Thursday, October 15, 2009

Halloween Who-Dun-It? (Davey & Goliath, 1967)

If you were under the impression that the stop-motion adventures of Davey & Goliath (presented by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) were all about telling the truth, being polite to your elders, and other yawn-inducing life lessons, then you need to see the 1967 Halloween special Halloween Who-Dun-It, which features a prolonged neighborhood vandalism rampage that would give The Boy Who Liked Deer pause.

Things start innocently enough with a Halloween party and costume contest at the local community center. The so-called "Grand March" is hosted by the local donut baker, Mr. Kloss.

Several neighborhood children vie for the prize, including Davey (a space man from Mars), Goliath (a tiger), and Sally (a witch).

A skeleton.
Sally is a witch.
A jack-o-lantern.

This friendly Indian lets out an authentic war cry.

Here's talking dog Goliath as a tiger.

Davey as the space-man from Mars.

Davey ends up taking the prize for Most Original costume. It's after the officially sanctioned event ends and the kids are left to mill about on the streets unsupervised that the trouble starts.

As part of his Mars outfit, Davey has a working laser gun (a reminder that Davey & Goliath occurs in a realm of semi-fantasy, not the real world.) He decides to start testing it out on the neighborhood. First a stop sign is toppled.

Next he picks off a few tree branches.

Sally wants to have some fun of a more innocent nature, soaping a neighbor's window.

But having acquired a taste for destruction, Davey once again whips out his gun and shoots out the porch light.

Chased off by the angry homeowner, the trio have a pensive moment. Is what they're doing wrong? In a chilling psychological turn, they rationalize their vandalism spree by placing the blame not on themselves, but on the alter-egos they are costumed as. It wasn't Davey that shot out the porch light, but "Mars". It wasn't Sally that soaped the window... it was "Witch."

That's settled. Let's knock over some trash cans!

Wakened by the destruction, one neighbor demands to know who is responsible.

A defiant Davey shouts back, "Guess who, mister!"

Even Goliath gets in on the action, knocking over a doghouse.

Moving out of the suburbs and into the downtown area, the trio encounters a pair of equally troublesome kids, who lob a boulder through a storefront window.

For Goliath and Sally, things have gone too far. They call it a night, so Davey (I mean "Mars") pairs up with some kids he finds wandering the streets. He lets the ghost fire off a few rounds, damaging a porch chair.

Then they shoot up the beehives of Mr. Green, a friend to Davey whose beekeeping duties, ironically, Davey was assisting with earlier in the day.

When Mr. Green confronts the boys, Davey sputters a guilty apology, but doesn't reveal his identity.

As guilt takes hold, "Mars" transforms back into Davey, sucking the fun out of the night.

The next morning Davey confesses his role in the beehive vandalism, revealing to Mr. Green that he was the costumed space-man. Mr. Green forgives Davey, and reminds him that even when disguised in a costume, God knows who you are!


Mat Black said...

I remember this so vividly! My only thought at the time was "where can I get a gun like that?"


I loved D&G...:D

J.M. said...

Believe it or not, Davey and Goliath currently airs on Smile of a Child tv station, and sometimes on Telecare. I haven't seen them air the holiday episodes though. This is a very memorable episode, as I laughed when the skeleton and the ghost tossed a brick into the store window and ran away. Don't forget the doughnut incident at Mr. Kloss's doughnut shop. While Mr. Kloss leaves the room to answer a phone call, Davey attempts to operate the doughnut making machine himself, and makes too many doughnuts as he couldn't get the machine to stop.
Afterwards, Mr. Kloss hears Davey's cry for help, turns off the machine and then forgives him of his wrong doing. Gosh any other guy would've thrown him out and made him pay for the damages. Funny how someone would blame their alter ego costume for their own wrong doing.