The Blue Lightning

The Blue Lightning

The Blue Lightning

CBS Movie of the Week

Originally broadcast May 7, 1986

**Contains spoilers**

Prior to watching the dreadful National Lampoon’s Movie Madness I had discovered that the TV movie The Blue Lightning from 1986 was given a proper DVD release earlier this year (2013). I had seen a few clips of Culp from this one on YouTube and, of course, loved the aviators, the Irish accent and the riding boots. I hoped to find the movie to see the whole thing some day.

I was very glad to find it on DVD and had watched it just before seeing the National Lampoon movie. To set things right in my world I figured to go back and wipe the memory of National Lampoon from my mind and take a look at The Blue Lightning again.

Besides, I needed to do some screen caps y’know…

The movie opens in Opal Ridge, Australia where Quinton McQueen is tied to a tree and is about to be left for dead by Lester McInally (Culp). (Lester’s last name, to note, is pronounced two different ways in this movie; the Australian pronunciation sounds like “McKinley” while the American way is like it’s spelled, Mac-In-Ally.)  Quinton pleads to not be left tied to the tree where the wild dogs would get to him and eat him alive. One of McInally’s thugs, Mr. Words, asks for McInally to show some mercy. After some thought, McInally agrees and as Mr. Words starts for the tree to untie McQueen, McInally pulls his gun and shoots McQueen, killing him. “There,” he says to Words, “we’ve saved him from the dingos…”

(Clip courtesy of FedKidCounselor)

Hell of an intro for Culp’s character! And he’s just as merciless through the rest of the movie.

Back in San Francisco, Harry Wingate (Sam Elliot), an adventurer, sailboat enthusaist umm…private investigator? I’m not sure exactly what Wingate’s profession is but he’s hired by Brutus Cathcart (Max Phipps) to do one of two things; retrieve a priceless opal or get back the $400,000 Brutus paid in attempt to buy the opal from McInally. McInally, a former IRA bomber who has been hiding from the British in Australia, runs a town called Opal Ridge and discovered the Blue Lightning opal himself. He initially put a price tag on it of $250,000 but kept upping the price on Cathcart, who, one might consider foolishly, kept paying.

Harry initially refuses the job unless he gets $100,000 plus expenses or 25% of the true value of the opal, whichever is greater but Cathcart only offers $80,000. Harry leaves Cathcart’s office but they must have worked something out because Wingate heads off to Australia, where he purchases a black market  .44 magnum upon arrival and then finds a rattlesnake in his hotel room.

Good thing he got the gun first because he uses it to cut the snake in half. He then dumps it outside his hotel room, just as a bride and groom are going by. (Hopefully that didn’t bode badly for their future together.)

Harry then meets with Kate McQueen (Rebecca Gilling), whose husband Quinton works for Brutus Cathcart and also had McInally as a client (tho’ I’m not sure at this point in the movie what exactly it is that Quinton did). Anyway, Harry talks Kate into going with him to Opal Ridge, more or less as insurance since he doesn’t know her or Quinton and thinks it’s possible she and her husband have the opal for themselves.

On the drive to Kate’s house, they pick up a tail. A couple of McInally’s boys try to run Harry off the road. Harry ends up running them off the road, but later at Kate’s house his car is rigged with a bomb. He discovers it in time before it blows up and he and Kate take off into the brush as the two hired guns come swooping in. Harry and Kate make their escape in a sky tram, exchanging gunfire with the baddies along the way.

On the other side of the valley they make their way to an airport to get a plane. The hired guns catch up and get themselves a plane too – and leave no witnesses.

The guns catch up in the air and manage to shoot a hole in Harry’s plane. Harry manages to get the plane down into some clouds to lose the guns and then down to the ground for a tough landing that busts the landing gear.

The hired guns keep looking to see where the plane went down. Harry and Kate catch their breath near a tree not far from the road they landed on. Unfortunately, a huge truck comes along and smashes their plane to pieces. The driver is horrified thinking he had killed someone. He finds Harry and Kate are fine just as the hired guns show up in their plane. Everybody jumps into the cab of the truck and they take off, with the plane chasing after them and shooting.

The movie is only about 30 minutes old at this point and it’s been all action. There’s little character development or even much background. We still know little to nothing about Harry Wingate and Kate McQueen apparently spent some time with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, but in what capacity we do not know. This is one of the things about the movie that irritates me.

Also, one can only guess how McInally knew that Wingate was coming and sent his two “best men” after him. Not that it did any good. Harry manages to nail not only the pilot of the plane but the fuselage with his .44 from the speeding truck. Pretty good marksman. The plane goes down in a fireball.

They continue on to Opal Ridge without incident and the truck driver drops them off. He wishes them luck in their going up against McInally, who is hated with a passion apparently all over Australia (and the British government couldn’t find him?). Opal Ridge, one should note, is a town out in the middle of nowhere in the Australian Outback. Think of the old west towns, add a little more color, some cars along with horses and a video arcade. Yer there.

In town, Harry’s plan is simple. He’s just gonna walk right into McInally’s home base of operations and say howdy. (I like how the roof of McInally’s Casino – and that’s exactly what it’s called McInally’s Casino, very original  – has a huge FOSTER’S LAGER written across it. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who remembers the Foster’s tv ads back in the 80s… “Fawstahs, Awwstraylian for Beeah!”)

Inside the casino/bar, the bartender, Mr. Words, is throwing somebody out (a fellow hood perhaps? He apparently brought the wrong supplies to the bar. Idiot.). Harry goes up to the bar and orders a beer. Whatever’s on tap. (Ya reckon it’s Fosters? Can’t miss the Fosters signs on the wall. Oh, and CASH ONLY – no credit. You stiffs.)

Mr. Words draws up the beer and then slops it on the bar at Harry. There’s a brief exchange over the price of the beer considering most of it ends up on the bar which leads to a fisticuff.

Down in his underground lair, McInally is watching everything on his close circuit TVs. He applauds as Harry gets the upper hand.

Harry grabs Mr. Words and uses him to go down in the hole. McInally, knowing he has a visitor coming, prepares with a push of a button to summon his boys and have a gun at the ready.

Down in the lair, there’s the exchange of words between Harry and McInally. Listening to Culp do the Irish accent is worth the price of admission here. And it’s not so much the accent. It’s that he’s so damn deadly sounding with it. (“If you’re going to go on, with your rudeness, then I guess I’m going to have to do something about you…”)

Eventually McInally tries to take an upper hand and kill Harry but doesn’t quite succeed (but does plant a bullet in Harry’s lung). Chaos erupts outside the casino where McInally’s boys are waiting as Kate takes their Chevy El Camino-like car and runs them all over. Harry escapes the casino, jumps in the car and they take off. McInally comes out as they disappear in a cloud of dust, giving them a few parting shots as they go. He vows another day and then turns around to his trashed town and starts laughing like a maniac.

