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Archive for the tag “Edgar Rice Burroughs”

Why Are Aliens Green Or Grey?

Flying saucers, little green men, and anal probes have been a staple of our perception of aliens for as long as most of us have been alive. The reasoning behind the latter is a obvious: human scientists also can and do learn a lot about an animal by their feces. But where did the idea of short gray or green aliens actually come from in the first place?

As to little green men, the concept of green beings has been around for centuries, from Goblins to perhaps one of the most famous cases- the green children of Woolpit. For those not familiar, these were two children that seemed to have lived during the 12th century in England. When they were discovered in the fields, the little boy and the girl had green-tinged skin, wore strange clothes, spoke an unfamiliar language, and both refused to eat regular food for some time, apparently unfamiliar with it.

Fast-forwarding to the late 19th century, we have the first known instance of the term “little green men” being used to describe aliens, found in the Green Boy From Hurrah, published in the Atlanta Constitution in 1899. In it, the story describes a short green skinned alien from- you guessed it- the planet Hurrah.

Much more famously Edgar Rice Burroughs’ early 20th century Barsoom series featured green aliens from Mars, though in this case they weren’t little at all, being about twice the height of humans.

Here, Today I Found Out explores these stories, as well as the alien abduction account of Betty and Barney Hill, who claimed they had been taken in a spacecraft on Sept. 19, 1961 and subjected to anal probes by extraterrestrials cruising the planet Earth from the faraway Zeta Reticuli binary star system. We will be examining this system in greater detail in the weeks and months ahead, weighing stories that aliens living in DUMBS, or Deep Underground Missile Bases, here on Earth have been abducting and murdering children, ingesting their adrenochrome. Zeta Reticuli also is known as the home terrain of the hideous creatures seen in Ridley Scott’s horror flick Alien and its many sequels and spinoffs.

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Jordan Sather uploaded a hour-long Destroying the Illusion video on UFOs, extraterrestrials, the Secret Space Force and many related topics we have been covering in great detail. We thought you would enjoy his take.

New Adventures of Tarzan

Today’s Trillion Dollar Movie, The New Adventures of Tarzan, celebrates an important milestone. It was exactly 100 years ago, in October of 1912, that Edgar Rice Burroughs published Tarzan of the Apes — the first of Burroughs’ more than two dozen novels recounting legends of the fearless hero, born a British lord, but marooned in Africa at a young age and raised in the jungles by the Mangani Tribe of Great Apes.

Trim and athletic, handsome and tan, courageous and loyal to a fault, a defender of women and children, blessed with the ability to communicate with animals and master any human language in a matter of days, Tarzan quickly became one of the most popular pulp fiction idols the world over. The visionary Burroughs built a lucrative franchise around Tarzan. The feral super-hero not only appeared in Burroughs’ novels, but also serialized magazine stories, films, radio plays, comic books and comic strips.

Unfortunately, owing to copyright restrictions, none of the classic Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies made by MGM can be viewed in their entirety online. Burroughs personally produced The New Adventures of Tarzan in 1935, hoping it would prove as popular as the MGM releases and he could keep more of the profits himself. He also was motivated by another desire — to present a Tarzan who more closely embodied the Tarzan from his books: Intelligent, capable of speaking in complete sentences, and noble in character, befitting his bloodlines as John Clayton, Earl Greystoke.  Did Burroughs succeed? Yes and no.

Herman Brix and Ula Holt

As played by Olympic shotput Silver medalist Herman Brix, the Tarzan from New Adventures is every bit as buff and virile as Johnny Weissmuller’s, as well as being more literate and well-rounded. But Brix was stiffer in delivering his lines (and his signature yell), and Burroughs’ indie production team didn’t have nearly the same budgetary or technical resources as MGM, so New Adventures wasn’t quite the financial windfall that Burroughs intended. The film you’ll see here is actually a much condensed version of the original, which was shown in a 12-chapter serial form, cumulatively lasting more than four hours. As such, there are some gaping plot continuity issues, but never mind the story: Sit back and soak up the barnstorming action as Tarzan wrestles lions, jaguars, panthers, alligators and scores of Mayan natives.

How, you might ask, did Mayan natives land in Africa? They didn’t. Instead, Tarzan goes to Central America to help find a lost friend and to retrieve the Green Goddess, a talisman full of priceless jewels as well as a vial of the most explosive compound known in the world. Filming took place on location in Guatemala.

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Two sidenotes: 1. Brix got over his shyness in front of the camera, and went on to act in 147 films under the pseudonym Bruce Bennett. Most notably, he starred in Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Mildred Pierce. 2. Ashton Dearholt, who plays the villain Ragland, fell in love on the set with Ula Holt, who portrays the heroine Ula Vale. One complication: He was married at the time to former actress Florence Gilbert. She divorced Dearholt upon learning of his affair, and who should she remarry but Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Enjoy, and do return again next Friday for another Trillion $ Movie.

Here is the infamous nude swimming scene from Tarzan and His Mate. The MGM film came out in 1934, just ahead of the Hollywood Production Code, which banned any subsequent scandalous displays of this ilk. Maureen O’Sullivan played Jane opposite Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan, but she refused to go skinny dipping: The lithe beauty appearing here is body-double Josephine McKimm.

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And no remembrance of Tarzan would be complete without paying homage to Cheetah, who outlived Weissmuller by a good 25 years, dying in 2011 at the ripe old age of 80 — the longest living chimpanzee in captivity. Wonder if his well-known taste for alcohol contributed to his longevity.

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The Land That Time Forgot

One of the greatest genres of all cinema, the “Lost World” movie, took a hit in the 1970s. Ray Harryhausen, the creature effects genius behind The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and One Million Years B.C., made his last prehistoric-monster movie in 1969 — The Valley of Gwangi. And the wonders of CGI hadn’t yet revitalized the genre. The 1970s, thus, became the lost decade for “Lost Worlds” on the silver screen, with one notable exception.

That exception: A series of four films by the team of director Kevin Connor, producer John Dark and star Doug McClure based on the Caprona novels by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. The first, and arguably the best of the series, was The Land That Time Forgot (1975), today’s Trillion ($) Movie. Here, an American adventurer played by McClure, along with a German U-Boat crew and some British stowaways, rediscover the long-lost island of Caprona in the south seas near Antarctica. Despite its location, Caprona is a balmy tropical paradise, kept warm by hot springs, burning tar pits and belching volcanoes. Miraculously, ferocious dinosaurs still roam the grounds as well as bands of troglodytes.

It takes a half-hour before our heroes reach Caprona, and the creatures there might look a bit cheesy, but the action remains good, clean fun, bolstered by a solid script from British sci-fi author Michael Moorcock. Enjoy, and stop back next Friday for another Trillion ($) Movie.

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