Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries - The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom (1977)

The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom

"The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom" is, like "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula," a two-part episode featuring the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew.  The plot has Frank and Joe Hardy, their father Fenton Hardy, and Nancy Drew, all attending a detectives convention in Hollywood, right next door to Universal Studios.

Black Glove and Polaroid
Things get interesting when the detectives start to be kidnapped, one by one, by a mysterious "Phantom" who lurks in the movie studio, with the remaining detectives as the prime suspects.   It's basically a combination of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" and "The Phantom of the Opera."  The Phantom even wears a Lon Chaney Phantom of the Opera Halloween Mask.

Look out, Nancy!
The episode is chock-full of guest stars playing themselves, including Dennis Weaver, Jaclyn Smith, and Robert Wagner.  It also features Casey Kasem in a scene-chewing role as, of all things, Peter Falk's stand-in on Colombo.

"These guys are from England and who gives a sh-t!"
"Now, we're up to our long distance dedication.  And this one is about kids, and pets, and a situation we all can understand..."
The "Phantom" in this episode is great.  He wears a rubber mask and a cape, and runs around giggling like a maniac.  When he's not kidnapping people, he's taking Polaroid photos of them, and then slicing off the photos' heads.  It's weird, creepy, and funny all at the same time.

Frank Head
Even better, the voice actor who does the Phantom's voice is one of the same actors who voiced the villains on Scooby Doo!  If your familiar with the actors who did the voices on Scooby Doo, that will probably spoil the  Phantom's identity for you.  But I still thought it was kind of awesome, because this Phantom character is pretty much straight out of a Scooby cartoon anyway, and having him pursued by a group of teenage detectives (Frank, Joe, and Nancy) made it almost perfect.  The only way it could have better would have been to have him say, "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids!"

Frank Tackles the Phantom
Over all this was a very enjoyable episode.  If they had only shoe-horned a couple of Shaun Cassidy musical numbers in there, it could have matched the giddy heights of "The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula."  As it was, though, it's still my second favorite episode of season 2, so far.

As always, here is our obligatory shot of The Boys rubbing their shoulders against each other.


The Coasters - Bad Detective

More screencaps after the jump...


Bring me the Head of Nancy Drew!

No one will shed a tear when you're gone.

Fenton on the Chopping Block

14th Annual Detective Convention

"The Fox"

Teen Detective Trio

Headless Hardy Boys

Where is the Bionic Bigfoot When You Need Him?

Kasem the Komedian

Sadly, Robert Blake as "Baretta" does not appear in this episode.

Bitchin' Lon Chaney Mask

Nancy in the Dark

The Phantom Creeps

Nancy Drew on TV

Something Fishy is Going On

Shark Attack!

Wet Nancy Drew

"Hello, I'm Television's Dennis Weaver."

"Shut up and kiss me, Frank."

Joe Hardy Sees it All

Photo Collage

Control Room

Part 2

Coffee, Tea, or Me?

"That's HARgrove, with an 'H,' motherf---er!"

The Phantom and the City

On the Set of "Charlie's Angels"

"Hello, I'm television's Jaclyn Smith."

"C'mre, you!  Momma's got a hankerin' for some boy detective!"

Frank Selleck, Tom Selleck's Less Famous Actor Brother

The Time Has Come for Retribution

Frank in the Dark


Hey, "Switch!"  Remember that show?  Me neither.

"Hello, I'm television's Robert Wagner."

Three Kids and One Fox

Private Dicks

Swappin' Bubblegum

Creepy Brother

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