Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Little Linkage

OK, OK, so the linkage doesn't really star Bert Convy, but I thought I'd throw a little bit of studliness into the mix!

There's been a some interesting TV movie info floating around the ether lately so I thought I'd spread the love.

About a week ago I posted a link to a YouTube clip featuring the hunky Robert Urich reminiscing about Killdozer on Conan, and the awesome W.B. Kelso at Micro-brewed Reviews sent me a link to his post explaining how he's connected to the whole Killdozer/Conan event. Pretty great stuff!

Also, someone on my TV Movie Yahoo group who calls themselves Salty Essentials (love it!) also sent me this link regarding the history of the Movie of the Week and the Bermuda Depths. It's quite an interesting read!

And Jerry Perzanowski at Dead Eye Delirium wrote a great review of the Dick Van Dyke's tour de force in the rare TV Movie The Morning After.

Enjoy kiddos!

Today's post has been brought to you by the letter M for Machismo

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to School... Again!

Time, she is a cruel mistress. Summer has come and gone and boy what a summer it was! After moving clear across the country to parts unknown this past spring, I lived in a hotel for two months and then relocated into a fairly fab wood panelled house and jumped into the summer semester. Six weeks after that when classes ended, I felt that kind of giddy freedom we don't get to feel all that often. Then the basement flooded during the strangest storm ever. Two weeks of cleaning up and I had approximately three days to enjoy the break. And here I am, ready to dive back in!

As much as I love the whole getting-an-education process, I know it's really all about what goes on after school, which is what our theme is here today. Check out some great promos below for the ABC Afterschool Special and CBS Schoolbreak (and one cool TVM)! Also you can read my reviews of some of the Afterschool DVDs here, here and here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Love American Style: Love and the Doorknob

Then the wife catches you

Then your neighbor finds out

Finally the knob becomes your Scarlet Letter

Too bad Stefanie Power's awesomely late 60s wedding dress was worn in vain:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Barbara Eden!

Ms. Eden turns 79 today! YAY!

There are many reasons I love made for television movies and I have to say Barbara is high on that list. Unlike a lot of actresses who get stereotyped after a successful sitcom, Barbara was able to take her amiable supernatural alter ego and throw it out the window. She took on so many varied and interesting roles on the small screen, especially during the 70s, that I found it difficult to just think of her as Jeannie.

Barbara in Return of the Rebels

Born Barbara Jean Morehead in Tucson, Arizona, she worked her way up the tinsel town ladder by taking small roles on television (Burke’s Law, Father Knows Best, among many others). She didn’t change her name to Eden until 1965 and scored the role of a lifetime. She became everyone's favorite genie on the sweet and funny sitcom I Dream of Jeannie which ran from 1965 – 1969 (during this run, she married uber-hottie Michael Ansara). The forever curvy Eden was not just a hot bod either, her charisma and sparkling smile won the hearts of TV luvin’ Americans everywhere and the chemistry (and friendship) with her co-star Larry Hagman would continue on screen through the years, as they appeared together on Dallas and in the 1972 TV thriller A Howling in the Woods (and an unsold pilot called The Toy Game in 1973). In fact, Barbara became a TV movie mainstay after Jeannie, and she made many, many awesome films.

Zoinks! Barbara in Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model

Here’s a list:

Howdy (1970)
The Feminist and the Fuzz (1971)

A Howling in the Woods (1972, click on link for review)
The Woman Hunter (1972
Guess Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed? (1973)
The Stranger Within (1974, click on link for review)
Out To Lunch (1975)
Let’s Switch (1976)
How to Break up a Happy Divorce (1976)

Stonestreet: Who Killed the Centerfold Model (1977, click on link for review)
The Girls in the Office (1979)

Condominium (1980, click on link for review) 
Return of the Rebels (1981, click on link for review)
Woman of the Year (1984)
I Dream of Jeannie: 15 Years Later (1985)
Stepford Children (1987)
Your Mother Wears Combat Boots (1989)
Opposites Attract (1990)
Her Wicked Ways (1991)
Hell Hath No Fury (1991)
I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991)
Visions of Murder (1993)
Eyes of Terror (1994, sequel to Visions of Murder)
Dead Man’s Island (1996)
Nite Club Confidential (1996)
Gentleman Prefer Blondes (1998)
Always and Forever (2009)


Also, in 1976 she appeared on the Telly Savalas variety special aptly titled, Who Loves Ya Baby! The show featured Diahann Carol and Cloris Leachman among others. What I remember most about this show was Telly doing a whole segment on telling kids not to give up their dreams, as he bets big at the race track! I’m not sure this is from that special, but here’s a link to a clip of Barbara showing off her amazing voice (embedding disabled! Boo!).

