Sunday, August 26, 2012
Those were the days before everybody had cable and before VCRs were common household items, when it was still a big deal when a theatrical film would make its network debut. It would be an edited, pan and scan version of the film, naturally - but it would still be a huge, gotta-see event because that was your only way to see the movie at all. The fact that movies had an unavailibility about them back then made them special to viewers, I believe. You didn't take movies for granted. You had to wait a couple of years to see, say, Raiders of the Lost Ark again and if you missed the broadcast, you were screwed. Now, you can just watch Prometheus on your phone.
Anyhow, The ABC Movie served as my introduction to some of my favorite late '70s/early '80s horror movies as they aired the likes of The Shining, the '78 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Coma, The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane, and John Carpenter's The Fog.
The intros to those movies, with voiceovers by Ernie Anderson (father to director Paul Thomas Anderson and for years the Cleaveland, Ohio-based horror host known as Ghoulardi), were burned into my brain and are inseperable from my memories of the movies themselves. They set the mood so perfectly for the movie to come and ABC's "star tunnel" opening was so dramatic to begin with.
Ever since I was introduced to YouTube, I've been hoping that someone would post the intro to ABC's presentation of The Fog and finally, that day has come. Well, actually it looks like that day came way back in March but, hey, I can't remember to check for this stuff all the time!
To the poster who uploaded this clip, a thousand thank you's. And extra thanks for including the promos for Ripley's Believe It Or Not, That's Incredible, and Tales of the Gold Monkey as well! They remind me of good times.
Today I have more movies in my collection than I could ever possibly have the time to rewatch, even if I lived to be a hundred and twenty, and more cable channels than I know what to do with but what I miss are the days when I would see a movie advertized in the TV Guide, wait for it to air, and when the movie was over it'd be gone, leaving wisps of excited memories behind until the next time it came around again.