CineSavant Column

Saturday April 1, 2023



No April Fool nonsense here!  Gary Teetzel has an urgent message for all Real Americans:

Do you ever find yourself lying awake at night, pondering: “Gee, the Creature from the Black Lagoon is a great monster, but I wonder what his internal organs looked like?” Well now, at long last, that burning question can be answered. In the tradition of the old ‘Visible Man’ and ‘Visible Woman’ model kits from the ’60s and ’70s, visionary plastic model kit makers now bring us a new, improved Visible Creature.   Experts agree that it appears to be a translucent version of the old Aurora kit with visible pink guts n’ stuff added. Highly educational, we’re sure.

Boy, I can remember being wide-eyed at the sight of tall stacks of the original Aurora monster models at the hobby store, in those long boxes with the sensational color art — the boxes weren’t even shrink wrapped. The first four were Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man and The Mummy, but I believe The Creature followed fairly quickly. It was a favorite, even though the first thing we did was cut away the little plastic teeth someone had added to it. The kits originally cost 99¢ apiece … the cost for the new Gill Man kit ought to include tartar sauce, a lemon wedge and a side of scallops.

Our only question about this new model kit — do The Gill Man’s newly-revealed internal organs include a pair of unused lungs, as per the third film in the original trilogy?  That, and how could they overlook the internal organs of the fat lizard sitting behind on a slimy rock?  We don’t want a class-action lawsuit about species discrimination, later on.



And Joe Dante forwards a link to the best-quality image I’ve yet seen, of one of the most historically significant political Television Spots of all time:  “Daisy,”  the controversial 1964 Lyndon Johnson Presidential campaign ad.

A full accounting of the ad is at Wikipedia. I remember being shocked by it at age 12, and hearing my father say, right then and there, that the anti-Goldwater ad will win the election for Johnson. They say it was only aired once, so I’m not sure I saw its initial broadcast — The Wiki article says it was replayed on the news, so maybe my exact memory has warped over time.

Even in the ’80s when editing TV commercials, I heard ad men talking about it — it was created by Madison Avenue and considered by many to be ‘cheating’ on a mass scale: Using national media for propaganda to influence an election — Democracy is doomed.  We’re certainly glad that never happened again.

In the year of Dr. Strangelove, when awareness of the close call of the Cuban Missile Crisis was fully understood, this TV spot was a powderkeg, a “turning point in political and advertising history.”  The Wiki article has a lot of interesting detail, saying that the “Goldwater = Nukes equation” came in through Johnson’s press secretary Bill Moyers.

“These are the stakes!  To make a world in which all of God’s children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die.”  Johnson’s Texas twang makes for an incredible sound bite. The Daisy spot may have been 100% propaganda, but I wish we were being inundated by Public Service Spots applying awesome voicovers like this to the issues of guns and Global Warming.

Mr. Moyers is a hero, I hope he’s doing well. Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson