Where has all the quicksand gone?

movies old plots device
When I was a kid, quicksand was a popular device used on nearly every cheesy TV show I can remember to create tension and peril of some strange and exotic nature that was foreign to city dwellers the world over.  In fact, even now with a rudimentary grasp of geography and such, I still can’t tell you exactly how quicksand is created without Googling it but have these quasi-romantic notions of how dangerous it can be, how hard it is to detect and that you must not under any circumstances, struggle should you find yourself stuck in quicksand.  And as geographically rare as it may have been in the real world, there was a veritable plethora of it awaiting us on television and at the cinema. There was quicksand in the old Batman series (c.1966) that ran reruns ad nauseum (same Bat Time, same Bat Channel!) when I was a kid – an episode with the Riddler as the antagonist who had cleverly lured the caped crusaders, Batman and Robin to his lair where upon they found themselves drowning in a big birthday cake looking vat of quicksand.  From the same series, Batgirl too ended up in the quicksand once apparently as well.  The Phantom took his dunking in quicksand too at one stage back in ’55.  Dr Who has done the quicksand thing in approximately five early episodes but being a timelord alien thing I guess it’s not surprising where he ends up!

I actually remember at least one episode of Get Smart where Max and 99 were sinking in quicksand while the bad guys watched on and I have vague recollections of an episode of Gilligan’s Island where Gillian and the cute one,  Mary Anne, were sinking in a quicksand/mud slop at some point (along with four other Gilligan’s Island episodes as it happens!).  It turns out Fantasy Island had at least three quicksand episodes, but at least made some kinda sense given because they were on a random tropical island somewhere, film strip plot device ploy old showswhereas Buck Rogers and the 25th Century pulled out the quicksand thing twice and that silly show was is set in the goddamn future complete with robots, loads of aluminium and sliding doors!  Go figure!

The Six Million Dollar Man (djugga-djugga-djugga-djugga-djugga) managed to rescue some ditz from some quicksand on at least one occasion, and the Bionic Woman found herself sinking in quicksand but managed to heroically pull herself free of the stuff before tricking some prison guards into fall the same trap.  Charlie’s Angels used the old quicksand fall back a couple of times too apparently – oh what that must have done to Cheryl Ladd’s flicky hair! Hell, even Daisy Duke from the Dukes of Hazzards ended up in quicksand at some point!  (edit:  I was half right – turns up that the Dukes of Hazzard used the Great Quicksand Plot Device no fewer than four times!).

Soap operas were also fond of the quicksand ploy – Days of Our Lives (three times), General Hospital (four times) and One Life to Live (three times) all throwing it out there for public consumption with alarming regularity. Why it seems the pitched the quicksand story line almost as often as they pulled the amnesia card!  Quicksand even turns up in an episode of Flipper for crying out loud!  Flipper!

The quicksand was also a ‘thing’ regularly trolled out in cartoons back in the day like Captain Caveman, Darkwing Duck, Scooby Doo, The Flintstones and My Little Pony and Friends (I know right!).  The Simpsons were also guilty of being on the quicksand band wagon too, with a record six episodes all from 1989… what a great year for quicksand that must have been!   😀

And then there’s all the quicksand movies plot devices from around the same time. Back in the day, Flash Gordon, The Dark Crystal, Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark all had their heroes facing a brush with certain death by quicksand though I believe no harm came to any of the good guys on any occasion as the direct or indirect interactions with the hazardous stuff.

movie quicksand device plot point unlikely bogus

And of course my all time favourite cinematic use of the highly unlikely yet excessively popular quicksand movie device from the Master of the Absurd himself, Mr Mel Brooks, in Blazing Saddles where he has a couple of negro workers go off the end of a railroad track on a rail cart while singing the ‘Camptown Ladies’… absolutely comedy gold!

So, it seems quicksand was a HUGELY popular plot device right through from the 60s – early 90s… but now it seems to have sadly disappeared from Hollywood’s repertoire.  I’m wondering what happened to the quicksand?  Did audiences get too savvy to ‘buy it’?  Did people suddenly decide quicksand is really rare, man, so how can it be in the middle of Gotham fucking City?  Or maybe it became a victim of global warming or something and no longer seems relevant to today’s audiences….?

(some images and episode info pulled from here)



I’ve been watching the US version of Shameless recently and I absolutely love it!  It’s one of those shows that have you thinking “WTF?  Does anybody actually live like this?” as it has absolutely no common ground or recognizable connections with the rather more civilized, law abiding and responsible world that I choose to live in.   But I adore Joan Cusack, and Shameless has Joan Cusack in it, so of course it’s amazing!

sheila frank gallagher dildo eggplant

She plays Sheila, an agoraphobic germophobe who is outwardly normal whilst being oddly naïve, yet simultaneously weird, kinky and morally questionable!?!  How ever does she manage that?  Sheila is the love interest to the main character Frank Gallagher – a parasitic alcohol fuelled narcissist who has six kids at home (played superbly by William H. Macy).  Frank mostly bludges off his kids but largely leaves to fend for themselves headed by his eldest daughter Fiona, the overwrought high school drop out who tries her damnedest to keep the family ticking along.  The relationship between Frank and Sheila is hilarious.  He moves in with to take advantage of her disability cheques and what appears to be fantastic home cooking… but in return he has to put up with her VERY unorthodox bedroom habits which, let’s just say tend to leave him unable to walk properly!

shameless tv series US sheila frank

Joan Cusack is absolutely awesome in this role.  She brings a slightly wild-eyed craziness to her otherwise straight laced suburban housewife character.  I think I’ve loved just about everything I have ever watched Joan Cusack in, back from Sixteen Candles, Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity.  She has this quirky je ne sais quoi, and tends to pick the most unusual roles, that every time you see her name pop up in the credits you just know you’re going to be in for something fabulous.

tv show william macy joan cusack

PS – I probably wouldn’t recommend this show to anyone if violence, bad language, child neglect and extremely questionable behaviour are a problem for you – all those things we abhor in real life but for some reason are strangely entertaining in a ‘pain + distance = humour’ kinda way…


Lucius Vorenus was the guy from Trainspotting who died of toxoplasmosis!

I have recently come into possession of some very distressing information… it has come to my attention that the endearingly dysfunctional and quirkily beloved Amy Farra-Fowler from The Big Bang Theory is actually the annoying kid actor who played Blossom in the 90s sitcom of the same name!  How could I have missed it with that nose and all?

big bang theory blossom

Mayim Bialik

Anyway, even more disturbing is the fact that loyal, stalwart, strong and dead sexy Lucius Vorenus fromROMEwas the gentle giant Tommy from Trainspotting who eventually dies from toxoplasmosis!  OMG!!!  *sound of crashing glass*

rome trainspotting kevin mckidd

Kevin McKidd


They’re everywhere! They’re everywhere!

I have recently decided never to go back to the US ever again.  In fact I think I was quite lucky to escape with my life last time I travelled to the ‘good old US of A’.  The whole place is full of fucking psychopathic, sociopathic and sexual sadist type serial killers!  God I don’t know how any person who has the misfortune to live in the States is able to sleep at night!  And it’s no wonder so many of them are armed to the teeth… THEY are the ones who know they’re surrounded by serial killers!!!!!

Maybe it’s not as bad as all that… but after watching four seasons of Criminal Minds back to back I reckon better safe than sorry!!!

Whoops I’ve done it again….

Last month I cut our DL limit sooo close we were quite literally capped in the offpeak for a whole 24 minutes before it hit back to regular speed for the peak hours and I used that to within an inch of it’s life leavng a bare 145MB left when the month reset itself.  Oh my gawd thought did I get a drumming for it.  I got in big trouble because that meant Mr K was going to have to wait for his Lost episode… a whole day he had to wait.

And now I’m in big trouble again because I set something downloading and thought the scheduler was enabled (which it wasn’t) and I’ve nearly killed the DL limit again which means Mr K will have to wait a whole extra day for his Lost (second time in four weeks!)…. Oh no!  However will he survive!  Why ’tis a tragedy of epic proportions. 

Feel free to hang shit on him for being a Lost fan on Facebook etc (or should you wish, let me know and I’ll send you his work email address 🙂