Moviedrome started life in 1988 and as a 17 year old lad, hungry to be entertained by interesting and challenging films, Moviedrome was a god send and truly a massive inspiration for my movie obsession. Presenter Alex Cox had written and directed the cult classic Repo Man (1984) and the brilliant Sid and Nancy (1986) the biography of Sid Vicious from The Sex Pistols. At the time I knew those two movies well but I didn’t know Alex Cox, he reminded me of William Sanderson aka J.F. Sebastian of Blade Runner fame as he appeared at the beginning of each screening of the film he was about to present.
It was a very exciting time for a young movie buff. There hadn’t really been anything like it before and unfortunately nothing since. The first film to be shown was The Wicker Man, which became the talking point in the morning with Britt Ekland’s naked bum on everyone’s mind. Not only was her voice dubbed but years later we find her sweet buttocks were dubbed too, with a body double but hey they were Britt’s boobies alright! Anyway I digress as I throw a glass of cold water over my face! Calm down Wolfie!!
Here’s that first opening of the premier episode as he explains what makes a cult film before introducing The Wicker Man.
Alex Cox – “What is a cult film? A cult film is one that has a passionate following, but does not appeal to everyone. James Bond movies are not cult films, but chainsaw movies are………”
Just some of the classic films that blew my mind as I set the VHS recorder up and settled in for the night were, The Man With X-Ray Eyes, Electra Glide In Blue, Barbarella, THX 1138, Two-Lane Blackout, Assault On Precinct 13, The Terminator, Get Carter, Badlands and Psychomania. It was an incredible resource of film knowledge back then because the only way to find new films really was to search video rental shops or flick through the television guide, which only consisted of four channels.
Alex Cox was the front man from 1988 till 1994 until it went off the air for a few years to return with a new presenter, Mark Cousins who went from 1997 to 2000.
Below is all the movies shown though those years.
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
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, Ace in the Hole, Alphaville, Two-Lane Blacktop, Trancers, The Buddy Holly Story, Five Easy Pieces, Sweet Smell of Success, Sunset Boulevard
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?
The Beguiled, Vamp, Knightriders, Something Wild, Carnival of Souls
Badlands / The Prowler, Performance, At Close Range, The Duellists / Cape Fear, The Music Lovers, Manhunter, Hells Angels on Wheels / Rumble Fish, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, Solaris, Mishima
Mad Max II / F for Fake, Dead Ringers / Rabid, 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
Darkman, House of Games, Escape from Alcatraz / Un condamné à mort s’est échappé, 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!, The Long Riders, The Big Combo, Face to Face, Requiescant, Qué he heche yo para merecer esto?, Carrie
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, Race with the Devil / Detour, Rope / 84 Charlie Mopic, To Sleep with Anger / Le Mépris, Excalibur / Nothing Lasts Forever, Naked Tango / Apartment Zero, Major Dundee / Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Kiss Me Deadly
Scarface, Westworld / Demon Seed, The Fly / Society, Exotica, Blue Collar / American Gigolo, Dazed and Confused / La Vie Sexuelle des Belges, The Girl Can’t Help it / Take Care of Your Scarf, Tatjana, The Warriors / La Haine, Spanking the Monkey, Logan’s Run / Fahrenheit 451, The Fog / Darkness in Tallinn, Storyville / Ruthless, Vanishing Point / The Devil Thumbs a Ride, Targets, Liebestraum, Bad Timing, The Conversation, All That Heaven Allows / The Reckless Moment
Trespass, Shaft / Force of Evil, Funny Bones, Cat People, The Killers (1946), Caged Heat, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Carrie, Léon / Le Samourai, El Patrullero
Clockers, Ed Wood / The Body Snatcher, 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
Blood and Wine / Plein Soleil, Rumble in the Bronx / Clubbed to Death, The Killers (1964) / On Dangerous Ground, The Underneath / The Hitch-Hiker, Walkabout / Don’t Look Now, White of the Eye, The Last American Hero
As you can see it’s a formidable list of outstanding movies. It put me on the right track of film watching throughout my youth but what with dating, night clubs, pubs and general life there’s a lot of films on those lists I had missed. So happy days as I fill in the gaps and tick off all the goodies on my to watch list.
If you are new to film, you can do no wrong than to start working your way through all these handpicked classics, cult favorites, B-Movies and noir thrillers. Seriously you will not be disappointed.
Were you glued to the television set Sunday nights on BBC 2 and how many of the 207 films have you managed to see? At time of writing I’m up to 81, so many many more hours of entertainment to be had. Happy days.
Here’s a short interview with Alex Cox with film reviewer Mark Kermode.
Lots of love for Moviedrome on the links below.