(Clip courtesy of FedKidCounselor)

McInally is very disappointed in his boys for letting Wingate get away. One poor sap gets his hand/fingers twisted behind his back. This same sap says something about Mrs. McQueen that gets cut off by McInally and suggests something about the kind of relationship they may have had. I’m not sure. Another piece of the puzzle that’s missing in this thing.

A hundred miles away, Kate drives Harry to a ranch, a mission, that was started by her husband when he was a priest (we find out around this time that he left the priesthood and became a private detective. That’s quite a career change!) At the ranch, Harry is treated by a doctor and spends some time re-cooperating. At the mission he comes to know some of the aboriginal people. Quinton McQueen is revered by the aborigines and Harry asks their help in going after McInally. At this point nobody knows if Quinton is dead or alive and initially, Harry is told no…until the aborigines find Quinton’s body still tied to the tree where McInally left him.

As they prepare for their raid, two of McInally’s men are watching. But they never get to report back to McInally because they end up caught – and killed by Harry and some of the aborigines.

A couple of days later, they launch their attack at dawn. Kate drives the truck she and Harry are in straight through the front window of McInally’s casino. Harry jumps out, Kate backs the truck out and Harry shoots the hell out of the bar. Seriously. The jukebox, the slot machines, the liquor, the pool table, the piano… and a couple of McInally’s men along the way.

The aborigines, meanwhile, smoke out the rest of McInally’s men, who are in various areas of the underground hideout (which is an old mine). Harry starts to make his way to McInally’s “main office.”

Down below, McInally gives an order to a few of his men that they’re going to go out via the back shaft. One man decides he’s just getting the hell out. McInally does not tolerate disobedience or disloyalty and promptly shoots the man in the back as he flees.

McInally grabs his gun, his aviators and his opal and makes his exit.

The climatic cat and mouse shootout between Wingate and McInally is pretty good. The use of the old abandoned mine platform is great, although I hope everyone got their tetanus shots updated considering all the rust they were around. My only disappointment was in McInally’s end. Seriously, for being so merciless and conniving and cold and what not, Culp’s McInally deserved a blaze of glory finish. His dangling of the opal over the catwalk as he died (and grabbed by Wingate) I think could have been better sequenced.

Overall, not a bad film but as I noted earlier it was fairly heavy on action and had little on character background or development. Actually, this could have made an interesting pilot for a series, which would have allowed for more character development but Culp’s McInally would have had to stick around to be the “Wofat” to Sam Elliot’s “Steve McGarrett.” Very good use of locations, of course, Australia is a beautiful place on Earth.

Reviews at the time were about the same, though one reviewer made it clear that they could not stand Sam Elliott. I’ll admit he did little for me in this film but Newsday felt Elliott was “the most boring, unappealing actor since the days of Mr. Ed, the talking horse. He speaks in a low, monotonous growl, always looking immensely pleased with himself. His mustache is thick and scruffy, his manners atrocious. In the final shootout, you may prefer to root for Robert Culp.”

The Chicago-Sun Times couldn’t get enough of poking fun at the fact that Wingate carries this big-ass gun and can’t hit much with it. “…poor Elliott’s aim with a gun is almost comical. No, it is comical. Time after time, he fires countless rounds of bullets from “the most powerful handgun blah, blah, blah . . .” and rarely manages to inflict much damage beyond building up a callus on his trigger finger.” (I think I hear Frank Bogg’s in the background…  “What’s the matter, Harry? Need a bigger gun? Can’t hit nothin’?“)

As for Culp, the Sun-Times described his role as “played to the hilt” and that “in a relatively modest role, Culp seems to have the time of his life playing the thug McInally.”

The New York Times also noted Culp’s performance: “…although he appears in only a few scenes, Robert Culp is positively menacing as the clearly psychotic McInally.”

I don’t know if he had “the time of his life” playing the part, but I think he certainly had some fun with it.

One user submitted review on IMDB notes: “Sadly, despite all the heat and dust, Sam Elliott doesn’t get to do a shower scene even though, at about age 42, he’d still look good walking around with just a towel knotted around his waist.”

Big deal. Robert Culp, meanwhile, at about age 55 sports the well-fitted khaki’s very nicely, thank you…


Cast highlights…

Despite being called “the most boring, unappealing actor since the days of Mr. Ed, the talking horse” Sam Elliott has had a long and varied career and has appeared in such films as Road HouseGettysburgTombstone and The Big Lebowski. His beefcake status was achieved with the 1976 film Lifeguard.


Jack Davis, the only other American cast member, plays the leader of the aborigines (Jahrgadu) and forges a bond with Wingate. Jack began his acting career as a child, appearing in several of the Our Gang short films in the early 1920s before being sent off to military school by his brother-in-law, Harold Loyd. He would eventually become a well respected physician in the Los Angeles area but still continued to appear in various films and tv shows from the 1940s until his death in 1990.

The cast featured several well known and recognized Australian actors, including…

Rebecca Gilling. In an interview with “TV EYE” from February of 1995 she was asked about the film and although she said she had fun doing it she didn’t consider it a critical highlight of her career. She went on to say, “It was the first time I had been offered a role sight unseen or without interview. Lee Philips, the director, had been an actor in Hollywood in the fifties and sixties, and knew exactly how to communicate with the cast. The conditions were challenging as we were mostly in Broken Hill in the middle of summer. Sam Elliot was a very nice man but very serious as an actor. Robert Culp seemed to be extremely bland and disconnected from everything. He could never remember my name and I became ‘the girl’. I think he thought he was only doing this movie as a diversion, a visit to the antipodes. The only unusual episode during filming was a dispute between Sam and Robert over whose character should have the biggest gun in the shoot-out!”

John Meilon is the doctor that patches up Harry at the ranch. The same year as this movie, Meilon would be seen as Crocodile Dundee’s friend and mentor in the original Crocodile Dundee.




McInally’s “best men” were played by Michael Carmen (blonde) and Ray Meagher. Both Carmen and Meagher are veteran Australian actors who have appeared in many films and tv shows in Australia.




Although he only had one scene, Max Phipps’s Brutus Cathcart was memorable enough. Phipps career spanned theatre, film and television in Australia. He played Dr. Frank-n-Furter in the Australian production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and played “The Toadie” in the second Mad Max film (The Road Warrior) where he loses a few digits trying to catch a particularly sharp boomerang.


