Category Archives: Television

TV Casualty – 10/1/2014 Halloween Edition

tvcasualtylogo_Halloween

October means Halloween, and Halloween means more than enough vintage horror flicks to choke a werewolf.  We’ve got ghost stories every Thursday, mummy matinees every Saturday, haunted houses, vampires that don’t sparkle, zombies, Frankensteins, mad scientists, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Vincent Price, psychos, schizos, proto-slashers, the original angry birds and even giant-mutant-flesh-eating rabbits!  Upgrade your DVR’s memory and brew lots of coffee, because October it’s going to be wonderful.  This is without a doubt the best retro TV month of the year.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 02, 2014

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Special Theme: Ghost Stories

  • 8:00 PM Topper (1937)
  • 10:00 PM The Time Of Their Lives (1946
  • 11:30 PM The Canterville Ghost (1944)
  • 1:15 A Place of One’s Own (1945)
  • 3:00 AM The Cockeyed Miracle (1946)
  • 4:30 AM Beyond Tomorrow (1940)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2014

  • 6:15 PM 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) – TCM

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 04, 2014

  • 12:00 PM The Mummy (1959) – TCM
    The Hammer Films version starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee.  There will be a Mummy Matinee at high noon every Saturday this month.
  • 1:45 PM A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers (2009) – TCM
    A documentary tracing the history of the thriller genre
  • 3:00 PM Peeping Tom (1960) – TCM
    A cult classic serial killer flick about a psychopathic murder who photographs his victims at the moment of death
  • 10:00 PM The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts another fine Universal picture with cutting edge (for 1957) special effects

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 09, 2014

TCM Special Theme: Ghost Stories

I have to warn you, most of these are “romantic” ghost stories.  They’re all pre-1960, so you won’t see anything as scary as Demi Moore with short hair.

  • 8:00 PM Portrait of Jennie (1948)
    Meh.
  • 9:45 PM The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
    Meh.
  • 11:45 PM Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)
    Meh.
  • 2:00 AM A Guy Named Joe (1943)
    Meh.
  • 4:15 AM The Ghost of Yotsuya (1959)
    A samurai’s wife returns from the dead for revenge.  Finally!

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2014

  • 12:00 PM The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964) – TCM
    Part II of Hammer Films vs. The Mummy Franchise
  • 10:00 PM The Uninvited (1944) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts a classic Paramount Pictures ghost story

Blackula Double Feature!

The funkiest vampire rises from the grave in….

  • 2:15 AM Blacula (1972) – TCM
  • 4:00 AM Scream, Blacula Scream (1973) – TCM

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2014

TCM Special Theme: Ghost Stories

Yay!  Horror comedies!  I’ve been waiting a long time to see some of these.  Just look at the titles…. The late Ivan Reitman owed somebody royalties.

  • 8:00 PM The Ghost Breakers (1940)
  • 9:30 PM The Old Dark House (1963)
  • 11:15 PM The Smiling Ghost (1941)
  • 12:45 AM The Ghost Goes West (1936)
  • 2:15 AM Ghost Chasers (1951)
  • 3:30 AM Spook Busters (1946)
  • 4:45 AM Gildersleeve’s Ghost (1944)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2014

  • 12:00 PM The Mummy’s Shroud (1967) – TCM
    Part III of Hammer Films vs. The Mummy Franchise
  • 10:00 PM The Wolf Man (1941) – MeTV
    Svengoolie vs. Lon Chaney Jr.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2014

  • 4:00 AM The Amazing Transparent Man (1960) – TCM

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2014

  • 2:15 AM The Fog (1980) – TCM
    The John Carpenter original, and much better than the crappy 2005 remake

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2014

  • 6:00 AM Night Of The Lepus (1972) – TCM
    Giant flesh-eating Bunnies FTW!!!  In hindsight, this film and Mike Marano’s brilliant analysis (suggesting that the mutated, carnivorous killer rabbits were an allegory for baby boomer hippies) may have been one of the earliest inspirations for Retro in the 90s.

TCM Special Theme: Ghost Stories
Turner Classic Movies finally brings its spectral A-game.