Barbara in The Stranger Within (and yeah, that's Bosley!)

The movie that made me love her was The Stranger Within and it’s recently been released on DVD through Warner Archive. It’s an excellent horror film, full of thick tension and it intelligently plays off a fear of doctors and for women, a fear of childbirth. It’s definitely one of the scariest films of the 70s, a decade brimming with terrifying horror movies.

Barbara recently wrote a memoir called Jeannie Out of the Bottle where she talks about the personal heartbreaks of divorce and of losing her only child. It's set to be released in the spring of 2011.

Barbara still looks fantastic and I’m so glad to see she’s still working. She’s always added a little extra flavor to all of her productions and she made my favorite decade of TVMs something very, very special. I hope she has a wonderful day, and here’s to many more!

Please check out this fansite for some more on Barbara.

Barbara with Debbie Reynolds in July of this year! Fabulous!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conan Talks Killdozer!

Conan put Robert Urich in the hot seat (or rather, hawt seat) and jokingly asks him about the possessed bulldozer that only goes 15 miles an hour! This is a really fun clip, both Conan and Robert are great! Enjoy!

I miss you so much, Mr. Urich.

Do I run, or just walk real slow?

The California Kid is on DVD!

And has been for the last three years!

Where have I been?!?

The California Kid is an ultra-cool thriller set in the 50s about a James Dean type (Martin Sheen being all hawt) avenging his brother's death (Joe Estevez!) after he's run off the road near a small town. The sheriff (Vic Morrow) is pretty dang evil you see, and only one leather clad hottie can take care of him. Kid also features Michelle Phillips and Nick Nolte (and Janit Baldwin from Humongous!).

I'm thrilled! I thought this was one of those forever lost movies and was happy to discover that I was wrong, wrong, WRONG when I found it for sale at Amazon (and cheap)! This is a seriously underrated movie, so pick up a copy today!

David Janssen (1931 -1980)

David Janssen was a certified genius. He had an IQ of 160 and read about six books a week.

Born with the name David Harold Meyer, his beauty queen mother later married Eugene Janssen, which is how David got his name. By the time he was in his mid 20s, he'd already racked up dozens of credits in film and television, but it was his portrayal of Dr. Richard Kimble in the 60s television series The Fugitive that made him a star.

Most actors would consider themselves lucky to have one hit show, but David starred in two, the other being the 70s cop show Harry-O. The pilot to the series was called Smile Jenny, You're Dead (1974), and featured the likes of Jodie Foster, Clu Gulager, Andrea Marcovicci and Zalman King! I love them all! Although I don't remember much about the series now, when I was a wee Amanda By Night, this and The Streets of San Francisco were my favorite shows. I know, I was a serious kid!

It was also during this decade that the now iconic actor was making a bevvy of television movies, mostly suspense. His gruff, darkly handsome features allowed him to appear in everything from thrillers to westerns.

David hocks Excedrin:

One of his most popular tele-pics was the Longest Night (1971), which is a tense thriller about a wealthy girl buried somewhere in a coffin as the cops race against time in an attempt to save her. Shortly afterwards David starred in Moon of the Wolf (1972) which was about (surprise, surprise) a werewolf, and also featured another handsome TV stud, Bradford Dillman.

David racked up several television movie credits before his untimely death in 1981, at the age of 49 when he suffered a fatal heart attack in his Malibu home.

Here is a list of some of his television movies (the linked titles are available online):

Night Chase (1970)
The Longest Night (1972)
Moon of the Wolf (1972) *Moon is also streaming on Hulu!
Birds of Prey (1973)
Hijack (1973)
Smile Jenny, You're Dead (1974)
Fer-de-lance (1974)
Stalk the Wild Child (1975)
Mayday at 40,000 Feet (1976)
Golden Rendezvous (1977, this is only on vhs)
Superdome (1978)
The Golden Gate Murders (1979)
City in Fear (1980, this is only on vhs)

Watch Harry O's opening titles

Don't forget to check out his official website, The David Janssen Archive. It's pretty cool. Poke around…

And you can read about the actor's darker side (and his affair with Angie Dickinson!) at People Magazine Archives

If David ever had to morph into Barbara Rush, this is what it would look like!

