With the lackluster performance of Land of the Lost this past year, what does the future hold for Sid and Marty Krofft? Krofft Productions defined Saturday morning & variety television in the 1970s. No matter how awful these shows appear to us today, they live in the memories of an entire generation of kids…and maybe their nightmares too.
It seemed like a sure thing…Will Ferrell and dinosaurs, what better way could you bring Krofft productions to the 21st century? Whatever happend, it didn’t work and some momentum was lost. That leaves the question of how to get the next Krofft movie on the big screen. H.R. Pufnstuf and Sigmund the Sea Monster were already in the pipe prior to Land of the Lost, so let’s explore them.
With the recent release of “Where the Wild Things Are”, Spike Jonze illustrated both what to do, and what not to do when mixing low-tech costumes and high-tech effect. The character of H.R. Pufnstuf can learn a lot from Wild Things. Sid and Marty are still costume masters, so expect them to up the anti. They can also learn from the story, as Marty said “Don’t mess with what worked“. Removing the 70s camp, and inserting some 21st century realism without loosing the childhood innocense will make Pufnstuf a wonderful film. A cameo from Billie Hayes is also a must.
Sigmund on the other hand could be tricky. Where Pufnstuf takes place in the magical “Living Island”, the Sigmund story takes place in the ‘real world’. The entire premise is camp. The story and costumes would require an update. Does Sigmund still talk? Does the story take on a Waterhorse style? It would be amazing to see the story of Johnny and his pal Sigmund come to the big screen (music and all), but I just can’t imagine how it would work. Maybe Pufnstuf would pave the way.
One of the problems I see is that Sid and Marty aren’t doing enough self promotion. They are not following the advice of Walt Disney that Sid quotes often, “keep your name above the title”. It wasn’t “Sid & Marty Krofft’s Land of the Lost”, it was “Will Ferrell in Land of the Lost”. Yes, they are releasing more and more of their shows online (Hulu, iTunes, etc), but not promoting it well. They partnered with the already dieing MySpace, which has done nothing for their online presence except associate them with trashy chicks and dudes hoping to hook up (I’m not saying everyone on MySpace is that way, but it is the overwhelming majority).
Sid and Marty, get your name back “above the title”.