  • 8:00 PM The Innocents (1961)
  • 10:00 PM The Uninvited (1944)
  • 12:00 AM The Woman In White (1948)
  • 2:00 AM Night Of Dark Shadows (1971)
  • 4:00 AM The Others (2001)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2014

  • 12:15 PM Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb (1971) – TCM
    Starring two-time Bond Girl (and top ten all time retro-crush) Valerie Leon as the vengeful reanimated Egyptian princess
  • 2:00 PM Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1982) – TCM
  • 4:30 PM Mad Love (1935) – TCM
  • 5:45 PM The Birds (1963) – TCM
    Hitchcock, baby.
  • 10:00 PM Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) – MeTV
    Svengoolie, Bud Abbot, Lou Costello and a host of Universal Monsters

TCM Presents THE ESSENTIALS: CLASSIC HORROR NOVELS

  • 8:00 PM The Haunting (1963) – TCM
  • 10:00 PM Village Of The Damned (1961) – TCM
  • 11:30 PM The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) – TCM
    Hammer Films outstanding take on Mary Shelly’s legendary monster
  • 1:15 AM A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (2011)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2014

  • 8:00 PM Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1941)
  • 12:45 AM The Monster (1925)

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2014

TCM Special Theme: Vampires

  • 6:00 AM Nosferatu (1922)
  • 7:45 AM The Vampire Bat (1933)
  • 9:00 AM Dead Men Walk (1943)
  • 10:15 AM Isle Of The Dead (1945)
  • 11:45 AM The Return of the Vampire (1944)
  • 1:00 PM House Of Dark Shadows (1970)
  • 3:00 PM Horror of Dracula (1958)
  • 4:30 PM Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1965)
  • 6:15 PM Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1969)

TCM Special Theme: Horror Anthologies

  • 8:00 PM Dead of Night (1945)
  • 10:00 PM Twice-Told Tales (1963)
  • 12:15 AM Kwaidan (1965)
  • 3:00 AM The House That Dripped Blood (1970)
  • 5:00 AM Torture Garden (1967)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2014

8:00 PM  Psycho (1960)
Gus Van Sant remade this in 1999 shot-for-shot… further evidence for the blog’s premise.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2014

TCM Special Theme: Ghost Stories

  • 8:00 PM House On Haunted Hill (1958)
  • 9:30 PM The Legend of Hell House (1973)
  • 11:15 PM 13 Ghosts (1960)
  • 1:00 AM The Haunting (1963)
  • 3:00 AM Burnt Offerings (1976)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014… HALLOWEEN, BABY!

24 HOURS OF HORROR on TCM

  • 6:00 AM London After Midnight (1927)
  • 7:00 AM Mark Of The Vampire (1935)
  • 8:15 AM The Devil-Doll (1936) EXPAND
  • 9:45 AM I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
  • 11:00 AM Cat People (1942)
  • 12:15 PM The Tingler (1959)
  • 1:45 PM Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007)
  • 3:15 PM Dementia 13 (1963)
  • 4:45 PM Carnival of Souls (1962)
  • 6:15 PM Repulsion (1965)
  • 8:00 PM Night of the Living Dead (1968)
    It just wouldn’t be Halloween without the George Romero classic
  • 10:00 PM Curse of the Demon (1958)
    If you haven’t seen this one, make sure you do.  It’s really a lost gem.
  • 11:45 PM House Of Wax (1953)
  • 1:30 AM Poltergeist (1982)
  • 3:30 AM Strait-Jacket (1964)
  • 5:15 AM Eyes Without a Face (1959)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

20141001_posters

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

TV Casualty – 9/2/2014

tvcasualtylogo100

September, baby!  There are a couple of really worthwhile views this month, so if you can drag yourself away from NCAA football and the NFL, check out the following.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 02, 2014

  • 5:00 PM  The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957) – Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
    Evil Dead hero Bruce Campbell’s favorite movie

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2014

  • 10:30 AM  The Devil Commands (1941) – TCM
    Obligatory Boris Karloff
  • 10:30 PM  The Asphalt Jungle (1950) – TCM
    A very influential heist flick

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 06, 2014

  • 10:00 PM Werewolf of London (1935) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts Universal’s first werewolf film

Women in Prison Night on TCM!

  • 2:45 AM House of Women (1962) – TCM
  • 4:15 AM Caged (1950) – TCM

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 07, 2014

  • 1:45 PM  East Of Eden (1955) – TCM
    Obligatory James Dean

Planet of the Apes Double Feature!

  • 8:00 PM  Planet of the Apes (1968) – TCM
  • 10:00 PM  Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970) – TCM

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

  • 3:15 AM  The Vampire Bat (1933) – TCM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2014

Jerry Lewis Night!

