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Just as "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962) fell into an obscure sub-genre of films being produced around the early 1960s called "Psycho-Biddy" - essentially old, famous actresses cast in new movies as "old ladies gone mad," "Satan's Triangle" (1975) falls into a cluster of films around the mid-1970s - including "The Exorcist" (1973), "The Omen" (1975), and "The Devils" (1971) that I would term, "Catholic Horror." I've never heard of this sub-genre before, but I remember an unusually high concentration of "Priest and Devil" films that came out right when I was transitioning from child to teenager (the exact time in someone's life when these would scare one the most). And "Satan's Triangle" scared the beejesus out of me when I saw it on TV, so much so that I've spent my entire life thinking it was one of the scariest films I've ever seen. However, I saw it last night for the first time in 42 years (!), and although parts are very creepy (if you watch it, make sure to stick with it until the very end), it just isn't all that terrifying, and although the actors themselves are extremely talented (Kim Novak, Doug McClure, Michael Conrad, Alejandro Rey), the film itself just doesn't bring out their very best. I also recently rewatched "Duel" (1971), Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film, which I saw when I was ten years old, and that film has not only withstood the test of time, but I enjoy it almost as much as a 56-year-old, as I did as a 10-year-old - Spielberg takes an almost painfully simple plot, and nearly impossibly turns it into 90-minutes of genuine, nail-biting thrills - I urge everyone reading this to click on that link and to watch "Duel." As for "Satan's Triangle," it isn't "dated" so much as I've grown up - any teenager who doesn't question the existence of God would probably still be scared by it, but I've turned into such a cynic that it just doesn't do as much for me. However, I can still be scared by a good, old-fashioned Catholic Horror film, if it was done well-enough; this particular one just isn't there. It's perhaps worth watching, and there are currently two free versions on YouTube which I cannot recommend (and won't even link to), as the quality is mediocre-to-poor (I made the mistake of watching one of these, and the quality of the presentation *really* diminished the experience). The one I watched even got worse in quality as it went along - if you're going to watch it, pay a few bucks and rent it: This might be the difference between "scary" and "not scary."
The Cast of Hill Street Blues, which includes the main ensemble and other recurring characters - these won't be listed under each episode, as there's no point in reinventing the wheel. Here are the credited actors in the pilot: Daniel J. Travanti as Capt. Francis Xavier "Frank" Furillo Michael Conrad as Sgt. Phil Freemason Esterhaus Michael Warren as Ofc. Bobby Hill Bruce Weitz as Det. Mick Belker James B. Sikking as Sgt. (later Lt./Sgt./Lt.) Howard Hunter Joe Spano as Sgt. (later Lt.) Henry Goldblume Barbara Bosson as Fay Furillo Taurean Blacque as Det. Neal Washington Kiel Martin as Det. J.D. LaRue Rene Enriquez as Lt. Ray Calletano (later Capt.) Betty Thomas as Ofc. (later Sgt.) Lucille Bates Charles Haid as Ofc. Andy Renko Veronica Hamel as Joyce Davenport Season One (Jan 15, 1981 - May 26, 1981) 1.1 - "Hill Street Station" - Directed by Robert Butler, Written by Michael Kozoll (Co-Creator of "Hill Street Blues") and Steven Bochco (Co-Creator of "Hill Street Blues") Featuring Panchito Gómez (Young Abraham in "Selena"), Trinidad Silva (Frog in "Colors"), Barbara Babcock (Emmy Nominee for "Outstanding Supporting Acrtress in a Drama Series" as Dorothy Jennings on "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman"), Mark Metcalf (Doug Neidermeyer in "Animal House"), Steven Bauer (as Rocky Echevarria) (Manny Riberta in "Scarface"), Charles Seaverns (Real Estate Man in "Frances"), Veronica Redd (Mamie Johnson on "The Young and the Restless"), Eleanor McCoy (Emerald City Citizen and Poppy in "The Wiz," and Bird in Paradise and Najua in "Timbuktu!" on Broadway), Vernon Washington (Rev. Mills Vernon on "Roots: The Next Generations") [My TV days ended with my high school graduation, and I went *decades* without watching any television - for example, I've never seen "Dallas" in my life, and I'd never before seen "Hill Street Blues" either. The sheer number of characters in the ensemble cast is daunting, but the list of pictures above is more than sufficient to get you through this first episode - it will also help to know what the ranks mean within a police department, which are essential to learn (it will also help you during a traffic stop, to be able to address the officer by his or her title). Regarding the characters above, this list is typical of a U.S. Police Department, which has quasi-military ranks: Officer - The formal name of every policeman, even the lowest-ranked - a title of respect - *always* use this term at the minimum. Detective - It's own entity - often the "weird guys" dressed in plain clothes - solitary creatures who roam the night and make drug busts. Sergeant - A non-commissioned officer, sometimes held in higher esteem than a Lieutenant, just like in the U.S. Army. Lieutenant - A commissioned officer, above a Private, Corporal, and Sergeant, and the best time to earn respect (or not). Captain: The officer in charge of an entire precinct - in this case, Frank Furillo, who runs Hill Street station. The above picture doesn't really show anything "special" about this episode (the three big story lines in "Hill Street Station" were 1) the hostage situation in the liquor store, 2) Bobby Hill and Andy Renko getting shot and almost dying, and 3) the President of the United States coming to visit the precinct, but none of these is really picturesque, and so I thought I'd take an "introductory" screen shot of three of the people you're likely to be seeing just about the most. To me, Hill and Renko's surprise shooting was easily the biggest moment in the episode, but that's really hard to capture in a single photo - listening to Hill talk about the living Hell he went through as he didn't lose consciousness was pretty rough going; at least Renko mercifully lapsed into a coma for two weeks, having no memory of horrible things like rats crawling over his face. The policeman's life; 99% tedium, 1% panic - it's enough to drive some cops to suicide, like my best friend in 1993. Please do me a personal favor, and watch "Elegy for a Pig" on "Adam-12," and think of my dear friend Evan when you do - I'm going to watch it again right now, and it's 1:52 AM.]