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Latest Member: eenkleemil Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Movie Reviews  |  Worst of Jonny Quest: Peril of the Reptilian « previous next »
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Author Topic: Worst of Jonny Quest: Peril of the Reptilian  (Read 11444 times)
The King of Koosh!
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Must have caffeine...

« on: May 17, 2010, 05:31:57 PM »

As I recall, my SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron reviews were met with... well, if not exactly acclaim, tolerance.  BounceGiggle

Jonny Quest. The name means politically incorrect adventures at the four corners of the world. Together with his adopted brother Hadji, dad the illustrious Dr. Benton Quest, and Dr. Quest's...friend Race Bannon, the thoroughly Aryan-looking Jonny (not "Johnny") had all kinds of adventures and set the bar for offensive stereotypes of foreigners. Not that this mattered much, as the animation was top-notch, and while the stories were pure pulp, it had plenty of action, gunfire, explosions, monsters and a really high body count too.

That's the Jonny Quest of the 1960's. In the 1980's, Hanna-Barbera revamped the show and released some new episodes under the title The New Adventures of Jonny Quest. It isn't fondly remembered by fans. The original series, even when it crossed into the realm of the fantastic (The Invisible Monster, anyone?) it was grounded pretty firmly in reality and logic. Anything supernatural was, Scooby-Doo-like, typically revealed to be trickery. Not so here. When the Quests are paling around with a seven-foot-tall stone warrior in a toga (!), all bets are off.

Thankfully, the very first episode of the series forgoes that sort of tomfoolery. Peril of the Reptilian is a pretty straightforward, if somewhat idiotic, mad scientist story. And proof that sci-fi writers were toying with the idea of bringing dinosaurs back to life long before Michael Crichton wrote Jurassic Park.

We begin underwater. We see something greenish with yellow eyes swim past, startling some fish. And then we cut to a very poorly animated radar dish on top of a big tower. We hear the voice of Rob Paulsen and cut inside to see a couple of guys complaining about the radar not picking up anything except a satellite. Must be a military outpost. Rob is voicing the orange-haired guy, but, in an early example of the show's cheapness, the only physical difference between him and the other technician (who is some undefined "foreigner") are their hair colors.

Nice to see the army's cloning program is paying off.

The redheaded guy complains about being bored some more and an alarm goes off and something has been picked up on the radar. Whenever someone says they're bored, the action is bound to start. Outside, we see a large, muscular green lizardman wearing nothing but a speedo (!) and a strap across his chest jump out of the water like a dolphin and then head ashore.

Hang on, if this is a station for monitoring satellites in outer space why would their equipment be detecting foreign bodies in the ocean like twenty feet from shore? Lizard-guy wanders over to the tower and begins whacking it with his tail. The metal smashes like balsa wood (!), proving that either he's really strong or military budgets have been cut back. Hearing the commotion, the grand total of two guys grab some rifles and rush outside to investigate.

Outside, the lizardman pushes over the radar tower, which falls onto the building the two men just came out of. Wow, lucky them. The black-haired guy yells, "What's going on!" Gee, I dunno, the tower just fell over? Neither notice the giant speedo-wearing reptile guy walk into another building behind them. The redheaded guy says they should split up to search the place. Brilliant idea.

Inside, we witness more of lizard-guy's might as he uses his super-powerful tail to...smash a fluorescent desk lamp. Then he punches a radar screen and in general indiscriminately smashes all kinds of expensive-looking equipment. Shouldn't somebody have been guarding that stuff? The short-circuiting machinery starts a fire.

"Take that, stupid lamp!"

The two soldiers outside notice the fire. Or at least the black-haired guy does. In a bit of unintentional hilarity, his cry of "The bungalow!" is so poorly read it sounds like he's screaming, "The buffalo!" The two of them rush towards the bungalow (buffalo!) as the lizardman plows through a wall like the Kool-Aid Man, again without the soldiers noticing. Looking in at the burning building, the black-haired guy again feels the need to yell, "What's happening?" Everything is on fire, you jackass!

After a lame bit where a piece of flaming something-or-other almost lands on the two guys, we cut to the still-unnoticed lizardman re-entering the ocean and submerging.

We then fade to a high-tech base of some kind, where we get acquainted with the nefarious Dr. Phorbus. We can tell he's evil because he has white streaks in his hair, and for some reason reason wears jodhpurs and knee-high black dominatrix boots with his lab coat. He also has his very own stereotypical hunchbacked assistant. Both of them have very familiar-sounding voice actors but their names escape me, although I swear Phorbus sounds like Starscream with a sore throat.

"Let's hurry this up, I'm due to perform in Springtime for Hitler"

The hunchbacked dude asks when the lizardman will be returning, and Phorbus replies "Momentarily" and exposits that the lizard is following a homing signal of some sort. Suddenly his attention is caught by the most stereotypical evil henchman guy ever, a huge blonde muscleman in a sleeveless shirt with an eyepatch. He tells them about the attack on the radar installation which is being reported over the radio.

