Saturday, November 22, 2008

Science Fiction Theater: Killdozer

What's happening, Groove-ophiles? Welcome to the first-ever Diversions of the Groovy Kind Science Fiction Theater! Remember those Saturday afternoons or evenings spent in front of the old boob-tube watching old sci-fi/fantasy/horror movies hosted by some dude with a schlocky shtick telling really bad jokes before and after commercial breaks? If you do, then you know what Ol' Groove is up to here. If you don't, well, you're in for a treat, Grasshopper! The popcorn's popped, the tubes are warm, so have a seat and let's get started!

"Killdozer" was famed s.f. author Theodore Sturgeon's breakout story. Written in just 9 days, "Killdozer" was the only story Sturgeon, famous for his bouts of writers' block, produced between 1941 and 1945. It was first published in the November, 1944, issue of Astounding Science Fiction, then revised and reprinted in 1959's Aliens 4 collection.

In February, 1973, Marvel Comics started a new comicbook series called Worlds Unknown. The purpose of this series was to present adaptations of classic science fiction stories in comicbook form, similar to their fledgling Supernatural Thrillers which adapted classic horror stories. Worlds Unknown ran for 8 issues, ending in May, 1974.

For some reason, in 1974, the big-wigs at ABC-TV thought that "Killdozer" would make a great movie for their fledgling Saturday Night Movie of the Week series. The movie first aired on February 2, 1974 and starred guys like Clint Walker, Neville Brand, and a young Robert Urich.

In January, 1974, Worlds Unknown Presents the Thing Called... Killdozer #6 hit the stands, complete with an "as seen on TV" blurb on the cover (which is kinda wonky since we wouldn't see "Killdozer" on TV until the second day of February!). It was fate. Karma. Kismet! The stars aligned way back then...so Ol' Groove could lay this post on ya today. Doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Can you feel the positive vibes? Have you never been mellow? No? Well, then see how you feel after you've read...Killdozer (Written by Gerry Conway, art by Dick Ayers and Ernie Chan)!

15 comments:

  1. alright!

    now, THAT'S good comics, baby. . .

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  2. Oh man does that bring back memories. I watched this on TV when I was a little kid, but this is the first time I've ever read the comic adaptation. One of the great things about these 70s Marvels is playing the "spot the faces that Romita (Sr.) re-drew" game!

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  3. One of my favorite comic book covers from the Bronze Age. I always wished the bulldozer could talk in the actual story as well!

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  4. greatest post ever! you're awesome, keep this all up! I can't believe the movie as based on the comic. I wonder if the Simpsons used that as inspiration for their halloween episode where groundskeeper willy turns into a "kill dozer" of his own.

    Oh yeah!

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  5. I remember those Saturdays well. Dr. Paul Bearer would do the lame jokes and sight gags. Those were the days.

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  6. Thanks for the kudos and memories, fellas! There's more to come!

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  7. In the Uk this was in the cinema [unless there was another] I'm sure anyway that I went to see it. One of those "monster on the loose' movies with a crazy idea. Thanks for the reminder.
    Blokkhed

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  8. You might enjoy the Killdozer game I made in Flash.

    Killdozer Flash Game!

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  9. Planettom, you are the man! That is so cool. Man, I have to figure out how to avoid those sticks of dynamite, though. Ouch!!

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  10. Hint: Note that the scoop is impervious to the dynamite!

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  11. Just discovered this blog.....You're doing a great job with it! You obviously are about my age and grew up at the same time I did. I still have a soft spot for 70s Marvels......I never got to buy "Killdozer", although I remember seeing it in house ads at the time......I was always curious as to what the interior story looked like. I did pick up "The Golden Voyage of Sinbad" adaption in the next issue though, which featured some nice George Tuska art.

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  12. That cover is fantastic. The thing sounds more petulant than menacing. I remember reading the story when it was reprinted in Marvel UK's "Planet of the Apes" comic but I'd never seen the cover before, so thanks for the chance to see it.

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  13. I noticed these places had this on dvd Thanks

    www.dvdsentertainmentonline.com/product/killdozer-dvd-tv-robert-urich-clint-walker-1974

    www.vendio.com/stores/OldTimeMoviesandTV/item/killdozer-dvd-tv-robert-urich-/lid=24221148

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  14. KILLDOZER got a Shout out by Foggy Nelson in Ep 2 Season of Daredevil!!!!

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  15. http://d1g4sq00ps2bp3.cloudfront.net/images/12499.jpg

    Amusingly enough, the original version of the cover was altered from this to that toothy red behemoth. I kind of like the old one better.

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Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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