The abandoned mine where the final shootout takes place is known as “Browne’s Shaft,” part of Junction Mine, located just outside of the city of Broken Hill in Australia. The buildings still stand today, including the shaft building and storage tanks that are seen in the film. The area is now a historic site and is open to visitors, however, I suspect one can not go into the mine shaft building anymore.  The mine did not produce opals, however, but instead produced silver and other such metals.

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The Blue Lightning is available on DVD through

I’m a Hot Rod Baby!

Robert Culp in a car movie? Yes!!

Essentially The Dukes of Hazzard for the drag racing set, this made for tv movie originally was broadcast on May 25, 1979. Culp is TL Munn, root beer king and corrupt town boss, who’s looking to get in big with drag racing by sponsoring a major nationals event. Not only does he hope to cash in, he intends for his son to win the race, if not for this out of town kid who comes in (Gregg Henry).

This movie features some great hot rods and (now) classic cars, great drag racing, 50’s rock and roll music and Culp sporting some very wide shirt collars.

At least he only wears one gold chain and not ten of them.

Since I’m partial to Bill Maxwell and his grey suit, I actually dig Mr. Munn’s grey suit here…only because I think it’s the same grey suit!

Culp himself does not hot rod in this movie, but does drive a horrifically painted Caddy. Nonetheless, I enjoy this movie and have watched it several times (I’m a car nut anyway).

In this first clip, TL is trying to film a commercial for the Munn’s Root Beer Nationals but gets interrupted by the shenanigans of the hot rodders and rock n’ rollers.

Companion clip to the one above, out of towner Brian Addison (Greg Henry) does his part to stir up a little trouble and the rock n’ rollers are still doing their thing.   Fed up, Munn tells the disc jockey to get lost.

Later in the film, when all of Munn’s attempts at harassment don’t keep Brian from running in the races, TL basically tries to buy him off. That doesn’t work either.


NBC Movie of the Week, Originally aired May 21, 1977

**Contains spoilers**

One of the last gems I found on YouTube in the ‘08/’09 period was this tv pilot which I thoroughly enjoyed. As a more casual Star Trek fan I was also intrigued by the fact that this was created and written by Gene Roddenberry and it’s unfortunate it didn’t make into a series.

Robert Culp plays William Sebastian, a brilliant and well known criminologist who has been dabbling in and researching the occult. His theory is that the more heinous murders committed by humans that had no definable logic in motive must have been committed due to other more powerful and unseen forces. As a result of his flirtations with the dark side and backing out of a deal with the devil, he has just one minor problem: He has a hole in his heart, like a dagger or some object has been shoved through it.

A little healing black magic from his housekeeper, Lillith (Mrs. Gene Roddenberry – Majel Barrett), Sebastian is able to continue to live and walk around. But the spell does not offer a permanent fix. Sebastian has to find the doll that the object is impaled in.

He has been asked to look into a case in England at the request of Anitra Cyon (Ann Bell), who believes her brother, Geoffrey (James Villiers), is under the influence of evil supernatural forces which has contributed to his sudden and extensive wealth. In order to proceed with the case, Sebastian will need help from his former partner, Dr. “Hamm” Hamilton (Gig Young.) The movie opens with Hamm’s arrival at Sebastian’s home – having been requested there by telegram – and this great voice over to set the tone for the movie.

“I come here to meet a man I vowed never to see again. He was vain, arrogant, selfish, but his brilliance was still irresistible. He was also dangerous – never to me – but this evening began for both of us, a slide into horrors unimaginable, a descent into a corner of hell….”

Sebastian explains about the hole in his heart and asks for Hamm’s help with the case in England. Initially Hamm says no, after all, he has some issues of his own going on including a more than casual drinking habit and is facing an inquiry by the hospital he works for. He reconsiders after learning about Sebastian’s condition but suggests that Sebastian didn’t need a compulsive drinker as an assistant. The good doctor’s drinking habits, however, were corrected by Lilith.

As they talk, another visitor arrives: Anitra Cyon. The woman, however, is not who she appears to be. Sebastian becomes suspicious when she tells him that she’s changed her mind about having him investigate anything. He takes her into his study where she refuses to sit in a chair with a cross on it and after some talk she attempts to seduce Sebastian.

He kills the mood, if you will, with the Apocryphal Book of Tobit, pressing the open book against her and exposing her for what she is, a succubus. She literally goes up in smoke.

Hamm hears the screaming and the noise from the study and bursts in, only to be shoved back out by Sebastian. Hamm is incredulous, once Sebastian finally lets him into the study, as to what happened and who the woman was. Even further, he’s appalled by all the ancient art, religious artifacts and other “junk” as he puts it, that’s in the study. He shows genuine concern for Sebastian but also warns him, that if he’s harmed anyone with all this occult hullabaloo he would have him put away. Sebastian, to Hamm’s surprise, agrees.

They fly to England on the Cyon jet with Mitri Cyon (John Hurt). During the flight over Sebastian and Hamm talk about the supernatural. Hamm pretty much is a non-believer. Sebastian suggests the possibility that some of the most heinous murders (Charlie Manson, Richard Speck) may have been done at the force of the supernatural. As they talk, the jet begins to malfunction with loss of power, loss of engines and loss of radio transmission. Hamm attributes it to a malfunction, afterall it’s a man-made machine. Sebastian knows differently and the jet lurches and tosses about in the air even more when Sebastian starts rattling off the different names by culture for the devil. After a moment, the jet settles and resumes under normal power.

In London, Mitri stays behind at the airport to check on the plane and sends Sebastian and Hamm along with the Cyon car. Sebastian asks the driver, Sydna, to make a stop first, only to realize she was already headed in that direction.

The stop is at Merlin’s Mews and the library of Dr. Qualis, an expert in the occult. Sebastian had been in contact with Qualis regarding what was going on with the Cyons. When he and Hamm get there, they find the place on fire and they find Qualis dead inside. On the floor is a pentacle, which Qualis was trying to get to the center of at the time he died but didn’t make it. (The center of a pentacle is the safest place to be when facing demons). They find Qualis is clutching his journal just as a demon attempts to get into the room. Sebastian gets the doors shut and he and Hamm stand in the middle of the pentacle. The demon busts through the doors just before fire and police arrive. The demon disappears and a fireman is yelling at them to get the hell out of the building.

Outside, they’re greeted by Scotland Yard Inspector Cabell (Gordon Jackson) whom they’ve dealt with before. After a brief explanation of how they found Qualis, the Inspector drives Sebastian and Hamm to Cyon House.

