4/26/10

Saturday Morning TV #4: Danger Island


Long before Richard Donner directed The Omen and Superman, he directed Danger Island, a 10 minute serial that appeared on The Banana Splits. It basically was like Johnny Quest but live action.  There was also one other difference - it scared the living shit out of me.

You see, some of the scenes got to be quite gritty and realistic. When pirates came aboard the ship, you wondered what horrible things these ugly bastards would do to the trio of explorers. There were scenes featuring realsitic dead bodies, and scenes with half-naked cannibalistic natives (called The Skeleton Men) torturing and trying to eat the explorers. It always seemed so out of place on The Banana Splits sandwiched between The Three Musketeers and The Arabian Knights cartoons.


The explorers consisted of a scientist who reminds me of Dr. Benton C. Quest, a young stud "Link" played by Jan Michael Vincent, and the stone cold fox, "Leslie" (played by the daughter of the guy who wrote "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66". They basically travelled around looking for archaeological treasure and running into adventure. 


That adventure usually consisted of being captured and tortured by vile looking villains, I didn't know what "rape" was back in my pre-school days, but there was definitely an air of horrible violence when Leslie was captured by various baddies - they'd kiss her hand, throw her around, etc..... I was a sensitive child.


Fortunately, the suspense never led to a dismemberment, cannibal holocaust, or gang rape..... quite the contrary. One of the strangest things about Danger Island was that the fight scenes were often slapstick - Three Stooges style (sometimes with pies being thrown!).  This was especially true when the fights involved Chongo - a super spastic idiot who spawned the wildly popular 70s catchphrase "Uh-oh, Chongo!". 

Sadly, this is one of the many shows still not released on DVD. One episode is on a compilation of Saturday morning TV shows; the rest of the episodes are MIA.  They're currently on YouTube, but the picture quality is horrible, and I refuse to watch them.

15 comments:

  1. I remember "Danger Island". Actually I think about it a lot when I watch "Lost". Wonder what "Lost" would be like with Chongo?

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  2. I used to remember getting home from school and being able to watch before I did my homework. Definitely a blast from the past.

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  3. I remember Danger Island! It was a great show! I'd love to see it release on DVD.

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  4. I do remember this, and those Skull-natives creeped the creepin' creep out of me back then!!!

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  5. I loved the Banana Splits, but they weren't aired in my town (yes kids, back then we were at the mercy of local programmers) so I only got to see a couple episodes when we visited people out of town. If we were near a TV when the show was on. And we were allowed to actually turn on the TV ("We aren't here to watch the stupid boobtube, we're here to see real people") Same thing with H. R. Puffenstuff.

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  6. Ronnie Troup. Wonder whatever became of her...

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  7. Never saw it. before my time perhaps. Sounds promising though.

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  8. Wonder what "Lost" would be like with Chongo?

    I think Chongo grew up to be Sawyer....

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  9. One of the more terrifying shows of the 1970s.

    Not kids' shows.

    Just shows.

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  10. Jan-Michael Vincent was on that show.

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  11. According to her credits on the IMDB, Ronne Troup has still done occasional acting roles, appearing in shows like "The West Wing" and "Strong Medicine".

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  12. Reaired through-out the seventies
    as part of the Banana Splits and
    friends show.

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  13. AnonymousMay 02, 2010

    ¨They're currently on YouTube, but the picture quality is horrible, and I refuse to watch them.¨

    Come on, relax dude.
    is better than nothing.

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  14. I'm relaxed, but watching that on YouTube is like watching it through a dirty pickle jar.... with an astigmatism.... in a dense fog.

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  15. As a kid, endured the Banana Splits unfunny antics just to see the action-packed Danger Island. Like most others, had a crush on ultra-cute Leslie (Ronne Troup). Maybe because this was a Saturday morning kid's show the censors allowed her to be the only midriff-bearing actress on TV in the 60s (tough luck, I Dream of Jeannie and Gilligan's Island). And in 2016 it is still criminal that decent screen-caps of her are so lacking on the Internet. She was also great as a hippie chick stoned on mushrooms on an episode of "Emergency".

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