*Portions of this were originally written for my TV movie Yahoo group.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yahoo for Yahoo Groups!

Come and take a look inside! Muwhahahaha!

Back in the day, I had a Yahoo Group dedicated to TVMs. I was perusing it yesterday and got all nostalgic for those glory days just a few years ago when you could still find a lot of made for television movies on various cable channels such as Encore Mystery and TBS. There's still a few around, but the numbers have dropped immensely and it's sad. I also realized that my group was pretty dang fun and extremely interactive. I'd love for anyone who visits here and is interested in this little genre of film to please sign up. I think leaving comments is so completely awesome, but this will allow fans to talk about whatever we want, whenever we want.

One of us! Gooble gobble. Gooble gobble. One of us. Sign up now!

My group promises to be full of salacious surprises!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Dan Curtis Poll!

I've decided that it might be fun to have a poll on my blog. And check it, who is cooler or more influential in the world of TVMs than the great Dan Curtis? I only added movies he directed, which is why you won't see the Night Stalker listed, which he produced but John Llewellyn Moxey directed. Please choose one, and if I forgot a title, leave it here in the comments section. My vote is going to go to The Norliss Tapes. I adore that Roy Thinnes and the movie is absolutely creepy!

I love you Dan!

(This poll runs until the 24th of August!)

If this little guy ever had feelings for anyone, it's Dan!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Must See Streaming Movie of the Week: Terraces (1977)

Network: NBC
Original Air Date: June 27th, 1977

Terraces could easily be a pre-cursor to Melrose Place. Although, it seriously needed a Jake. All nighttime soaps need a Jake! However, what Terraces does have is super sudsy goodness in the guise of suicide, homosexuality, extra marital affairs and Tim Thomerson! I mean, it throws just about everything into the pot! Even doggie death! Wow!

Tim smackin' hawt Thomerson as The Prick

Julie Bordon (Kit McDonough) finally leaves her mother’s house and moves into this lush high rise building in the heart of Los Angeles. Her old college roommate Beth Loomis (Eliza Roberts) lives there with her husband, Gregg (Bill Gerber), whom Julie dated briefly. While Julie is very down to earth and funny, she’s also a bit of loser and she seems so far removed from her old buddy Beth who is now a journalist covering the Hollywood entertainment beat. Bill also feels a distance with his wife, who is more aloof and snobby now that she hangs out with Paul Newman (and rightly so!). Next door to Julie is Alex (James Phipps), an openly gay actor who is having an affair with an older doctor named Roger (Lloyd Bochner). Roger is married by the way, but Alex makes him feel whole and they continue to pursue the relationship. There is a fairly frank and progressive scene featuring Roger explaining how he came to fall in love with Alex. Awwwws ensued.


You’ll also meet Mr. & Mrs. Robbins (Arny Freeman and Jane Dulo), a retired couple who make snarky cracks and own a little dog that the husband can’t get enough of. He also can’t get enough of visiting the old clothing store he used to own, which now caters to a gay clientele.

And then there’s Chalane Turner (Julie Newmar!) who is living in the building while her boyfriend is out of town. She does the splits, offers fashion advice and basically livens up the film.
Julie is dating Steve (Tim Thomerson) but he’s kind of a prick and only comes around when he wants some nookie and never stays the night. However, Gregg sees something in her and eventually they hit the sheets, only to be caught almost immediately afterwards by Gregg’s wife! Julie yells, “This isn’t what it looks like!” but I mean, Gregg comes out of the bedroom in nothing but his finely fitted slacks and and Julie is in a robe. I really think in this case, it is exactly what it looks like!

Doggie death that teaches a lesson!

There are all kinds of things going on in this building, and it’s done in this really light manner, as if suicide is almost funny. Not quite, but almost. The movie was directed and co-written by Lila Garret who is Eliza Roberts mom (Eliza is now Mrs. Eric Roberts! Cool!) and I thought for sure Lila would have had her hand in daytime soaps but she mostly worked in comedies, such as All in the Family and Bewitched, which may explain why the film teeters on the comical. Just the casting of Kit McDonough alone insured some giggles - even when she’s serious she’s funny, and that applies here as well.