  • 8:00 PM  The Nutty Professor (1963) – TCM
  • 10:00 PM  The Caddy (1953) – TCM
  • 12:00 AM  Three on a Couch (1966) – TCM

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

  • 12:45 AM  Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1932)
  • 3:45 AM  Freaks (1932)
    Gabba gabba we accept you one of us!

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2014

  • 10:00 PM The Thing That Couldn’t Die (1958) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts this classic tale of decapitation.

Vincent Price Double Feature on TCM!

  • 2:00 AM  Madhouse (1974) – TCM
  • 3:45 AM  House Of Wax (1953) – TCM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2014

Shaft Double Feature!

  • 12:00 AM  Shaft (1971) – TCM
    He’s a bad motherf…… hush your mouth!
  • 4:00 AM  Shaft in Africa (1973) – TCM

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014

  • Svengoolie placeholder – MeTV

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2014

  • 6:15 PM  The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad (1958) – TCM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2014

  • 8:00 PM  Patton (1970) – TCM
    Arguably the finest war movie ever made
  • 1:15 AM  Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964) – TCM

20140902_posters

Be sure to check back in October for enough outstanding retro horror to choke a wolfman!

Tagged , , , , ,

TV Casualty – 8/1/2014

tvcasualtylogo100

The pickings are slim this month, but it’s August and you should be outside enjoying the summer anyway.  Quality over quantity, baby.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 2014

  • 10:00 PM Son of Dracula (1943) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts and Lon Chaney Jr. stars as the Count.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 3, 2014

  • 12:30 AM Forbidden Planet (1956) – TCM
    Best sci-fi movie ever

SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 2014

  • 9:45 PM The Thin Man (1934) – TCM
  • 10:00 PM Curse of the Undead (1959) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts the original vampire western

MONDAY, AUGUST 11, 2014

  • 10:15 PM The Wild One (1953) – TCM
    Marlon Brando stars in the granddaddy of all outlaw biker flicks

SATURDAY, AUGUST 16, 2014

  • 10:00 PM Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (1943) – MeTV
    Svengoolie, Bela Lugosi & Lon Chaney Jr…. oh, yeah.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 19, 2014

  • 5:45 PM Cool Hand Luke (1967) – TCM
    Paul Newman’s best film.  The Reverend Horton Heat was also a big fan.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 23, 2014

  • 10:00 PM Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953) – MeTV
    Svengoolie and Boris Karloff…. together at last.
  • 1:30 AM The Wild Bunch (1969) – TCM
    Sam Peckinpah’s ultra-violent western

SUNDAY, AUGUST 24, 2014

  • 8:00 PM The Maltese Falcon (1941) – TCM
    Film Noir 101 with your professor, Humphrey Bogart

THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2014

  • 8:00 PM Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) – TCM

SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 2014

  • 8:00 PM How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) – TCM
    Obligatory Marilyn Monroe
  • 10:00 PM The Mad Ghoul (1943) – MeTV

SUNDAY, AUGUST 31, 2014

  • 8:00 PM Shane (1953) – TCM
    Arguably the finest western ever made

20140801_posters

Tagged , , , , , , ,

TV CASUALTY – 7/1/2014

tvcasualtylogo100

I’m a lazy slacker and I was going to take the summer off of bloggin’, but there are so many outstanding and obscure drive-in-worthy flicks on the tube this month that if I let you miss them, I’d have to kick my own ass on general principle.  There’s stuff playing that I’ve never seen.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, one can’t understand meta-retro without first understanding retro.  Thus, I, your humble narrator, will continue to peruse the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) schedule and other basic cable listings to highlight all the classic Horror, Monster, Sci-Fi and Cult films from the Golden Age of American cinema that regularly resurfaced throughout the 1990s.  Tune in, turn on, and veg out!  

TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014

  • 8:00 PM The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) – TCM
    Not the 1923 version starring Lon Chaney Sr., but still worth watching

WEDNESDAY, JULY 2, 2014

  • 4:30 AM The Raven (1963) – TCM
    Roger Corman directs Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Jack Nicholson in this Edgar Allen Poe adaptation

SATURDAY, JULY 5, 2014

  • 12:00 PM Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) – TCM
    Allison Hayes stars in this drive-in classic which arguably generated the best movie poster of all time
  • 10:00 PM The Invisible Woman (1940) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts a screwball comedy loosely based on the work of H.G. Wells

SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2014

  • 12:00 PM Viva Las Vegas (1964) – TCM
    Elvis & Ann-Margaret vs. Sin City

Ray Harryhausen Double Feature on TCM!