During the drive over Cabell questions them, asks if they saw anything. They say they did not. Sebastian asks if the other murders (this is the first indication that there’s any pattern of murders that have occurred – unless I missed something earlier in the movie) have any connection to Geoffrey Cyon, business rivals or the like. The inspector admits that there is a connection, off the record. Cabell says that the Qualis killing, however, doesn’t fit the previous murders. Cabell then asks Sebastian if he has reason to believe that Geoffrey Cyon is behind any of the killings. Sebastian says he does not have any reason to believe so. Cabell looks relieved to which Sebastian adds that Cyon is quite close to several members of the Cabinet. Cabell answers that, “This is England. No one is above the law.”

They arrive at Cyon House which is the former Kentworth Abbey. Cyon spent millions redoing the place and it is no longer very “abbeyish” inside. Sebastian dismisses the inspector and he and Hamm approach the entrance. The moment Hamm uses the door knocker, Sebastian is hit with terrible chest pain. Sebastian describes the pain like “something being twisted. A physical movement…” It lasts for only a moment before it passes….and the door to Cyon House opens.

Inside, Hamm and Sebastian are welcomed to Cyon House which looks less like a stately English estate and more like a tacky gilded bordello. Much of the artwork and sculptures are sexually suggestive. The maids are all beautiful women who wear slinky dresses. As Hamm and Sebastian wait for Geoffrey Cyon they admire a more artistic rendition of Venus Reclining and then Sebastian notices a small ivory coffin box in a display case. He goes a little nuts, trying to find a way to open the case and then finally smashes the glass with his elbow. The coffin, which he thought contained the doll, or rather contained him, is empty.

They meet Geoffrey Cyon, a severe looking gent who looks like he might be a distant cousin to an American family known by the name of Adams. He’s aware of his sister’s request and there’s a discussion about payment. Geoffrey offers up the Venus Reclining painting, for which he paid some 200,000 pounds for. If they can confirm Anitra’s fears and suspicions they will receive the painting. If not, they get nothing. Geoffrey then has Sebastian and Hamm join him and his siblings for dinner.

At dinner they meet Anitra Cyon, for what seems like the second time. Hamm even asks her if she has any relatives living in the United States, which she replies she does not. (Hamm’s still not quite convinced of that whole succubus thing). During dinner Geoffrey speculates that the true reason for Anitra’s investigation is simply because she does not approve of his extravagant and open lifestyle. Nonetheless, he proposes a toast to Sebastian’s success. Before Sebastian takes a drink of his wine, the edge of the glass leaves a cut on his finger. He pours the contents of his glass out using his napkin as a sift and finds shards of glass. The “old crystal” is to blame for the shards and Sebastian, not missing a beat, takes Hamm’s drink and proposes a toast. He recites the verse (which is not in English) and then takes a drink of his wine. Everyone else’s glasses shatter.

Anitra demands an explanation. Before one can be given, the head mistress of Cyon house comes in to inform Geoffrey that they were having trouble with the main gate, that the sonic control seemed jammed. Sebastian explains that the high frequency waves simply caused the old glass to shatter. Still…it doesn’t explain why his glass didn’t shatter.

After dinner, Anitra speaks with Sebastian and Hamm privately. She asks if he believes what was in her letters. Anitra is a somewhat plain, stern looking woman who obviously does not approve of her brother’s lifestyle or of the buxom beauties who are the maids. She’s somewhat envious, she admits. Nonetheless, she truly believes there is something evil going on and she fears for both her brothers. She asks Sebastian that if he can’t stop whatever power it is that is doing these things, if he has to resort to killing everyone in Cyon house to do it, including her, that he should do so.

The request literally knocks him back in his chair but he nods meekly. Hamm figures this is a good time to excuse himself and Sebastian for the evening. Mitri comes in in time to escort them up to their rooms. At the top of the stairs, they pause for Sebastian to catch his breath. One of the maids walks by with an arm full of sheets and brushes against Hamm, pushing him against the railing…which gives away and nearly sends Hamm tumbling down into the fountain.

Their rooms are adjoining, and Hamm’s looks like a bordello (complete with pink satin sheets on the water bed, a heart shaped pillow and more sexually suggestive art. There’s even a leopard skin rug on the floor. But wait, it gets better…)

Hamm leaves the room to check on Sebastian next door, who has a more appropriate and stately decorated suite. Hamm checks on Sebastian’s vitals while he reads through Qualis’s journal. Sebastian also explains that his toast at dinner was to ward off evil spirit. Since the demon would only be present or possessing one of the Cyon siblings, all of the glasses shattered in order for “it” to not reveal itself.

Sebastian reads entries from Qualis’s journal. The excavation done at Cyon house three years earlier for a new wine cellar disturbed an ancient underground cavern known as Druid’s Firepit. Qualis’s greatest fear is realized when he learns that “A” has been freed, after being bound for more than 2000 years. Qualis can’t even write the demon’s name in the journal instead writing only the symbol he is known by. When Sebastian shows Hamm the page with the symbol on it and speaks the demon’s name, Asmodeus, Prince of Lechery Lord of Corruption, the wind suddenly picks up and the fire in the fire place grows larger. It lasts for only a moment and then dies down.

Hamm doesn’t buy that this is anything beyond coincidence. Even he speaks the demon’s name and nothing happens. Sebastian explains that it was a direct response to him.

We have a break in our evil supernatural spirits for some comic relief with Hamm, who’s room remember looks like a bordello. More or less because, it is a bordello. He awakens to find a girl in his bed who, with a push of a few buttons on a console brings up the colored lights and turns on the funky music. She then has Hamm make a selection which in turn brings in a dominatrix and a “school girl.” The dominatrix selects a whip from a hidden cabinet on the wall and gives it a crack. By this point Hamm is out of bed and grabs the whip from the dominatrix….and the door adjoining to Sebastian’s room suddenly opens.

“I’m sorry,” Sebastian says, “am I interrupting something?” Hamms sputters that the ladies were just leaving then he turns it around and says they had just gotten there. Either way, Sebastian shoos the ladies from the room. Hamm explains he’s been awake all of two minutes. Sebastian marvels at how much Hamm accomplished in two minutes. Heh!

Sebastian then shows Hamm the druid ring from the window explaining that it was that that had awoken him. After they dress, they go out to check it out. Hamm is sure he can hear either women screaming or animals howling, or both – just as two pit bulls come barreling over the stones and straight toward them.

