Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 31 - Summer of Fear

Originally, I was going to do several TV movies, all of which would have aired on this day back in time... but since I'm out of town and didn't have as much time to prepare as I would have liked, and because I'm at a Chiller convention where I was about 5 feet away from Linda Blair, I thought I'd choose this NBC film which aired on this day in 1978.

Linda is cute as a button here as the beleaguered but spunky teenager who thinks her cousin is an Ozark witch! I really like Summer of Fear aka Stranger in Our House. It's got a lot of energy, a great cast and it shows the early potential of Wes Craven who helmed this little flick. It's not my favorite of his TV movie horror films, that would be Chiller, but it's a lot of fun and a movie I find myself enjoying more with each viewing. It's horror-lite, but perfect fodder for a relaxing Hallow's Eve!

And wouldn't you know it, Summer of Fear is on DVD! There is a commentary track with Wes and it's just fantastic. Well worth the price of the disc.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 30 - Death Cruise

Terror on the high seas was never this glamorous! This ABC Movie of the Week which premiered on this day all the way back in 1974 has managed to elude me, even though it had a vhs release. It sounds a little bit like Love Boat meets Ten Little Indians, only there's six Indians here. But you get the picture. Three couples win a contest they never entered and find themselves cruising towards... you got it... death. And check it out - this is yet another Aaron Spelling movie! Death Cruise just reeks of awesomeness, don't it? Another one to add to the must see list!

And like yesterday's post, this is in honor of the late Tom Bosley who stars here alongside such wonderful actors as Kate Jackson and Richard Long. Bosley will always be known as Mr. C, but he was so great in anything he popped up in. RIP Tom.

Here's a brief clip:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 29 - At the Midnight Hour

I sort of struggled with whether or not I should make this CBS movie, which premiered on this day in 1995, my choice for Scary TV Movie of the Day, but I decided on it for two simple reasons.

The first one is probably obvious... Amanda By Night adores her gothic thriller/romance hybrids. Especially when it's produced by Harlequin! You heard me, the trashy paperback romance company produced some really great little movies back in the 90s. OK, maybe great is overstating it a bit. I mean, it's no Shades of Love or Romance Theater or anything, but they really do fit the bill when you want some love and suspense. I had not heard of this movie until I made this list and the random reviews I've read have been fair to middling, but what can I say, I'm a sucker.

The second reason I picked At the Midnight Hour is because I have been wanting to pay a little tribute to Simon MacCorkindale who passed away on October 14th at the age of 58. I mostly love Simon because he was Manimal, but he also starred in one of my favorite Shades of Love movies (there goes that title again), called Sincerely, Violet. He was always a great romantic lead with that suave accent and Jeff Bridges like features. And let's not forget, he was downright sexy in Jaws 3!

So there's two great reasons to give this movie a go. Sexy and scary! YAY!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 28 - KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park

Although it's considered a big ol' train wreck by pretty much everyone involved (and some of the viewers as well!) I still think KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park is pretty wonderful. This NBC movie which aired on this day in 1978 is kind of magical. There, I said it. Produced by Hanna-Barbera, it's pure childish fodder, but instead of a big cartoon bear you've got Gene Simmons. Sure he's smarter than the average bear but he says things like "Star Child!" too! How I love thee! Actually this movie is one of the most fun TV movies of the decade. It's got ultra-silly sound effects and it features the band as superhero types out to foil Anthony Zerbe, aka the Phantom of the Park. He's making certain park patrons into robot-zombie types who will do his evil bidding! Does it get anymore awesome than that? I mean, seriously. Plus Peter Criss' Beth is one of the best songs of all time. It just is.

Just cuz: The band still slams the movie to this day, but I met Peter Criss briefly in the early 90s and I asked him to sign my trusty vhs copy. He looked at it and said, "Cool!" I think we all have a soft spot for this Phantom!

Read more about KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park at TV Party!

Check out this awesome promo for the movie:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 27: The House that Would Not Die

Oh man, you've got a creepy house, Barbara Stanwyck, John Llewellyn Moxey and Aaron Spelling... This ABC Movie of the Week made its debut on this day in 1970 and looks sooooo good. I'm ashamed to admit I haven't seen it... yet.

The House that Would Not Die is based on the creepy Barbara Michaels novel called Ammie Come Home, which I am somewhat familiar with. I remember the house in the book isn't Amish, and it's located fairly close to other homes. I've been curious to see how this adaptation worked out and I'm just crazy about movies with seances! This is a definite must see!

