BRENDA STARR (1976)
Article 4402 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Mel Stuart
Featuring Jill St. John, Tabi Cooper, Sorrell Booke
What it is: Failed series pilot
Star reporter Brenda Starr investigates a voodoo cult that is extorting money from billionaires.
A series about a reporter looking into supernatural occurrences? Given the fact that I’m a big fan of “Kolchak: The Night Stalker”, I’m in no position to fault the basic premise here, and, truth be told, I don’t know if this series would have taken supernatural subjects on a regular basis or whether it was just the pilot that would have dealt with them. But one thing I will say – the Kolchak TV series and movies had sharp, crackling dialogue and interesting, well-defined characters. All this pilot really has going for it is the fact that Jill St. John is sexy as hell (which explains the gratuitous bath and bikini scenes) and that Victor Buono plays memorable characters with incredible ease; unfortunately, he wouldn’t have ended up a regular character in the series. The story does have an interesting twist or two (as well as some bad ones), there’s at least one memorable image in the series, but the direction is uninspired and the dialogue is weak and cliche-ridden. It’s seems pretty obvious to me why this wasn’t picked up as a series.