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Friday, November 18, 2011

Vintage TV Guide Ads: Awesome 80s, Tough Guys, TV & Terror Part 2


Remember when VHS tapes--after surpassing Beta and laserdiscs--were the 'In Thing'? Remember how expensive they were to buy the first several years they were too hot to handle? I remember my dad felt compelled to own three different copies of ALIEN when they retailed for a steep $99.99. Hell, it cost $7.00 just to rent a movie back then.


Irwin Allen was a behind a number of disaster movies, some of which were spectacular and others were disasters in a different sense of the word. He also dabbled in television with hits like LOST IN SPACE, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA and LAND OF THE GIANTS. This non science fiction series called CODE RED was his last. It was an action-drama series about the lives and dangers of a group of LA firefighters. The cast included Lorne Green (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA), Sam J. Jones (FLASH GORDON), Julie Adams (CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) and Andrew Stevens (TEN TO MIDNIGHT). The series first episode premiered Sunday, November 1st, 1981.


Here's an ad for an 1986 television remake of the 1958 classic THE DEFIANT ONES starring Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis. This do-over starred Robert Urich (VEGA$) and Carl Weathers (ROCKY series).

Atari pretty much eradicated all its competition till Nintendo and SEGA came along. I still have affection for games like CENTIPEDE, SPACE INVADERS, GALAGA and MOON PATROL.

Check out this ad from 1982 about an Atari home computer system. Anybody out there ever have one of these?

I vaguely remember this store called Heck's. Check out these specials from 1982. It would be great if these prices applied to today's games.

For you sports gaming lovers out there, this was cutting edge excitement back in the day.

DON'T GO TO SLEEP (1982) is one of the best of the Made For TV horror pictures. It sports a great cast, performances and still has some chilling moments in this pseudo POLTERGEIST enhanced semi-supernatural shocker. If you missed the review, click HERE.

HE'S THE MAYOR from 1986 premiered Friday night, January the 10th. It was about Carl Burke, a bright young man who becomes mayor of his town at the age of 25 while his father toils away as the janitor of City Hall. I never saw the series, but it was a short lived one. Looking back, there were so many shows that came and went abruptly.

TV movie co-starring Marilu Henner (TAXI). I don't remember it, but Henner being featured prominently on the ad warrants posting it.

Ken Wahl was a pretty popular face back in the 1980s. Here's an ad for a great and sadly defunct local station, WNRW channel 45. This was a theatrical movie directed by James Glickenhaus (THE EXTERMINATOR, THE PROTECTOR). And that brings us to another Ken Wahl movie....

THE GLADIATOR, a 1986 television movie directed by Abel Ferrara (MS. 45, THE DRILLER KILLER, BAD LIEUTENANT). Wow, a TV movie from one of trash cinemas most talented hands? This was a Vehicular Vigilante movie in the spirit of THE ROAD WARRIOR (1981).

Both SUPERMAN 1 and 2 got tons of airplay on the small screen. This is an ad from one of its many repeat performances. Christopher Reeve quickly became the cinematic blueprint for the Man of Steel that will be hard for Hollywood to duplicate.

"Know-whut-I-mean?" was a classic phrase from the late Jim Varney, alias Ernest P. Worrell. He was a staple of the 1980s much like Pee Wee Herman. He also had a series of kid friendly flicks over the course of two decades.

Panasonic wireless remote controlled VCR from the early 1980s. With just 13 buttons, a lot has changed to the remote control since then. Note this top loader doesn't have the 'tape recorder' buttons on it, but is digital instead.

ALICE was 'goin' through life with blinders on' throughout this hit series that ran for nine seasons from 1976 to 1985. Linda Laven was Alice Hyatt from New Jersey who, on her way to LA to take a shot at a singing career, breaks down in Phoenix, Arizona. She ends up taking a job as a waitress at Mel's Diner run by Vic Tayback. Polly Holliday as Flo got her own spin-off series called FLO and also uttered a famous TV catchphrase, "Kiss my grits".

Clint Eastwood was big business in the 1980s and his movies were always on television somewhere during the week. One of his most popular, and frequently aired flicks was this hilariously memorable movie with Clint as Philo Beddoe, a kindly, but bad ass fist fighter and his ape partner, Clyde who does a mean Orango-Tango. Here's another ad for EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE (1978) from a 1986 airing.

Burt Reynolds had been an old hat at action movies, particularly westerns such as the ultra violent NAVAJO JOE (1966) and 100 RIFLES (1969) starring Jim Brown and Raquel Welch. Reynolds became a well known and reliable commodity in the 'Good Ol' Boy' action sub genre that popularly played at drive in's across the country. He tried a few times to do a DIRTY HARRY, but could never escape his stigma as a smug and smirkin', fast drivin' Bandit throughout a series of car crash comedy pictures helmed by former stuntman, Hal Needham.


Speaking of Raquel Welch, she, too, carved a brief niche for herself in strong woman roles like the Roller Derby classic, KANSAS CITY BOMBER (1972). The ad above is for the weak revenge western, HANNIE CAULDER (1971). A strong cast that includes Ernest Borgnine, Strother Martin, Christopher Lee and Robert Culp make it a watchable, if unremarkable western.

Here's a portion of a TV article/interview with a very young, 21 year old Heather Locklear from April, 1983. Locklear had hit it big on two shows at roughly the same time--T.J. HOOKER and DYNASTY.

I had hundreds of these Hotwheels--Matchbox Cars and a few of those suitcase things with the trays to carry them around in.

Charles Bronson was a co-star in the great revolution western, VILLA RIDES (1968). Yul Brynner was the main star, but you couldn't tell by this TV ad from 1981.

WOLFEN (1981) got separated from the werewolf pack during its theatrical release while both THE HOWLING and AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON got all the good stuff leaving only scraps for Michael Wadleigh's gruesome and thought provoking cinematic adaptation of Whitley Strieber's novel. This ad is from 1986.

This 80s Tough Guys, TV & Terror special concludes in Part 3!

2 comments:

Shaun [The Celluloid Highway] said...

Excellent ad for THE WOLFEN - a dull film that doesn't really deserve such great promotion. $437 for a VCR! My how times have changed.

venoms5 said...

Hi Shaun! For some reason your comment was marked as spam. I just now noticed it. Apologies as I wasn't aware. I guess I should keep an eye on such things from now on.

I haven't seen WOLFEN in quite some time. I do have the dvd, but haven't opened it yet.

Yes, times have definitely changed!

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