Thursday, April 18, 2019

What's on HBO? (May 1984)

May is just a few weeks away and I thought I'd give you all a heads up to what's on the old HBO schedule next month so you have time to plan accordingly! Twilight Zone the Movie! Brainstorm! Get Crazy! War Games! The Thing! Hollywood Knights! King of Comedy! Stoned! Chevy Chase Meets the Kids! Wait a sec... whaaaat? Ohhh, this is an old HBO guide from 1984. And just one of actually around a dozen of these I have from the 80's that I will be more than happy to share with you all if you're interested. A lot of these films were first viewed by me on cable tv, so it's a lot of fun to revisit these guides and be reminded what it was like to be 16 again.

And don't forget to order your copy of Rich Hall's SNIGLETS book (see page 23.) Anybody else totally love Not Necessarily the News?


Caffeinated Joe said...

Wow- Flashback City! To be 13 again! LOL

top_cat_james said...

Wish I had taped Get Crazy when I had the chance, as its unlikely to ever be released on DVD/ Blu-ray.

JMR777 said...

For all you guys out there who lived through the eighties, how many of you tuned into movies and TV shows, only because in the cable listing description it mentioned nudity - be honest now.

My dad was too cheap to get cable so I missed out on a lot of great TV growing up :(

Guy Callaway said...

They came a long way in a short time. In the early days, HBO stood for 'Hey, 'Beastmaster''s On!'.

Mr. Cavin said...

Aw, this is great. I hope it's alright if I tell a long story:

The only time in my whole life that I enjoyed a subscription to the Home Box Office was when I was six and seven years old, beginning somewhere around late '76 or maybe winter '77. Those were early days, before the channel even broadcast overnight. At the time, I was a little unclear about how HBO worked. I knew it was supposed to show movies on TV, and I guess I just assumed that meant all the movies could be watched that way. Hey, the concept was still pretty new; and, for that matter, so was I.

At the time, JAWS was still on the big screen, after being re-released in (summer?) 1976; though like many seventies blockbusters, I don't think it ever really stopped playing between its initial run and first re-release. Many of my early fear memories are JAWS-related,* actually. I used to overhear prime time spots for the movie while my parents were watching TV after my bedtime. JAWS came out when I was four, and the hoopla was unreal. They played that commercial as often as they could get away with it. I turned on the lights and covered my head with the pillows and tried to not hear it almost every night. But I heard it anyway.

At least I knew that Jaws was really over at the movie theater. While I was at home, I was safe. He could certainly scare me, but he couldn't actually get me at the house.

Even in '76, I was still plenty scared of JAWS commercials because they were still playing them regularly. At the time I also had to assume that HBO was now making it entirely too possible for the movie itself to spontaneously play on my television. So for a few months there, I was scared every time I turned on the TV that JAWS was going to spring from the ions, gorily chewing up some child, looking right at me while he did it. I'd see what the inside of my own body would look like, gristle and giblets spilling out of every orifice and spinning off into the tide, that boy's horrible, surprised face sinking into the cold darkness of the ocean forever. I'd have to look at that. I'd have to dream it every night and think about it every year at the beach.

So for months, I'd carefully make sure the tuner knob was set on some other channel before I fired the TV up. If I changed the channel, mostly I'd just speed past HBO--eyes shut, breath held, like when you drive past a cemetery at night. But if it was dark outside, or maybe if I was all alone in the house, sometimes I'd totally turn the TV off as I clicked by HBO's number on the knob, then switch it back on when I was safely on the other side. Just to be sure.

Anyway, I beat JAWS. He never got me. Still in one piece and absolutely and completely sane. Eventually he stopped playing in the theater and the ads stopped playing on TV. I stopped worrying about it. Eventualy I even watched the movie itself on HBO, obviously sometime after its long-anticipated actual premiere in 1979--but that was probably at a friend's house.

* I remember THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK TV spots also terrifying me in the very same way, maybe even before JAWS.

JMR777 said...

Jaws was a powerful horror movie, the slogan 'don't go in the water' cost beach towns a fortune with vacationers avoiding the ocean and seas at all costs.

One comedian on TV (whose name I have sadly forgotten) made the joke "You think you're safe in the desert, but look out, here comes Jaws with a canteen!".

Mr. Karswell said...

My first tv trailer terror started with The Exorcist commercial, its my earliest memory of being so scared of something on television that I'd literally run from the room or dive behind the couch to hide from it. Later replaced by Night Gallery and Kolchak episodes, haha

Mr. Cavin said...

Ha! The woman I married loved the HALLOWEEN theme when she was very little, and would come tottering into the TV room every time a commercial would play. Since the first film came out when she was just one, it's hard to pinpoint when this behavior started or stopped. Today she likes horror movies okay, but, you know, not to my own unnatural degree.