Barrell chested love

As misguided and discombobulated as Terraces was, I still loved it. It’s brisk and fun, with just enough controversy to make it all feel a tad naughty. Julie Newmar needed a bigger part, but overall, this film dove about one inch into what should have been deep water and keeps afloat by refusing to linger on any one topic long enough to make the audience realize how hokey the material really is. Also, I just love that Lloyd Bochner!

Terraces is currently streaming on Hulu, and it’s such an odd and wonderful choice. I had not heard of this movie until I began poking around Hulu, so it was a pretty exciting find!

OK, now this is actually not what it looks like!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Midnight Offerings (1981)

A couple of weeks ago, I got a comment from Sam of Hi-Gloss Productions asking about a movie he’d seen but wasn’t sure what the title was. Sam wrote, “One movie I saw in the 90's (though I have no idea what year it was filmed) was about two witches (one or both may have been teenagers) and the final showdown involved a nail gun an' that's all I got! Any ideas?! Have been wondering for a millennium and you could be my last hope.”

I took a shot that it was Midnight Offerings and lo and behold, I was correct. Finally I was right about something and it felt all good and stuff! Sam said he hoped for a review soon. And so here I am! This one is for you, Sam! And everyone should take a look at his site for Hi-Gloss, his company produces some really cool stuff!

Chic witchery

Network: ABC
Original Air Date: February 27th, 1981

Now this is a fun film! Midnight Offerings came out at the perfect time for my life. Watching the good witch and evil bitchy witch go toe to toe left an indelible mark on me in those wide eyed years.

Melissa Sue Anderson is friggin’ fantastic as evil witch Vivian. She rules the school and keeps her football playing stud of a boyfriend David (Patrick Cassidy of that luscious Cassidy clan) under her thumb mostly by killing anyone who tries to get in the way of his football career! Enter Mary Beth McDonough (the gorgeous Erin of The Waltons) as Robin Prentiss, a new girl with powers she has yet to understand. When she touches someone she can feel their pain or their power. David instantly takes a liking to her, much to Vivian’s chagrin and that’s when the proverbial shizz-nit hits the fan.

The Waltons vs. Little House on the Prairie? You got it!

This teacher is into the dirty stuff!

Midnight Offerings doesn’t get old. In fact, there are several films which feature women finding empowerment through witchcraft or supernatural means. Just on television alone, we’ve got The Spell (1977), A Stranger in Our House (aka Summer of Fear, 1978) and The Initiation of Sarah (1978, and remade in 2006). These movies embrace the idea of fitting in while finding something unique about oneself (also see my review of Nestor, the Long Eared Donkey for another comparison!). This is a common theme for young girls and certainly explains why The Craft (1996) is such a popular film - women and witchcraft mix well. Offerings is no exception and plays on the same ideas I mentioned above. It was also written by a successful female producer named Juanita Bartlett (Rockford Files, Greatest American Hero), which might explain how this movie tapped into all things mysterious and girly.

The windows to teen witchy-ness

Melissa Sue Anderson was a great choice to play Vivian. I am quite smitten with her and not just because of Offerings, she also won my heart in First Affair (1983), Dark Mansions (1986) and of course, Happy Birthday to Me (1981). She was equally at ease being a total bitch as she was when she played the wide eyed ingĂ©nue and I wish she was working more. Mary Beth McDonough has always been an uneven actress, and she starts off a bit stiff but really settles into the part of the good witch nicely. The scene where she and David go to a remote area to practice her untapped skills is quaint and sweet and a high point of the film. I actually think she really came into her own in Mortuary (1983 – oh, and check out the image gallery!), a movie I absolutely adore.

Melissa does a kick ass impression of the Scream mask

The rest of the cast is awesome, and the slew of familiar faces is mesmerizing. Marion Ross (Mrs. C!) is the psychic who helps Robin hone her talents and Gordon Jump (WKRP) and Cathryn Damon (SOAP) are excellent as Vivian’s parents. In fact, Cathryn’s part turns out to be quite important and plays a big part in the shocking climax. Even the late Jeff MacKay (Magnum P.I.) pops up in one excellent scene. This whole movie is like one big early 80s television flashback and I for one, just loved it.

