Tag Archives: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

Moviedrome revisited

I can’t quite recall why, but the other day someone mentioned something which put me in mind of Moviedrome, the BBC2 banner under which first Alex Cox, and then Mark Cousins, selected and introduced films.

I always preferred Cox’s era (1988-1994) to Cousins’ (1997-2000). For a start it coincided with me being of an age where I was hungry for brain food, and Cox – Elvis sneer, palsied chops, assertive voice and all – was ready to deliver. Cousins, with his nervous, Celtic purr, just seemed too artsy, too formal.

But they both introduced me to some great films. True, some pretty meh ones too, occasionally, but damn, looking down the list compiled by Kurtodrome, an impressive strike rate.

Looking through the list I decided to finally tally up how many movies Moviedrome had actually initiated me into. Of course, the passage of time buggers up one’s memory somewhat, so I can’t always definitively say if I first saw a film on Moviedrome or not; but I have had a crack. List is as follows…

COLOUR KEY
RED = HAVEN’T seen it (on Moviedrome or anywhere else)
PINK = HAVE seen it but NOT on Moviedrome
AMBER = HAVE seen it and FAIRLY CERTAIN saw it on Moviedrome
GREEN = HAVE seen it on Moviedrome

1988
The Wicker Man
Electra Glide in Blue
Diva
Razorback
Big Wednesday
Fat City
The Last Picture Show
Barbarella
The Hired Hand
Johnny Guitar
The Parallax View
The Long Hair Of Death
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
(1956)
The Fly
(1958)
One From The Heart
The Man Who Fell To Earth
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
One-Eyed Jacks

1989
The Man With The X-Ray Eyes
Jabberwocky
D.O.A.
The Thing From Another World
The Incredible Shrinking Man
California Dolls
THX 1138
Stardust Memories
Night Of The Comet
The Grissom Gang
The Big Carnival
(AKA Ace In The Hole)
Alphaville
Two-Lane Blacktop
Trancers
The Buddy Holly Story
Five Easy Pieces
Sweet Smell Of Success
Sunset Boulevard

1990
Assault On Precinct 13
Brazil
Get Carter
Goin’ South
Dead Of Night
The Terminator
The Honeymoon Killers
Ulzana’s Raid
The Loved One
An American Werewolf In London
Yojimbo

A Wedding
The Phenix City Story
Walk On The Wild Side
Il Grande Silenzio
Quien Sabe?

1991
The Beguiled
Vamp
Knightriders
Something Wild
Carnival of Souls
Badlands
/ The Prowler
Performance
At Close Range
The Duellists
/ Cape Fear (duels)
The Music Lovers
Manhunter
Hells Angels on Wheels
/ Rumble Fish (gangs)
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
Solaris
Mishima

1992
Mad Max II / F for Fake
Dead Ringers / Rabid (Cronenberg)
Inserts
The Serpent And The Rainbow
Les Diaboliques
La Strategia Del Ragno
Escape From New York
Alligator
/ Q – The Winged Serpent
Wise Blood
/ The Witchfinder General
Lolita
Play Misty For Me
Walker
Tracks
The Day Of The Locust
/ The Big Knife (Hollywood satires)

1993
Darkman
House Of Games
Escape From Alcatraz
/ Un Condamné À Mort S’est Échappé (prison)
The Hill
Cry-Baby
/ Lenny
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
(1978) / Romance Of A Horsethief
Gothic
/ The Navigator
The Terminator
Get Carter
/ Week-end
Rebel Without A Cause
/ 200 Motels
Django
/ Grim Prairie Tales
Run Of The Arrow
/ Verboten! (Fuller)
The Long Riders
The Big Combo
Face To Face
Requiescant
¿Qué He Hecho Yo Para Merecer Esto?
Carrie

1994 (Alex Cox’s final year)
The Andromeda Strain / Fiend Without A Face
Talk Radio
Carnal Knowledge
Coogan’s Bluff
/ The Narrow Margin
The Harder They Come
Salvador
The People Under The Stairs
Halloween / The Baby
Carny
Girl On A Motorcycle / Psychomania
(motorcycles)
Race with the Devil
/ Detour (keep death on the road)
Rope
/ 84 Charlie Mopic (experimental filming)
To Sleep With Anger
/ Le Mépris
Excalibur
/ Nothing Lasts Forever
Naked Tango
/ Apartment Zero (Buenos Aires)
Major Dundee
/ Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah)
Kiss Me Deadly

