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The Horror of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

January 30th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY is a horror fan’s friend. Don’t you remember that scary space vampire? All right, maybe he wasn’t that scary but his influence on the usually unflappable Col. Deering (ERIN GRAY of JASON GOES TO HELL) sure was. Wilma got wacky.

And remember when our pal JAMIE LEE CURTIS needed a break from being chased by an unstoppable killing machine in HALLOWEEN and being chased by an unstoppable killing machine in HALLOWEEN 2 and so she stopped by Buck’s neck of the universe to get chased by an unstoppable killing machine in space? While wearing pajamas? Even in space, orange is the new black!

No folks, you can’t escape from horror, not even in the 25th century! Let’s look at some other instances where horror acted like peanut butter and Buck (THE STEPDAUGHTER’s GIL GERARD) acted like chocolate and they both smooshed together in mutual space flavored deliciousness!

Awakening, Part 1 & 2

Yikes, mutants! Mutants are not the living dead but they sure seem to have graduated from the same charm school. Watch them try to kill Buck in a foggy graveyard of all places!

Planet of the Slave Girls, Part 1 & 2

This one has got both JACK PALANCE of ALONE IN THE DARK and WITHOUT WARNING and RODDY McDOWALL of LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE and FRIGHT NIGHT!

Vegas in Space

Hooray it’s RICHARD LYNCH of BAD DREAMS and THE PREMONITION and PAMELA SUSAN SHOOP of HALLOWEEN II!

The Plot to Kill a City: Parts 1 & 2

Geez Buck, what’s with all of these two parters? Well, this one doesn’t have any horror people in it. Wait! Ack! It’s ANTHONY JAMES the evil chauffer from BURNT OFFERINGS behind that mask! Oh, I must go cry in a corner now.

Return of the fighting 69th

The hits keep coming! This episode features ROBERT QUARRY of COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE and its sequel, DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN, MADHOUSE and SUGAR HILL!

Unchained Woman

This is that famous JAMIE LEE CURTIS episode that I already mentioned but wait that’s not all! Look! It’s dear TARA BUCKMAN who not only played a chummy sidekick of horror royalty ADRIENNE BARBEAU in THE CANNONBALL RUN but made her own permanent slash on the genre in SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT!

Planet of the Amazon Women

It’s pretty ANN DUSENBERRY of that LIES (1985) flick I love so much and look there’s JAY “Dr. Shrinker” ROBINSON who was in BRAM STOKER’s DRACULA and THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER among others! This episode also famously contains one of the few times in television that a grilled cheese sandwich was used in a threat…

Cosmic Wiz Kid

It’s that pesky GARY COLEMAN episode. In an obvious attempt to infuriate me, nobody ever cast GARY COLEMAN in a horror film. Jokes on them, for if they had, that movie would be seen, loved and owned by every single human that is not an imbecile. I’m not bothered, I’m undaunted, we’ll just have to go the proximity route; Willis did TWICE DEAD, Kimberly was in EXCORCIST 2 and good old Dudley is in FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 5. Oh, and Adelaide was totally in MORTUARY ACADEMY. If unsatisfied please consider the HELLO LARRY crossover episodes which featured KIM “I wanted a Vanilla twist” RICHARDS and the legendary DONNA WILKES (ANGEL, GROTESQUE, BLOOD SONG).

Escape From Wedded Bliss

In this episode nemesis Princess Ardala’s right hand man Kane gets a facelift. He is now portrayed by MICHAEL ANSARA (THE MANITOU, IT’S ALIVE) rather than HENRY SILVA (1979”s THIRST).

Cruise Ship to the Stars

Here’s a good one! FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART 4’s KIMBERLY BECK is a “transmute” which means she transforms into an entirely different person whenever she’s having a bad day. LEIGH McCLOWSKY, star of DARO ARGENTO’s INFERNO tries to exploit her talents in order to off GALIXINA’s DOROTHY STRATTEN!

This LOVE BOAT -inspired gem gets additional points because the background extras are either in bathing suits or disco dancing, Twiki meets a robo- girlfriend and Wilma is forced to wear a MARCIA WALLACE wig.

Space Vampire

Still a better love story than TWILIGHT!Har-har, I always wanted to say that. Now I feel cheap- and yet somehow closer to my fellow man. This episode is a stone cold classic. And really, you can view it as a vampire vs. werewolf tale because look who guest stars in it! Why, it’s THE HOWLING’S CHRISTOPHER STONE wearing a moustache that puts the space vampire’s unibrow to shame! Take that, evil Volvron!

Happy Birthday Buck

Every 534th birthday party should have PETER MacLEAN of SQUIRM, MORGAN BRITTANY of SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT and THE INITIATION OF SARAH and TAMARACleopatra JonesDOBSON on the guest list.

A Blast For Buck

I’m glad somebody is having a good time. Geez, Buck what the hell are you doing having a clip show in your first season? Bee deep Bee Deep Bee deep indeed.

Ardala Returns

Wow, that Ardala sure can’t take a hint. Now she’s just looking desperate. She’s gone and made clones of Buck! Did Kane really just ask “ What could she be doing with three Buck Rogers for almost an hour and a half?” Maybe I’ll just ignore that and point out that feline henchman “Tigerman” is now played by wrestling legend HARD BOILED HAGGERTY who’s also in the classic TV movie CURSE OF THE BLACK WIDOW (1977) and DEATHSPORT (1978).

Twiki is Missing

This is a favorite because it features underrated scream queen ANNE-MARIE MARTIN of THE BOOGENS, PROM NIGHT and a tiny smidge of a scene in HALLOWEEN II fame. She plays a space angel with CARRIE-esque telekinetic powers.