The two remain still while the dogs are snarling at them before being called back by Geoffrey Cyon. When they say they thought they heard noises from the ring, he invites them to take a closer look. He then says how the wind makes odd noises with the stones sometimes and advises the two that they shouldn’t come out here again. The hounds could be dangerous.

Back inside Cyon house Sebastian and Hamm leave to meet with Inspector Cabell just as several high profile financial leaders are arriving for a meeting. When they get to New Scotland Yard, they find the Inspector is not there and is at Merlin’s Mews. Sebastian figures that Cabell has learned that Qualis kept a journal and is there looking for it. They drive on to Merlin’s Mews and turn the journal over to Cabell. Cabell isn’t much interested in any of the evil spirits bunk and is only interested in making sure that Geoffrey Cyon is not being implicated in any of the murders. Technically, he’s not being implicated, as Sebastian notes that Geoffrey was in other parts of the world at the time various murders occurred. But still there’s something amiss at Cyon House. Inspector Cabell isn’t much interested.

Back at Cyon House, Sebastian strolls through the main foyer and notices a piano and sheet music and starts to play the melody. He gets stuck on one particular note. Mitri shows up and shows how it’s played properly. They talk a bit, Sebastian wondering what the hell Mitri is doing flying a plane when he can compose and play music that is beautiful. He asks Mitri about Cyon business interests and how each of the siblings own a third of the share. Mitri points out though that Geoffrey is the financial wizard and he (Mitri) merely backs him up in terms of votes, which always out votes Anitra. Mitri speculates that this may be part of her wanting this investigation too. Mitri also marvels at how much his brother has accomplished and praises his abilities, just as Geoffrey walks into the room.

Geoffrey admonishes Mitri, however. He even goes so far as to slap him when Mitri admits that he wonders if Anitra is going mad. Mitri excuses himself and leaves the room. Geoffrey then extends an invitation of sorts to Sebastian, just as Anitra comes into the room. Just as she’s about to warn Sebastian about Geoffrey’s “obscene Hell Fire club” they hear noises coming from Mitri’s room.

By the time the police arrive, one of the hounds is howling its head off at something in the tree. The only witness to the attack on Mitri was the other dog, who was gored and thrown into the tree. Geoffrey has the ambulance that was called for cancelled as Dr. Hamilton was taking care of things. This is the only scene in the whole film where Culp’s character is seen wearing glasses. Not sure if this was a continuity error or if any other scenes where he wore the glasses might have been cut.

Inspector Cabell speaks briefly with Mitri, who saw nothing of his attacker and could not recall even if it might have been a man or an animal. Sebastian then talks to Cabell about how the disciples of Asmodeus are capable of great physical change. Cabell is still not buying much of it but does agree to Sebastian’s request that a constable be left on the grounds, in case the attacker (if it was such an outside force) returns.

Hamm returns as Cabell leaves. With a constable on the grounds, Sebastian figures Cyon will have to keep his dogs penned up so he and Hamm can take a closer look at the ruins. They prepare to go with a flash light and appropriate religious symbols. Hamm’s is nothing more than a simple Star of David on a key chain. Sebastian has a cross. A very old cross, blessed for more than 900 years. (“Why must you always have the best of everything, William?” Hamm asks, somewhat sardonically). Sebastian does note that it’s “good to be together again.”

They head out to the ruins and find their way in (but not before one of the boulders of the ruins nearly falls on Sebastian). They follow the tunnel where they find one of the maids dresses on the ground along the way. They find markings on rocks dating back to druid times and are nearly crushed under falling stones.

Finally, they find the “prison” Asmodeus was locked away in for 2000 years. They find half of the broken solid gold seal that had been on the doors. Inside the “black temple” they find a sacrificial alter that bears Asmodeus symbol. Sebastian unveils the 900 year old cross that he carries and places it on the alter, the power of which is felt through the temple and brings Sebastian to his knees.

After he tucks the cross into a crevice in the altar, he gets back to his feet with help from Hamm. Suddenly they hear the crazy laughter of a girl and turn to see one of the maids is hanging upside down on the wall. Hamm checks on her but she’s completely unaware that he and Sebastian are even there. A disciple shows up a moment later but doesn’t enter the temple due to the half seal that Sebastian had hung on a candle stand. The disciple leaves and then Sebastian is hit again with the twisting feeling in his chest. Hamm grabs hold of him and walks him out of the temple, Sebastian taking the gold seal with them.

Back in Sebastian’s room, he tells Hamm what will happen if they don’t stop Asmodeus. His physical condition, however, has weakened and Hamm will not allow him to travel to London for the items that he needs. So Sebastian tells Hamm that he has to go. The items include materials so they can melt down some of the gold from the seal to make a bullet, holy water from a baptism and communion wine, blessed by a bishop. Hamm figures getting some of these things will be impossible, as he puts it he’s not a witch from MacBeth. But he agrees to go, so long as Sebastian rests. Sebastian agrees. He also figures if Geoffrey Cyon is Asmodeus, they needed to figure out which human was his priest. The legend goes that the priest takes the form of a great cat. This would be the most dangerous of the disciples.

Hamm returns later to Cyon House to learn that Anitra has gone missing. This news apparently doesn’t faze either of her siblings as Geoffrey is carrying on with a planned party. When Hamm asks of any news from Geoffrey about Anitra, Geoffrey simply walks away. Mitri is even less upset, saying that whoever has her is probably in more trouble than they realize anyway, as Anitra “is always saying she’s the real tiger of the house.”

As the party goes on downstairs, Hamm and Sebastian are in Sebastian’s room preparing the golden bullet. Sebastian theorizes that Anitra’s disappearance might be permanent. Hamm mentions Mitri’s comment about Anitra being the “real tiger of the house.” Sebastian adds that it was Anitra, after all, who brought them there.

As the party rages on (and dissolves into an orgy) Sebastian and Hamm sneak back down through the wine cellar to the temple. When Sebastian attempts to load his golden bullet into his gun, he drops it and it rolls behind one of the massive doors. He and Hamm pry the door away from the wall where they find the other half of the golden seal in the mummified hands of Mitri. Asmodeus was never Geoffrey Cyon. It was Mitri all along. Sebastian finds his golden bullet and takes the other half of the seal.

Sebastian loads his gun when the sounds of chanting can be heard. He and Hamm go into the temple and hide in the shadows.

They watch as disciples arrive carrying Anitra and placing her on the altar. Asmodeus then arrives and Sebastian and Hamm watch in awe as Mitri commands Geoffrey to be his priest by taking Anitra, sexually. Geoffrey cannot bring himself to do it and offers instead her death and her death only. But even this he is unable to do.

