Monday, August 23, 2021

ZZ Top - Legs (1984)


Rock band ZZ Top is instantly recognizable by their members' long beards, sunglasses and hats.  Sadly, the group recently lost bassist Dusty Hill.  Mostly a blues group, synthesizers were not recognizable on their albums until 1983's Eliminator.  Their most commercially successful album spawned the hit single Legs, ZZ Top's first top ten hit.  The song was later featured in a series L'Eggs pantyhose ads in 1988.     

The music video is a modern day Cinderella story with model Wendy Frazier playing a tormented shoe sales girl who gets a makeover and some help from some sexy ladies who know how to use their lower limbs.  She lands her dream man - the burger chef at the diner a few doors down the strip mall.  Together, they hop into a Ford Eliminator a ride off into the sunset just like Sandy & Danny.  A mishap with film developing called for reshoots, which was done at a completely different shopping center.  It may have been a blessing in disguise as the video went on to win Best Group Video at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards. 

Legs was filmed in Santa Clarita and Panorama City, CA

Location: Shopping Center #1
Address: 23335 Lyons Avenue, Santa Clarita, CA  Old Orchard Center

Location: Shopping Center #2
Address: 9050 Van Nuys Boulevard, Panorama City, CA

Locations Visited: June 2021

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Small Wonder (1985-1989)


Engineer Ted Lawson's latest creation is Vicki The Robot (Voice Input Child Identicant) to aid handicapped children.  She possesses enormous strength and delivers dialogue better than Megan Fox.  The family passes her off as human, joining Man-At-Arms and Orko as 1980's secret keepers, especially from Harriet, the annoying-as-hell girl next door.  Even though she's made of plastic with microchips here and there, Vicki grew over the seasons, which was explained as her receiving upgrades.

Small Wonder is considered by many to be one of the worst sitcoms of all time.  A bizarre premise, cheap-looking production value and an irritatingly catchy theme song, the series was ridiculed left and right.  But that didn't stop it being popular with children, including myself.  I admit, I tuned in every Saturday.  Like many sitcoms, there was backstage drama.  Only this time it wasn't with the cast, it was with the parents of the child actors.  The show was quietly canceled after the fourth season but Vicki continued to bring love and laughter on DVD and Antenna TV reruns.

Location: United Robotronics
Address: 20950 Warner Center Lane, Woodland Hills, CA  

Warner Center Corporate Park

Location Visited:  June 2021

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Red Eye (2005)


The last thing hotel manager Lisa Reisert expected on the red eye home from her grandmother's funeral was to be held hostage 30,000 feet in the air by the charismatic Jack Rippner.  Her occupation is pivotal to Jack's plan to off the Secretary of Homeland Security.  She must comply or her father will be taken out.  Upon landing, Lisa escapes her captor, thwarts the assassination attempt, saves her father and gets continued use of her high school field hockey stick. 

Horror mastermind Wes Craven, who brought us A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream (1996) soars to new heights with the aerodynamic thriller Red Eye.  Along with a bag of peanuts, the claustrophobic film serves top notch acting by Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy and breezes by with a running time rivaling Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998).  Critically praised, it achieved a decent box office return, though not quite as high as Flightplan, the other 2005 thriller in the sky.  Yet both films make flying Spirit Airlines seem like a vacation.   

Red Eye was filmed in Los Angeles, CA and Miami Beach, FL

Location: Lux Atlantic Hotel Exterior
Address: 100 South Pointe Drive, Miami Beach, FL

Location: Joe Reisert's House
Address: 327 Lorraine Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

Thanks to Robert Patterson at Set-Jetter for finding this location.

Locations Visited: March 2021, June 2021