Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Tonight's Film Deals With The Supernatural..."

Above is the intro to The ABC Friday Night Movie's premiere of The Shining. That network airing on May 6th, 1983 was my first viewing of The Shining and this intro has been burned into my brain since. I never thought I'd have the opportunity to see it again - but here it is thanks to YouTube.

In those pre-VHS, pre-cable TV days I saw so many of my favorite horror movies courtesy of The ABC Friday Night Movie. They didn't exclusively air horror films but that's honestly all I remember watching on those Friday nights - movies like The Fog, the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, Coma, The Legacy, the 1977 The Island of Dr. Moreau, and The Warriors (not horror but a movie that I was definitely scared to watch thanks to its ad campaign). But my viewing of The Shining has always been an especially vivid memory.

The intros for The ABC Friday Night Movie were always so exciting with the dramatic voice of announcer Ernie Anderson - aka one-time Cleveland horror host 'Ghoulardi' and the father of director Paul Thomas Anderson - being a perfect match for horror fare. No other TV announcer ever raised my pulse for a movie like Anderson and his voice is permanently attached to many of my fondest memories of watching horror films.

When he introduced The Shining as "the ultimate exercise in terror", by God I believed him. How could I not? I think this intro stood out more than any other from The ABC Friday Night Movie just because Anderson's voice and Wendy Carlos' Shining score made an ideal tag-team. To this day, when I think about a perfect viewing of a horror movie - a movie seen at the right time, under the right circumstances, that airing of The Shining remains the standard for me.


Bob Ignizio said...

Ernie is the man. Here in Cleveland, he's still revered as an icon by many.

Jeff Allard said...

Good to know he isn't forgotten!