Tonight on MeTV- it’s a Technicolor favorite with ground-breaking special effects -as we witness members of a scientific expedition honored to be summoned to assist a legendary scientist- only to become victims of a process he has invented that makes them shrink- leaving them at the mercy of the near-sighted nastiness of the enemy they call "Dr. Cyclops"!
A selection of experts in their related scientific fields travel to the Peruvian jungle at the request of reclusive scientific genius, Dr. Thorkel ,who needs assistance with a hush-hush project. The group includes biologist Mary, stuffy Dr. Bullfinch, and mineralogist Bill Stockton - a last minute replacement for someone who bowed out of the assignment,. Their destination is the remote jungle compound of Thorkel, far from civilization. The last leg of the journey requires renting mules from a suspicious fellow named Baker- who’s worried his animals may not be treated well by these city-folk , and demands to come along with them. This proves to be a mistake!
Thorkel's servant Pedro detects their approach, and he scrambles to alert the extremely near-sighted scientist that his requested visitors are arriving. The brilliant fellow, wearing what we jokingly refer to as "Coke bottle glasses" due to his deteriorating vision, cannot even see what’s magnified in his microscope, which is why he has invited the visitors. He needs their help to identify a certain microscopic structure for him. They do- and, no sooner do they reveal what they see to him than he brusquely thanks them and demands that they leave -immediately!
Bullfinch and the group are outraged to be so rudely dismissed after coming so far. They demand to remain, curious about what Thorkel’s mysterious project, which he refuses to divulge, might be. By accident, they discover a clue- some radioactive material, which prompts the group to sneak into Thorkel’s private laboratory for further investigation. The bald bespectacled genius catches them in the act and flies into a rage! He seems to calm down after his initial fury, appears willing to explain the reason for his secrecy-and proceeds to show them a unique piece of equipment he has invented. Catching the party unaware, he traps them in a chamber with this device, which transforms them-along with his own assistant- to incredibly small size!
The tiny folk must find a way to escape- and must battle not only the fiendish Thorkel- but also the dangers of the normal-sized world that now tower over them. Things that pose no threat to a typical full sized human now become deadly menaces! Can they avoid the heartless Thorkel's clutches- and a way back to normal size?
This 1940 film, shot in the early version of Technicolor, and directed by “King Kong”s Ernest Schoedstack, presents some novel effects depicting the world the tiny humans now face. Though, by now, we've seen the same type of over-sized props many times, this film included some groundbreaking firsts for that type of thing. We'll introduce you to the cast, and bring you some Sven shtick, along with a flashback to when we could still do conventions with interviews of guests including the lovely Felissa Rose of “Sleepaway Camp” fame, and one of the originators of the original “Night of the Living Dead”!
"Dr. Cyclops" airs on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time- and , if you're not sure when it airs or on what channel where you are, please check your local listings , or at www.metv.com . MeTV encourages you to join in with the fans live-Tweeting using the hashtag #svengoolie during the show. Our show continues to appear in the top trending topics on Twitter nationally! In the Chicago area, viewers should be aware that our encore showing of “Night of the Lepus” will be back at our original Chicago home, now known as the CW 26 at 11 am.
I want to mention an important event’s anniversary- this week marks 50 years since the debut of Chicago’s “Screaming Yellow Theatre” on WFLD- in which the staff announcer was Jerry G. Bishop- who parlayed his weekly announcing gig into the creation of the legendary horror host –the original Svengoolie! That lead to me to becoming his protégé , co-worker, and friend- and was the true beginning of me being put on the road to becoming his hand-picked successor. Jerry was a talented and generous man, as I’ve told you all before- and I hope that I honor him by what I do.
Please join us tonight for little people experiencing big terror!