I’ve seen in the papers that the new movie Shazam is going very well. I’m sort of amused to hear this, and good for the moviemakers for doing something fun and campy. When I was a kid, Shazam was one of my favorite Saturday morning shows. (It later hooked up with Isis, sort of the girl’s equivalent of Shazam, to form the Shazam/Isis Hour).
The show focused on a kid named Billy in his late teens (who apparently only owned one shirt) and a old fella (who apparently only owned one jacket) whom he referred as “Mentor” (although he always said it sort of odd…….Men-Tor).
They roamed “the highways and byways of the land” in this big-ass, gas-guzzling recreational vehicle which was equipped with a red hemisphere that had lights on it. By putting his hand on the hemisphere, Billy could transport himself to be standing in front of a group of badly-animated Greek gods and seek their counsel.
Yeah, ripped-from-the-headlines realism wasn’t exactly the show’s strength.
The highlight of the show, which I looked forward to its spite of its predictability, was when Billy realized he needed to get some sweet, sweet superpowers, so he ran off to a place where no one could see or hear him and shout “Shazam!” Then a lightning bolt would hit him, and he’d put on 100 pounds of muscle and age a decade. When the smoke cleared, there was Captain Marvel, who was what Superman would be like if K-Mart sold their own version.
And, now equipped with a cape and tights that were revealing enough to make the viewer uncomfortable, Captain Marvel would bounce off a springboard they probably borrowed from a local gym and engage in an act of “flying” that even five-year old kids found implausible.
One thing you could rely upon was, at the end of the show, there would be some heavy-handed moralizing by Captain Marvel. There are some real gems in the clip below. See how many politically incorrect bits YOU can identify that would never make it onto the screen today!