My kingdom for a band-aid!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

It's Award Season

So, I was doing my regular blog surf the other day and came across someone who thinks these blogger awards are really lame (they used much harsher language, but you know I’m a frickin’ lady and shit) and I found it to be sort of offensive. I mean, unless you had some giant blog that millions of people frequent all of the time, you’d think you’d be honored that someone enjoys your writing. Maybe if Roger Ebert got a blogger award or something, and this person certainly isn’t Ebert… I mean, I’m just saying…

Anyway, two people gave me an award called The Versatile Blogger Award and goshdarnit, I am very honored. So please, let me thank Joanna from Christmas TV Companion and The Girl Who Loves Horror. Her real name is unknown to me and it makes her all enigmatic and sexy. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for coming by and for enjoying the content. I say it all the time, but let me squeeze it in once more, this blog regards a very narrow topic and I’m so pleased that people enjoy reading about these movies, which otherwise seem to have almost been forgotten. I can’t tell you how much appreciate it.

Asa giving me a tip o' the hat!

My job here is to thank the bloggers who awarded me (check!), then write seven things about myself and then give this award to ten blogs I adore. Here we go:

So, now onto the important stuff - me, me, ME! Yay! If there’s one thing I am an expert on, it’s moi. Hmmm, seven interesting things is still a lot, but let me see:

1. See the elephant in my banner? I know a lot of people stop by and can’t figure out why he’s there – it doesn't exactly scream TV movie, right? But when I started this blog at LiveJournal, I had to pick from one of their layouts and the colors came the closest to having a 70s retro feel. Also, I like elephants. And so he’s become my mascot and although I have the power to change him, I just don’t want to.

2. I’ve gotten drunk with TV movie director Gordon Hessler is his mansion like house! I love him most for Scream, Pretty Peggy and because he makes an awesome Manhattan!

3. I am fixated on the word Zoinks and use it in conversation as often as possible.

4. I do a damn good Danielle Steel impression.

5. My father looked a bit like Charles Bronson, therefore, I am obsessed with Charles Bronson.

My dad always had two guns blazing too!

6. I am slowly building up my Shades of Love collection. Shades was a Canadian TV movie romance series that featured Parker Stevenson, Dack Rambo and other hunky studs. It’s so melodramatic and sentimental and I’ve seen the movies I’ve found a thousand times! All the episodes are indicative of a color (hence Shades in the title) and my fiancĂ© just got me one called Make Mine Chartreuse! My guy must really love me!

7. I think Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas is probably one of the most interesting and complex characters ever created for not only nighttime soaps, but for television in general.


Now I’m supposed to select ten blogs that I adore. I have been really busy in school and I’m not sure I have been frequenting that many blogs of late, but let me just list some here:

Go Retro - I adore this blog. Pam has a lot of heart and is interested in many different things regarding retro pop culture. Check out her Hottie of the Month and her look at twisted adverts. This blog guarantees big smiles.

Blanked as Ordered - Ryan Orvis is the guy who gave me my start in the world of writing. He created a fanzine called Debaser and asked me to write about horror for him (and of course I did an article on TV movies!) and I owe him a lot. He’s also a great guy who loves all things exploitation and is a big music nut (and a fabulous musician). His wife has recently got him into slashers as well, so he’s added that to his blog. It’s so well written and thoughtful, you are sure to walk away with some kind of neat knowledge of something!

The Kid in the Hall - Morgan is cool and has almost the exact same taste in movies that I do. It’s like we’re crazy twins… crazy evil twins! Her passion is contagious and her blog is definitely worth a look!

Moon in the Gutter - I think I may have mentioned Moon before, but it’s worth mentioning again. This blog has a little bit of everything from arty to exploitive film, there’s info on music and essentially this is a diary of a movie fanatic’s life. I find Jeremy’s writing to be incredible and insightful and his openness to share his passion of film and music with the world is extraordinary. He makes me want to see movies I thought I never wanted to see! And Jeremy and I formed an unholy union when he told me he also likes A Certain Sacrifice (Madonna’s first movie)! Now I know there are two of us!

Well, that’s four! These are all blogs worth discovering, if you haven’t already! And I’m sure I can get the list up to ten easily if you check out the posts I did when I received The Premio Dardo Award, The You Are a Great Read Award, One Lovely Blog Award, and the Honest Scrap Award. I have several other blogs listed there and they are all wonderful!

Thanks again to the Girl Who Loves Horror and Joanna for bestowing this award upon my ass!

My buddy!