Tag Archives: John Astin

The Set of 400: #325 – My Favorite Rambo Cosplay

Today! Because of the end of civilization, the Clamp Cable Network now leaves the air –

Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)

Directed by Joe Dante

Starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover (x2), Robert Prosky, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lee (x2), Dick Miller (x2), Gedde Watanabe, Haviland Morris, Keye Luke, Rick Ducommun, Hulk Hogan (x2), Julia Sweeney, Dean Norris, John Astin (x2), Henry Gibson, Leonard Maltin, Howie Mandel, Tony Randall

There might be other instances on this list – not many, but maybe one or two – wherein a direct sequel made the cut without its predecessor. I don’t know why, I just tend to give more credit to originals, even when they have popularly acclaimed superior sequels. I have some sequels higher on the list where the first foray also cracked the 400, but as much as I liked Gremlins growing up, it’s not something I go out of my way to watch – unlike Gremlins 2, which I still love.

The balls of this movie! It’s a sequel, yes, but it’s also a straight parody of the original, a fourth wall breaking mockery of the first movie’s serious-ish, tongue in cheek horror story. Completely revamping the setting – taking it from the typical creatures invading a small town trope to the office building of a cable television channel – opened the film up for opportunities to poke fun at numerous films and media in general in a wide-ranging satire, replete with monsters. It took the concept of Evil Dead 2 – parodying the original film – and exploded it into nearly a throwback sketch comedy film, ala The Groove Tube or The Kentucky Fried Movie. Well, almost – it does hold together as one story a little more than that, even with its many digressions. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #366 – My Favorite Water Skiing Demolition

Today! Because that’s not my foot, that’s mom’s foot! And those are mom’s legs –

Freaky Friday (1976)

Directed by Gary Nelson

Starring Barbara Harris, Jodie Foster, John Astin, Dick Van Patten (x2), Sorrell Booke, Ruth Buzzi, Kaye Ballard, Patsy Kelly, Alan Oppenheimer, Marc McClure, Sparky Marcus, Al Molinaro, Charlene Tilton, Fritz Feld

This one is a bit of an odd story. I didn’t grow up with Freaky Friday, even though it is decidedly a children’s movie, straight from the House of Mouse. I knew kid Jodie Foster from Taxi Driver almost exclusively – to me she made that and then was immediately an adult winning Oscars for The Accused and Silence of the Lambs. And I may have even seen Nashville already, so this wouldn’t even have been my introduction to Barbara Harris. But, one night in college, half drunk I suspect, I was hanging out in my great friend Dave’s basement, and we happened upon Freaky Friday on the Disney Channel. I have no idea why we sat and watched the whole thing, but there we were, yukking it up over the old body switching premise. And it was followed by the TV remake from the ’90s with Gaby Hoffman and Shelley Long, so we watched that, too. And this random incident always stuck with me, to the point that if it’s on, I’ll flip on Freaky Friday for a few minutes, and probably end up watching the whole thing yet again.

And, kick ass ’70s effects!

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