ELECTRIC ESKIMO (1979)
Article 3949 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Frank Godwin
Featuring Tom Chadbon, Ivor Danvers, Kris Emmerson
What it is: Juvenile superhero
When an Eskimo boy becomes caught up in an experiment conducted at the North Pole, he gains the ability to spontaneously generate electrical charges. He is taken to England for study, but becomes the target of spies who wish to use his talents for their own nefarious purposes.
Despite the fact that this entry from the Children’s Film Foundation is less overtly comic than yesterday’s movie, and that some of the plot details are quite different, it’s rather obvious that both movies are cut from the same piece of cloth; in fact, one of the first things I checked was whether there were any writing credits in common, and sure enough, both movies were penned by the same duo, Frank Godwin and Harry Robertson. The primary thrust of each movie is the same; it’s to show children cleverly outwitting and humiliating evil adults. If anything, this one is even more witless; when it tries for comedy, it does so in a tame slapstick mode that shows little in the way of comic timing or reaction. In fact, my reaction to both of the movies is similar; they seem homogenized and pre-chewed, as if the child audience in question would get indigestion from anything too intense. I’m sure some people do feel that way, but the movies I remember most from my childhood were the ones that weren’t afraid to frighten me or upset me; movies like this one would be nothing more than time-killers. That being said, I can’t help but notice that the Eskimo boy here focuses his power by use of the Bela Lugosi WHITE ZOMBIE hand gesture.