Asmodeus figures he knows someone else who would be his priest and he calls out Sebastian. The disciples chant Sebastian’s name and one of them turns to face him – Inspector Cabell.

Asmodeus offers Sebastian his life, the removal of the object impaled in the doll if he will become the priest. The ivory coffin box is brought in and the object is removed from the doll. Sebastian’s hole in his chest and heart are healed.

He approaches Mitri, vowing to “obey my Lord.” He’s draped in a black and gold robe and he turns to Anitra who cries to him about his promise, to kill them all. He says nothing, opening his arms wide where one hand contains the bottle of holy water. He pours near the crevice where the cross had been tucked into earlier.

The power of the holy water and the cross flares up from the alter and chaos erupts in the temple as disciples scramble away from the altar. Hamm hands the other half of the gold seal to Sebastian who puts the two pieces together and holds it out to Asmodeus. Asmodeus screams for hellfire and he gets it, only not for Sebastian. Sebastian throws both halves of the seal into the fire and then follows up with the communion wine, putting Asmodeus into a hellfire of his own. As the final touch, Sebastian fires his golden bullet at Asmodeus.

Hamm frees Anitra from the altar as total madness takes over the disciples and the temple. Sebastian fights off disciples as he makes his way to the doorway of the temple. Once he, Hamm and Anitra are out the temple crumbles and collapses in fire and destruction, taking everyone in it with it.

Back in the US, Hamm and Sebastian see the newspaper reports of the fire that destroyed Cyon house and the partygoers, along with many of the paintings and artifacts that it contained. Asmodeus unfortunately was not destroyed and Sebastian warns that they would see him again. They then receive a surprise visitor, Anitra Cyon, looking much lovelier than she ever had. She brings a gift to Sebastian, a painting. Not the Venus Recliningthat he had admired at Cyon house but a suitable replacement. While Sebastian looks over the painting, Hamm offers to talk to Anitra alone in Sebastian’s study.

Lilith assures Sebastian that it is indeed Anitra Cyon. Sebastian had no doubt and although he knows it’s really Ms. Cyon and Lilith knows it, Hamm doesn’t. When he comments that it should be an interesting session in the study, the fire suddenly burns higher and the wind blows through the room. It’s then that Sebastian realizes there’s a symbol on the painting. The “A” of Asmodeus…

I really enjoyed Culp’s performance in this. He’s exactly as Gig Young’s voice over at the beginning of the movie describes: Vain, arrogant, selfish…but his brilliance is irresistible. Although the arrogance of the character doesn’t come off like some annoying know-it-all; he never talks down to anyone. He shares his knowledge not to make himself look important, but because the knowledge is important and needs to be shared so that others can understand what’s going on. This demon stuff is serious business! (Serious enough that his arrogance is in having to have a priceless jewel encrusted cross, blessed by priests for 900 years.)

He also looks really good dressed in black.

Gene Roddenbury was actually about 30 years ahead of his time with this pilot. Although supernatural movies like “The Exorcist” and “The Omen” freaked out audiences back in the ’70s at the movie theatres, and Steven King books were all the rage, the thought of bringing the supernatural to television was met with some skepticism. Spectre was not the only supernatural themed movie to air at the time (indeed, there were two others the same weekend; Good vs. Evil on ABC and The Possessed, also on NBC.) The networks, Roddenbury said in an interview in 1977, “always chickened out (with supernatural stuff) because they want the unexplained to be explained.  If you had a ghost it always turned out to be someone trying to frighten the aunt out of the estate.”

Although audiences were looking for such programs, critics weren’t. Reviews were mixed for Spectre, one critic calling it “campy.” Perry Fulkerson of the The (St Petersburg, FL) Evening Independent downright condemned the pilot calling it, literally, “a piece of trash.” Everything about the movie offended him, from the sexual overtones (the bedroom scene of Hamm’s with the dominatrix and young girl – “This is on television?” Fulkerson wrote, “It ought to be in the garbage.”) to Culp’s character using “evil devices” to fight off the forces of evil (Holy water? Communion wine? Oh, silly me, I guess Mr. Fulkerson didn’t like the old fashioned single action pistol Sebastian used). Fulkerson goes on further to say that using evil to fight evil is “quite contrary to the nature of reality.”

Makes me wonder what Mr. Fulkerson would think of the plethora of demon and vampire shows on television nowadays. Particularly, Supernatural, where the Winchester boys have a trunk full of “evil devices” in their old Chevy Impala to fight off evil spirits.

Nonetheless, I thought this pilot was well made and the storyline is good.  I acknowledge there’s a little camp with Hamm’s bedroom scene and Culp borders briefly on being a smidge hammy with his “Ah ha! A welcome!” when he and Hamm arrive at Cyon house. The production values, settings and special effects in this movie are very well done (and clearly very expensive!) except for one part. When Mitri/Asmodeus loses his human form during the final confrontation with Sebastian and is turned back into the demon, he looks like something out of a 1950s sci-fi movie. Very amateurish, totally fake and extremely disappointing. Especially so after various demons/disciples in previous scenes are much better costume and makeup work. Why a similar look was not utilized for Asmodeus in this scene is completely beyond me.

Unfortunately, because it cost so much to produce this movie NBC passed on picking it up as a series. The film was also overshadowed by Roddenberry’s decision to go forward with the first Star Trek motion picture although that film didn’t go into production until late 1978. Also, tragically, Gig Young would be dead just over a year after this pilot aired, after taking his own life.

As I was digging through the Google archive for info on Spectre I found a nice full page layout about the movie from The Day newspaper of New London, Connecticut.

You can see the full page article here.

I also happened to notice another amusing tidbit, but not directly related to the movie. If in England, “no one is above the law” then it’s ironic that two days before Spectre aired, David Frost’s infamous interview with former President Richard Nixon was televised. Nixon was quoted in the interview essentially saying that “when the President does it (orders something that might be illegal otherwise, like, say, burglaries) then it’s not illegal.”

Along with Academy Award winner Gig Young  (supporting actor, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?) guest stars included…

John Hurt – the British actor known for his role in Alien and his Oscar nominated roles in Midnight Express and The Elephant Man, essentially made his American TV debut with Spectre.

Gordon Jackson – another British actor familiar to American audiences from movies such as The Great Escape and the television series Upstairs, Downstairs.  Ironically, he would guest star on an episode of a short lived British television series the same year called…Supernatural.

Ann Bell – A long time actress on British television, Ann had an uncredited role in Fahrenheit 451 and also appeared in To Sir, With Love.

