4 More Lost/Forgotten Media Vol. 2 | [Out of Order] TMBG’s “Coraline” Soundtrack

This one’s going out to all the fallen media we shall not forget. My name is Gavin, or you may better know me as your conductor. Welcome to ‘Out of Order’, the midnight snack for geeks of nostalgic film and TV memories from the days of yore. Tonight we’re returning to a random roulette of lost, destroyed, or unused media. Whether it be a million dollar tree house or an R-rated cut of a classic, lost media is gripping to look back on and spinning up wonders revolving around the whereabouts. Let’s not waste any more time with it, here’s volume two of lost media!

Case File I: Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine

Our Very Merry Espionage Christmas marathon continues next Thursday, but consider this segment a minor tidbit in the series as well. The roots for this film was concocted by American International Pictures, in particular it’s president James H. Nicholson. The studio was at the time best realized for their minimum effort beach party movies (literally based on teens hanging around the beach) and the truckload of schlock filler-ups by Roger Corman, but Nicholson desired to spread their range. Integrating elements from their Edgar Allen Poe features, their de facto beach party sentiment, and early James Bond hits such as Dr. No and Goldfinger, and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine was born.

A special episode of Shindig! dedicated to the movie

However, not everything was exactly peachy keen during production. It has been made crystal clear in an interview that the mad scientist’s actor, horror icon Vincent Price, was more than disappointed when the camp musical style wasn’t apart of the final picture. In fact, it was a studio formula to have songs woven into their films, yet on a rewrite from Elwood Ullman it morphed instead into a light-hearted spy spoof with zero scenes of Mr. Price singing. It was a shame to him… the dream of a Little Shop of Horrors-esque experience was buried in the studio basements.

Susan Hart, another star of the American International Pictures alumni, said, “One of the best scenes I’ve seen on film was Vincent Price singing about the bikini machine – it was excellent. And I was told it was taken out because Sam Arkoff thought that {Price} looked to fey. But his character was fey! By taking that particular scene out, I believe they took the explanation and the meat out of the picture… it was a really unique explanatory scene and {Price} was beautiful in it, right on the money.”

I couldn’t have phrased it better if I tried, after all, I wasn’t there! The movie was still a success and earned a steady fan base thanks to its Mario Bava helmed sequel Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, the title bit featuring Art Clokey and the Supremes, Price’s appearance, and the medley of in-jokes and humorous sexuality.

Case File II: Hard Times in the Pit of Despair

Nickelodeon; the world’s first kids network. That slogan featured for the growing channel in the late 80’s and early 90’s proved true, with the warm retrospectives on childhood usually including this network in the frame. It was a powerhouse. One of the programs popular on Nickelodeon was Legends of the Hidden Temple, which alongside the infamous Double Dare would victor as the leading game show for the young demographic. None of these episodes have been lost necessarily, but rather confiscated. According to info from web series host Kirk Fogg, a female contestant had been participating in the Temple Run when she began having a panic attack inside the so-called “Pit of Despair”. Ah, the irony.

Man, Nickelodeon has become a shadow of its former self…

The cameras eventually had to stop rolling after the contestant quickly became very ill and vomited on the set, and the crew were influenced to cheer said player up and tidy up the mess before they could resume with filming, also claimed by Fogg. Uncertainty seems to be inference the odd meltdown. As the episodes were done late at night, perhaps apt tiredness is the answer. Anything is possible though. Some of the mystery here is when it happened, too; Fogg as of 2020 has not explicitly noted the exact season, episode, or date of the incident. And on where the take is, it sort of goes without saying that it was shelved by Nickelodeon executives due to the unfitting nature. I would hope to chat with the contestant about the episode, but her name was not identified either. Under wraps indeed.

Don’t go anywhere, Out of Order will be right back!


~ Instagram @g.nowak_art | ~ Letterboxd @Gavin Nowak



I’m glad you’re still here, now back to the show!

Case File III: Kahuna, Tootsie, and Perry Mason Soap

I don’t mean actual hygiene related soap bars… case in point, there is in fact a genre of television serial called “soap operas”, which often run for decades, conclude each episode with a cliffhanger, and include over the top drama. Affairs, murders, and UFO sightings just happen every day in the soap opera fantasy (perhaps 2020 was a soap opera itself, like The Truman Show)! But back in the day networks didn’t have as much fine-tune material or the mindset to save shows, so let’s browse a threesome of lost soaps and see what could have been.