G.I. Joe wouldn't take him, so he had to make ends meet.

Phorbus asks if they have identified the attacker, to which the eyepatch-wearing guy says no. This pleases our evil scientist. Then the lizardman emerges from a pool of water in the middle of the room (I guess it connects to the sea) and we can see that a beacon on his chest strap is blinking in time with Phorbus' homing thing, which looks like a television remote.

Hmm. Tight pants and leather boots, a hunky lizardman in a speedo, and a big blonde beefcake in a muscle shirt. Methinks Dr. Phorbus has issues.

Hunchbacked-guy heaps praise upon his boss, and Phorbus wheezes, "There's much more to come, Simon! This is only the beginning!" And at this, he presses a button on the TV remote of ultimate power, which stops the beeping and makes the lizard-guy's eyes glow yellow. Creepy.

We cut to an air force base somewhere where we see a big futuristic-looking jet aircraft doing some poorly animated loop-the-loops in the air. In the cockpit, or rather bridge (as this thing is quite big), we see Dr. Quest is flying while a female general is riding shotgun. The general comments on the jet's capabilities ("A 1-80 arc at Mach 1!"). Despite being clearly a woman, due to, y'know, the boobs and all, the general is very mannish looking in the face and also sounds like a guy trying to do a girl's voice.

General Man-Lady.

Quest says his aerial aerobics are "just a warmup" and contacts the other main characters over the radio. We learn here that the big jet is called Quester 1, whilst Jonny, Hadji and Race are riding in Quester 2, a smaller jet that piggybacks on the big one. Bandit is there as well. And boy do I hate recapping these scenes that have nothing to do with the rest of the episode and exist purely to introduce the main characters. So I'm just going to breeze through this as quickly as I can.

Quest tells Race to "engage," whereupon Quester 2 detaches from the main jet. Surely Quest meant "disengage." Quester 2 flies off and the general is thoroughly wowed, and now more than ever I realize she's voiced by a man. What exactly is Quest doing here? Does he intend on turning Quester 1-2 over to the air force? If not, what is the purpose of this demonstration?

Quester 2 flies a bunch of repetitive loops around the other craft which for some reason impresses Jonny, prompting Race to do a corkscrew maneuver. In response to this Bandit pulls a goofy cartoon scaredy-face and covers his eyes with his ears (!), making me wonder what purpose Bandit serves sometimes. So the stupid jet does some stupid stunts and Jonny and Hadji are wowed by this. Why? Are they just perpetually amazed by everything? Bandit gets dizzy, signified by his cartoon swirly-eyes.

Poor Bandit.

Fortunately for Bandit, this ends the demonstration and Quester 2 redocks with the big jet. General Man-Lady comments that both jets outperform anything the air force has, and Dr. Quest points out that Race's stunts were mainly "emergency maneuvers."

The general further exposits that the jet has surveillance gear rivaling "our best spy-planes." Quest emphatically states it is only "for our research efforts." So, he isn't giving the military the jet? Why show it to a general then?

No, as it turns out. Quest was putting the jets through their paces as a demonstration because General Man-Lady has brought Quest in on assignment (although some dialog suggests that the original Quest jet was in fact given to the air force).

Precisely what it is she wants is left to our imaginations as the episode fades to some dolphins leaping through the ocean but I think it's pretty obvious it's about the wrecked radar installation. That said, it's fun to be perverted and imagine General Man-Lady is an old flame of Dr. Quest's and that they get jiggy with it right there in the cockpit (*snicker*) after the fadeout.

Quester 1 zooms overhead and Jonny says, "The general has no idea who's behind the attacks?" Yep, I knew it. Wait, attacks? Plural? That darn lizardman's done this before? Then why was Dr. Phorbus acting like the attack was lizard-guy's first time out? Have there been other attacks since that one? Quest confirms when he says, "So far three radar stations have been hit."

All the attacks happened on different islands and the military searched them all and found nothing, blah, blah, blah. We in the audience know it was a giant lizard in a speedo that did it so all this hootenanny about the mysterious attacker is just filler. I shall skip it all. What Quest does point out is that the three islands form a triangular shape, and they intend to search the area between them (in the center of the proverbial triangle).

Hadji asks what exactly it is that they're looking for. "A sub, a ship, an underwater base perhaps," Dr. Quest muses. An underwater base was my guess, due to the business of that pool in the middle of the room seen earlier connecting to the sea. However what we get when Quester 1 enters the triangle of doom is quite a bit different, and something out of King Kong or Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Dr. Quest says the charts all indicate there's nothing but open, empty ocean in the triangle, but Race suspects otherwise. Why? Because there's dense, sea-level cloud cover, which Quester 1 naturally flies right into. Wow, they aren't just aping King Kong (pun intended), but the '76 remake where the island was hidden by a fog bank. Sure enough, when Quest turns on the sonar, it picks up a heretofore unknown island.

