of the same name, but before that there was a rather ropey TV movie from 1974 and then after we had the recent failed 2011 series. Beating all of these to the punch however was this short which went nowhere. Called Who’s Afraid of Diana Prince it took just 5 minutes for the creators of this piece to think they could sell it as a series. How wrong they were, 5 minutes was enough to seal its doom. It starts off with Diana Prince getting freaked out by the rain and then gets worse from there.
There are so many elements wrong with this that it is a blissful release when the clip actually ends. Woman Woman has a moaning old woman as her mum! She acts like a moody teenager! She goes behind a revolving wall to change and prances about like a weird fashion model! Yes this all happens and so much more. The tone is obviously going for the campiness of the Batman Adam West area, with the narrator from that show doing the voice over duties for this. But it’s actually just too painful to watch. Why do we have a minute of Wonder Woman grinning in the mirror and why the hell does she fly off in such a god awful camp manner? It’s because this show sucked and thank goodness the world was spared from a Wonder Woman comedy.
3) A Dog’s Life (1979)
Does the name Norman Lear mean anything to you? If not you may remember his early TV works like All in the Family and Maud. With this show he hoped to break the mold of TV sitcoms with a truly original idea. How would he achieve this? By getting humans to dress up as dogs and talk about the world around them, all from their own canine view. We all know how successful those dogs shows have been so far so I will let you guess how well it did (here’s a hint though – it is in an article about unaired pilots!)
This is dire. It looks tacky and the one liners included in just this small clip are painfully obvious and not funny at all. It plays out more like some school play than an actual show for TV, with grown men and woman in very bad costumes explaining how funny it is to be a dog. Who cares what happens to these dogs really? With awful acting and bad dialogue we should be thankful this was buried outside in the yard with only a bone for company.
2) Infiltrator (1987)
Scott Bakula has always had a soft spot in this reviewer’s heart for his amazing work on the TV series Quantum Leap. Before that though, he appeared in numerous TV pilots that failed to get off the ground. With most of these that is probably for the best but with Infiltrator he was denied the chance to give us a really great TV experience. Scott plays Doctor Sanderson an exciting and passionate scientist who manages to accidentally become one with an experimental probe he was working on that can adapt to any situation – imagine The Fly remake but with Scott getting mixed with technology instead of an insect. He is soon snapped up by the government and with his assistant in tow goes to foil the plans of a rogue scientist who has his own death base. While using his infiltrator skills will he lose his humanity?
Equal parts awesome and cheesy, this works great as a piece of Science Fiction action and would have made a great little TV show. The scenes with Sanderson shooting grapple hooks out his hands are amazing and a must see for any fan of classic 80’s Science Fiction cheese. The full transformation of Sanderson into Infiltrator mode looks pretty much how you would expect it. It’s part Running Man’s Dynamo, part any robot from any low budget Science Fiction film. It’s great fun watching Scott chomp through the scenery and even with the mandatory love angle it is still as great piece of 80’s action. Not for everyone, but fans of low budget movies will have a field day with this.
1) Poochinski (1990)
I am aware this list is very dog heavy, seems that dogs are an easy subject to work into TV shows. The fact that most of these failed seems to have done little to stop them coming out. So finally we turn to Poochinski, a dog tale with a difference. Stanley Poochinski is an over the hill detective (played by the great Peter Boyle) who looks a shambles but is actually pretty darn good at his job. He seems the perfect candidate for a new partner which he gets in Robert McKay. While on a stakeout for an ATM thief, Poochinski saves a bulldog from getting run over when the thief catches on to their antics, but he gets hit in the process and dies. While at the funeral, the dog starts talking to McKay. No, he has not gone mad, it seems Poochinski’s soul has transferred to the dog. Now the new team have to try and find Poochiski’s murderer together.
This has got to be the weirdest show ever conceived (and with this list that is a hard work). Poochiski runs and bites at people’s crotches which is all kinds of wrong and also has very poor and cringe worthy scenes where he whines about getting stuck in a dog’s body. Because this is television, McKay pretty much absorbs all this information with no problem at all and carries on with his normal day with dog in tow. Is there a lot of talking in this pilot? Yes, a hell of a lot. But does it detract from the main story? Not really, it’s a talking dog for goodness sake! The dog effects are pretty poor and Poochinski looks like he is made of plastic most of the time. The writers crammed so many different TV clichés in here that it’s a surprise the show did not implode on itself. Weird cop, partner with lady trouble, nasty thief needing to be caught – it’s all here. At the end of the day when you need to start taking advice from a dog on your love life, you have hit an all time low. But saying all this it really needs to be seen to be believed as you will wonder how the hell it ever made it off the writing board. But the same can be said for a lot of the pilots on this list. In their own way they have managed to give the audience some kind of fun viewing experience, just maybe not quite the experience they were expecting.
Boy, that’s a lot of dogs.
Grizzly Bomb features a wide array of writers from different backgrounds, and we generally have different tastes when it comes to entertainment. Some of us love a good sci-fi franchise; some of us love tearjerkers; some of us enjoy popcorn flicks. The same can be said about music. With that in mind, this weekly feature is an attempt on showcasing our personalities, and introducing some of our favorite tunes as well as artists to you.
