Friday, May 22, 2020

Episode 51: Well, Isn't that Special - Effects

our guest Webster Colcord with "friends" at Tippett Studios
All of the amazing fantasy and science fiction films that we love, with their spaceships and ray guns, monsters and aliens, couldn't exist without the talents and hard work of special effects artists. For this episode, the Planet 8 crew is joined by special effects artist and animator Webster Colcord! Webster is an industry veteran, getting his start at the Vinton Studios, doing claymation on the California Raisins. He has gone on to work on a wide range of projects, including James and the Giant Peach, Deadpool, Ted, Superman Returns, The Host, and many other genre films. Webster currently works with legendary effects artist Phil Tippett at Tippett Studios. 


We'll talk with Webster about his career, and learn about what it was like to do claymation, hear about the early days of CG effects, the beginnings of Pixar, and more! We had a lot of fun just talking with Webster and getting a lot of behind the scenes stories about different films and how some amazing effects were done -and what went wrong with a few movies! (We're looking at you Scorpion King...)



If you've ever wondered about how some of the special effects you've seen in films were made, or what it's like working in the special effects field, this is the episode for you!


For this episode, Recon Officer Karen has the Sensor Sweep and looks at a new book from author Marc Cushman. It's a continuation of his excellent These are The Voyages series, the first three volumes of which covered the first three seasons of the original Star Trek. This volume, entitled These are the Voyages: Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek in the 1970s  Volume 1 (1970 -1975). Cushman covers the years between the end of the original series up through the animated series (but prior to the first film). It includes info on the sci-fi TV films Roddenberry made, like Questor Tapes and Genesis II as well. One big surprise -Roddenberry was working on the script for a Tarzan film which never materialized! If you're a Star Trek buff, you'll want this book.

That's all for this go-round. We hope you enjoyed our look at special effects with our friend Webster. As always, we want to hear your thoughts. Leave them below in the comments, or hit us up in our social media spots:
Thanks for listening!


Friday, May 8, 2020

Episode 50: Giant-Sized Spider-Man 50th Episode Spectacular!


It's our big 50th episode, and have we got a show for you! This one is a Giant-Sized fun-filled tribute to one of our favorite heroes, the amazing, spectacular Spider-Man! The web-slinger has been around now for over six decades and is one of the most popular characters on the planet. Why does everyone (except J. Jonah Jameson) love Spider-Man? The Planet 8 crew, plus a couple of special guests, will explore Spider-Man through comics, TV, and film incarnations, celebrating what makes him so special compared to all the other costumed crusaders.



If you want to hear about Spidey's origins, our favorite artists, Spidey's rogues gallery, the Spider-buggy, Japanese Spider-Man, and so much more, you're in the right place!

Amazing animator Tim Eldred!
Did I mention special guests? That's right, we have two for this 50th episode spectacular! Looking at Spidey in the world of animation, artist/animator/director Tim Eldred, who has worked on five different Spider-Man animated shows, shares his thoughts and experiences. Tim's segment begins at 51:24  minutes into the episode. You can check out Tim's multimedia science fiction graphic novel Pitsberg at  Pitsberg.com, and also take a look at Greasemonkeybook.com.

The spectacular spider-writer, Gerry Conway!
Taking the place of our usual Sensor Sweep, we have a special treat: comics legend Gerry Conway! Gerry has written tons of comics, both at Marvel and DC, including Fantastic Four, Thor, Justice League, Batman, and created characters like the Punisher, Firestorm, Steel, Vixen, and many others. But he may be best known as the man who killed Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy! Gerry had a renowned run of Amazing Spider-Man, taking over the scripting reins from Stan Lee. It was a real thrill to have a conversation with Gerry about comics and Spider-Man in particular. The conversation begins at 2 hours and 10 minutes into the show (we saved the best for last).



Finally, thanks to all of you who have listened to and supported this happy little show for the last two years! We are having a blast putting it together twice a month, and hope to continue it for a long time. It wouldn't be nearly so much fun without hearing from you. Your comments here, and on Twitter and Facebook, have really taken this from three friends just goofing off to a whole community of like-minded friends. It's been especially important to us during these current difficult days. We hope all of you are doing well, and that our show can take your mind off things and entertain you, however briefly.

That's it, this big ol' beast is done! As always, we want to hear from you! Leave your comments here on the blog, or send them swinging our way at our other hangouts:

Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Episode 49: Welcome to Thrillville

Will the Thrill and Monica Tiki Goddess
Many years ago, in a magical land called Oakland, California, your Planet 8 crew frequently came together in the Parkway Theater for a fantastic event called Thrillville, a B-movie cabaret hosted by Will "The Thrill" Viharo and his lovely wife, Monica "Tiki Goddess." Thrillville introduced us to many films we might never see any where else, such as Dolemite, as well as allowing us to see old favorites like Jason and the Argonauts back on the big screen with like-minded souls. Thrillville was more than a movie show - it was an event, with live music and entertainment, and of course, the musings of our host, Will the Thrill. Beyond that though, it was community - bringing together so many geeks, nerds and the like who might not have found each other without it.