"We've found the Dark Crystal!"

"What is it?" Jonny asks, and unlike that soldier before, I'll be forgiving of him since the orange blob on the screen doesn't look like much of anything, much less an island. Looks like Race spilled marmalade on it or something. His dad responds that it's "An uncharted island!" Race, suddenly drawn with a gigantic head and little baby arms (!) suggests getting a closer look.

"Dr. Quest, why did my limbs suddenly atrophy?"

And without anymore ado, the jet begins descending through the clouds, through which an island can be seen. It's your typical lost island: tropical jungle, sandy beaches and a bigass volcano in the middle. Bandit hops up on the dash (or rather Jonny sets him on it) and looks very happy to see this island for some reason. Naturally this is so we can have more comedy when he's scared witless.

Sure enough, the jet is buzzed by a pterodactyl-like creature with a long neck. Bandit yelps and pulls a scaredy-face. "What the--?" Race non-cusses in G-rated fashion. The flying critter hovers in front of the jet...which despite clearly moving forward doesn't smack into it. It then flies over the cockpit windshield and disappears, giving us our third comedy moment of poor Bandit being scared.


Bandit jumps into Jonny's arms and whimpers pitifully. "What was that?" Jonny cries. Fourth time a character has uttered this, or some variation of it. I guess Jonny is one of the few kids on Earth uninterested in dinosaurs (yes I know pterodactyls aren't dinosaurs), forcing his father to clarify, "It looked like a pterodactyl but with a... brontosaurus head!" "A flying nightmare if you ask me!" Well, no-one asked you, Race. Shut up and look pretty.

So, this is the first evidence we'll see that our good friend Dr. Phorbus' experiments extend beyond just speedo-clad lizardmen. And speaking of Edgar Rice Burroughs, as Quester 1 lands, Jonny comments, "Gee, Hadji, it's like The Land That Time Forgot!" 'Course he probably means the Doug McClure movie and not the novel (movie was better, FYI). Hadji gives the expected witty reply, "Maybe we should forget about it too!"

But I shan't!

To Be Continued!
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 12:10:45 PM by Kooshmeister » Logged
The King of Koosh!
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Must have caffeine...

« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 01:31:15 PM »

So Quester 2 lands in a swamp-looking place and nearby the lizardman pops out of the water. There's a suspenseful musical sting and his eyes glow... and then he submerges. Did they just want to remind the viewers that, yes, there is a reptile dude in this?

After a fadeout to a commercial we return to find Jonny complaining about not getting to go along with Race and his dad in their big-wheeled swamp buggy thing which I'm sure is called the Quest-something-or-other. Jonny wants a shot of "that goofy pterodactyl," holding up what is meant to be a camera but is so poorly drawn it could be anything.

Dr. Quest apologizes to his son but says it could be dangerous, to which Jonny whines, "But you might need us!" Whiny brat. Shows with kids as the main characters are always so obnoxiously unbelievable when you rewatch them as an adult, at least where the main characters are concerned. Dr. Quest and Race are perfectly wise to leave the children behind on board the jet, and they perform similar actions in other episodes past and present, but always the adults get in trouble and the stupid kids have to come save them. And in Hadji's case, we'll soon get a dose of just what he has to offer.

Also of note is how Race and Jonny's dad are dressed here. Race has changed out of his usual red t-shirt and into a windbreaker and khakis and other type of jungle-traversing apparel. Dr. Quest, who had on a lab coat in earlier scenes, is... wearing a black business suit. Yes, a full suit is what you wanna wear when exploring hot, tropical jungles. Doofus.

Anyway Race placates the annoying brat by saying if they need him, they'll call him on the "comu-con," which is some device attached to Race's belt. Apparently unused to being told no, Jonny blubbers some more but ultimately parental authority wins the day. Or as Race puts it, "Case closed."

The swamp buggy drives down a ramp and into the water. The big tires are floatation devices I guess since the vehicle skims the surface of the water rather than partially submerging like most amphibious vehicles. It's also hauling a huge multi-wheeled trailer, for what purpose I cannot ascertain. Watching them go, Hadji tells Jonny, "Nice try. But I can't say I'm sorry not to be going!" Hadji's the smart one.

The grown-ups are gone for less than a minute before Jonny decides to disobey his dad, suggesting to Hadji they take a two-seater jetski thing he calls the "Sea-Skimmer." Hadji makes a token protest about what Dr. Quest and Race said, but Jonny cows him by asking him where his sense of adventure is. He placates him by promising to just give it a test run. So I guess like the jet, this thing is also experimental? If Jonny and Hadji hadn't survived dozens of dangerous situations in the past I'd say leaving children unattended with untested high-tech vehicles is a bad idea.