Read about The House that Would Not Die over at Kindertrauma and CampBlood!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 26 - In the Deep Woods

Serial killer madness struck NBC on this day in 1992! In the Deep Woods is probably best remembered because it was Anthony Perkins' last film (he died about one month before it premiered). It looks like many of those early 90s crime thrillers which brought the TV movie world to a halt, but from what I've read, it's a really fun whodunit and you know, that Perkins guy can do no wrong. Here he plays a cop hot on the trail of a killer and he creates an aura of paranoia around Rosanna Arquette who starts to think she may know the culprit. Also, Kimberly Beck, D.W. Moffat and Will Patton all show up and probably look very cool in that early-90s-Melrose-Place-kind-of-way! Me likey! This movie is available on DVD through Amazon

Halloween Countdown: Day 25 - Bay Coven

Bay Coven aka Bay Cove aka Eye of the Demon aka Strangers in Town aka The Devils of Bay Cove (got that?) premiered on this day on NBC in 1987 and sounds like a last-bastion attempt at the glamorous world of TV horror movies, with all kinds of neat witchcraft and Pamela Sue Martin and stuff!

I have a copy of this movie... somewhere. Back in the early 2000s when I first met my main mancub, he gave me a copy of Bay Coven because he knew the way to my heart was through my vcr. I can't say I remember much now, but by reading some stuff about this movie, I've been re-encouraged to take the Nestea plunge and give it another go. Lord knows where it is in this house, but I see you can buy it for cheap on vhs. YAY!

Read my review of Bay Coven here

Also, you can read this great review of Bay Coven at Killer Kittens from Beyond the Grave.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 24 - Dark Night of the Scarecrow

Halloween doth approachith... or something like that. As the holiday heads to ground zero, the movies get scarier... Although it's doubtful that anything will be able to top this genuinely terrifying horror film about the vengeance of an idiot-manchild-done-wrong! I know, I'm not really selling it with my pithy synopsis. But seriously, if you haven't seen this super scary TVM, which premiered on this day in 1981 on CBS, then you need to see it now. And as luck would have it, Dark Night of the Scarecrow just got released on DVD! I picked it up, but have only been able to watch bits, and I can tell you the transfer is fantastic and it also features a commentary by the writer and director! Wow, I should drop out of school, cuz it's obvious time is not on my side! Anyway, please support your TVMs!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Countdown - Day 23: Bad Ronald

I'm not exactly sure else I can add to the discussion of this movie that I didn't already say in the review I did when I first started ye olde blog. Bad Ronald is simply ABC Movie of the Week awesomeness and will forever stand as a grand example of the small scale brilliance TVMs could attain when done right. As I see it, this 1974 shocker is just about perfect... and I'm not just saying that because Scott Jacoby is so damn cute. But, of course, that makes it that much better!
Bad Ronald is now on DVD at Warner Archives!

I'm feeling all charitable so I thought I'd throw out this title too. Mind over Murder aired on this day in 1979 on CBS. It's got Deborah Raffin, Bruce Davidson, Andrew "super hawt" Prine and Robert Englund! Kind of funny Englund appears here as this one is about deadly visions! It was released on vhs under the title Deadly Vision and I can't believe I haven't seen it yet! You can read a hilarious review of it at Camp Blood (that buzz cracks me up!).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 22 - A Twofer!

I love both Killjoy and The Possessed and couldn't decide which one to post about so I said to myself, "Honey, this is your blog. If you want some awesome two for one blog posts, you should just go ahead and do it. And, when was the last time you watched This House Possessed?"

I get distracted easily you see.

The Possessed (the one with no house) aired on this day in 1977 on NBC and Killjoy had the honor in 1981, when it aired on CBS. These are wildly different films - one is about getting possessed by a demon and the other one features Kim Basinger as someone who understands medicine. I still can't decide which one is scarier... Actually, both movies are really suspenseful and a lot of fun.

I guess it all depends on if you're in the mood for the fantastical or something that's more in tune with murder mysteries. Or perhaps you'll make your decision based on machismo. I often do. The Possessed boasts a fun, early performance from Harrison Ford and James Farentino wears turtlenecks and sports jackets. Mmmmm... Killjoy is, like, hot dudes galore because Robert Culp, John Rubenstein and Steven Macht are just too divine. And just to make it harder to choose, both movies feature Ann Dusenberry! Wow, October 22nd never looked so good!