James Villiers – Long time British character actor who made a career of playing upper class type characters. He infact had an aristocratic background, being a descendant of the Earls of Clarendon. He appeared in such movies as the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion and the 1965 Bette Davis horror/noir film The Nanny.

And certainly I can’t forget to note Majel Barrett (who was a part of just about every Star Trek tv series and film – either as a character or as the voice of the Enterprise/Federation computer) who was the single most driving force behind Gene Roddenberry writing this pilot in the first place. Ms. Barrett actually studied witchcraft and had an interest in the supernatural. A piece appeared in newspapers around the country in March of 1977 that can be seen here.

Fans of the British tv series Are You Being Served? should recognize Penny Irving as the First Maid. Fans of the British tv series ‘Allo! ‘Allo! should recognize Vicki Michelle as the Second Maid. Both ladies can be seen in the full page spread from The Day newspaper above.

Spectre is available on DVD from As of the time of this posting it is one of the Top 20 bestsellers.


ABC Movie of the Week

Original air date: November 28, 1973

**Contains spoilers**

Back in 2008, when I found the I Spy episodes, Greatest American Hero video, the Get Smartclip and a couple other gems on YouTube, I found a “trailer” of sorts for this 1973 made-for-tv movie. The video has since been removed from YouTube, but it was a collection of scenes from the movie, including parts of the ending where Culp goes “calmly ballistic” and smashes the hell out of whatever he can with his pickup truck and baseball bat. After seeing the clip and reading a little bit more about the movie, I knew I had to find it just so I could watch him go berserk and cheer him on. I love old/classic cars but the kids in this film looked like a bunch of real pieces of —-.

Turns out, I was right.

I eventually did find the film at a wonderful website called, which specializes in rare and hard to find 60s and 70s feature films and made-for-tv movies. The copy is good, but the viewer should be aware that it is not a remastered film. Capping this thing proved challenging and there were some shots I could not get that were very clear.

The events in this movie were based on an actual incident that occurred. Culp plays Dr. Jim Kiler, a veterinarian, who lives with his wife and children in an affluent gated community called “Oak Meadows” in California. Unfortunately, some of the residents of the community include some spoiled and bored rich kids who have nothing better to do with their time than tear around in their hotrods harassing the neighborhood. The movie opens with the boys dumping a truck full of junk and garbage into the swimming pool of an older woman who lives in the neighborhood.

When the kids’s drag racing spooks the horses Jim and his family are riding, Jim and his wife, Muriel (Marlyn Mason) decide to start a petition to install speed bumps and stop signs in the neighborhood. And things begin to escalate from there.

Vance Chandler (the leader of the pack, if you will – played by Tom Leopold) and another kid are racing up and down the street and nearly run Kiler down in his own driveway. The other kid’s car suffers a broken headlight, and Jim ends up with a broken hand as he ends up karate chopping the thing. Jim gets nowhere with the Sheriff’s department or the highway patrol as he has only a vague description of the car and obviously couldn’t get a license plate while diving out of the way. He confronts Vance afterwards, wanting to know who the other boy was. He gets a name, and then gets some additional information from the police who track down the car. Jim then talks to the young man, Carl Dibble.

Carl (played by Don Stark – whom I have an interesting tidbit about when I get to the end of this) seems to show some genuine remorse for what happened and doesn’t want for things to be escalated by any lawsuits or anything. Jim doesn’t say one way or the other if he’ll press charges.

In the end, he does. In court, however, when Vance Chandler and Ron Werner’s parents don’t show up, the judge postpones the hearing to a later date, which only opens up a whole lot of time for Chandler and his friends to harass Jim and his family.

And harass, they do. They start by throwing cans of paint at the house. Then the boys fire incendiary devices over the house and over the lawn, setting a hay bale on fire. The Kilers get no help from the law and already by this point Murielwants to move. Jim, however, refuses to cave in to a bunch of “spoiled brats.” In fact, he’s so adamant it’s the first real flash of red hot anger we see from him. For the rest of the movie, however, Kiler is a man who is constantly simmering and trying very hard to do things by the law.

He calms himself immediately though and instead he suggests that Muriel not be at the house by herself and they ask their housekeeper, Thelma, to stay during the day. She does, and as expected, the torment from the boys continues. They dig up and tear apart the plants Muriel was planting, only to get a free bath from Thelma when she turns on the lawn sprinkler.

Undeterred, the boys then plant a cherry bomb in the Kiler’s mailbox. Again, the law can’t do much. But the deputy offers to put in some off duty time to try to catch the boys. Although Jim appreciates the offer and agrees, it’s still unofficial.

The antics continue with Vance making an obscene phone call and then taunting Jim after Kiler picks up the extension. Jim’s simmer starts to boil and he’s about to march out of the house to confront Vance again. Muriel tells Jim to stay put while she goes across the street to try to talk to Mr. Chandler, which gets her nowhere. Chandler tells her to tell Jim to leave his family alone. Thing is, Jim had followed Muriel over and hears this just in time. When Jim confronts Chandler, Chandler tries to take a swing at him only to end up on the ground by Jim. Muriel pulls Jim away and walks him back to the house.

By this point, Muriel is at her wits end. She’s begun taking tranquilizers to get through the day. Jim tells her he wants her and the kids to go to her mother’s for a while, until the trial is over. She doesn’t want to go – she’d rather just pack up and move out of the neighborhood. But Jim refuses to give in to the threats and antics of these kids and reminds her of that.

While they’re talking, the boys have been busy stringing up an effigy outside the Kiler’s home. With the call of their car horns and revving engines, the Kiler’s come out side in time to see effigy’s of them, burning from the tree.

The next day Jim sees his wife and kids off. Vance and his buddies are watching from across the street and they follow Muriel as she drives out of the neighborhood, tailgating, hollering and blaring horns. Jim follows in his truck. Chandler and his friends then let her go and double back to the Kiler home, proceeding to take the split rail fence down.

Jim returns home to find his fence destroyed. The deputy sheriff makes a stop by, unfortunately not soon enough to have caught the boys in the act. He then finds out that Jim has sent Muriel away and is disappointed, as he had asked that an adult be at the house at all times in order to try to catch these kids in the act. Of course, he then tells Jim that he would be away for a while as his son and daughter in law had just bought a new house up in Oregon.

In court, Carl Dibble has changed his plea to no contest for the hit and run. As a result he is given one year probation, a $200 fine and his license is suspended for six months. Unfortunately, as a result of Carl’s change of plea it lets Vance Chandler and Ronald Werner off the hook and the charges against them are dismissed, much to Jim Kiler’s surprise. The judge makes his displeasure clear and speaks strongly to the parents, telling them to straighten these boys up or else they could end up in prison someday.