  • 8:00 PM Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
  • 10:00 PM The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

SATURDAY, JULY 12, 2014

  • 12:00 PM Queen of Outer Space (1958) – TCM
    I’m so gaga for Zsa Zsa
  • 10:00 PM Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954) – MeTV
    Svengoolie vs. my favorite Universal Monster

SATURDAY, JULY 19, 2014

  • 12:00 PM The Wasp Woman (1959) – TCM
    Another high quality Roger Corman Bee movie
  • 10:00 PM Svengoolie – Revenge of The Creature (1955)
    The second entry in Universal’s Creature From The Black Lagoon trilogy.  If you’ve never seen this one, make sure you do it now.  Outstanding.
  • 3:45 AM Tentacles (1977) – TCM
    Nothing goes better at 3 AM than a giant octopus flick

SUNDAY, JULY 20, 2014

  • 2:15 PM His Girl Friday (1940) – TCM
    Cary Grant being awesome

MONDAY, JULY 21, 2014

  • 5:00 PM I Married A Witch (1942) – TCM
    Gratuitous Veronica Lake
  • 6:30 PM The Ghost Goes West (1936) – TCM
    The horror comedy Ed Wood wishes he made

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2014

  • 8:00 Bullitt (1968) – TCM
    Steve McQueen’s 2nd best film

SATURDAY, JULY 26, 2014

  • 10:00 PM The Creature Walks Among Us (1956) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts the thrilling conclusion to the Creature trilogy.
  • 12:45 AM The Mummy (1932) – TCM
  • The Boris Karloff classic!  “Do you have to open graves to find girls to fall in love with?”
  • 2:15 AM Spider Baby (1964) – TCM
    I’ve literally been waiting for years to see this obscure cult horror gem that influenced Rob Zombie and Mike Patton

SUNDAY, JULY 27, 2014

  • 2:00 PM The Blackboard Jungle (1955) – TCM
    The first film to ever feature a rock n’ roll soundtrack
  • 4:00 PM Rebel Without a Cause (1955) – TCM
    Obligatory James Dean
  • 8:00 PM Cat People (1942) – TCM
  • 9:30 PM The Curse of the Cat People (1944) – TCM

Good luck facing yourself in the mirror if you forget to set the DVR.

20140701_posters

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

TV CASUALTY – 6/3/2014

tvcasualtylogo100

There are enough vintage sci-fi, retro horror, and film noir flicks on display this June to choke a donkey.  My only regret is that we can’t all watch them together at the drive-in.  Speaking of which, you may want to double check your basic cable package to see if EPIX Drive-In has been added.  It is ridiculously awesome with megatons of B-movie horror, giant monster, sci-fi, blaxploitation and regular ol’ exploitation films.  As a result, my day time narcolepsy has never been worse.

TUESDAY, JUNE 03, 2014 – The Final Frontier on TCM

  • 8:00 PM 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • 10:45 PM Alien (1979)
  • 1:00 AM Destination Moon (1950)
  • 2:30 AM Marooned (1969)
  • 4:45 AM Queen of Outer Space (1958)
    Starring the lovely and talented Zsa Zsa Gabor in some prime MST3k bait

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 04, 2014

  • 8:00 PM She (1965) – TCM

SATURDAY, JUNE 7, 2014

  • The Shadow of the Cat (1961) – MeTv
    Svengoolie vs Hammer Films all this month!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11, 2014

  • 12:00 AM The Wild Bunch (1969) – TCM
    Allegedly this is one of the most awesomely violent westerns ever made.  Tarantino and Joe Bob Briggs are huge fans.

THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2014

  • 11:45 PM Giant (1956) – TCM
    Obligatory James Dean

FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014 – Retro Horror Double Feature on TCM

  • 3:15 PM Dementia 13 (1963)
  • 4:45 PM 13 Ghosts (1960)

SATURDAY, JUNE 14, 2014

  • 4:00 PM The Misfits (1961) – TCM
    Starring Marilyn Monroe…..I covered this one here.
  • 10:00 PM The Evil of Frankenstein (1964) – MeTV
    Svengoolie + Peter Cushing as Baron Victor Frankenstein = #winning

FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014 – Film Noir on TCM

  • 6:00 AM The Thin Man (1934)
  • 7:45 AM The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  • 9:30 AM The Big Sleep (1946)

SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2014

  • 1:45 PM Ocean’s Eleven (1960) – TCM
    The Rat Pack original
  • 4:00 PM Bullitt (1968) – TCM
    Steve McQueen, muscle cars, crime, jazz
  • 10:00 PM The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts this outstanding Hammer horror film starring Oliver Reed

SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2014 – Giant Monsters on TCM

  • 8:00 PM Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956)
  • 9:45 PM Mighty Joe Young (1949)

MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014

  • 5:15 PM The Devil’s Bride (1968) – TCM
    This is probably my favorite Hammer Horror film, ever.  Starring Christopher Lee and inspiring Danzig videos.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 2014

  • 12:45 AM The Hoodlum (1951) – TCM
    Lawrence Tierney goin’ all gangsta long before Reservoir Dogs (1992).

SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2014

  • 4:15 PM Five Million Years To Earth (1968) – TCM
  • 10:00 PM The Brides of Dracula (1960) – MeTV

Pin-up-TV

 

 

Tagged , , , , , ,

TV CASUALTY – 5/1/2014

tvcasualtylogo100

Spring has sprung, and here at Retro in the 90s that means even more vintage sci-fi, retro horror, exploitation, and film noir!  Enjoy the shows.

SATURDAY, MAY 3, 2014

  • 10:00 PM It Came From Outer Space (1953) – MeTV
    Svengoolie vs. Ray Bradbury in a no holds barred death match!

SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014

  • 4:00 PM Our Man Flint (1966) – Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
    I’ve heard this influenced Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997).
  • 2:00 AM Blue Sunshine (1979) – TCM
    “Sweeten the ride, YEAH!”  White Zombie references a plenty, I reckon.
  • 10:00 PM Island of Terror (1966) – MeTV
    Svengoolie and Peter Cushing!

THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014

Retro Horror night on TCM

  • 8:00 PM The Haunting (1963)
    An excellent ghost story remade in 1999.
  • 10:00 PM The Legend of Hell House (1973)
  • 3:30 AM Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)

Svengoolie

  • 10:00 PM The Deadly Mantis (1957) – MeTV
    If Godzilla (2014) is sold out at your local multiplex, here’s your consolation prize!

MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014 – Bonus Retro Horror night on TCM

  • 1:45 AM The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
    A classic from Hammer Films.
  • 3:15 AM Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
  • 4:45 AM The Haunted Palace (1963)
    Roger Corman and Vincent Price!

TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014

  • 12:15 PM The Big Sleep (1946)
    Noir, baby.  Noir.

SATURDAY, MAY 24

Svengoolie

  • 10:00 PM The Land Unknown (1957)
    Man vs. dinosaurs in the Antarctic jungle!

SATURDAY, MAY 31 – Vintage Sci-Fi on TCM

  • 4:30 PM World Without End (1955)
    Kind of like Planet of the Apes, only with mutants instead of apes.
  • 6:00 PM From The Earth To The Moon (1958)

Svengoolie

  • 10:00 PM Munster, Go Home! (1966) – MeTV
    The Munsters’ first Technicolor trip to the big screen.

tvpinup200

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

TV Casualty – 4/4/2014

tvcasualtylogo100

SATURDAY, APRIL 05, 2014

  • 6:00 PM Forbidden Planet (1956) – Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
    IMHO, the best vintage sci-fi movie of all time.
  • 10:00 PM The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts this classic Universal monster movie based on the Mary Shelley novel.

SUNDAY, APRIL 06, 2014

  • 5:15 AM TCM Presents Elvis Mitchell Under the Influence: Quentin Tarantino (2008)

MONDAY, APRIL 07, 2014 – Turner Classic Movies giant insect triple feature!

  • 1:30 AM Them! (1954)
  • 3:15 AM Cosmic Monsters, The
  • 4:45 AM Wasp Woman, The (1959)

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014  – TCM

  • 7:45 AM Where Eagles Dare (1969)

SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2014

  • 9:45 PM Misfits, The (1961) – TCM
  • 10:00 PM Son of Frankenstein (1939) -MeTV
  • 3:45 AM Shaft (1971) – TCM

SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2014 – TCM obscure daikaiju night!

  • 2:00 AM Genocide (1969)
  • 3:30 AM X from Outer Space, The (1967)

MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014 – TCM

  • 7:00 AM Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
    Film Noir 101
  • 1:00 PM Citizen Kane (1941)
    The Simpsons are way funnier after you’ve seen this.
  • 5:00 PM Casablanca (1942)

TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2014 – TCM Elivs! Buddy! Elvis!