You may wonder, “What about Grizzly Girls? I thought that was supposed to be a recurring feature. People visit this site because they’re too lazy to look up pictures of hot female celebrities online. It is utterly stupid for you to put your efforts in this music piece rather than Grizzly Girls.”
Grizzly Girl is a great feature. We had lots of fun writing those entries. Ear Bombs is a fun piece as well. I’m sure you will enjoy it.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy our music picks this week. We wish a great week ahead of you.
– JasonDaPsycho, on behalf of the Grizzly Bomb team
AZ – Rather Unique
Remember when lyrics and production mattered in hip-hop? Remember when flow and content are both equally important? AZ was truly one of the best back in the 90’s when he was killing it with Nas. Unlike Nas, however, AZ never managed to make the major league, and hence, his appearance on almost everyone’s list of most underrated lyricist. We have many rappers claiming that they’re the best in the game. (Drake, anyone? For real.“They take the greats from the past and compare us / I wonder if they’d ever survive in this era.” Get the hell out of here. I have no idea why Just Blaze is producing for this sham.) Few managed to back it up. AZ is one of the few, making this Pete Rock production rather unique indeed.
Stateless – Miles to Go
I came across this track in the game Sleeping Dogs. At some point in my review, I was talking about how the game’s protagonist is getting all worked up about which side he’s on as he’s driving in the rain to avenge someone while a depressing, moody track is playing in the background, and how corny this setup is. This is the very song I was referring to. As corny the scene was, Stateless’ Miles to Go is fantastic. I just spent the entire week listening to the song as I read Mass Effect fanfics (which obviously involves more Shekarian), and came to a rather interesting conclusion – the song would have fitted perfectly in Commander Shepard’s story:
But I still got miles to go before I sleep Still got miles to go before all is revealed Still got miles to go before I sleep Still listening to the chainless wind sing
Then I started thinking about the relationship between Alexis Shepard and Garrus Vakarian. They have gone through so much together. They finally have a shot at living a normal life and sadly, it never happens. At this very instance, my eyes became watery due to allergies. Talk about a coincidence. Certainly, there is beauty in a bittersweet tale of what could have been, but the ending (singular) is so poorly executed, all that is left is bitterness with no trace of sweetness. Why can’t you write a decent ending, BioWare? Why do you have this nonsensical bullshit as our conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy? WHY??????????? [REDACTED BY DR KRONNER DUE TO DERAILING]
The Shins – Simple Song
Let me first say I am in a very transitional state of mind when it comes to what I allow to enter my earholes. A recovering metal head who wandered too far down the screamo hardcore trail then anyone should go while holding on to his love of Clapton. I have spent the last few years refining my musical selections and opening my horizons. I find my tastes have moved on to something probably less technical, yet infinitely more meaningful than anything I was used to. This song hits on all corners of my brain, with soulful and accomplished melodies, a great sound that features a wide arrangement of great musicians, and a song that makes me want to break it out in the car despite not having anywhere near James Mercer’s range. A simple song that tells a simple story. I’m simply impressed.
Tenacious D – The Ballad of Hollywood Jack and the Rage Kage
Remember when I said I was in a transitional phase? One thing that will never change is my pure unrestrained love of Tenacious D. If you’ve pointed and laughed at super fans as they spent hours in the rain waiting to buy a special edition / get tickets / lick the pavement that the band has walked on, then you have pointed and laughed at me. I enjoy the deep musical talent that Jack Black and Kyle Gass try and hide behind their humor; the classic riffs employed by KG and the under appreciated vocals of JB. I really appreciate the songs like this that they pull from the core and tug on our heartstrings as strongly as KG strums his. Sure it’s not a heavily technical song, and lacks some of the musicality that their previous albums brought forth, but it’s an honest and moving look at the relationship between JB and KG and the exaggerated stress of remaining my favorite band in the world.
Father Ted –My Lovely Horse
For people who don’t know, Father Ted was a hit UK show following some silly priests. This tune popped up while I was watching a 100 greatest comedy shows documentary and boy, it rocks! There are so many catchy elements to the song. Cheesy Eurovision style pop rock sounds followed by lyrics which are essentially ludicrous (a horse dentist, polishing hooves, etc!) and the bright, glossy suits they wear are a class act. The best thing about it, however, is the fact that it’s so darn catchy it makes your feet merrily bop to the beat whether you want it to or not. In my eyes, they should have kept the sax solo as it certainly rocked my world!
Thor – We Live To Rock
What’s the sound moving through the ages? Rock! Damn straight it’s rock. This is proper rock to none of that laid back nonsense. Real rock with long hair, bare chests, sun shades worn indoors, guitars ripping through the air, silly lyrics (how does rock turn a page? Who knows? Who cares!), and lots and lots of stage strutting! I recently watched an old film favorite of mine Rock and Roll Nightmare and decided to check out some of the other tunes from the movie. I was certainly rocking out to this beauty. This would go great with KISS – God Gave Rock and Roll to You to truly restore your faith in the world. The added bonus with this video is because it’s taken from the movie you get to see what I can only describe as a one eyed monster vomiting into a cup of beer. Double Win!