Both movies are available on DVD. Again, the awesomeness known as Warner Archives gave The Possessed some DVD love, while Killjoy was renamed Who Murdered Joy Morgan (a far less clever title) and it also got the DVD treatment and is available at Amazon.

You can also read my reviews for The Possessed and Killjoy by just clicking the dang links!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stephen J. Cannell 1941 - 2010

For someone like me who grew up on 70s and 80s television, hearing the names Aaron Spelling and Stephen J. Cannell could easily be likened to the sound of a light rainfall in summer. In other words, when it comes to guys like them, I'm easy like Sunday morning, ya dig? And both Spelling and Cannell impacted me in ways I never really understood until they were gone.

Cannell came up in a world where three networks were almost all we had to keep ourselves entertained and I imagine the market was was tough. He broke into television in the early 70s as a writer for Ironside and got his first producing credit in 1973 on a TV movie called The Chase, which starred Mitch Ryan (i.e. Greg’s dad on Dharma and Greg) as an unconventional cop. This pilot movie, which was also created by Cannell, was picked up as a series and ran for one season. After that he would go on to become one of the most prolific creators/producers/writers in television. He was responsible for such wonderful television shows as Toma, The Rockford Files, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team, Riptide, Hunter, 21 Jump Street and Cobra, among many, many others.

Cannell had an eye for goofy machismo!

I saw this quote from him on IMDb, “Even though I was flunking English because I couldn't spell; in my high school year book under ambitions I had written 'Author'. When I went off to college I ran into a guy at the University of Oregon named Ralph Salisbury who was my first creative writing instructor and he turned all the lights on for me. He was the first teacher in all my years who actually said I had talent. Some people don't know this, but I have dyslexia."

Although I don’t recall reading a ton of interviews with Cannell, his dyslexia was something I was very aware of and it made for some inspirational dinner table conversation. My parents and I admired him immensely and adored his shows. My mom practically brought me up on The Rockford Files, and looking back I see where I inherited my boy-craziness from (boy, did she love James Garner). I have to say, I love Jim Rockford too, but Riptide and 21 Jump Street were my favorite shows to come out of the Cannell empire. In fact, I have recently been re-visiting both and they are just as good as I remembered. I was actually surprised with how well Jump Street has aged. Teen angst – that stuff never gets old, you know? I’ll even forgive him for Booker.

Cannell was married to his high school sweetheart and by all accounts, was a wonderful man who loved creating and writing. Not only was he talented, but his passion for television was certainly infectious and I can thank him for passing me the bug. My thoughts go out to Stephen’s family and friends.

Riptide's opening:

You can visit Cannell’s official website for more information on one of the greatest talents television ever saw.

And you can read my reviews of:

Riptide: The Pilot
Midnight Offerings

Piece o’ Trivia: Cannell wrote the awesome Columbo episode titled Double Exposure which featured Robert Culp as the bad guy. Let me get this straight, Stephen J. Cannell, Levinson and Link, Peter Falk and Robert Culp... together in one room?!? How did the earth not implode from all that awesomeness?!?

A nifty Rockford Files TV spot:

Halloween Countdown: Day 21 - Jack the Ripper

This mini-series, which aired on October 21st and October 23rd in 1988, was an event. Michael Caine starred as the dogged Inspector Fredderick Abberline and it marked his return to television after a 20 year absence (he last appeared on TV in ITV Saturday Night Theater in 1969)! Jack the Ripper was an ostentatious production, where the budget seemed to know no bounds. The set pieces and costumes are simply fantastic. The filmmakers were so sure they knew who the killer was, they shot different endings to avoid leaks from the set! This CBS mini-series was obviously meant to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the Ripper's intense reign of terror during the late 1800s. I won't reveal the killer here, but the claims made in the film have been largely discredited since its airing. Still, the fascination the world holds with Jack the Ripper continues to endure, and although many movies have tried, very few have come as close to perfection as this version. Michael Caine won a Golden Globe for his performance (Piece o' Trivia: He tied with Stacey Keach who played Hemingway in, ah nice, Hemingway!).

Now available on DVD thanks to the fine folks at Warner Archives, this is another one of those small screen treasures that's been well deserving of a second audience.

And check out some machismo, 18th century style:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 20 - The UFO Incident

Houston, we have a winner!