“Soap” was actually a soap opera parody, but close enough

Airing on NBC primarily in 1977, Big Hawaii only survived a single season run before being axed off the schedule. A soap set on the tropical islands sounds interesting enough, as I did enjoy five years of living there personally. Although I guess it simply didn’t get off the ground. Not much information on this one to be honest. All the food for thought we can chew on is that it centered on a Hawaiian ranch owned by the Fears family, it aired 9 episodes before cancellation (despite having 12 planned), and the only piece of remaining existence is Danger in Paradise, a feature-length pilot that aired during the summer. Danger in Paradise can be scourged for on the bootleg market online, but not much else.

With humble beginnings presented as a 15-minute companion serial to Guiding Light, Search for Tomorrow would run for a decent 35 seasons. However, evidence in the form of clips and stills is barely enough to commend its existence. I’m positive it must have, but still. From 1951 until 1968 Search for Tomorrow was always broadcast live before episodes began to be pre-recorded, though I’m not certain why because, like I said, not much evidence. A true gee whiz took place in 1983 when NBC, the show’s broadcaster, had lost all of the prepared episodes and thus the cast had to perform live once again. None of these so-called “lost” episodes have been dug up, leading to some rumors that it was all a publicity stunt. What do you think?

And lastly, we have the Midwestern police soap The Edge of Night. Most destroyed media remain as low-profile one-season whoppers like Big Hawaii, yet this series lasted for approximately 7,420 episodes! No jokes here. It premiered nearly sixty-five years ago in 1956, originally a moody detective serial that, due to creative differences with the channel, later clicked with the legacy of a moody soap opera deep fried in some Perry Mason elements. Even after three decades of episodes, the story had still not come full circle and ended it’s run on a cliffhanger. And as of today, thousands of The Edge of Night adventures have been long since cleaned from the tapes.

Case File IV: They Might Be Buttons

Our final lost media profile for tonight features the 2009 claymation film Coraline, directed by Henry Selick and hand-crafted by Laika. I adore both’s works on movies like The Nightmare before Christmas and Kubo and the Two Strings, and this picture was also rather good. The dark tale was based off an award-winning children’s book about a young girl who ventures into an alternate universe that soon becomes vile and twisted. You want to know another thing I have a fondness for? Answer: They Might be Giants. The duo of John Linnell and John Flansburgh form a dynamic formula of quirky music, such as the hits “Particle Man” and “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”. Well, how about combining Selick’s dark storytelling with Linnell and Flansburgh’s whimsical style of music?

This was the best thing I could find. A tv spot starring the Other Father on piano.

Believe it or not, a colleague of TMBG, also named John, voiced Coraline’s father in this film. Rather, in the scene where the Other Father sings, he was instead voiced by Linnell. Very early, maybe even from the film’s conception, TMBG was recruited to write various songs for the movie. Later on down the road however, the crew of Coraline unfortunately didn’t feel the tunes were “creepy” enough for the film’s tone. Detailed in an interview, Burghman said that “we never really found a rhythm to work with them.” It’s a shame to watch a dream dissipate, but maybe the idea wasn’t all gone. Subsequently on their album The Else, the musical duo released a fraction of the Coraline sessions, a song titled “Careful What You Pack”. TMBG stated eventually that they hoped to release other pieces intended for the film on new albums, nevertheless it is unclear if any of them have seen the light of day, but judging from the interview it sounds like they certainly exist in one way or another.

Perhaps even a dark fantasy movie soundtrack could still be possible! Henry Selick, Coraline‘s director, stated: “They actually did some other demo songs that are brilliant, they are beautiful, but the film just kind of changed; it wasn’t going to become a musical. I was very happy to work with them and I’d love to work with them on another show where they have like ten songs in it. I’m wondering whether to convince them to write all new songs for… Yellow Submarine, or to just work with them and pick the ten best songs and see if I can find a way to string them together for a story.” That would be pretty unique, though no word on any sort of project like that has been leaked. Oh well…



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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 | Updates for February and Shout-Outs

3 thoughts on “4 More Lost/Forgotten Media Vol. 2 | [Out of Order] TMBG’s “Coraline” Soundtrack

  1. The Banquet TV Dinner commercial is beyond awesome!
    I must admit…I would love to see Vince Price sing the bikini machine…we missed something there.

    Liked by 2 people

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