  • 10:00 PM Jailhouse Rock (1957)
  • 1:30 AM Buddy Holly Story, The (1978)
  • 5:00 AM Elvis: That’s The Way It Is (1970)

tvpinup100

 

Tagged , , , , ,

TV Casualty – 3/28/2014

tvcasualtylogo100

Today, Retro in the 90s introduces a new recurring feature; TV CASUALTY.  Obviously, one can’t understand meta-retro without first understanding retro.  Thus, I, your humble narrator, will henceforth regularly pour through the Turner Classic Movies schedule and other basic cable listings to highlight all the classic Horror, Monster, Sci-Fi and Cult films from the Golden Age of American cinema that regularly resurfaced throughout the 1990s.  Set your DVR…… to stun.

FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014

  • 12:00 AM  Soylent Green (1973) – Turner Classic Movies
    Charlton Heston stars in this dystopian sci-fi classic.
  • 1:45 AM  Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Turner Classic Movies
    This George Romero classic is the granddaddy of all zombie films.

SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014

  • 6:45 AM  Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956) – Turner Classic Movies
    The original Godzilla flick!  Watch this before seeing the 2014 remake.
  • 10:00 PM  The Invisible Man (1933) – MeTV
    Svengoolie hosts this classic Universal monster movie based on the H.G. Wells novel.

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014

  • 3:30 AM Northth By Northwest (1959) – Turner Classic Movies
    Cary Grant stars in this Hitchcock classic, often referred to as “the first James Bond movie”.

Yeah, I realize that I just used the word “classic” alot, but it’s all true.

Enjoy.

TV CASUALTY!  TV CASUALTY!  WE’RE ALL RIGHT!

Tagged , , , ,

005. Joe Bob Briggs – Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theatre

joebob001

Of all the movie hosts who have come and gone over the years, one can easily make an argument that Joe Bob Briggs was the most prolific.  As the king of all lowbrow media, John Bloom’s alter-ego authored a multitude of film reviews, newspaper columns, editorials, and books, while he starred in a one-man show, hosted horror movies on two networks, made cameos in several major motion picturesTM, founded the Drive-In Academy Awards, released his own brand of hand-picked DVDs, and was twice nominated for the Cable ACE award.  Zacherle may have been the godfather, Svengoolie may have been the most likable, and Elvria was certainly the prettiest, but no one even came close to out-working or out-thinking Joe Bob Briggs.

For those of us outside the circulation zone of The Dallas Times Herald, our first exposure to the cosmic wisdom of Joe Bob Briggs came via The Movie Channel’s Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theatre (pronounced “theeate-ur”) which ran after 10:00 p.m. on Saturday nights from 1986 to 1996.  Continuing in the 1950s tradition of midnight movies, the programming on Drive-In Theatre was entirely consistent with Joe Bob’s philosophy of what made for a great drive-in movie, namely “The Three B’s”; blood, breasts and beasts. The films shown were always of the drive-in/grindhouse/b-movie variety, running the gamut from cult horror, to the myriad exploitation sub-genres, and sex farce falling just shy of soft-core pornography.  As a premium cable network, The Movie Channel was able to furnish more current films and show them in a completely unedited format, which gave Joe Bob a leg up on his horror host competitors.  However, Drive-In Theatre also hosted some great retro fare such as;

The opening sequence to Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theatre was a flawless execution of retro-awesomosity.  It depicted a man receiving a package wrapped in brown paper, which he promptly opened revealing a Joe Bob’s Drive-in Theater kit.  Then he proceeded to assemble the kit complete with a fake dashboard, car door, window speaker, steering wheel, rows of classic automobiles, a miniature snack bar and a dusky sky outline which surrounded the TV screen.  The end result transformed the man’s living room into a perfectly replicated facsimile of a Mid-Century drive-in theatre.  This was an extremely effective introduction which perfectly set the tone in approximately 20 seconds.

joebob003

Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theatre followed the same format each week.  Perpetually clad in a cowboy hat, western shirt and bolo tie, Joe Bob stepped out of his mobile home, sat down in a lawn chair, cracked open a beer and introduced the next film while regaling the audience with his unique Texan blend of scathing wit and down home charm.  As a true raconteur, Briggs always had several hilarious anecdotes about each film, actor/actress, or director, often bordering on the unbelievable.  One of my favorites was his introduction to Carnival of Souls (1962) an offbeat zombie move that preceded Night of the Living Dead (1968) by six years.  Joe Bob simultaneously explained the entire back story of one-hit-wonder director Herk Harvey, cited the film’s influence on George A. Romero and Brian DePalma (of Carrie (1976) fame), lambasted “egghead professors” as well as The New York Times film critic Vincent Canby, and still managed to work in a shout out to the Lawrence, Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau.  Joe Bob Intoned, thusly.