By all accounts, The UFO Incident is one humdinger of a good flick. It premiered on this day in 1975 on NBC and is based on the "true" story of a couple in the 1960s who claim that they were abducted by aliens. The UFO Incident stars James Earl Jones and Estelle Parsons as the couple. I have not seen this movie (yet), and I don't want to do any injustices to it, so let me just link you to the IMDb, and the Wikipedia pages. This looks pretty intense!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 19 - The Death of Ocean View Park

It's been some time since I've seen this movie, but I do know it stars Diana Canova as a haunted young lady having nightmares. It seems her dreams are predicting the devastation of the local boardwalk. Somehow Mike Connors and Martin Landau fit in... and man, I'm thinking I need to see this again!

The Death of Ocean View Park debuted on this day in 1979 on ABC. Playboy was actually involved with this film. Surprisingly enough they had their hand in a few awesome made for TV movies of yesteryear such as Deliver Us From Evil (1973) and Beyond the Bermuda Triangle (1975). The idea to make a movie came to be because the actual park, which was located in Norfolk, VA was going to be torn down, so in true Roger Corman style, a film was put together so they could use the footage of the demolition! Gotta love it!

The film has become a bit of a time capsule for people who used to frequent Ocean View and so it seems a bit ironic that the movie has become a time capsule for me because of my adoration for the almost-extinct made for TV movie. Both the park and the film leave feelings of bittersweet nostalgia. Perhaps not the best recipe for Halloween horror, but hey, I ain't picky!

And if you want to get real nostalgic, check out this TV spot:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 18 - Fer-De-Lance

Way before Samuel L. Jackson tried to make a catchphrase out of snakes and a mutha f****n' plane, David Janssen had already tried to get them out of his mutha f****n' submarine. No. joke. Fer-De-Lance aired on this day back in 1974 on CBS. Frank Bonner who played Herb Tarlek on WKRP is the stooge who thinks bringing poisonous snakes on a plane is a good idea. Well, the sub gets into some technical trouble and now those snakes are loose and looking for blood! Yikes! This movie is actually available on a DVD collection called Killer Snakes!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 17 - Sandcastles

Much like The Bermuda Depths, Sandcastles seems to be one of those movies that haunts the people who caught it when it first aired on this day back in 1972 on CBS. The story involves a drifter named Michael (Jan Michael Vincent) who takes off with his boss' money and doesn't live to regret it. Some time later, his otherworldly form is found walking the beach by a lonely and beautiful musician named Jenna (Bonnie Bedelia). He wants her to help him right his wrongs, but she refuses because it means he'll be able to leave this earthly plane, thereby leaving Jenna all by her lonesome. A little self-centered, I agree, but totally understandable.

A quick browse of the comments on this movie's IMDb page makes it obvious that Sandcastles made quite the impact. It was also considered a revolutionary film because it was the very first TV movie to employ the single camera video system. The print was later transferred to film (I got that bit of info out of Arvin Marill's awesome book Movies Made for Television!). I would love to see this, and it did get a DVD release, but this starving student can't afford those prices right now! Still, it looks like a film worth discovering!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 16 - Hotline

I am semi-obsessed with Hotline, which premiered on this day in 1982 on CBS, so it's funny that I've never reviewed it... Not only do I love Lynda Carter, but this movie also has Steve Forrest, Granville Van Dusen and the always wonderful Monte Markham. It's a pretty good thriller featuring Lynda Carter as a bartender who lives in one of those small idyllic California coastal towns that don't exist. And even if they did, she certainly couldn't afford to live there. Everything has that late 70s - early 80s wood panelled look that I love so much. She hooks up with this psychologist who runs a hotline for people who aren't as cool as Lynda Carter. She volunteers and begins to receive calls from the local killer. This one is pretty fun, has some nice phone terror and the twist is simply outrageous! I've been watching Hotline in bits as I go to bed recently and I really enjoy the whole set up and the pacing. Plus Lynda looks fabulous. I should also give a nod to Steve Forrest who I underappreciated until I saw Hollywood Wives a few months ago. He's basically the same airhead Hollywood stud in this, and he's way too good at it! I would wonder if he was like that if I hadn't seen him speak a couple of years ago at a screening of Phantom of the Rue Morgue. He was so gracious and warm and I've been in love with him ever since. And here's a nifty bit of trivia... did you know his brother was uber-stud Dana Andrews? Too cool!

Read more about Hotline at:

Hysteria Lives
Camp Blood
Anchorwoman in Peril
And the Horror Society did a nifty piece on a a trio of Lynda Carter's TV movies!

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Scary-ness... and stuff!