Else where, Dr. Quest and Race cruise along in the swamp buggy. The camera does this bizarre spinny tilt to focus on a pink flower on a tree, which unfolds to reveal a security camera. Wow, and I thought the camera in the snowman in If Looks Could Kill was lame.

Insert 'Candid Camera' joke here.

Cut to the control room of wherever-the-bad-guy's-base-is and we see Dr. Phorbus and Simon, the hunchbacked guy, are watching them. The view naturally switches to angles impossible for the security camera to get, and keeps focused on the swamp buggy despite it being in motion, when the camera's range looked pretty limited to me.

Phorbus singles out Dr. Quest, whom he of course recognizes. Every scientist good and evil recognizes Dr. Quest! Phorbus cackles and tells Simon to get "Patch" and--wait, the eyepatch-wearing guy's name is "Patch?" Ouch. Anyway Phorbus tells them to go and be a welcoming committee or somesuch crap.

Back at the jet, the lizardman is standing in the water which is ankle-deep, which I guess explains how the swamp buggy drove on the surface. He pulls a really goofy surprised face when the ramp comes down and the jetski thing shoots down, Jonny driving and Hadji riding with Bandit in his lap. The boys are having fun but of course poor, poor Bandit couldn't be more terrified. Jonny acclerates, causing the jetski to make the exact same sound as the DeLorean from Back to the Future and zip off downriver.

"The furries drew me doing WHAT?!"

The lizardman watches them go and then dives facefirst into the water. Despite it being ankle-deep two seconds ago, he fully submerges. Wow. Also I'm unsure how he plans to catch them, as, buff lizardman or not, he can't swim as fast as a jetski.

We cut to Race and Dr. Quest examining tire tracks in the mud, concluding another vehicle came through recently, and that there are other people on the island. Quest rather sensibly suggests returning and informing General Man-Lady of this so the military can handle things from here, but then they hear what is supposed to be a fearsome roar but sounds more like Frank Welker just screaming. They call Frank the God of Voices but when it comes to voicing animals and monsters I'm not a fan.

The two of them go and peek through some bushes and see what is essentially a big brontosaurus with stegosaurus plates down its back and a spiked tail, and a weird crested head with a beaked mouth. So that's where the pterodactyl's head wound up. "It's some kind of dinosaur!" gushes Race. "Several kinds, I'd say!" opines Quest.

And Fred Flintstone is nowhere to be found...

Yeah, this is Dr. Phorbus' weird hobby. Not only is he bringing dinosaurs back to life he's mixing and matching their body parts willy nilly. And, amazingly, I don't actually recall him explaining why.

As Quest and Race head back to the swamp buggy, a second "multi-saur" which appears to be a triceratops with a dimetrodon fin and an ankylosaurus clubtail charges over and begins headbutting the vehicle. Dr. Quest essentially repeats what I just said (although he can't seem to name "ankylosaurus"), prompting Race to quip that they'd best "get away from these parts!" as the critter rushes at them suddenly.

Naturally they don't move, and just sit there. It's likely they would've been smooshed if a pinkish energy beam hadn't shot in from offscreen and hit the dinosaur in the face. Simon and Patch the eyepatch-wearing henchman emerge from the bushes, the former holding what is meant to resemble a futuristic raygun thing but looks like a hot glue gun. After yelling "Back off, beast!" in the most wimpy fashion humanly possible, Simon zaps the tricera-whatsit again and it runs off.

"It's great for controlling dinosaurs AND arts and crafts!"

Acting friendly towards the two, Dr. Quest thanks Simon for his intervention, and Simon refers to the device as his "stunner." He explains how it is "specially designed" to control the dinosaurs " well as unwelcome visitors!" he adds darkly, pointing the hot glue gun at them in a surprise betrayal no one saw coming.

To Be Continued!
The King of Koosh!
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Must have caffeine...

« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2010, 12:08:59 PM »

Elsewhere, Jonny and Hadji have parked the jetski doohicky and ventured ashore, where Jonny is randomly snapping photos with his little camera, which now actually resembles one. Hadji says he doesn't see the pterodactyl-with-a-brontosaurus-head, most likely because neither of them are bothering to look up, where a flying animal might be.

Jonny says he at least got some good photos of "the island," meaning everything around him for about ten square feet within walking distance of the swamp. He tells Hadji to go "stand over there" so he can take his picture. Where "over there" is, we aren't told. This won't end well. As Hadji heads off thattaway, the lizardman pops out of the water and begins dragging off the jetski, with Bandit snoozing inside it. Neither Jonny nor Hadji notices despite the fact lizard-guy growls up a storm.

We then see that "over there" is some random tree. Told to say cheese, Hadji says in India they say ganges (?). Since Hadji is facing the river you'd think he'd notice the huge reptile person dragging their boat away, but naw, he doesn't. What he does notice is a big purple tyrannosaurus rex with wings which comes tromping out of the jungle. And, yes, these wings are totally superfluous. The rex will never take to flight. The lizardman sees it, too, and stops trying to drag the jetski away. Bandit, waking up, despite his earlier terror at the far smaller bronto-dactyl, begins barking at this fifty-foot monstrosity.

