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February 15, 1978 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-02-15

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, February 15, 1978-Page'g

'Fantasy Island


Mii diess fairy tale
EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT escapism on TV, but no one does anything
about it - except ABC, which puts on more and more. It started with
the type of shoxw an NBC executive labeled "kidvid" - shows like "The Six
Million Dollar Man" and "Laverne and Shirley." These aren't particularly
well written or well acted, but certainly don't represent the worst on TV, and
would have to try very hard to offend anyone.
Escapism took a more ominous turn with. the success of a mindless
romance anthology called "The Love Boat." On this show people board a
luxury liner, fall in love, have hilarious adventures using ex-wives, old
flames and misunderstandings as props, and eventually live happily ever af-
ter. The show itself isn't ominous; the fact that it's one of the biggest hits of
the season is.
To cash in on."The Love Boat" success, ABC constructed a similar show
and aired it directly afterwards on Saturday night.
It's called "Fantasy Island," and this time various guest stars board an
island where Ricardo Montalban grants their fondest wishes, which usually
include, romance, adventure and suspense, in one form or other, guaranteed
to be resolved within the hour.
ON THE SURFACE, 'the fantasies are as shallow as the romances on
"The Love Boat." On one show, two poor working girls and a magician
travel to Fantasy Island. They're greeted by, Montalban and his midget
sidekick. The two girls want to spend one day posing as rich heiresses. The
magician wants to pull off the ultimate escape.
Here's where the gimmick comes in: the fantasies the people are given
aren't the ones they expect. "Fantasy Island" turns into "Nightmare
Island" as the characters discover they aren't in control. The two girls find
out, Cinderella fashion, they'll be revealed for what they really are at mid-
night. The magician finds out that if he doesn't succeed in escaping from the
prison he's been put in, he'll have to stay there forever.
Not to worry, however. Everything turns out happily in the end; not the
way the characters expected, but in a way all too obvious to us. One girl finds
a millionaire who loves her for herself, not for her money. The other finds out
that the millionare she fell for is really - and I shudder as I write this - a
phony just like her. They go off to Mexico to build a clinic for poor Indians.
The magician doesn't make the escape alone. It's within his grasp when he
turns back to rescue another magician who lost his nerve.
Underneath these superficial fantasies lie the true ones; the ones that
give "Fantasy Island" its atmosphere of creeping perversion. Contrasted
with the two girls' simpering hopes of true love is the leering advances of the
dwarf. The magician may learn the value of friendship, but not until the
television viewers are titillated by the scarred and deformed face of the
prison warden.
There's nothing wrong with a little escapism, as long as some sort of in-'
telligence is connected with it. A clever line or two in "The Love Boat" could
redeem it.
But, too much intelligence leads to shrewd manipulation of the baser
longing in the viewer - and that's why someone should do something about

'One an
THERE'S AN OLD show business
adage that says that it is impos-
sible to make the jump from television
stardom to silver screen fame. Many
have tried - Dick Van Dyke, Andy
Griffith, James Garner, to name a few
- but their attempts met with little or
no success (who remembers Griffith's
Angel in My Pocket, Van Dyke',s The
Comic, or Garner's A Man Called
Sledge?) The merits of these films are
certainly debatable; whatever their
virtues, these films sent their stars
scurrying back to the warmer, more
familiar ground of the small screen.
The seventies, however, have wit-
nessed the rise of two young superstars
whose popularity is so immense, their
following so devotedly intense that
they've not only made a successful
jump to motion pictures, but have been
able to balance both mediums with an
impressive dexterity.
Of course I'm speaking of John
Travolta and Henry Winkler. The for-
mer, after making his mark as Vinnie
Barbarino on TV's Welcome Back, Kot-
ter, entered into another strata of star-
dom as the troubled disco dancer in
Saturday Night Fever. Winkler, after
several years of playing The Fonz on
"Happy Days," a recently appeared
as the slightly crazy Vietnam War
veteran in Heroes y
THE FACT that these films, like their
characters, have a plethora of
problems hasn't stopped them from
making barrelsfull of money-Fever is
running a close second to Close Encoun-
ters, while Heroes has become one of
the top five money-making films of