For the first time in awhile, I have some new stuff on other sites. I made a list of 20-something horror movies I love (and there's a couple of TV movie nods), for Final Girl. I can't say it's a definitive list, it was more like one I made as an experiment. I sat down and made an-almost instantaneous list and just went with it. I'm sure I'm missing some films I truly adore, but it was fun and I do feel all warm and fuzzy about my off-the-cuff choices. I'd like to thank Stacie for posting it and making the layout so delish!

Also, I recently wrote a review of The Lost Boys for Fangirltastic. I caught the movie last month at a revival screening and was pleased with how well the movie stood up after all these years, and dismayed by certain audience members who are only about making fun of retro-films. This is why I stay in 1987. We took our silly movies seriously, the way the horror film gods intended!


Still sah-mokin' hawt after all these years!

Halloween Countdown: Day 15 - Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer

I finally saw Trackdown: Finding the Goodbar Killer about a year ago and thought it was a well made police procedural (click on title for review). George Segal is another one of those warm actors who made a decent boy in blue. Trackdown is an interesting movie because it's based on the capture of the real life Goodbar Killer, yet it refuses to have any association with Looking for Mr. Goodbar. CBS aired Trackdown on this day in 1983, and although the film is mostly cold looking apartments, there is some fantastic early 80s New York nite life to drool over! It's worth seeing if you can find it. It sometimes airs on Encore Mystery, or at least it did a few years ago.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 14 - Murder Times Seven

 Awww, I love Richard Crenna. Here is a man that always puts a smile on my face. What a warm actor he was and I think he was always good as The Cop. Hell, he even made the lead in The Rape of Richard Beck sympathetic - that's really saying something! I had not heard of this movie until recently, but Murder Times Seven is actually part of a series of cop procedural thrillers and Crenna plays a character named Frank Janek. This character first saw the light of day in 1985 in a Willam Bayer novel called Peregine. Murder aired on this day on CBS in 1990 and features Janek tracking down a killer responsible for several grisly murders! I'd like very much to see this please!

Also, check out this TV spot. Looks fun!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 13 - The Old Man Who Cried Wolf

In one of his last performances, Edward G. Robinson makes a stunning commentary on the elderly and our treatment of them in this harrowing TV movie which premiered on this day in 1970. The Old Man Who Cried Wolf was an ABC Movie of the Week, and it's pretty hefty stuff for them, especially considering the next movie to premiere under that moniker was called Wild Women (oh, ABC Movie of the Week, how I miss you)! Robinson plays Emile Pulska, a dignified retiree who witnesses his friend's murder. No one wants to believe Emile, and granted the set-up is a bit outlandish, but the rather patronizing manner he's treated in becomes infuriating. That indignation is so prevalent that Emile even begins to question his own senility and memory. The ending is absolutely horrific.

Martin Balsam and Ed Asner co-star and are wonderful. This is one of those movies that creates suspense through paranoia. Honestly, I can't recommend this movie enough. Everyone should see it.

Bonus Title: When I saw Lethal Vows premiered on this day on CBS in 1999, I just had to mention it (click on title for review). It's a perfect mixture of True Crime and the infamous Disease of the Week themes which were so popular in the 90s. I love this movie because I just love watching John Ritter be mean. I don't know why, but it's a kick!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 12 - A Taste of Evil

How ridiculously in was it to have a plot regarding someone trying to drive an already-emotionally unstable woman insane? Dominique is Dead did it, The Screaming Woman did it and Let's Scare Jessica to Death might have done it (I'm still trying to figure that one out)! It may seem a little tired now, but back in the 70s, emotionally unstable and chic was in, in, in! I've only seen bits of A Taste of Evil, and from what I remember, the opening scene is pretty killer. Aaron Spelling produced this ABC Movie of the Week, which aired on this day in 1971, and John Llewellyn Moxey directed. Talk about two great tastes that taste great together!

UPDATE (10/12/2013): Since writing this, I have seen (and loved) Taste of Evil and you can read my review here.

And a bonus title: It's not so much horror, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to mention the incredible true crime TV movie called Out of the Darkness, which aired on this day in 1985 on CBS. Directed by former Directors Guild president Jud Taylor, the movie chronicles the life of the police officer who took the Son of Sam down! In reality, it's even less true crime than it is drama, but it's a favorite of mine, and this is my blog, dig?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 11 - Sorry, Wrong Number

Alright, no offense to Ms. Loni Anderson, but man, October 11th was a dry day in TV horror/thriller/crime/drama or otherwise. This movie came the closest, and indeed it is a thriller, but by all accounts, it's also a big, fat stinker.