 “So for all the people who watched Carnival of Souls at the drive-ins of America and didn’t need some gooney professor to tell ‘em it was a great movie, let’s reclaim this one for the good guys.  It’s a zombie movie!  It’s not about existential angst!  It’s not a symbolic parable!  It’s a zombie movie!”

During each introductory segment, Joe Bob tallied up the Drive-In Totals which always included the number of dead bodies and breasts shown in the film.  He would call to the viewer’s attention anything particularly shocking or noteworthy such as decapitations and car chase scenes.  For example the Drive-In Totals for Frankenhooker (1990) were as follows;

  • 27 breasts
  • 14 dead bodies
  • exploding heads
  • brain in a jar
  • brain in a fish tank
  • drill-through-the-head-psychotherapy
  • head-slicing
  • girlfriend-eating lawnmower
  • bunion-filing
  • candlelight dinner with a severed head
  • spewing body parts
  • explodin’ hookers
  • cameo appearance by John Zacherele
  • excellent Morton Downey Jr. impersonation
  • heads, roll, arms roll, legs roll, everything rolls.
  • Drive-In Academy Award nomination for Patty Mullen as Frankenhooker
  • 4 stars, check it out

In my humble opinion, mankind will never create a more efficient and user-friendly system for the review of movies, drive-in or otherwise.

After the movie, Joe Bob reappeared to give the viewing audience his final thoughts on the film, reveal a few more anecdotes, and answer fan mail.  In hindsight, it was Joe Bob’s familiarity with the legends and lore surrounding each film that truly set him apart from any horror host who’s come before or since.  Briggs appeared to have a photographic memory containing an encyclopedic amount of information pertaining movies, actors, directors, producers, crew, sets and ephemera.  Keep in mind this was well before one could just look it up on the internet.  The man did his homework diligently, but I’d wager it was a labor of love.  There were always myriad stories behind the story shown on the screen, and Joe Bob did a better job of telling those than anyone.  Below is a link to a fantastic clip from 1992 where Joe Bob reunited the original cast of Night of the Living Dead (1968) and remembered details that even they seemed to have forgotten.  This goes above and beyond how ridiculously cool it was that he reunited the original cast of Night of the Living Dead!!! 

Toward the end of each show, Joe Bob read news briefs regarding actual drive-in theatres that had recently closed, or were miraculously saved from closing at the zero hour.  These were alternately framed as either a “Communist Alert” or a “Republican Alert” to equally offend the political sensibilities of his audience of sleazy cinemaphiles.  He always concluded the segment with the chilling reminder, “Without eternal vigilance, it could happen here.”  Joe Bob always rounded out the segment with a couple of jokes, often dirty ones.

For example…..

Q: Do you guys know what the Polish guy calls his zebra?
A: Spot

Q: Why did the pervert cross the road?
A: He was stuck to the chicken.

Q: Did y’all hear about the anorexic nymphomaniac?
A: she swallowed an olive and 5 guys left town.

Q: Did y’all know what 10,000 battered wives have in common?
A: They JUST! WON’T! LISTEN!

Finally, Joe Bob ended each night’s broadcast by stating, “I’m Joe Bob Briggs reminding you that the drive-in will never die.”  Thus far, he’s been proven right.  The drive-in was a quintessential part of mid-century culture, and Joe Bob fought to preserve it, for ourselves and our posterity.  Perhaps his most important contribution was that he let so many of us know that there was a whole wide world of exploitation and cult films that we’d never even heard of just waiting to be rediscovered.  And much like the super-cool big brother whom many of us never had, Joe Bob not only told us all about these films, but also made damned sure we got to see them uncut.

joebob002

Furthermore, while watching these old clips of Drive-In Theater, I laughed repeatedly at the utter lack of political correctness.  At the time, the 1990s didn’t seem terribly permissive, especially on college campuses.  But I reckon the trite platitude “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” is a worn out cliché for good reason.  Outside of a Comedy Central roast, I can’t imagine anyone on cable today getting away with the utterly hilarious rants Joe Bob rolled out weekly.  The following clip speaks for itself.  Enjoy.

