I have a longer post, a kind of “opus” tracing the impact of the VCR on b-movies during the 80s. I’ll save the details for later, but while doing my extensive research I came across a gem from the past: TerrorVision. I re-watched it again last night, and I had totally forgotten the Grandfather (played by the great Bert Remsen) was a survivalist. He had his own bomb shelter and artillery room built into the basement of the home, and he was pushing a survivalist campaign for sustainable food, namely eating lizard tails given they will always grow back. And early moment of survivalism in film, pre-dating the 1987 b-movie The Survivalist and Burt Gummer first appearance in Tremors in 1990.
Anyway, TerrorVision is wonderful 80s camp, an experience I was afforded by browsing the shelves of a local, independently owned video store (the likes of which populated strip malls across America during the 1980s) for the most outlandish cover and tagline. The era of the independently owned video store is all but gone, but its legacy may have made possible one of the greatest periods in variegated film consumption ever known to a generation of waylaid youth. OK, I guess I gotta write the post after that teaser, but until then check out the trailer for TerrorVision, or watch the whole thing on YouTube in 9 easy pieces. Also, the theme song for the movie composed and performed by the Fibonaccis is an 80s gem in its own right.
TerrorVision Theme Song
Just checking in to say hi. Busy at the mo.
Terrorvision! Jim, if I ever have the occaision to run a film festival of sorts, you’re going to be programming it. You should be on TV presenting these movies. Like Alex Cox used to on British TV.
Funny thing that. Alex Cox is from the Wirral, UK, same as me and his folks actually live within two streets of where I grew up in this tiny sub-suburb called Parkgate. One of my friends back home bumped into him on said street and ended up in a Mighty Wah video he was directing.
Right – have got Sid and Nancy in the player as we ‘speak’.
Alex Cox brings to mind Sid & Nancy ( as you note), Repo Man (a masterpiece), Walker (another misunderstood masterpiece), and Highway Patrolman (maybe my favorite film by him). You lived amongst giants!
Although, I was recently disheartened by his commentary on Repo Man. It is apparent from his movies that he is an extremely smart guy and his films underline his political engagement which is always framed within a compelling and complex story, yet none of this came through in the Repo Man DVD commentary. I was looking forward to some kind of deep conversation about this film, and all that came to bear was the problems he had with Harry Dean Stanton during the filming. The Hollywood insider angle was a total bummer. But, he did go to UCLA film school, and being a UCLA grad I have to always give him the benefit of the doubt, not to mention he has made many a great film.
Yeah, that’s the odd thing. Perhaps lucky for me, foreign movies are still techincally illegal in China and when I get the knock offs they are usually missing the commentary and extras.
I’m a big fan of Highway Patrolman and couldn’t understand why so many people didn’t get Walker.
I remember him introducing “The Night Porter” on Channel 4 and discussing how they film is controversial for it’s treatment of material based during the holocaust and then it’s survivors. He then adressed ‘us’ looking at the camera and (with genuine anger) scolded people for censuring movies that dare to confront the illogical and implusive sides of human nature so bravely.
After that I made sure to check out all his movies.
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