‘Planet in Peril’ Sunday

(Above: Maribeth Monroe in NBC’s ‘The Good Place.’ Photo by Vivian Zink/NBC))

With Earth Day coming up Sunday, we’ve had a choice of many shows to write about. Yesterday, we covered special episodes of the PBS kids’ series Cyberchase. Today, we’re enjoying the following NBCUniversal mashup:

But, on Sunday itself, we’re going to learn how to save our “Planet in Peril” by watching Comet TV. Starting at 1 pm ET, Comet will screen four movies showing how to defend the Earth from “an increasingly weird array of monstrous foes”:

The “Planet in Peril” movie marathon will include The Killer Shrews (1 pm), The Giant Gila Monster (2:30), The Wasp Woman (6:30 pm) and The Milpitas Monster (4:30 pm). The first three are classic 1950s’ monster movies (indeed, they all came out in 1959, apparently a stellar year for creature-on-the-rampage films), but we had never before heard of The Milpitas Monster.

Turns out it’s a 1976 film and the title monster isn’t the result of either nuclear fallout or science experiments gone amuck (as in ‘50s flicks), but of environmental pollution. So it’s the perfect cautionary tale for Earth Day!

The Milpitas Monster was filmed on location in Milpitas, CA. That makes sense since a group of Milpitas High School students, aided by their photography teacher, made the entire movie, which they also wrote and starred in. More than 40 years later, The Milpitas Monster has its own website, a director’s cut DVD, and is shown at annual local theatrical screenings in a remastered 1080 HD version.

Here though, since every day should be Earth Day, is the version currently available free on YouTube:

You can watch the “Planet in Peril” marathon on Sunday online, or over-the-air with an antenna hooked up to your TV set. To stream Comet TV,  visit the sci-fi network’s website  or access it via Roku  or Apple TV. To see if you’re in one of the 100+ markets that can access Comet with an antenna, go to comettv.com and enter your zip code.


About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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