Friday, February 17, 2012

Jersey Devil Expeditions: As seen on TV

The Jersey Devil Expeditions is the movie diary of Fighting Owl Film's new independent monster movie of the same name. Over the course of the next several weeks and months, you'll get an insider's peek at what it's like for filmmakers to craft a new entry of paranormal pop culture from Erin Lilley, a producer and actress on the film. 

From 'American Dragon: Jake Long'
Photo Credit: Wikia
One of the biggest reasons Thomas, Fighting Owl Films' founder and director, wanted to tackle the Jersey Devil mythos was that it hadn't been explored all that deeply, or nearly as often as, say, Bigfoot or Nessie. That's not to suggest the subject had never been broached before.

In fact, I've compiled a list of 15 movies and television shows that have dealt with the creature ... more or less. I've tried to keep my comments out of spoiler territory, but beware of clicking any links if you haven't seen the shows.

Here are the first five: scripted television programs.

The X-Files: "The Jersey Devil" premiered Oct. 8, 1993. In this episode, a few unusual killings in the New Jersey woods lead agents Scully and Mulder to investigate the possibility of a Jersey Devil. As it turns out, the duo have something much, much worse to contend with.

The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest : "The Spectre of the Pine Barrens" premiered Sept. 17, 1996. A possible sighting of the Jersey Devil sets the episode in motion, but the creature takes a back seat to a story about descendants of Revolutionary War Redcoats and Minutemen, and a feud over the Declaration of Independence.

Extreme Ghostbusters: "The Jersey Devil Made Me Do It" premiered Sept. 26, 1997. The guys have been invited to a convention in Atlantic City, and find themselves squaring off against the creature, sans equipment! The episode makes good use of Jersey Devil folklore, citing how Commodore Stephen Decatur supposedly fired a cannonball directly into the creature, to no effect, and describing the Devil as a "flying lizard" and "flying horse".

American Dragon: Jake Long: "The Long Weekend" premiered July 1, 2005. The episode played with the mythology of the Devil by having him appear for seven days every hundred years to torment a community of wood sprites. The creature was shown to have a moose's body, eagle's wings, a lion's tail, red eyes, and nubby antlers.

Supernatural: "How To Win Friends and Influence Monsters" premiered Nov. 18, 2011. The Winchester brothers suspect some odd killings to be the work of the Jersey Devil, and end up in over their heads with some even nastier creatures.

I'll be back later with the next five: reality television programs.