The biggest argument against evolution.

Now, the manner in which the T-rex appeared suggested he was less than ten feet away from the boys, but of course, once they realize the jetski is "drifting away" (they still don't notice the lizardman, who by the way wisely retreats here), their attacker has magically been teleported farther away from them. Hadji solves the problem of the runaway boat by waving his arms and shouting, "Sim-sim sala-bim!" This causes a rope on the front to uncoil and fly over to him and Jonny, and they pull the jetski to them while the T-rex slooooooooooowly waddles towards them.

"I have only one trick but I'm going to use it!"

They pull, the T-rex walks towards them, they pull some more, and the T-rex is now even farther away than before amazingly. Wow. In the time it's taking these kids to lug their boat over, the dinosaur could've eaten them five times already. Finally Jonny shows some concern for their well-being and they jump aboard and shoot off just as the dinosaur's jaws snap at them. Saved by crappy recycled animation!

As they head off Hadji says, "We've got to tell the others!" Tell them what? That there's mutant dinosaurs? I think you know that they already know that.

Speaking of whom, we cut to the captured Dr. Quest and Race being driven to who-knows-where in their own swamp buggy. I guess whatever vehicle made those tire tracks they found earlier broke down, forcing the bad guys to take the Quest-buggy. That or the Quest-buggy handles better. Dr. Quest asks where they're being taken, and Simon says it's to "a reunion of sorts" with Dr. Phorbus. Quest recognizes the name. "Phorbus? The biochemist?" His work seems more akin to something a geneticist would do, but whatever.

Weird animation choice here too as only Simon's hair is blowing in the wind as they drive along. Quest, Race and Patch must use good hairgel since their hair is staying put. Despite the fact Simon is turned around in his seat facing them, Race manages to press a button on his belt buckle which starts flashing, and the bad guys are none the wiser. Also, this goes against the earlier scene where the device was on the side of Race's belt, not the buckle.

"I am SO jealous of your hair! It always stays in place!"

Back to Jonny and Hadji, where the jetski is so poorly animated it appears to move sideways through the water. Also now suddenly they aren't in a swamp but a huge lake. They pick up Race's signal. Realizing they're going in the wrong direction they turn and begin following the blinking orange dot representing Race's belt buckle. More comedy is mined from poor Bandit being afraid as he clings to the seat with his claws like a cat.

Now we finally get to see the villains' base. It's a big conical structure with bent "legs" holding it off the ground and looks like Stromberg's submersible base Atlantis from The Spy Who Loved Me. No sign of any water near it, so I guess there's an underwater tunnel that the lizardman uses to come and go.

Everyone is standing outside. I'm unsure why. Even though a later scene establishes the base is protected from the dinosaurs by a forcefield, this seems odd to have the first staredown with the villain basically occur on his front porch. Dr. Quest does the old "So you're up to your old tricks!" routine, prompting a defensive Dr. Phorbus to correct him: "My hybrid experiments are not tricks!"

Weird glitch here. The animators wanted to put shadows under the chins of the characters, but the shadows are "detached" from the necks, making it seem as if everybody suddenly sprouted pointy black beards. It stands out because it's the only part of the characters the animators bothered to give shadows to in this scene.

"Any of you got a razor? My beard has spontaneously grown again..."

Phorbus wants to show Quest the results of his experiments, and Race rightly points out they already have. Quest isn't concerned about this loony's gobbledygook. He only wants to know if Jonny and Hadji are okay. Proving to put more stock in the intelligence of children than I do, Phorbus says they will be if they have enough sense to stay aboard the jet like Quest told them to. "Otherwise," Patch adds darkly, "they're reptile meat!"
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2010, 01:51:45 PM »

I think I'll read the rest of this here, rather than at the agonybooth.  Too much hate over there.

Kneel before Dr. Hell, the ruler of this world!
The King of Koosh!
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Must have caffeine...

« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2010, 06:22:28 PM »

Yeah, the thread has gotten slightly derailed, hasn't it?  Buggedout


Indeed Dr. Phorbus' faith in children's obedience was sorely misplaced, but we knew that already. Jonny and Hadji are still en route to rescue the grown-ups, when the lizardman pops out of the water in front of them. I had originally wondered how he got ahead of them, but then I remembered they turned around and went back the way they came. Jonny swerves to avoiding hitting him (although he only even noticed him due to Hadji), and lizard-boy grabs the jetski with one hand and this is sufficient enough to prevent it from zipping off.

The ever-helpful Hadji, sprawled on the front of the vehicle for some reason (did the lizard grabbing it pitch him forward? If so, why didn't they show it?) yells, "Jonny, it's got us!" Thanks, I think Jonny realizes that now. After a fadeout to commercials, the episode returns and now suddenly the lizardman needs both hands to hold onto the jetski. And now Hadji is back in his seat again.

