Robert Zemeckis

October 25, 2014

Yet Another 31 Nights of Halloween: Go to the Head of the Class (Amazing Stories TV Show – S2:E8)

Okay so I’m going to try something a little different here. In the late 80’s, Steven Spielberg came out with a TV show called Amazing Stories that seems to ether grab a ton of flack or a ton of love. I never really watched the show, maybe a totally of two episodes of which I couldn’t tell you a damn thing about. I do remember the show and that opening but not a bit of memory regarding the episodes. So since Amazing Stories is on Netflix, I’m going to pick a couple of episodes out of order strictly do to the crew and actors that appear in that episode.
Go to the Head of the Class: Enjoyable
Season 2, Episode 8 (November 21 1986) 60 mins
The reason why I picked Go to the Head of the Class was because of the involvement of Christopher Lloyd as Professor B.O. Beanes, Bob Gale (teleplay), Alan Silvestri (Music) and Robert Zemeckis (Directing). Yes the majority of those who worked on my favorite movie of all-time, Back to the Future.

Right off from the start this has the Zemeckis look. The opening is classic Zemeckis just like Back to the Future, it tells a lot about the character. We start off on the TV that slowly comes out showing our main character’s room filled with pictures of a girl. We start to pan down from a window with a basketball and baseball bat, band posters, stickers, a phone going off and a clock. Our main character (Peter Brand) picks up the phone to find a screaming mother yelling at him about being late for school.

Cut to a shot of Peter Brand jumping out the window running to school, its so McFly like and that is just too damn awesome. 

The next scene is where Christopher Lloyd comes into the story. He plays a teacher who is pretty hard on his students. Seeing a student crewing gum, he questions the student who quickly swallows the evidence. The Professor then picks a piece of gum from under the desk of the student, ask what is this then? The student says thats not the kind I chew, which in a silly way catches the student in a lie. So he requires the student to swallow the random piece of gum. I love this scene a lot because Brand is trying to sneak into the classroom during this time. The way the whole scene flows just reminds me of Back to the Future, which isn’t a bad thing mind you. Alan Silvestri scores this episode just like Back to the Future. When Peter falls into the grave around the 18:20 mark, just listen, it just screams Back to the Future and damn do I loved that. 

Regarding the story it’s definitely not the strongest but still enjoyable to watch. It’s a revenge plot after Brand and his best friend; Cynthia Simpson (Mary Stuart Masterson) gets caught with the same paper. Brand takes the blame and is punished in front of the class by the Professor. So the two decide to cast a deadly spell on the Professor which doesn’t go to plan. I really enjoyed this episode mostly because it felt so Back to the Future like. That said Go to the Head of the Class was still enjoyable to watch especially with Halloween around the corner.
October 3, 2013

Simplistic Reviews Presents: Simply Horrifying featuring Tales from the Crypt Ep. 01

October is here and now is the time for the creeps and ghouls to infest your web browsers, and I”m not just talking about those adult sites that you frequent when your wife or husband aren’t around.  No judgement.  But October is that time of the year where things get a little spooky and Simplistic Reviews welcomes everything creepy with open arms, paws, claws, webbed-feet, anything else that some mythical or murderous creature might have to grab things with.

HBO’s “Tales from the Crypt” was a show that paid homage to the EC Comics from the 1950s.  Grisly images, paired with tales of morality which caught the ire of the US Government who went as far as to hold Senate Hearings about how comics were corrupting the nation’s youth and driving a hearse straight to Hell.  Sounds like my type of comic books.  William Gaines, creator of the Tales from the Crypt comic line, was a pioneer in the industry and you can call him the Stan Lee of Horror Comics.  Come 1989, the geniuses at HBO decided it was time to pay tribute to EC and create a weekly half-horror horror show every Sunday, aptly named, “Tales from the Crypt.”  Running nearly 100 episodes, from 1989 to 1995, “Tales” were comics come to life way before we had the Marvel Comics films.

As this series progresses, your host, Matt, will present his favorite episodes from all seven seasons.  The episodes will not be ranked and will only be classified by the season in which they appeared.  It’s like trying to pick your favorite child, unless its the child that cries in public, throws food on the floor, and wets the bed.  That one is a winner!

So, in this first installment, “And All Through the House” is explained away.  There are a lot of cool aspects to this episode, namely, director Robert Zemeckis helmed this episode, and this is the only episode from the series that uses Christmas as the backdrop.

Check out the video companion above and prepare to enter “Tales from the Crypt.”  If you dare…….

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