When Mark (Butch Patrick) visits a theme park's magic show, he discovers a magic hat that shakes him into a bizarre world known as Lidsville! Premiering in 1972, this psychedelic Sid & Marty Krofft creation yielded 17 magi... more »cal episodes in its two-year run on network television. Episodes:
Pamela Scarangello | Middletown, NJ USA | 07/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My handsome fiancee introduced me to the oddball world of Sid and Marty Krofft just a few years ago, and for my last birthday he had gotten me the box set of "HR Pufnstuf." No doubt I will enjoy watching that for years to come, but out of all the nostalgic Krofft shows created, "Lidsville" is the one I love the most. This kooky program debuted on Saturday morning television way back in 1972, visually becoming a predecessor for the off-the-wall jokes and puppetry of "Pee Wee's Playhouse." However, unlike "HR Pufnstuf" and "The Bugaloos," "Lidsville" was specifically intended to entertain an older audience. I must warn all Moms and Dads that some of the imagery and dialogue in the 17 episodes may be a little too disturbing for small children. Ex-Munsters child star Butch Patrick plays Mark, an ordinary all-American teenager who becomes mesmerized by a magic show performed at a Six Flags amusement park. Determined to uncover the secrets behind Merlo's sleight-of-hand illusions, he sneaks into a dressing room and accidentally falls through a gigantic top hat. Bewildered beyond his wildest imagination, he gets stranded in the heart of Lidsville, a strange and psychedelic town populated by talking hats. With the help of a clumsy but loveable Genie named Weenie (played by Pufnstuf's Billie Hayes), Mark is forced to dodge the clutches of Horatio J. Hoodoo (Charles Nelson Reily), a powerful and diabolical green-faced magician who is clearly the star in the cast. Time and time again, Hoodoo uses his most wicked tactics to imprision Mark in his dungeon, enslave Weenie, and force Lidville's Good Hat people to pay their taxes. Prepare to be shocked and amazed upon witnessing The Great Hoodoo's tricks, which range from Devil worship (Weenie, Weenie, Where's Our Genie?) to giant robots (Show Me the Way to Go Home) to making obedient servants via a homemade brainwashing machine (The Great Brain Robbery). Horatio even attempts to conjure up snow, ice, and lightning from a Weather Bureau (World in a Hat) and forms a zap happy relationship with a cackling Wichipoo (Have I Got a Girl for Hoodoo!). On many other occasions, he has to rely on a team of bumbling goons to do his dirty work: a dimwitted stuffed rabbit named Raunchy and four Bad Hats (a sneaky Gangster, a bloodsucking Vampire, a sword-weilding Pirate, and a demented Executioner who waves a sharp hatchet). In my opinion, what truly makes "Lidsville" a cult favorite among college grads and acid trippers is how it juxtaposes hyperactive variety show humor with bizarre scenery, ultra-cheesy special effects (including a large injection of Chroma Key), and an entire cast of heavily costumed midgets. Indeed, the episodes have the potential of becoming the perfect fodder for drinking games and Rocky Horror-style shouting matches. And let's not forget how Hoodoo's character inspired the early incarnation of shock rocker Marilyn Manson, who borrowed some of the pilot episode's audio footage for the Spooky Kids song "Dope Hat." So, why am I giving the box set just four stars? Well, there are a few reasons. While most of the dialogue is both awful and laughable, the musical numbers are unbearably kitchy. Despite being written by Les Szarvas (who composed alot of songs for Sid and Marty Krofft over the years), the cute melodies are just not as memorable as the ones sung by Jack Wild and Billie Hayes on "Pufnstuf." Also, some of the aforementioned program's props were recycled as part of "Lidsville's" low-budget production. Keep an eye out for the talking books and grinning skull in Hoodoo's laboratory and the twisted walking trees in the Hair Forest (I think that I shall never see a tree that is as hairy as me!). But what bothered me the most about the episodes is how they seem completely mixed up thanks to their broadcast. If you wish to bring some order to the colorful chaos (particularly with the plotlines and the characters' actions), I recommend you watch the DVDs in the following title sequence:
1. World in a Hat 2. Turn in Your Turban...You're Through! 3. Weenie, Weenie, Where's Our Genie? 4. Take Me to Your Rabbit 5. Show Me the Way to Go Home 6. Let's Hear it for Whizzo 7. A Little Hoodoo Goes a Long Way 8. Oh, Brother! 9. Hoodoo, Who? 10. Alias, the Imperial Wizard 11. Fly Now, Vacuum Later! 12. The Great Brain Robbery 13. The Old Hat Home 14. Is There a Mayor in the House? 15. Have I Got a Girl for Hoodoo! 16. Mommy Hoodoo 17. Mark and the Beanstalk
Seriously, if you are a disenchanted horror, sci-fi, or cartoon lover who longs for something completely different, please give "Lidsville" a try. I can guarantee that it's downright WEIRD!!"