Although one film does not make a
movie career, it is apparent that these
two have made it in filmdom. Travolta
will soon be appearing in the big-budget
fifties extravaganza, Grease, while
Winkler can now be seen in Carl
Reiner's The One and Only.
The One and Only is a comedy about
one Andy Schmidt (Winkler) whose
desire for stardom is matched only by
his inflated ego. Andy thinks - knows
- he is the greatest; the problem is that
he's got to convince the world of this.
He begins this task by wooing Kim
Darby - a girl from a nice middle-class
family. In a zany courtship, our hero
(always the showman) even tries to win
Ms. Darby over by singing "Getting to
Know You" while the two are eating in
a plush restaurant, much to the
amusement of the other patrons and the
embarrassment of the poor girl.:
INDEED, ANDY'S whole life
revolves around attempts at getting
people to know him: he plays football so
that he is able to fake an injury ("just
another performance," says he) and
isn't above sabotaging his class play in
order to strangle a few laughs from the
Despite all this, the girl marries him
(because "I'm too embarrassed to have
you for a date," says the much put-upon
wife) and they head for the Big Apple
and "inevitable" stardom. What he fin-
ds, of course, is inevitable failure and
frustration, that is until he takes up
with a midget who's a part-time
wrestler and full-time womanizer
(Herve Vallechieze) and his acid-
tongued promoter (Gene Saks). Andy
finally finds his niche, an occupation
where his ego can be turned loose to an'
adoring and insatiable public. He
becomes a professional wrestler.
makes it clear that he doesn't like to
make things easy for himself: Andy
Schmidt is such an egomaniac that to
make him likable requires more than
talent; it requires an unqualified ap-
preciation of Henry Winkler. If Winkler
does something for you, then Andy
probably becomes an adorable, if
slightly crazy, personage. If one is not a
Winkler fan then Andy becomes an ob-
noxious egotist, a two-dimensional car-

a bland.

Steve Gordon's script and Carl Reiner's
direction. Ms. Darby's role is certainly
not a challenging one - and neither is
her performance; she fills her role like
cement fills a hole. On the other hand,
Saks, a director of stage and screen
when not acting, injects in his brief role
a warmth and character that breathes
life into a film which often finds itself
sinking under a wave of Winkler
cuteness. Vallechiez, (whom you might
remember as the assistant in the James
Bonder The Man With the Golden Gun)
too, brings humanity to his role; his
growing relationship with Andy
provides the film's high points.
Unfortunately, scripter Steve Gordon
and director Carl Reiner fail to take
this relationship as far as it could have
gone. The rapidly escalating tensions
between Andy and his wife are the
product of his friendship with "freaks"
(the midget and the wiseacre
promoter); she cannot come to terms
with this part of Andy's "craziness".
What could have become a meaningful
- while still humorous (the link bet-
ween tragedy and comedy is a close
one) sequence of events, ends up totally
unresolved in an ending that is much
less than it could have been. It's' a
shame because The One and Only has
an inherent warmth which, alas, is
desperately in need of an author.

Henry Winkler

dboard cutout with the biggest ego this
side of Muhammed Ali.
I find myself in between these two
factions; Winkler has some good
moments, some bad. In short his per-
formance, ostensibly central to the
film, becomes neither here nor there.
Subsequently greater weight is thrown
on the other performers - Kim Darby,
Gene Saks, and Herve Vallecheiz - and

/" I L', I I L1A LTE'I AiAi 1
MON. thru SAT. 10 A.M. ti I1:36 P.M. SUN. & HOLS. 12 Noon til 1:30 P.M.
Monday-Saturday 1:30-5:00, Admission $2.50 Adult and Students
Sundays and Holidays 1:30 to Close, $3.50 Adults, $2.50 Students
Sunday-Thursday Evenings Student & Senior Citizen Discounts
Children 12 And Under, Admissions $1.25