The Dum Dum Girls – Lord Knows
This song is a microcosm of the type of music I like. I don’t know exactly what to call it other than “vague indie pop with breathy vocals”, but I love this song. And I’m digging a lot of tracks by the Dum Dum Girls as well.
Shout Out Out Out Out – Bad Choices
My name is Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite song on the Normandy. Actually, in addition to being a great song on its own, it sums up (for me anyways) the overall themes of the Mass Effect series. This song captures the spirit of that tortured despair between doing the right thing, and doing what’s easy and immediately gratifying.
Stick to Your Guns – We Still Believe
Stick to Your Guns is a band that I have been listening to for about 4 years now. Though classified as a “hardcore” band, Stick to Your Guns has always strayed from the pack a little bit when it comes to their genre. With emotion fueled, humanitarian driven lyrics about giving back to the world, STYG has always had a powerful message to get across, and an intense sound to drive it in with. The song, We Still Believe, exemplifies the inspirational lyrics that I just described the band as having. However, in this song they take a little break from hardcore to deliver a more “rock/alternative,” sound, while giving fans a passionate song about still believing that there’s hope for the world.
Rancid – Journey to the End of East Bay
The second song I’ve been listening to goes back to the mid 1990’s, by a California Punk band called Rancid. Journey to the End of East Bay has always stuck out in my mind because of the story-telling-like nature of the song. This classic Rancid tune truly feels as if some guy is just sitting down and telling the listener a story about he and his friends in the late 1980’s. If this song inspires you as much as it has me, check out the entire album, And Out Come the Wolves. It is truly a legendary punk CD.
Shinedown – Enemies
This is a new piece so I am just going to jump into it. My first choice is a song I like from the new album by Shinedown. Been a fan of their music for a while and this is my favourite song from this album mainly because it feels like their earlier work and they always pump me up. Recommend it to anybody who likes rock.
Saliva – Badass
I only listened to this recently because I recognized it on the new trailer for Bullet to the Head. It’s great music for anything that has fights, so it worked for that trailer. I have it on my workout playlist because it really makes you feel like you’re in one of those films like Rocky and you can win fights or something. I think these song choices make me sound a little violent, which is funny because I am a rather laid back person.
Mumford & Sons – Awake My Souls
I have heard this song many times, but for some reason it’s been stuck in my head recently. Maybe it’s because Mumford & Sons is so ingenious at creating compelling, melodic lyrics. Maybe it’s because their songs have a depth of truthfulness to them that I’ve not heard in any other current band. Or maybe it’s just both, because Awake My Souls contains these qualities. I dare anyone to ignore their sound advice:
In these bodies we will live
In these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love
You invest your life.
Fun – Some Nights
Despite our generation supposedly being far more positive in outlook than our parents’ (though I don’t know how accurate this claim is), that doesn’t mean we don’t have our doubts and concerns about life. I think this song accurately reflects this situation: “Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for/What do I stand for? Oh, what do I stand for?” What an honest plea for direction in life — many of us young’uns simply bitch and moan about our lives instead of trying to genuinely figure out why they’re important.
Baroness – Little Things
Metal finds a comfortable resting place within the classic rock feel of Baroness’ new double album “Yellow & Green”. Richly layered with sweeping tremolo and analog reverb, “Little Things” and “Cocainium” conjure up visions of Yes in these melody-heavy tracks. Get lost in the ethereal that is Baroness. Meds and noise-cancelling headphones optional.
Having awoken from their spring break extravaganza at Lake Victoria, the swarm heads upstream where they look to make a meal out of Big Wet, a local water park where when it comes to fun, nobody does it wetter! Thought they came to get wet, get loaded and get some, the staff and patrons get more than they bargained for when they must face the fiercest, most bloodthirsty piranhas yet.
Release Date: TBA 2012
Here is a movie that totally snuck under the radar when the poster came out, because well…it looks like some shitty Rom-Com. I mean, better than the average Rom-Com based just on the presence of Jason Segal and Chris Cooper’s name, but still a chick flick. The movie title reads ‘Green With Envy’ and makes no mention what-so-ever of out beloved Muppets…
So, keeping true to form, once you watch the trailer, you realize that Jason Segal doesn’t really do a lot of shitty movies. The hard part is not turning the trailer off before the 0:51 mark…
So a new Muppet movie, and Jason Segal actually wrote it. That’s good news, and keeping with tradition, this one will also be filled to the brim with celebrity cameos that include Zach Galifianakis, Jack Black, Donald Glover, and Danny Trejo just to name a few.
For those few who are unfamiliar with the Muppets, what’s wrong with you? Fix this immediately. >>> CLICK HERE
For everyone else, you may remember when Disney acquired the rights to the characters back in 2004, but since had done very little with them, save a couple TV specials and some YouTube videos…
It’s nice to see them coming back to the big screen, and come November, I’ll be at the theater to see the newest addition to the Muppet Movie catalogue.