And what is it with phone terror in October?

Sorry is a remake of the 1948 movie which was an update on the original radio play and we have Loni Anderson in place of Barbara Stanwyck (Agnes Moorehead starred in the radio version). I actually really like Loni as an actress. She was so great on WKRP and I think she's pretty good in most of her television fare (My Mother's Secret Life is just so dang good!). She was definitely well cast here, but something just didn't click. Of course, I'm basing this on second hand info. I don't recall ever seeing Sorry, but the IMDb user comments which scream "Blech," and "Worst movie ever!" does not bode well for this made for USA movie which aired on this day in 1989.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 10 - Don't Be Afraid of the Dark


Ah, here we go! What a perfect time of year to air one of the best made for television movies of all time! The ABC Movie of the Week did it yet again, with this wonderfully eerie horror film, which aired on this day in 1973. Afraid is yet another movie that I have strong childhood memories of. I first saw this movie before I was even five years old when I still lived in our little abode on Eureka Street in Oxnard, CA. And I was scarred! The ending in particular stayed with me. There was a gap between seeing Afraid as a kid and then seeing it as an adult, but over the years, while some of it does indeed seem dated, much of it hits the the H-Spot - That's horror spot to you non-medical types. Again, this movie works with the more traditional elements of haunted house movies and it's pretty restrained stuff, but it's because of that restraint that the suspense is allowed to thicken. And those monsters are creepy! It's a true TV movie winner!

The nice folks at Warner Archives saw fit to give Afraid a great DVD transfer. Support your TV movie releases!

Update: In 2011 I celebrated Afraid with an entire week of posts. Check it out here.

And here's a groovy trailer for the vhs release:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 9 - Locusts

What's Halloween without one Nature-Run-Amok flick? Locusts was an ABC Movie of the Week that aired on this day in 1974. I actually saw it when I was a kid, but have only the vaguest recollections of it. I remember the actual locust attack and I remember that our local station used a clip from that scene in their Afternoon Movie advertisement... I'm also pretty sure I remember a young Ron Howard on a bus. And that's about it folks. Turns out Locusts has a stellar cast, Howard co-stars with the great Ben Johnson and the even greater Katherine Helmond. Ron's awesome father Rance also has a part in Locusts. Apparently the movie is a mixture of family drama and crazy bug attacks. Wow, it sounds incredible! I would definitely love to re-visit it! I am pretty sure it was recently streaming on Hulu, but it looks like it's no longer available. Leave it up to me to miss the good stuff.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 8: Where Have All the People Gone?

On this day in 1974, NBC got very creepy with this underrated little sci-fi horror movie. Peter Graves and his kids may be the only people left on earth after a solar flares leave most of the human population in dust. Yup, it sounds just a touch like Night of the Comet, don't it? But People plays it straight and to great effect. This is one haunting little movie. Also, I've said this before, but the strength of a lot of TV movies comes from what you don't see. The bits with the crazed dogs who kill anyone who crosses their path is truly scary, and you never once see the animals. It's that kind of restraint that made so many tele-movies so damn good. And this one is no exception.

You can read my short review at Camp Blood and you can watch a clip below:

New Poll!

OK, this new poll might not star Bert, but it does feature him (Ebony, Ivory and Jade)...

Since it's Halloween and since John Llewellyn Moxey is my favorite small screen director, I thought I'd conduct on a poll on his movies from the 70s. I have a sneaking suspisicion that Night Stalker is destined to win big, but you never know what could happen when you enter my world of Made for TV Mayhem... That was me being creepy... Did it work?

Here's some clips full of Moxey-ness:

The House That Would Not Die

A Taste of Evil

The Night Stalker

The Strange and Deadly Occurence

Nightmare in Badham County

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Halloween Countdown: Day 7 - Vampire

Wow, the more I post these Halloween-esque titles, the more I realize that I still have so many movies to see (and write about)! By all accounts, the ABC movie Vampire, which aired on this day in 1979 is an excellent film, and one I've been wanting to see for what feels like forever and a day. Richard Lynch is Aton Voytek (looking good Richard!) and after he's awakened from a long sleep, he's out for blood! Gee, a vampire out for blood... imagine that... Some of the awesome cast members include EG Marshall, Jessica Walter and Jason Miller.

Piece of trivia: Vampire was co-written by Steven Bochco. That's right, the serious guy behind such shows as Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue has a taste for the gothic!