1. Tickets sold no sooner than 30 minutes
prior to showtime.
2. No tickets sold later than 15 minutes
after showtime.


'Gonzo' b
fect title for a live album by Ted
Nugent. He is the ultimate player in the
field of gonzo rock and rollers, blasting
balls out, no holds barred destructo
heavy metal music with a famed
maniacial energy.
It used to be that the name Nugent
was synonymous with feedback. With
the Amboy Dukes, Nugent was one of
the prime purveyors of this harmonic
creation of modern amplification
systems. He manipulated his hollow-
bodied Gibson Byrdland and Fender
amp stacks to produce a wide variety of
aural-effects while retaining a degree of
control where lessers would fail to
manage the awesome acoustical
capabilities of the equipment. Nugent's
first live album, Survival of the Fittest
recorded in 1970 at the Eastowns
Theater in Detroit, is filled with his


lts out fier
However, Nugent is still inventing
exciting guitar lines. His lead work is
really showcased in the longer versions
of "Stranglehold" and "Stormtrop-
pin' "; his solos sizzle with almost blin-
ding speed and intensity as he literally
attacks the guitar. Nugent is (and
always has been) one of rock's fastest
and most aggressive guitarists, and the
leads found in Double Live Gonzo sub-
stantiate this claim.
THE SOCIAL phenomenon that is a
Ted Nugent concert is definitely cap-
tured on this live set. Double Live Gon-
zo was recorded, for the most part, in
the summers of '76 and '77 down in
Texas (other locations are Nashville
and Seattle). The Lone Star State's rock
audiences and their penchant for beer
drinkin' and hell raisin' perfectly suits
the mood of Nugent's loud and rowdy
music. Nugent's stage (and also off-
stage), personna as the MVotor City


Madman and Wild Game Hunter comes
through in his song introductions. At
one point, he exhorts a crowd by saying
"I know there is no one out there who
wants to be mellow" and they
respond with primal screams and a
barrage of fireworks. This is typical
fare for a Nugent show and both the
performer and his audience love it.
The album cover shows Nugent on his
knees covering his ears, apparently at a
moment when the sound decibels
reached the threshhold of pain. His
concerts are loud enough not only to
cause permanent hearing loss, but can
render an unprotected cerebrum tem-
porarily unable to -function as well.
Nugent's fans forego the possibility of
suffering bodily harm from his massive
P.A. system because they want their
rock and roll loud and kickass. And as
Double Live Gonzo proves, Nugent can
deliver it exactly in that manner.

-William Glover, Associated Press
.roS RWussel
X ame
broadway's smash hit comedy
bernard slade
FEB. 17, 8pm, 18 8pm, 19 2 & 8pm
1fA IN
SUN., FEB., 26, 2 &8pm

The Mouse and Her Child10:15
- -- --P91 --- Catch
Nell Simon 12:30
" 3:30
Richard Dreyfuss 6:45
Marsha Mason 9:00

Double Live Gonzo
Ted Nugent
Epic KE 35069

feedback techniques exploited almost
to an excess. But then everything
Nugent does is to excess.
Gradually the emphasis on feedback
gave way to a more riff-laden rock and
roll. The last. two albuns done by the
Amboy Dukes, Call df the Wild and
Tooth, Fang and Claw contain shorter
,songs;i with heavy metal rhythm lines
and extremely fast guitar leads. In
1975, he switched labels and
management and released a
powerhouse rock album simply entitled
Ted Nugent. It was a huge success,
thrusting his name back into the rock
arena. Free for All and Cat Scratch
Fever followed on the commercial coat-
tails of Ted Nugent and received exten-
sive FM airplay. Nugent heightened his
exposure by touring 250 days out of the
year, bringing his new music to his new
Nugent's current live set is a good
cross section of his recording career.
His early Amboy Dukes phase is
represented by the now classic "Baby
Please Don't Go", an old Big Joe
Williams' blues tune which received the
heavy metal treatment from Nugent.
"The Great White Buffalo," which
Ncontains what has to be the fastest riff
ever laid down on masters, and
"Hibernation", one of those ong
drawn-out acid trip jams, comes from
some of the Amboy Dukes earlier
material. Nugent's current bassist, Rob
Grange, was a member of that group
when the original was recorded in 1974.
17... At AtIfM l

Potentially the most important radio show
in Ann Arbor history:
Premieres TONIGHT at 10 PM!
on WRCN, Rockin' 650 (AM)
Special guest: DR. DIAG
"Carter's Crisis: Energy or Economic?"
Tues., Feb.21
8 p.m.-Rackham Aud.
$1.50 General Admission
Tickets now available in the Mich. Union
Co-sponsored by Geography Department
Professional Theatre Program's
Guest Artist Series Production
Wed., Feb. 15-7:30-11:00 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 16-3:00-5:00 p.m., 7:30-11:00 p.m.


Our new menu has some of the most savory reading around.
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take our words for it. Drop by, and try our new menu today.

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