With the trial over, and the boys let off scot free, Jim’s not sure if they’ve sobered up a bit or if they’ll be encouraged to try more antics. He phones Muriel and tells her to wait a couple of days before coming back home.

Jim attempts to get things back to some kind of normal and has some workers working on cleaning up the red paint from the face of the house. But the antics of the boys continue. After returning from a horse ride, Jim heads out behind the house to put the horse in the stall. The family dog, Oliver, remains out front, where he’s spotted by the boys as they drive by. They entice the dog with some food and essentially dognap him.

It doesn’t seem like the boys intended for any harm to come to the dog, but as they’re playing with Oliver, Vance comes barreling through in his car – and hits the dog. They leave Oliver on Kiler’s front step to be found later that night.

Jim makes an appearance at the next town meeting to talk about the teenage violence. He had distributed a letter and got responses back from other teens in the community who had no qualms about naming names as to who were responsible for the acts of violence that were taking place. Jim names the families, getting as far as the Chandlers and the Werners. Mr. Werner objects, threatening to sue for slander. But then another citizen comes to the defense of Jim and when Jim delivers a speechify about controlling the kids to prevent someone from getting hurt, or killed, the townsfolk applaud. Jim proceeds, at the behest of the Mayor, to name the names. The families accused walk out, but the rest of the townsfolk still back up Jim.

Despite the support, the town folk vote against any new spending on additional protection from the Sheriff’s department.

For three weeks though, things seem quiet. Muriel returns home with the kids and, other than having to explain about the loss of Oliver, it seems like things can finally get back to normal. The young girl’s birthday is coming up and since Thelma will miss the actual day, they decide to have a little get up that night with some cake and ice cream.

Chandler and his friends decide to put some “icing on the cake” and they lob bricks through the kitchen window, injuring Thelma. This becomes the incident that finally sends Jim over the edge. He heads out with his pickup truck and baseball bat and proceeds to smash the hell out of each of the cars involved, along with some fences and a greenhouse. At each stop, he announces himself. He pours paint over one of the cars. Tosses patio furniture through a front window. Breaks a window at another house and shoves the garden hose through, spraying water at full blast. And he smashes out the windows on all the cars.

At the Chandler house, he pushes Vance’s Chevy with his truck. He then breaks the windows on the car, all the while calling for Chandler, who looks out from within the house. For Chandler, however, Jim has reserved a very special revenge. He pushes Vance’s car down to the bottom of the drive way, stuffs paper into the gas tank and lights it on fire. He jumps back in his truck, zips across the street and gets back out in time to turn around and watch Vance’s Chevy blow up into a huge fireball.

The movie ends with a on screen note saying that no charges were brought against Jim and there was no further violence in “Oak Meadows.”

No matter how many times I’ve watched the ending of this movie, I still get a bit of a rush from it. Culp plays Kiler as a man simmering through the entire film. He pops a gasket a couple of times, but otherwise struggles to keep his cool in the face of the crap these kids are dishing out. You know he wants to just beat the snot out of all of them. But as he himself says after he slugs Vance’s father, “other than being stupid, (violence) doesn’t solve anything.”

He tries so hard to do things legal and civil like. Throughout the movie the antics of the boys involves mostly just property damage. With the death of Oliver one might have thought that would have sent Jim over the edge. He’s clearly heartbroken and at that point pleads to the entire town for some kind of help. But even then, he doesn’t get any.

The final straw comes during a special moment for one of his kids. A simple little birthday celebration, being held special so that Thelma can be there, is shattered, literally, by Vance and his friends and Thelma is injured. It could have just as easily been Muriel or one of the kids who got struck by the brick.  And you know Culp, as Kiler, knows this. The look on his face, after the ambulance pulls away from the house, goes from exhaustion and defeat to the dangerous look of complete and total…outrage. He’s crossed the line and there’s no turning back. Not even Muriel’s plea, her reminder of his promise of no violence, does any good. He’s too far gone.

What’s scary is watching him do this all so damn calmly! There’s no crazed outburst. No excessive screaming and carrying on. He turns his truck into a tool of destruction. He carries nothing more than a couple of paint cans and a baseball bat. He announces himself at each location. (The best one being after he smashes through the greenhouse with his truck. “This is Jim Kiler! If you wanna play come on out!”)

Only he’s not playing. Maybe the final destruction sequence is tame compared to anything nowadays, but don’t look at just what he does physically. Watch his expression. For crying out loud, if it weren’t for the fact that he doesn’t want anyone physically hurt during his rampage (thus his announcing himself and warning people away from windows before he throws patio furniture through it), he would have been bashing more than just car windows, grills and blowers!

This movie had several notable guest stars. Of note…

Thomas Leopold (Vance Chandler) is better known for his comedic writing, having worked with the likes of Steve Allen and Chevy Chase and penned scripts for shows such as Seinfeld and Cheers. He also has worked as an executive producer.

Nicholas Hammond (Ron Werner) would go on to play Spider Man in the 1977-1979 series The Amazing Spider Man. Nick also was one of the youngsters (Friedrich) in The Sound of Music.

Don Stark (Carl Dibble) is best recognized now as Bob Pinciotti of That 70’s Show. Also interesting to note he portrayed the character of Bill Maxwell in the 2009 fan film short of The Greatest American HeroOutrage is listed as his first film credit on the IMDB.

Mark Lenard (Mr. Chandler) is best known for his work in the various Star Trekseries’, having played a Romulan, a Vulcan and Klingon. He also is one of the few (if not the only) actor to reprise a character who was not an original lead character across multiple Star Trek franchises. He voiced, though was not seen, as Sarek in the original Star Trek, then reprised the role in two Star Trek films and also appeared on The Next Generation.

Marlyn Mason (Muriel Kiler) appeared with Robert Culp in the I Spy episode “Weight of the World” and would co-star with him again in another made-for- tv movie The Last of the Good Guys in 1978.

Ramon Bieri (Deputy Tottif) is immediately recognizable as he appeared in well over a hundred television shows in the 70s and 80s often as a law man, politician or villain.

Emmy award winning actress Beah Richards (Thelma) appeared with Robert Culp in the I Spy episode “Cops and Robbers” as Scotty’s mother.  She was nominated for an Oscar in 1968 for her role as Mrs. Prentice in the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

A search through the Google Archive turned up a couple of television programming notes around the time the movie originally aired.

Outrage is available on DVD through