Jonny asks Hadji if he has "any more tricks up your sleeve." Before Hadji can whip up a miracle, though, the lizardman grabs Jonny and yanks him out of the vehicle... which, now that the lizardman has released it, should go flying off uncontrollably given how much Jonny was putting the pedal to the metal.

"Welcome to the food chain, kid!"

Jonny is certain that he's lunch meat, but then the beacon on the lizard-guy's chest strap starts beeping. In a cute bit, he actually looks annoyed at being called back to base before he can finish the kids off. Throwing Jonny down, he turns and leaves, shooting an angry glance over his shoulder, as if to say, "Next time, kid, you ain't gonna be so lucky!"

Yeah, goodbye, tailbone!

It is only after the lizardman is gone that Bandit begins barking ferociously. Useless mutt. Jonny had landed on the side of the jetski when the lizardman dropped him (ass-first; he should've cracked his tailbone!), but after it cuts to a wide shot of the vehicle he's suddenly in his seat again. Hadji asks what made lizard-guy change his mind, and Jonny opines that the beacon might be a signal of some sort.

Back at Notlantis, Phorbus is giving the captive Dr. Quest and Race the grand tour of his laboratory. Specifically, how he created the dinosaurs. "See," he wheezes, "I clone them directly from the cells of fossilized dinosaur bones!" Wow. I wouldn't have thought a biochemist could Fail Biology Forever. So saying, holds up what looks like a human thigh bone for emphasis. It was just sitting on a random console, seeming to serve little purpose other than to be picked up by Phorbus in this one scene. Nice of him to keep visual aids handy for when he gloats over his visitors.

"All right, science! Bend over!!"

He shrieks that he "created life! Creatures dead millions of years!" Still no mention of why he felt the need to so horribly mismatch their body parts, though.

And it is here that I realize Dr. Quest and Race are no longer tied up. Good grief, these villains are stupid. Quest asks if "certain foreign interests" paid for those secrets, and Phorbus confirms that they did. But not for mixed up dinosaurs, mind you. Instead, they're interested in his super-special mega-awesome ultimate creation! Cue the lizardman to rise out of his pool (a reused shot from earlier). Phorbus calls him "my Reptilian," and says he's half human, half dinosaur. Funny, he looks more like a really mean iguana.

The way he explains it is a riot. "The result of my combing dinosaur and human bones in my cloning process." I know genetics was still iffy in these days but would it have killed them to say DNA? I wasn't aware that the building blocks of life were contained in bones. Wouldn't cloning just bones just give you... more bones?

Race avers that "lizard-lips" attacked the radar installation, which Simon confirms, adding that he is the first dino-soldier of many to be created. "Those same foreign interests would pay a fortune for an army of such powerful creatures!" rasps Phorbus. Incidentally, these "foreign interests" will be mentioned off and on throughout this series, and never identified by name. Clearly they meant the Soviets, though.

Phorbus flips a switch and several glass cases open up in the wall revealing clones of the lizardman. But they're not "alive," yet, as Phorbus says he'll shortly be bringing them to life. So, wait, he clones them fully grown and dead? How does that work?

Quest calls him a madman, prompting Simon to threaten him with the hot glue gun. Race suddenly makes his move and kicks the weapon out of Simon's hand. Then he lifts the guy off his feet and throws him across the room as if he were light as a pillow. Race, when did you get super-strength? This little escape attempt is quickly nipped in the bud, though, as Phorbus instructs the lizardman (now suddenly standing on a big pedestal) to stop him.

"Whee, higher!"

All of a sudden Race is lying on the floor trying to reach for the hot glue gun. When did he get knocked down? I guess his burst of super-strength suddenly left him. The lizardman grabs him by the ankle with his tail and swings him around some before finally leaving him dangling. And all throughout this, Quest hasn't done a dang thing. Phorbus approaches the upside-down Race and basically calls him an idiot.

"No, Mr. Bannon, I will not re-enact that scene from Spider-Man with you!"

Meanwhile the swamp comes to an end forcing Jonny and Hadji to beach the jetski. Hadji then goes and sticks his hand in a sort of indentation on the back of the vessel and pulls, removing a smallish-looking thing that unfolds into a motorcycle. "Time for the dirt-wheelers!" It's a shame there was never a toy series for this show. 'Cause thus sure feels like a commercial for a bunch of toys kids couldn't buy.

And now suddenly I realize the dirt-wheelers are essentially glorified unicycles. They have one wheel apiece but the rider sits bent forward like on a dirtbike. Bandit hops onto the back of Jonny's bike and must have super-glue on his paws as he just sort of sits there as they rocket off. Meanwhile I'm wondering, is there a point to this? Jonny said that Race's signal was coming from "dead ahead," which usually means really close. So why can't they freaking walk? Why ride on these noisy motorcycles, running the risk of attracting attention? Dumb kids.

