Monday, October 1, 2018

CHiPs - "Rock Devil Rock"

Hot Dog!

"Rock Devil Rock"
CHiPs - Season 6, Episode 4
Original Airdate: Halloween Night, October 31, 1982

Rock Devil Rock

"Rock Devil Rock" has gotta be one of the best episodes of CHiPs, and it's a Halloween special, to boot.  It features Donny Most (AKA Ralph the Mouth from Happy Days) as "Moloch," a Satanic KISS-styled shock rocker!  I just LOVE corny fake rock bands on old TV shows from the '60s, '70s, and '80s, and CHiPs had more than it's fair share.  Casting a gigantic dork like Ralph Mouth as the rock star is just the icing on the cake!  The twist is that mysterious events are placing his life in danger, and it seems as if the Devil himself is plotting to kill the singer.  Ponch and Jon are assigned to escort the singer's car (a Satanic painted hearse) to safety after his concert, and Ponch ends up saving his life when the hearse goes out of control.  There is a ridiculous stunt scene where Ponch climbs off of his moving motorcycle, into the moving hearse, pulls the singer out of the window and on to his motorcycle, then gets back on his motorcycle and drives to safety before the hearse crashes and explodes! It's completely over the top and impossible, like all the best CHiPs car accident scenes.  Wherever Ponch and Jon went, amazing car crashes followed them, usually involving multiple cars flipping over, crashing on top of each other, and exploding.

Gene Simmons is rolling over in his grave, and he's not even dead yet...

Fun Fact:  Kiss stopped wearing their costumes and makeup less than one year after this episode aired.  Coincidence?

Actually, though, I've been talking about Ponch and JON, but Jon is not actually in this episode.  This was from the final season of CHiPs after actor Larry Wilcox quit.  He was replaced by actor Tom Reilly as a character named "Hot Dog," but he was basically another generic blonde doofus just like Jon, and I often confuse the two when I remember his episodes.

Hot Dog Auditions to be an Extra in Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo

Another notable person on this show was Cassandra Peterson, playing her movie host alter ego Elvira!  I always loved it when Elvira would cameo on a TV show in the 1980s.  If it was up to me, every TV show would be legally obligated to have special Halloween episodes in October, and Cassandra Peterson would be the guest star on all of them.  In fact, this isn't her only appearance on CHiPs, as she was in another one of my favorite CHiPs episodes which I may review later.

They put a spider web over Elvira's boobs to make them "family friendly."

And you know who else has a played a special role in this episode?  John Astin!  Astin directed the episode, and he is of course most famous for playing "Gomez Addams" on the 1960s TV series "The Addams Family!"  Talk about Halloween royalty!  Between him and Elvira, this episode has some serious gothic street-cred, in my book.

Directed by Gomez Addams
Rock trivia alert!  There's another mind-blowing cameo in this one as well.  During the episode, Ponch befriends a young Hispanic boy named "Flippy," and strokes his face and winks at him, but in a 100% non-child molester way.  Later, Ponch has to save the boy from an exploding petroleum tank.  While looking this episode up on the IMDB, I discovered that the kid was none other than, I-shit-you-not, Robert Trujillo -- the bass player from Suicidal Tendencies and Metallica!

Ponch Mentors the Future Bass Player of Metallica
Speaking of rock trivia, in the 1980s there was a big craze among fundamentalist christian groups to expose "secret Satanic messages" that were supposedly recorded into popular rock songs, and it caught on with the general public and became sort of an urban legend of the time.  The truth, however is that most of the so-called secret messages were just random nonsense that kinda-sorta sounded like something if you squinted your ears.  And then later there were some real ones, but that was based on people trying to cash in on the popularity of the craze, so that the people who tried to "expose" this phenomena actually ended up causing it.  This episode plays into that weird trend, with "The Devil" making death threats to the singer when his music is played backwards and at different speeds.  As a kid back then I was fascinated by backmasking and subliminal messages, so this episode really grabbed a hold of me at the time.

Stop Devil Music!

Another urban legend that got some play in this episode was when a kid was carted off on a stretcher after being poisoned by some tampered-with Halloween candy, followed by Sgt. Getraer bemoaning the fact that "it happens every year."  But here's a fun fact for you... it really doesn't:

A Deadly Case of Mustache Poisoning

General Sarge and Count Ponchula

Moloch - Devil Take Me

More screencaps after the break...

Ralph the Mouth!


Hippie Paparazzi

Moloch Hits the High Notes

Nice Stage Decorations, Dude

Moloch Rolls Around on the Floor With Some Satanic Ears of Corn

Stacey Frehley?

Seriously, I think Moloch's Drummer has BANANAS painted on his face.

Fire Breathing

Moloch Laughs Maniacally Before Driving Away in His Satanic Hearse

Moloch's Satanic Tape Deck

Death-Defying Stunt Action

Hell's Angels

Candy Corn

Candy Corn is Disgusting

Grossman is Covered in Pumpkin Guts


Behind the Moloch

Satanic Pool Party

Ponch and Hot Dog have had it up to HERE with Moloch's Satanic shenanigans!

Velvet Touch Stereo

Elvira Wears an Elvira Shirt

Make an effort, kids, those are some bunk costumes.  Seriously, what are you supposed to be?  From left to right:  Grandma's-Nightgown Costume, Same-Clothes-You-Wore-to-School Costume, Red-Footie-Pajamas Costume, "Flippy," Vietnam-Veteran-Fallen-on-Hard-Times Costume, Started-to-Dress-Up-as-Zorro-But-Gave-Up-Half-Way-Through Costume.

 Flippy is Trapped
The Abandoned Petroleum Tank Catches Fire




Moloch the Chemist

Ponch and Elvira Tango