Ah, special features
3dgeek | USA | 12/28/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Wanted to comment about the special features, as they aren't described by any reviewers here. They are pretty cool.
There are three interviews in this set: Butch Patrick, Charles Nelson Reilly and the Genie (her name escapes me now). Charles is still quite funny with his self-depricating view of his role in this series. All interviews are on the third disk.
Sid and Marty Krofft also do some commentaries on the pilot episode and others, while Butch Patrick and Reilly do as well. They provide some interesting tidbits about the show and it's impact."
If you are a fan of the Krofft Brothers, you will love this
"Okay, Let get this outta the way first. Lidsville is pure Krofft Brothers family fare. It is clear family entertain in a Disney like vein. It is pure Saturday Morning TV from the 1970's. So, If you like H.R. Puffnstuf or Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, you will love this.
Mark (Butch Patrick aka Eddie Munster)watches a magician at a show. He goes back stage and is sucked into the magician top hat. He enter a bizzarre world of talking hats and its overlord Hoo Doo (Charles Nelsen Relly). He is aided in his survival by Genie (Billy Haynes AKA Witchy-Poo from PuffnStuff)
There are a few commentary from the Krofft Brothers, Butch Patrick and Billy Hayes on some episodes. also there is interviews with all three leads. Too Bad Charles Nelson Relly didn't do a commentary
this complete series, These 17 episodes, are well done for 1970's kid fare. The DVD masters are cleaner than most 1970's stuff (see my Lancelot Link Secret Chimp review). So if you are a fan of the Krofft Stuff or 1970 SATURDAY MORNING FARE, Go get it, it worth it..if you aren't, don't !
Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD"
If you love Charles Nelson Reilly....
Gregory B. Beard | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These episodes are the funniest ever by the Sid and Marty Krofft group, almost singlehandedly by the evil magician Hoodoo, played by Charles Nelson Reilly. Also Raunchy Rabbit (move back flunkie). I used to crack up watching Match Game from Reilly's comments but never knew why. He is hilarious without even trying. Lidsville is a bland silly show that is perfect to watch when your either staying ay home sick, or if your under the influence. "I could just scream.""
Childhood Nostalgia, and My Kids Love It, Too! :-)
James A. Kohl | Knoxville, TN United States | 09/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was great to see these old Lidsville episodes again - it brought back so many memories of my childhood in the 70's... (and it also proves to everyone that this unique show really *did* exist...! :-).
My kids love the show (5 & 7), and often beg to watch another of the 17 episodes included in this set. It's a great show about people working together to solve problems, and accepting a wide range of diversity with all the different "hat personalities"...
Hoo-Doo is a "perfectly evil" character, and sometimes I feel a bit uncomfortable laughing at his blatant pleasure at being evil, and I cringe at the harsh language to his cronies, the "bad hats" (I guess it's a kinder gentler kids' TV world these days... no one is "stupid" any more... :).
Butch Patrick is a good role model, and of course "Weenie the Genie" is fantastic (though it still freaks me out whenever they call her "him"... :-). (In fact, I think I heard Charles Nelson-Reilly slip up once and call him/her a her/him...! :-)
I highly recommend this set to anyone who watched the show, and for anyone who wants to expand the imagination and creativity of their kids. Go "Ra Ra"! :-D"