Sunday, October 22, 2006

Not so Hilarious House of Alliance Atlantis



How many of you out there remember this gem of a series in the 70's created by Billy Van? It's the The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, although I must admit up until a few years ago I always thought it was Frankenstein, not Frightenstein (update: at least three other people I have spoken to todaytold me they thought it was Frankenstein too).

This is how it is described on the fan site: "This live action 60 minute show was a fixture on Saturday morning television for decades. Through its combination of variety, humor, and educational segments, all flavored with the spice of mock horror, the show had a lasting impact on the youth of the day." Here is the Wikipedia entry for more background.

It has been airing on cable TV lately likely due to Halloween and my four and a half year-old daughter has been loving it (Space Channel at 7am). So, when I saw the the DVD series box-set on the shelf of a retailer, I bought it for my kids (and for myself) without a second thought.

Why the beef with Alliance Atlantis? Well, when I open the box-set there was nothing but the disks inside. No show notes, no background info, no extras, no little cheesy booklet or anything at all. Nuthin. Bupkiss. Nada. Zip. Ziltch. Big fat zero. Get my point?

It is a cult classic and they delivered the ol' lunch bag let down.

What a missed marketing opportunity. I wonder how much extra production cost it would have been to do this right? This series was produced in the 1970's, could they not have gone the extra mile and done some interviews with the remaining living cast members or writers or whomever? How about some trivia or interesting anecdotes & stories (like how Vincent Price shot the entire series in one day?)

How about a sticker or a postcard with a URL to go and check out more online? Something in collaboration with the official fan site?
Nope, guess not.

One can only imagine the Long Tail with a seasonal Halloween tie-in (i.e. revisiting a small fall campaign every year as a lead up to Oct 31). Can't you just see the online elements with a small investment? Granted, this is one of thousands of titles that Aliance has on the shelf, but there is no inventiveness here, no hint or spark of an idea to match the cult following for the show.

It is really disappointing that no one cared enough to put any effort into enhancing our memories and adding a little bit more to them. Ok, now I'm all veclempt. Please, talk amongst yourselves.

Seriously though, I am grinning at the memories of Saturday mornings in the 70's and early 80's with my roster of television when I was still wearing PJ's that had feet attached.

Smile if you remember: The Farm Report (if you were a freak and woke up as early as I did ) Spiderman, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, Scooby-Doo, Land of the Lost, Cosby Kids, HR Puffnstuff, Superfriends, Dyno-mutt, Inch High Private, Hong Kong Phooey, Mr. Magoo, Jabber Jaw, SchoolHouse Rock, Shazam & Isis, Ark II, and the list goes on....

Check out Retroland and TV Party if you are a nostalgia junkie like me.

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