Jonny Quest figure sold separately.

Hadji says he hopes they find the adults soon, and Jonny is like, "Yeah, there sure are a lot of restless reptiles around!" All of whom can hear, so your noisy toys aren't too advisable, kiddo. After some scenery porn they arrive at the perimeter of Notlantis and we finally get to see the aforementioned forcefield, which is essentially a ring of closely-spaced together yellow energy bars surrounding the base. They appear to be coming right out of the ground.

Nearby, they see Simon and Patch having tied Race to a stake outside the forcefield. Off in the distance they hear Frank Welker screaming--er, I mean, the T-rex roaring, and Simon says he can smell a meal from miles away. Making a few token useless struggles, Race snarls, "Maybe he smells a coupla rats, too!" This fails to impress the evildoers, as Patch says, "But you're staying, the rats are leaving!" With that, they turn and go back through the forcefield and are gone.

Shooting over on the dirtbikes, Jonny and Hadji hurry over and try to untie Race before his "dinner guest" arrives. Despite Hadji's assurances that they'll have him untied "in no time," they've barely begun working before the T-rex appears, making a huge fuss over three tiny humans. Shouldn't he want to eat some of the larger dinosaurs? More meat. I guess he prefers bitesize. "My guest is early!" Race quips.

The kids continue trying to untie Race but it's no use. I guess Dr. Phorbus' henchmen tie some mean knots. Race rather sensibly tells the boys to run and save themselves, but Jonny won't have any of that. He jumps back on his bike and drives at the approaching dinosaur. What exactly he hopes to accomplish I can't say. He says he can "slow 'im down." How? Giving him something besides Race to chew on?

He taunts the rex, calling him "bigmouth" and essentially doing everything but going nanny-nanny boo-boo. The dinosaur responds to this by b***hslapping Jonny with his tail, sending him and his stupid little motor scooter flying. Jonny crashlands entirely offscreen, mostly since there's no way to realistically depict a child surviving that kind of landing. Sure enough when it cuts to Jonny after the off-camera impact he's fine, just slightly dazed.

As Hadji and the still tied up Race watch in horror, the T-rex stomps towards him. But Jonny pulls out his camera and takes the beast's picture, temporarily blinding him with the flash. Hadji finally undoes those expert knots and gets Race loose, and then the three of them beat feet behind the forcefield. Trying to follow them, the T-rex is electrocuted quite violently upon touching the yellow energy bars. Ouch.

Next time: the thrilling conclusion! Whether I can squeeze it into one post or not!
The King of Koosh!
Bad Movie Lover

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Must have caffeine...

« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2010, 01:51:22 PM »

Back at Notlantis, Dr. Quest is being held by the lizardman who has his tail coiled around him as Dr. Phorbus is explaining how he has to kill Quest since he can't take the chance of General Man-Lady sending a search party to the island. You mean the island no one else has found so far and isn't on any of the charts, Doctor? And if you intended to kill Quest why didn't you tie him up with Race outside to get eaten by the T-rex?

"We're getting married and you can't stop is!"

I had thought Phorbus intended to force Quest to assist him in his work, but on closer inspection, the lizardman is already complete and Phorbus has but to bring the clones to life. So why he needed to keep Quest alive for ten minutes longer than Race is beyond me. Anyway Simon says that Quester-1 will "meet with an accident," namely crashlanding in the ocean. I guess they plan to find and kill the kids and put the bodies on the jet. But what about Race? Don't they need his body too? Then why send him out to get eaten? Clearly Dr. Phorbus didn't think this through.

The lights suddenly go out, and Patch runs in holding an axe, telling Phorbus someone has sabotaged the generator. Simon says it couldn't have been Bannon, but none of them entertains the thought it could've been the kids. Outside, we see that cutting off the power shuts off the forcefield, allowing the T-rex to just waltz on in. You mean to tell me that the only thing keeping the man-eating mutant dinosaurs from attacking the base doesn't have an emergency backup power?

Jonny, Hadji and Race are hiding behind one of the "legs" supporting the building and Race says aloud, "There's gotta be a way to rescue Dr. Quest!" Apparently they didn't think this through. Seems to be a recurring problem on this island. Wait a second, they're still outside? So the super-important generator keeping the forcefield going was outside where anyone can get to it? And nobody was guarding it? Ordinarily I find myself rooting for the bad guys, but when they get this stupid, they deserve to be killed.

Whatever rescue plan our intrepid trio had cooked up goes down the gutter when the T-rex arrives. They act surprised by this. What did they think was going to happen? They knew the T-rex was waiting outside. And if they didn't want the T-rex getting in, why cut the power? Did they just not know the forcefield would shut off? Gah!

