Ratings Key



★★★★
= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
★★★
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rosie (1960)

Directed by:
Walter Hart
Lewis Jacobs

There have been thousands of failed sitcom pilots over the years... but nothing quite like this misguided and unintentionally horrifying project. It centers around the Fletchers: your typical white bread 50s era Leave It to Beaver-style suburban family. Young son Kip (Charles Taylor) is thinking about running away and ends up meeting a new friend by some trash cans. His friend is a talking, world-weary dog named Rosie, who happens to be male despite the unfortunate name. Rosie convinces him to return to his family and spare them the heartache. The boy agrees, but under one condition: Rosie accompany him home and be his friend. Now you're probably thinking this isn't such a big deal. After all, we've had all kinds of gimmicky sitcoms over the year, including ones about talking babies (a spin off of the stupid theatrical hit Look Who's Talking), talking alien life forms running around trying to eat cats (Alf) and even one about a creepy little robot girl (Small Wonder) all spicing up boring family life. But here, the dog is played by a full-grown man (Phil Leeds) in a shaggy costume... and he looks like a scary werewolf! It's pretty weird and creepy seeing this thing walking upright on two legs, singing in its deep voice, talking like a New York City gangster, being petted by various cast members, peeping through keyholes at the family and weaving around the adult actors on his hands and knees.




Aside from the creature, the plot is standard 50s cornball fare with awful acting and dialogue, good family values forced down your throat and cardboard sets. Kip brings Rosie home, but the family rejects him because of his size and the fact he knocks over a table and lamp. No one believes Kip when he says the dog can talk so he's forced to get rid of it. Instead, Kip takes the dog to his female neighbor, who hides it in her garage. The dog destroys a bunch of stuff and sneaks back over the to Fletcher home. While the parents and sister are away. Rosie manages to spoil a burglary attempt, leaping on the burglar, holding him down and saying, ""Repent! Repent! Pay for your sins boy!" Understandably, the burglar leaps out the window in horror. When the family returns home and learn that Rosie saved their son, they allow him to stay. The end.




The short (which runs about 20 minutes) is available through Something Weird Video on the compilation DVD The Weird World of Weird. The production year is unknown but it looks mid / late 50s to me. (Edit: It' was actually made in 1960). Most of the actors didn't go on to do much else, though former stand up comedian and character actor Leeds (who passed away in 1998) had some success in film (including a small role in Rosemary's Baby as Dr. Shand) and on TV. Margaret Hayes, who plays the neighbor, appeared as a terrorized teacher in the classic Blackboard Jungle (1955) and in numerous other roles.

6 comments:

CavedogRob said...

It looks creepy!

CavedogRob said...

It looks creepy!

CavedogRob said...

Sorry if I posted twice!

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

Ha, no problem good sir. This thing WAS creepy in more ways than one. The Stepford family may even be creepier than the Yeti Dog. :D

Anonymous said...

This was just on TCM Sunday, Sep 22 in the very early morning hours, 4-5am ish. That is when they always play Underground Shorts. Anyway, I thought this show was just so hilariously bad. The dog makeup was actually pretty good and Phil Leeds does a good job in his role. The rest of the cast though is stiff and uninteresting. TCM says that this one was filmed in 1960 but I cannot find any info on IMDB even looking through Mr. Leeds' resume.

-Patrick

The Bloody Pit of Horror said...

I'm amazed they showed this on TV but I found it odd this title got a sudden spike in popularity this past week! Thanks for the year of production. This thing just screams 1950s, though I guess 1960 is close enough. Hard to believe this didn't catch on as a full-time series, isn't it? Ha! :o

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