Note to hardcore Joe Bob Briggs purists: Hold off on the hate mail.  I intend to do follow up posts on Joe Bob Briggs – Monstervision, and Joe Bob Briggs – The Written Works.

Tagged , , , , , ,

001. Mystery Science Theater 3000 – The Joel Years

mst3kbanner

Mystery Science Theater 3000 was quite possibly the lynchpin which united the myriad factions of retro culture during the 1990s.  While every hotrodder, garage punk, surf guitarist, rockabilly chick, swing-dancer, trekkie and monster movie aficionado I ever met loved MST3K, so did pretty much everyone else with a functional sense of humor and a triple-digit IQ.  Case in point, back in 1994 I remember listening to a professor introduce himself on the first day of a 500-level microbiology class at THEE Ohio State University by stating, “I seem to have forgotten the syllabi.  Well, we’re off to a very auspicious beginning.”  After an awkward pause, he finally thought of something interesting to say, “OK, show of hands, who watches Mystery Science Theater 3000?  I steal most of my jokes from that show.”  Remember, this took place in a time when cable was still largely considered second rate programming, and Comedy Central was a relatively obscure upstart network.  MST3K was far more popular than it had any right to be.

So much has been written about MST3K over the years, but for any reader unfamiliar with the premise, here’s a brief synopsis.  In the not too distant future, the malevolent Dr. Clayton Forrester and his lackey, TV’s Frank, launch Joel Robinson, a janitor at the Gizmonic Institute, into space and force him to watch horrible B-movies as some sort of sadistic experiment.  Trapped on board the ship, nicknamed the “Satellite of Love”, Joel builds several sentient robot friends.  Two of these, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot, watched the B-movies with Joel, whilst making jokes, wise-cracks, one-liners, witty zingers and non sequiturs at the expense of the films.  The viewer could see their silhouettes in the lower right hand corner of the screen, as though you were seated right behind them in a movie theatre.  This was the concept of the horror host carried through to its logical point of absurdity.  It was both hilarious and wonderful.

mst3k_btwd

There were also numerous skits between film segments with Joel and the robots trading barbs with Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank.  The invention exchange was a recurring gag, in which each side presented some ridiculous contraption they’d hastily assembled before the show.  My all-time favorite was the “Fridge Udder”, which consisted of a cow patterned refrigerator where the ice and water dispensers were altered with milk-dispensing teats.  Hearing Crow T. Robot repeatedly say “teat” on television before being injured whilst “fridge tipping” is the stuff dreams are made of.  At the risk of going off on a tangent, inappropriate language was screened much more vigorously in the 90s than it is today.  Back then, you couldn’t call someone a “dick” on basic cable, but somehow Crow and Tom Servo always got away with calling each other “dick weed”.  It may have been misinterpreted as a benign botanical term akin to “pussy willow”, yet, I digress.

After one season on KTMA in Minneapolis, Minnesota, MST3K ran for seven seasons on Comedy Central from 1989 through 1996.  For many members of Generation X, this was our first exposure to the cinematic genius of Ed Wood, Roger Corman, and the gargantuan terrapin awesomosity that is Gamera.  It’s astounding to think about, but in the era famous for Terminator 2 (1991), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), and Independence Day (1996), millions of youths were tuning in religiously to see the likes of

Any way you slice it, that’s an awful lot of black and white golden age science fiction that most of us never would have seen otherwise.

In addition to the guys-in-rubber-monster-suits genre, MST3K screened a plethora of exploitation films, introducing extinct youth subcultures such as beatniks, greasers, and clean-cut outlaw bikers to a whole new audience.

The outdated attitudes, posturing and slang of the characters in these movies seemed comical enough in and of itself.  Adding Joel and the robots’ commentary to the mix often resulted in laughter to the point of tears and incapacity.

A recurring theme of 1990s retro was initiation through ironic distance, followed by genuine affection.  Moreover, many of those who initially watched MST3K to mock and laugh at old B-movies, and the passé values of the times they reflected, ended up actually liking vintage sci-fi and exploitation films.  Liking them non-ironically, mind you.  Mystery Science Theater 3000 was a gateway drug, which often lead to the enjoyment of Elvis movies, dabbling in obscure Japanese daikaiju, scouring eBay for bootlegged DVDs of Invasion of The Saucermen (1957), and finally metastasizing into a full-blown addiction to Turner Classic Movies.

 Note to hardcore MST3K purists: Hold off on the hate mail.  I intend to do follow up posts on MST3K – The Mike Years, and MST3K: The Movie.

Tagged , , , , , ,