Patch spots the T-rex and Phorbus screeches for Simon to get the hot glue gun, but wouldn't you know it, he can't find it! For some reason the lizardman releases Dr. Quest and he runs outside and finds Jonny, Hadji and Race all piled into the swamp buggy. So they were just waiting there, hoping he'd get free by himself and come to them. Brilliant. Meanwhile, the lizardman goes to the window and begins throwing a tantrum at the T-rex. And in a weird bit of editing the window when looking in is waist-high to lizard-guy, but looking out, it's floor-to-ceiling. He smashes the window with his tail and jumps onto the T-rex's head and wrestles with him.

WWDW: Worldwide Dino Wrestling!

Simon finally finds the hot glue gun, but too late, as the T-rex, trying to shake the lizardman loose, knocks up against the side of the building. Apparently Phorbus hired shoddy construction workers since the entire ceiling comes down and buries him, Simon and Patch. Then the place explodes (!) as the swamp buggy speeds off. And in the wide shot of Notlantis going kaboom, the T-rex is suddenly no longer there. Watching the explosion, Jonny and Hadji wonder if Dr. Phorbus managed to get out in time, and Quest says he hopes so. Why? He tried to kill you!

Cut to later as our heroes are leaving in Quester-1. They did a flyover of Notlantis and couldn't find Phorbus so apparently this means he's dead. Quest laments his loss since despite being a homicidal loony he was a brilliant scientist, yadda, yadda, yadda. Bandit who I just realized was absent from all of the above action, goes to the window and barks at something, and they look down to see the lizardman watching them fly off. I guess he showed that T-rex a thing or two. He angrily shakes his fists at them. Guess he's mad they got his creator killed.

Bandit barks at him s'more until Hadji tells him the lizardman can fly (!). Now that's just mean. They fly out through the cloud bank masking the island from view and discuss how it will hide a "mad scientist's mad dream." The last we see of the lizardman is him glowering at the departing jet. I guess this means he'll just live there in harmony or something.

I have no real parting thoughts. Not that Peril of the Reptilian really deserves any deeper discussion. This episode was really goofy. I like it on its own merits, as my childhood love of dinosaurs and mad science prevents me from hating it no matter how stupid it is.
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 02:10:50 PM »

Thanks for the review, Kooshmeister. Even though reading it, reminds me how they took something that was eminently watchable and made it unwatchable.

As for the original . . .

Yes, it was "racist." Though, I don't think they made it out to be deliberately racist. I think we are just more sensitivie as to how racial minorities are depicted in films and on TV.

And yes, it was violent. If it wasn't the most violent TV program I ever saw,  it certainly was one of the most violent. Even before the first season was over, they were editing some of the episodes for their violent content.

But, what did the original have. Great villains. Some of the best villains I've ever see on TV. While I can't remember what most of them were up to, I do remember they did seem to be worldwide.

I believe the electrical monster has already been mentioned, but there was also the villains in . . .

the Andes. The German WWI flying ace, who wanted to add one more kill to his record.

French Canada: the villains who were trying to scare everybody away with the story of the loup garou.

Hong Kong: the villains with the secret nerve gas factory

India: where--supposedly--we first met Hadji.

the Sargasso Sea: the villains who wanted to shoot down the first manned mission to Mars.

And then there was that Nazi war criminal who was hiding out with the Troglodytes.

It was a good show, and I enjoyed watching it.

It does look like we'll be getting something for 2012, as there is a film in pre-production with the title of "Jonny Quest."

Anyway, looking forward to the rest of your review Kooshemeister. And thank-you agai n.

The King of Koosh!
Bad Movie Lover

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Must have caffeine...

« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2010, 05:35:44 AM »

I have no issue with the characters in this episode. Dr. Phorbus and the lizardman are fine villains in my opinion. Well, except for G.I. Joe reject Patch. The choice of villains and the overall premise of cloning mutant mismatched dinosaurs is fine. My problem is the subpar animation and the writing.

However I'll take this series over The Real Adventures anyday. Apart from a couple of episodes, it always struck me as just being pretty ho-hum. Whatever else is wrong with it, this one uses the classic character designs and fits into the 60's series' continuity quite nicely. Or it would if it had better animation and some more thought into the individual stories' scripts.

Peril of the Reptilian is, for all my complaining, the best episode of the 80's series. It feels the most like the original show, has reasonably down-to-Earth villains (compared to the likes of Zartan and Skyborg anyway, who came later, Dr. Phorbus is a totally believable villain), a pretty basic premise that isn't too outlandish, and overall isn't very objectionable. In fact for years as a kid I thought Peril of the Reptilian was a classic 60's Jonny Quest episode and was puzzled when I could never find it.

So for all my slamming on it here, it's the least objectionable of the bunch. The Monolith Man and Scourge of Skyborg are more deserving of scorn. Those two and Creeping Unknown are, I believe, the only other episodes from this series I may tackle. Monolith Man and Scourge of Skyborg because they're so monumentally idiotic, and Creeping Unknown just because I like its premise (like Peril of the Reptilian, it's fairly harmless hokum).
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