On this episode we talk with Will Viharo about the birth of Thrillville, b-movies, his writing, and basically, anything else that popped into his mind! Will is a true raconteur, so get ready for a wild and hilarious ride as we journey through Thrillville!


You never knew exactly what to expect at Thrillville; sure, you might know what movie was going to be shown. But aside from that, everything else was different from show to show! There might be a band with a theremin, or a group of high-kicking, scantily-clad dancers. Or maybe a horror host or two helping out Will. And before the film, Will and Monica would spin the wheel and give out prizes- but only if you were polite, raised your hand, and didn't yell out the answer! Sometimes we'd get a short film or trailerspreceding the film. And then we'd get to the film itself. You got your money's worth!


For more information on Will, Thrillville, and his books, check out his site: http://thrillville.net/. Will has written a number of books which he might say cannot be put into any particular genre but the word "pulp" certainly comes to mind! Check out his author page at Amazon, where you can find (and buy!) any of his titles. Please note that these are definitely intended for persons 18 and older. You can also find more on Thrillville on Facebook at @Thrillvilletheater.

That's all for us this time. We'll be back on May 8th with a super-sized 50th episode! Please leave us any comments here at the site, or feel free to contact us at our other spots:
Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Episode 48: Those Startling, Sensational Super-Heroes


art by George Perez


Super-heroes! How many of us ran around with a towel tied around our neck, pretending to fly as we jumped from the couch? Whether we read about them in comics, watched them on TV, or thrilled to them in the movie theater, we all have had our dreams of being a super-hero, fighting evil villains and saving the day. In this episode each of the Planet 8 crew will discuss their favorite super-heroes, and we have quite a variety!



Karen is up first, and she looks at two Marvel "outsiders" - The Vision and Adam Warlock. Both have convoluted backstories, and are not your typical hero in longjohns. What makes these two so interesting? Listen in and find out.



Next up is Bob with the lowdown on all things Ultraman! If you already like Ultraman, you'll appreciate Bob's deep knowledge on the topic. And if you're new to it, you'll learn a lot!


Finally, pulling it all together, Larry shares his love for the original super-hero, Superman! The Man of Steel, and in particular the Christopher Reeve films, are close to Larry's heart. He'll tell us all why.


For the Sensor Sweep, appropriately, Bob shares his latest acquisition, a fabulous Ultraman figure from MaxToyco! This vinyl figure stands about 4.5" high and is the 1st Ultraman figure licensed by Tsuburaya in the United States. Sculpted by Pico Pico and painted by Mark Nagata (owner of Maxtoyco), this is a limited edition figure. But expect to see more Ultraman figures soon!

Bonus announcement: we've added another way to get your Planet 8 fix: a YouTube channel! That's right, you can catch episodes on YouTube now. Currently we're just adding still images to the audio, but stay tuned, we have some other plans in store!

That's all for us this time. Let us know who your favorite supe-heroes are. You could use the bat-signal, but it might be easier to leave a comment on the site, or try us at our other spots:

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Episode 47: People of Earth, Attention! Alien Invasions!

Look out! The aliens are among us! They're after our water, our brains, our lifestyle -you name it! Sometimes they just plain don't like us. They come here in spaceships, or sometimes grow in pods. Sometimes they attack us openly, but other times they quietly infiltrate our society. Those aliens are a tricky bunch. This time on Planet 8, the crew turns our planetary defense system to maximum as we discuss ALIEN INVASIONS!!

The  alien invasion genre has its roots in both the Cold War and the flying saucer phenomenon, both rising out of the ashes of World War II. But even in more recent times, people continue to be fascinated with the idea of malevolent aliens coming to take over our world. Your Planet 8 crew talks about some of our favorite films in the genre, everything from Teenagers from Outer Space to The Brain from Planet Arous to Attack the Block! to They Live, and a whole lot more. Like, almost anything and everything we can remember!


On the small screen side, we take a look at The Invaders, Twilight Zone, V, and UFO. I told you we were talking about everything!



This time, Commander Larry has the Sensor Sweep, and he shares a Christmas gift he received , the Star Trek USS Enterprise Illustrated Handbook. This book covers the details of the Enterprise from the original series through the movies, and includes the Enterprise as shown on  Star Trek Discovery. Larry says it has a feel similar to the old technical manuals, so it must be pretty good! You can find it at major booksellers or get it from Amazon here.


This is the last time we will bring up the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. It was such a surprise to be nominated for  "Best Multimedia Site"  for the Rondo Awards. Thanks to all of you who got us on the ballot!  Chief Engineer Bob's other website, SciFi Japan, is also nominated for "Best Website." There's just a week before the March 29th deadline. If you're so inclined, we'd appreciate your vote. You can find the ballot here. All you have to do is send an email to Taraco@aol.com.  Thanks again for all your support in our first two years of existence!


That's all for us this time. Now we want to hear from you! What's your favorite alien invasion movie or TV show?  Leave us a comment here, or at our other listening posts:
Thanks for listening!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Episode 46: Those Creepy TV Movies!


via GIPHY

How many of you remember the movie of the week? Back before streaming or even cable, the network channels had their own special made for TV movies. During the 70s, it seemed like an awful lot of these were horror or monster focused. They varied in quality, but there were a number of really exciting and memorable ones, and that's what we're talking about in this episode! 

