…against the Vegetable Fairies
The Doclopedia #434
The Alphabet, Again: O is for…Orok The Unstoppable
On Earth 3, giant monster movies had a longer and more lucrative run than they did on our world. The 1972 release of “Orok the Unstoppable” is widely regarded as the pinnacle of the giant monster movie craze.
While the plot of the movie was no big departure from the standard “science creates enormous monster…monster destroys a city or two…monster finally gets killed (?)” formula, the acting, budget and special effects were way above the norm.
The movie starred Spencer Tracey as Dr. Lewis Hall, Sean Connery as Dr. Mark Powers, Natalie West as Judy Hall and Sterling Hayden as General Ted Roberts. The budget was an unheard of 5 million dollars and most of the special effects people went straight from that job to “Star Wars”.
Orok itself was a combination of man and dinosaur that, according to the movie, stood 100 feet tall and could spray caustic venom from its mouth. The creature was finally killed by using an x ray laser.
The film grossed $105 million dollars worldwide, which kept the studio, MGM, from bankruptcy. A sequel was planned, but due to legal problems was never made. After “Star Wars” came out in 1977, the interest in giant monster movies died out until the revival of the craze in 2005 with the release of the big budget remake of “The Amazing Colossal Man”. In late 2010, Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg announced that they would film a remake of “Orok The Unstoppable” starting in the spring of 2012. Rumor has it that Harrison Ford will play Dr. Lewis Hall.
The Doclopedia #435
The Alphabet, Again: O is for…Ookie Monkey
In two of the worlds where humans and toons coexist, Ookie the Monkey is a big movie star. Accompanied by his two dimwitted pals, Hurky Hippo and Goober Gazelle, Ookie has misadventures in every place from Africa to the San Diego Zoo, usually involving their archenemy, Bwana Biff and his buddy, Artie Zobrowski. His films generally do quite well at the box office.
When not making movies, Ookie prefers to lead a quite life at home in Beverly Hills with his wife of 45 years, Nikki, and his children and grandchildren.
The Doclopedia #436
The Alphabet, Again: O is for…Olivia Durgan
Olivia Durgan was the real name of Lacey Lavender, also known as the Phantom Cowgirl, a legendary figure of the Old West.
Born in 1832 as the fifth child (and only daughter) of eight to a family of Irish immigrants in Boston, Olivia ran away from home at the age of 11. Determined to get as far away from the big city as possible, she made her way down to Kentucky a few months later, where she was taken in by a family that bred and trained horses. Showing a natural aptitude for dealing with animals, Olivia was soon helping train horses and dogs as well. At age 14, one of the many local boys smitten with the beautiful redhead taught her how to shoot both rifle and pistol. Add in the fact that for her first eleven years she had been fighting older and younger brothers and you had a young lady who could more than take care of herself.
When gold was discovered in California, Olivia decided to move on. After a tearful goodbye, she got on her horse, Opal, and followed by her dog, Grits, headed west. It was not an easy trip and rumor has it that she killed at least three men in self defense. Oddly, she was never bothered much by Native Americans, even those tribes that had little love for the white man. No explanation has ever been given for this, but a few native legends tell of a white woman who taught some tribes valuable lessons about fighting white soldiers.
By the time she arrived in Sacramento, in the spring of 1851, Olivia had become Lacey Lavender, a singer and poker player of some skill. She quickly found a job touring the mining camps and boomtowns with a group of actors. This lasted until the summer of 1852, at which time she took her money and several young women seeking a better life and bought a farm near Folsom, California. Soon after that, the Phantom Cowgirl made her first appearance when she stopped a rape in a mining camp. The would be rapist, a known troublemaker named Ben Culver, was found with his “raping tools” shot off by a single bullet. His victim was gone.
Over the next 25 years, the Phantom Cowgirl fought crime and injustice from the Mexican border in the south to Portland Oregon in the north and as far east as Denver. It is now believed that there was actually more than one Phantom Cowgirl, since several of her exploits took place too far apart for a normal horse to travel in the amount of time needed. This theory is given weight by the fact that Lacey married a rancher named Matt Jefferson in 1860 and moved onto his ranch outside Marysville, California. However, her own farm was then converted into a school for young women and more than a few of them had the skills to be the Phantom Cowgirl.