Did you know our ANNE -MARIE was once married to MICHAEL CRICHTON and that JURASSIC PARK is dedicated to her? She’s also really into horses and owns a MAGRITTE. All right, she’s my new hero and I’m not just saying that because she got 31 million dollars in the divorce settlement.

Olympiad

I hate to break it to Vladimir Putin but if this episode is any indication, the future of the Olympics looks super gay. Here we get JUDITH CHAPMAN who was in 1991’s DEAD SPACE, DAY OF THE ANIMALS & THE MANITOU’s PAUL MANTEE, PAUL COUFOS of 976 EVIL 2, FOOD OF THE GODS 2 and CHOPPING MALL and BARNEY Mc FADDEN of SALEM’S LOT.

A Dream of Jennifer

Buck meets a gal who looks exactly like the girl he left behind and she’s played by beautiful ANNE LOCKHART. Did you know LOCKHART was JOHN CARPENTER’s first pick to play Laurie Strode in HALLOWEEN? It’s true. I don’t make stuff up. It’s hard now to imagine anybody else besides CURTIS playing Laurie but I totally get where CARPENTER was coming from and it’s not too hard to imagine lil’ DANIELLE HARRIS staring at this photo mournfully in PART 4

You’ll also find in this episode, PAUL KOSLO of XTRO II, OMEGA MAN and ROBO JOX, JESSIE LAWRENCE FERGUSON of JC’s PRINCE OF DARKNESS and the coolest person who ever walked on the face of the Earth, MARY WORONOV (SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT- ROCK & ROLL HIGH SCHOOL and many more.) Let me also state that WORONOV is a gifted writer and painter and an all around national treasure.

Space Rockers

I hate when people do this but I’m doing it anyway: Best. Episode. Ever. I’m sorry, but Just look at that title “space Rockers” and let it ferment in your brain. Now try to comprehend that this baby also features two of the sexiest people in entertainment, RICHARDNIGHT TRAIN TO TERRORMOLL and JUDYHELLHOLELANDERS! Youch! This rocket ride is so hot it should come with a cold meteor shower!

Buck’s Duel to the Death

Oh no, things are getting serious now; Buck must fight “the Traybor”! The Traybor is half robot, shoots lightening and is played by WILLIAM SMITH of INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS and MANIAC COP who everybody knows can beat up anyone even without the help of lightening. HEIDI BOHAY of 1982’s SUPERSTITION is not going to be of much help!

Flight of the War Witch

Now it’s time for a very special two hour-long season ender. Buck gets lost in a wormhole, meets a nasty space witch named Zarina (Thanks for almost-everything JULIE NEWMAR) and somehow poor Princess Ardala (PAMELA HEMSLEY) finds a new dimension to humiliate herself in. If you want horror stars you got em! How’s about PSYCHO & PSYCHO II’s VERA MILES and living legend SID HAIG (SPIDER BABY, HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES)?

All right, now it’s time to bid farewell! I was going to do season two as well but that’s just crazy. Maybe some other time, how does never work for you? There is a very creepy Satyr episode in season 2, I can tell you that much. But right now I’m beat and I’m bushed. In fact, I feel like I could sleep for a couple hundred years! Maybe a little “disco inferno” will wake me up…

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Tags: General Horror · Kindertrauma in Space




6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Caffeinated JoeNo Gravatar // Jan 30, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Incredible list! I never realized how many horror stars made quick trips to the 25th Century! Well done.

  • 2 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Jan 30, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    THE HOLWING…that sounds like a cool name for a movie.

  • 3 Chuckles72No Gravatar // Jan 31, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Great post!

    You realize that you can’t just mention the satyr episode from season two and not do a proper post about it, right? That was the first episode that came to mind when I saw the title of this entry.

    I binge-watched the whole run a year or two ago when it was still on Netflix streaming (I think that was what it was on). I had not seen the show since I was a kid and was very surprised by how different season one and season two were. I hear it may be an unpopular opinion but I liked season two more – I thought that the episodes were much more memorable (see eg: satyr devolution episode). I understand that Gerard was influential in changing the tone of the show and I have to give him props for that.

    Again, thanks for this post. How in the world did you spot the chauffeur from Burnt Offerings behind that mask? I also did not realize that was Dorothy Stratten in the cruise ship episode. Oh, and the Jamie Lee Curtis caption is too sweet.

  • 4 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jan 31, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Caffeinated Joe,

    Thanks!

    bdwilcox,

    I don’t know what you are talking about. You might be dyslexic.

    Chuckles,

    Oh that episode is so good!

    And what about the one when Wilma’s ex-boyfriend shows up and takes off his head.

    I have some mixed feelings about season 2.

    I love Hawk but don’t like that new rude robot who is a recycled bidding machine from season 1 and what about when Twiki’s voice changes?

    Still, you are right that there are some great episodes and it’s cool that it get’s all weird and freaky.

    I had very intention of doing both seasons but the post was just getting way too long.

    Maybe in the future.

  • 5 ozneNo Gravatar // Feb 2, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I had forgotten about the Space Vampire. He used to freak me out as a kid. Definitely a kindertrauma moment. That unibrow had something to do with it.

  • 6 Tommy VNo Gravatar // Feb 6, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Oh, my goodness, thank you for this. I cannot think of Erin Gray without remembering how big of a crush I had on her.

    And I don’t know if my memory is fooling me, but I am pretty sure I actually found the space vampire a little scary when I first saw it. I was not a total lost cause though. I was young, but I was fully aware of how bad that dancing was at the time.

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