We have already covered two of the most famous - The Night Stalker and the Night Strangler, featuring our beloved Carl Kolchak - in episode 22 (check it out here, Night Stalker fans). But we'll look at some awesome...and maybe not so awesome!....made for TV productions.


Chief Engineer Bob uncovers a hidden Rankin-Bass and Tsubarya Japanese film connection, with a trio of films, The Last Dinosaur, The Bermuda Depths, and The Ivory Ape. Yep, we said Rankin-Bass, the company that gave you Rudolph! It's a fascinating story!


Then Karen tells us about Gene Roddenberry's post-Star Trek shift to a dystopian future, first with a movie called Genesis II, then a redo of this film called Planet Earth, and finally yet another version called Strange New World! Certainly not his best work, but interesting to behold.


But on the plus side, we have all time favorites, like Gargoyles, a 1972 film that caused some of us to have nightmares. This film is best remembered for the fantastic make-up on the gargoyles, which was some of the great Stan Winston's earliest work. It certainly scared your Planet 8 hosts as youngsters!


We all were absolutely petrified by the two-part presentation of Stephen King's Salem's Lot, with David Soul. It scared us to death as kids and really holds up today. And it even has a Star Trek connection!


But our piece de resistance, the film that really gets to everyone who has ever seen it, is Trilogy of Terror (1975), but really we're just talking about one segment, "Amelia," featuring Karen Black and a very frightening Zuni fetish doll. You may never look at your collectible figures the same way again.


 Speaking of collectible figures...Bob handles our Sensor Sweep for this episode. There are a couple of amazing robot toys available only at Walmart right now - walking, talking Iron Giant and Robby the Robot 12" figures for just $19.95! These are made by a company called Goldlok, and Bob's very impressed with the quality. But they are flying off the shelves! So hurry out and get yourself one. Bob also recommends the Funko Pops Speed Racer "Nightmare Speed" figure.


And before we go...we want to thank you listeners again for nominating Planet 8 for "Best Multimedia Site"  for the Rondo Awards. Also, Bob's other website, SciFi Japan, is nominated for "Best Website." We'd really appreciate it if you could vote for us before the March 29th deadline. You can find the ballot here. All you have to do is send an email to Taraco@aol.com.  We're so surprised and grateful to have been nominated. We hope that means we're doing something right!


And if you're in the San Francisco  Bay Area, Bay Area Film Events will be hosting an anime weekend -Animezing! -  at the Balboa Theatre in San Francisco on March 14th and 15th. For more information go to http://www.bayareafilmevents.com/animezing.

So let us know how we're doing, and be sure to tell us what your favorite made for TV movies were. You can leave a comment here, or hit us up at our other spots: 
And watch out for possessed action figures!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Episode 45: There's a Bad Moon on the Rise


Get ready - 2020 has 13 full moons, so the werewolves will be running amok! In this episode we will take a look at these hairy, scary monsters. Starting with the legends and myths from around the world about werewolves, we turn then to the many films that feature these man-beasts. Some you will undoubtedly have heard of, but we dug up a few obscure ones too.


Why are werewolves so fascinating? There's something so tragic and compelling about these poor souls who are cursed to change into vicious beasts. But there's undeniably something exciting about it too - the pure freedom and power of the wild animal. And what type of werewolf do you like best - more wolflike or more manlike? There are a lot of different versions to choose from, ranging from full-on wolf to the snouted creatures found in films like Underworld and Dog Soldiers, to the classic look of Lon Chaney Jr's Wolfman. The crew discusses which looks they like the most and why.


We also do a little thought experiment -who is an actor who hasn't played a werewolf who should? We came up with some unusual, but hopefully, entertaining choices!

Commander Larry and Lt. Jasmine at Galaxy's Edge
For our Sensor Sweep this time, Commander Larry takes us all to a galaxy far, far away...in Anaheim. Yes, the Commander tells us all about his experience at Disneyland's newest sensation, Galaxy's Edge! Get the lowdown on this Star Wars-centric land. 


Extra: Just a reminder, thanks to all of your efforts, Planet 8 is up for a Rondo award for Best Multimedia Site! We are so appreciative of the support you, our great listeners, have given us! You can put us over the top by voting for us now at https://rondoaward.com/rondoaward.com/blog/. While you're there, also consider voting for Chief Engineer Bob's other concern, Sci-Fi Japan, for Best Website. In other news, Bob and Keith Aiken from Sci Fi Japan will be recording commentary for the  Gamera the Brave, part of a Gamera box set coming out later this year. 


Finally, Bay Area Film Events will be hosting an anime weekend -Animezing! -  at the Balboa Theatre in San Francisco on March 14th and 15th. For more information go to http://www.bayareafilmevents.com/animezing.


We bid you adieu for now. As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on this episode's topic -or anyting else! You can leave a comment here, or hit us up at our other spots: 
And remember...Stay off the moors!!!