Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
Starring: Richard Thomas, Kendra Thomas, Craig Hauer
I have always been a big fan of the writing and imagination of Bill Myers. I was hooked after seeing the first McGee and Me series. I also used his Hot Topics video series with youth. My sons enjoyed the many literary episodes of Wally McDoogle. Bill’s “Forbidden Door” series is one of the best Christian set of teen thrillers ever written.
Global Factory is now translating Mr. Myers popular youth mystery series, “Bloodhounds, Inc” into a live action video series. This is no doubt one of the best series to hit the shelves since “The Last Chance Detectives.” I believe that students naturally love mysteries. The first five episodes have received the Award of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board.
The video series has great pedigree (pun intended). Richard Thomas (best known for his role as John Boy on “The Waltons”) is a widowed father who runs a local radio station. Mr. Thomas was extremely enthusiastic to be cast in this staring role. He said “I support a show that entertains kids while it’s teaching them some life lessons in compassion and responsibility.” He has two children, Sean and Melissa, who own and operate a kid’s detective agency. Sean is played by Craig Hauer.
Craig is one of the few teens that is registered with the Stuntman’s association. At age 8, his stunt work landed him the lead in the film, “Steel Chariot.” Craig has also appeared in episodes of 7th Heaven and “Baywatch”.
Melissa is played by Richard’s stepdaughter Kendra Thomas. Kendra is 13 and has starred in several thespian productions.
This wonderful series is produced by Marcia Silen. Marcia is the Founder, President and CEO of Global Kid Vid Film Factory, Inc. and Marcia Silen Films, LLC. Ms. Silen has over twenty years of experience in the film industry. She has provided marketing research for ABC, CBS, MCA and Paramount.
GlobalKid’s philosophy is to provide quality children’s programming to help kids to know themselves better as well as the world they live in. I deeply admire a company that is bold enough to have this level of aspirations.
Summary of the first five episodes:
“The Ghost of KRZY”—There is an eerie glow inside radio station KRZY during the middle of the night. The station’s equipment is vanishing. This is a hilarious and action-fitted case for our kid detectives and pet bloodhound, Slobs to solve. During this exciting mystery, our students begin to learn how “perfect love casts out all fear.” This episode also introduces two other principal characters in the series. Doc, played by Amanda Jones, is a deaf mute. She is the perfect absentminded scientist inventor. My youngest son, age 12, loved these gadgets that often backfire. Amanda has starred in films like “As Good as It Gets” and “Shelter from the Storm.” I also enjoyed the computer generated character Jeremiah. He is like a kid’s version of Max Headroom.
“The Mystery of the Invisible Knight”—Our detectives must solve the legend of Sir Richard Falcrest. He is a faceless knight dressed in armor stalking the merchants of Midvale. A series of strange robberies are believed to be the part of an ancient curse. This curse unfortunately extends to Sean and Melissa’s family. Our gumshoes plan a stakeout in a local museum in hopes of discovering the knight’s next target.
“Phantom of the Haunted Church”—Our detectives go in search of mythical pirates, treasure hidden deep within the deserted walls of Midvale’s historic church. Flashing lights, eerie moaning and the promise of riches send these kids deep inside the abandoned church. Don’t let this action-packed adventure fool you. There is a strong lesson to be learned as the theme of greed is explored.
“Invasion of the UFO’s”—Bloodhounds, Inc. is called in to uncover and explain nightly UFO sightings, alien abductions and the sudden appearance of little green men. While in the woods, our detectives discover some local worm farmers who are determined to scare Sean and Melissa off.
“Fangs For the Memories”—Do you remember Richard Kiel? He is best known for his role as Jaws in the James Bond film, “Moonraker”. Richard is now an outspoken Christian and travels frequently with Billy Graham. He is the guest star in this film full of bats, black capes and late-night robberies. This episode stretches both the faith and the courage of Sean and Melissa.
I strongly encourage parents to check out this extremely well done series. I know that those that have seen the series in video or on Sky Angel have nothing but praise for the quality of values in the context of popular kid’s themes. I hope that this is just the beginning of more faith-based family programming. Buy a set for your self. Buy a set for your library, and encourage your local video store to include it on their shelves (I bug the locals all the time).