1997-1998
Scarface
Westworld
/ Demon Seed (futuristic)
The Fly
/ Society
Exotica
Blue Collar
/ American Gigolo (Paul Schrader)
Dazed And Confused
/ La Vie Sexuelle Des Belges (growing up)
The Girl Can’t Help It
/ Take Care Of Your Scarf, Tatjana (music)
The Warriors
/ La Haine (gangs)
Spanking The Monkey
Logan’s Run
/ Fahrenheit 451 (future)
The Fog
/ Darkness in Tallinn
Storyville
/ Ruthless
Vanishing Point
/ The Devil Thumbs A Ride (road movies)
Targets
Liebestraum
Bad Timing
The Conversation
All That Heaven Allows
/ The Reckless Moment

1998
Trespass
Shaft
/ Force Of Evil
Funny Bones
Cat People
The Killers
(1946)
Caged Heat
Thunderbolt And Lightfoot
Carrie
Léon
/ Le Samourai
El Patrullero

1999
Clockers
Ed Wood
/ The Body Snatcher (B-film)
Prêt-À-Porter
Videodrome
/ Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
Carlito’s Way
The Osterman Weekend
Mommie Dearest
Johnny Guitar

Branded To Kill
The List Of Adrian Messenger
One-Eyed Jacks

2000
Blood And Wine / Plein Soleil (nouvelle vague directors)
Rumble In The Bronx
/ Clubbed To Death (“guilty pleasures”)
The Killers
(1964) / On Dangerous Ground
The Underneath
/ The Hitch-Hiker (film noir)
Walkabout
/ Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg)
White of the Eye
The Last American Hero

Totting up, I make that:

  • A total of 203 different films aired;
  • Of which I have seen 109 films;
  • 99 of those films I am either definite (56) or fairly certain (43) that I caught them on Moviedrome;
  • 10 films shown I missed on Moviedrome but have since caught elsewhere;
  • 94 films broadcast on Moviedrome I have not seen at all…

Hmmm, 94 films – reckon I have a new project for 2012…

So, how many films did Moviedrome introduce you to? Any memories of Moviedrome presentations? Who did you prefer, Cox or Cousins?

ETA1:

On his website Alex Cox supplies PDFs of the two Moviedrome guides, which collect together notes on the films covered in the 1988-1993 series:

ETA2:

After realising some films (Get Carter, One-Eyed Jacks, Johnny Guitar, The Terminator, Carrie) were repeated, I have revised the above numbers to make them more accurate – my bad.

A Week In Film #011: Cutting back

Empire Records title screen
Empire Records
Messy, unstructured, episodic and ultimately utterly empty, but still rather cheery. A gaggle of young record store employees learn about life and each other, all whilst trying to keep their workplace in business. Directed by Allan Moyles, who also did Pump Up The Volume, with before-they-were-famous turns from Liv Tyler, Renée Zellwegger, Robin Tunney, Rory Cochrane etc. Anthony LaPaglia is nominally the adult in charge, Ethan Embry is great as the giggly cashier Mark, Brendan Sexton III is a confused shoplifter, Maxwell Caulfield (from Grease 2) is deliciously sleazy as an MOR singer there for a signing session.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978) title screen
Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978 version)
Philip Kaufman presents an unsettling updating of the Cold War era allegorical SF b-movie, with Donald Sutherland and Veronica Cartwright amongst those battling to stay ahead of the zombie-like invaders in seventies San Francisco.

Excellent Cadavers title screen
Excellent Cadavers
HBO telemovie about Sicily, the Mafia, Giovanni Falcone and the Maxi Trial. Given the subject matter it should have been great, but it’s not. Chazz Palminteri and F Murray Abraham give it their best shot, though.

Something Wild title screen
Something Wild
Lulu wig-wearing freewheeler Audrey (Melanie Griffith) picks up repressed suit Charlie (Jeff Daniels) for a couple of days of fun on the road; her ex Ray (Ray Liotta) threatens to spoil everything. Jonathan Demme directs with panache.