Saturday, September 29, 2012

How Serious were we in the 1980s?

Yeah, I tend to think of the 1980s as a time for neon nights, poodle perms and penny loafers. How could they be anything but totally awesome? Still, we had our moments, such as the release of the sobering made for television movie Something About Amelia in 1984. I stumbled across an article that said Amelia was the second highest rated TVM for the season, after The Day After.

Now that's a couple of doozeys!

And that's what I love about made for television films. I mean, how can you show up in our living room and totally disturb us with tales of nuclear war and incest while also giving us such goofy escapism as High School, USA and First Affair in the very same season?

Cuz you were awesome 1983 TV season! It's true!

I watched Amelia the night it premiered on January 9th, 1984 and I'm not sure what beckoned me, except that incest and rape seemed so removed from my own life (and yes, I'm thankful for that), that I had to see how Ted Danson was going to pull it off (no pun intended). And that's what I remember most about the movie. Danson really walked a fine line in the film. How could you not hate him, but he made you want to watch him, maybe understand him and while you would never forgive him, you hoped maybe the film would have some answers.

Danson was nominated for an Emmy and took home a Golden Globe for his complicated performance as the most human monster you are likely to meet. What's so weird, and only a little funny, is that I probably watched something like Simon and Simon or Riptide the next night, or maybe even Cheers, which I'm sure would have blown my mind! Sam Malone as a child rapist? What would Diane think? Despite all the years that have passed, I never forgot Amelia. It remains in no-release-hell and that's simply unjust. If any movie deserves a shot at a second audience, it's this one.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Must See Streaming Movie of the Week: Calendar Girl Murders

What can I say, I'm a sucker for a girl in a pretty dress.

The Calendar Girl Murders, which originally aired on April 8th, 1984 on ABC is not a particularly good movie. In fact, it's a little mind-boggling (or a lot, depending on your logic skills). But it's got Sharon Stone looking pretty damn gorgeous and Tom Skerritt proving that men in cardigan sweaters can still kick ass. Plus, Robert Culp shows up to do sexy right. All in all, it's a fun, and oh-so-80s way to kill an evening.

I wrote a capsule review of the The Calendar Girl Murders for eons ago. Please feel free to peruse if you'd like a little more info on this bit of neon-drenched madness! And click here to watch the movie on Netflix. Or you can buy it on DVD at Amazon (and for cheap)!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Amanda By Night News!

It looks like coolness came to my side of the street this week. I am going to be the Short Films Programming Assistant at a new film festival that is launching in 2013! The Housecore Horror Film Festival is going to be a pretty neat fest, the creators are true crime writer Corey Mitchell and Pantera's lead singer, Phil Anselmo!

I know. Crazy, right? I'm thrilled to be a part of this!

The fest debuts in October of next year and the submission process starts in January. Currently, the Housecore Horror Film Festival has a Facebook page, so sign up early and watch it unfold! I'm all about the excitement!

I also have a new review for an obscure 1990 slasher called Mirage over at Retro Slashers. By the way, did you know that I am the Community Manager for the Retro Slashers' Facebook page?  If you dig horror posters, trailers and lots of slasher convo, please come by and like us!

So, between school, an internship I just started (and love) and all of the above, it's shaping up to be a busy 2012... and 2013! This blog is my heart and I hope to keep rolling out the reviews, news and whatnot. Thanks to everyone who stops by and reads and comments! I appreciate it! I just got a great book that I'm hoping to pull some TV trivia out of, so keep an eye out for that as well.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Paley Center Celebrates Men, Men, Men!

The Paley Center for Media,  along with The Warner Archive Collection is presenting a Retro Action-Adventure-Thon on September 21st and 22nd in Los Angeles. Come and see Patrick Duffy, Ron Ely, Clint Walker and Michael Gay in person!!!

I think I might faint!

They will be screening everything from The Man From Atlantis to Shazam, and the full day pass for Saturday is only $25.00 ($20.00 if you are a member)! Can you imagine? I believe this in conjunction with the WB TV Out of the Box exhibit, which is on display unti 2015, so go get your plane tickets now!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Carol Burnett Show: Jowls (1975)

I was practically brought up on Jaws. For whatever reason, I had a deep love of sharks as a child well before I saw the movie (although presumably I could have seen an ad for the film and that triggered something). Everything shark related both fascinated and terrified my little brain. I finally saw Jaws for the first time on November 4th, 1979 on the ABC Sunday Night Movie. It was perhaps the most wonderful experience of my young life... and probably the most harrowing as well.

At this stage, I was  an avid swimmer and Jaws put a damper on my love of the deep end of the pool. However, aside from some white-knuckled terror, I was not totally deterred. Strangely enough, it was the bathtub I was most fearful of.

Yes, you read that right.

I just knew some kind of man-eating fish was waiting at the other end of the plug. This silly fear goes all the way back to an episode of The Carol Burnett Show that aired on November 15th, 1975. Jowls was a fantastic spoof of Jaws, featuring Harvey Korman doing a pretty damn good Quint impression. The sketch was preposterous and upon a rewatch this past weekend, I can say it’s not scary at all. But that bubble bath woman at the beginning sure had some kind of deep impact on me! And even now, watching the part where Tim Conway goes under the tub elicited a tiny shriek. I know, if blogs can’t be held for these kinds of confessional moments, what good are they?

Someone uploaded Jowls onto YouTube. If you love Jaws, this should give you a few belly laughs.