The Big Generation X Nostalgia Thread

Toadmaster

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Wow Mariska Hargitay is one of the main characters on Law & Order SVU (listed, I don't think she is either of those shown on the poster). It looks like she did several of these teen comedies before moving on to more dramatic B movies, and then parts in better films. Also a fair bit of TV work which obviously eventually paid off. I'm not a big fan of L&O SVU but have seen it occasionally so I know who she is. I didn't know she was Jane Mansfield's daughter.
 

Toadmaster

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Great trash films are the product of independent regional production, the films I mentioned are the studio films, which at their worse are workmanlike and boring. The studios system from the 30s to the 50s (by the 60s it was falling apart) often impeded American film from achieving the heights you see in other countries films (Europe, Japan) but it also prevented it from achieving the lows of independent producers.

To be as spectacularly bad as Plan 9 or Robot Monster is the result of independent producers working regionally, the death of that kind of film production is why we don't get the classics of trash cinema these days either. I think Plan 9 and the like is actually a less-than-ideal example as it is still watched today because Wood's voice as a filmmaker is so distinctive that many find it entertaining, his films are 'so-bad-they're good' which is actually a rather rare aesthetic achievement. More conventionally bad films don't generate that kind of interest over the long-term.

The whole point of the classic Hollywood system was that it was a group of expert craftspeople cranking out films of a remarkable standard of quality compared to anywhere else. There were costs and benefits to the system, I used to be very leery of it, but when you actually sit down and watch the films the general quality and craft brought to the films is undeniable. There is a reason American films from the 30s and 40s were so popular and it wasn't just due to industrial domination.

I'd point to the MCU, Pixar and Disney's animated films as modern-day examples of the classic studio system model working fairly well in consistently producing a popular art of a fairly high standard.

I mean people are going to like what they like and that is often determined by when they grew up and what they grew up watching, it doesn't really matter to me if someone finds most of their favourite films are from the 80s, I just don't happen to agree.
I like movies of the 1930-60s and consider myself fairly well versed in the period. I agree that many are superior to many of the films from later periods.
I just think time has helped to hide some of the crimes. A lot of quality films have been lost, movies that people would actually like to watch. I can only imagine what has happened to the films that the people involved would happily see people forget. What you see watching TCM, you are not seeing the 1940s equivalent of Porky's (or worse), they don't bother showing that stuff, assuming it wasn't purged and burned.
VHS and video store promotional material has made it much easier to dredge up the worst of 80s and 90s "film" making, a fair bit of 70s schlock too. The 70s sure did have a fetish for rape / revenge murder movies, pretty happy to see that trend fade, well except for the 2010 remake and sequels, seriously WTF is wrong with people. :shock:
 

TristramEvans

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yeah, I remember when they used to sell those cheap DVD sets with 20 or 30 movies, a lot of them would be 70s low budget "horror" that all seemed to be in the vein of Last House in the Left or I Spit on Your Grave.
 

TristramEvans

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When I was around 21 I had a "black and white summer", where all I watched was black and white films from the 30s - 50s, catching up on all those classics I'd always heard about or meant to watch, and discovering a lot of gems I'd never heard of. One thing I find different with those old films is that, with no reliance on effects and not much action to speak of, they were much closer, overall to stage plays - dialogue and acting was paramount. Stories also tended to be much more complex than what became "typical" Hollywood by the 80s.

I'll also say, it was only after this that I really understood why Citizen Kane is held in such high regard. It was analogous to Star Wars (or 2001 might be a better example), in that it was visually such a different experience to anything before. Wells created a visual language for film that is now so ubiquitous that it's invisible.

(Personally, though, I think The Magnificent Ambersons was a much better film.)
 

TristramEvans

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I don't know if it's correct, but I tend to think of the mid to late 70s as a time when those really sexually exploitative movies were made.

I think it started there, but lasted well into the 80s underground cinema, not the stuff in the theatres, but all those vaguelly-foreign action films that showed up in seedy vhs rental shops.
 

Toadmaster

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yeah, I remember when they used to sell those cheap DVD sets with 20 or 30 movies, a lot of them would be 70s low budget "horror" that all seemed to be in the vein of Last House in the Left or I Spit on Your Grave.
In the early 80s I had a friend whose brother got a job at a liquor / video store and got free rentals, so we saw a bunch of older horror flicks, there were quite a few I spit on your grave and Deathwish rips offs. T&A or violence (in movies) doesn't bother me, but I'm really not into glorified brutality and suffering.


I don't know if it's correct, but I tend to think of the mid to late 70s as a time when those really sexually exploitative movies were made.
Exploitation films go way back, to the 1920s and 30s, but they do seem to have a reached a peak of "what can we get away with" in the 1970s. I suspect a big part of it was a relaxing of the Hays Code in the late 1960s. Also lots of social changes in the 60s and 70s. You start to see movement to rein this in somewhat in by the 80s with groups like the Moral Majority, Parents Music Resource Center and of course of prime interest to us here, attacks on D&D.
 

Toadmaster

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I think it started there, but lasted well into the 80s underground cinema, not the stuff in the theatres, but all those vaguelly-foreign action films that showed up in seedy vhs rental shops.
Actually I think it started with foreign films (mostly Italian and Spanish productions) in the 1960s, got big in the US in the 70s, then went back to mostly foreign films in the 80s.

We can't forget the British part in this either. Some of the Hammer films were pretty gnarly.
 

TristramEvans

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Hammer films certainly had its share of toplessness, paint-red blood, and lesbian love scenes, but I don't recall them indulging in much rape (aside from the metaphorical stand-in that vampires represented, natch). With the gothic visuals and theatre actors, I always considered it slightly higher-class trash rather than "smut". A lot of the American/Italian sploitation films of the era I simply can't watch - they make me feel sick to my stomach.
 

TristramEvans

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T&A or violence (in movies) doesn't bother me, but I'm really not into glorified brutality and suffering.

Same here. I mean, I'm a huge fan of horror films, but just extended torture/misery isn't enjoyable. There's a certain subset of the horror genre where I really just get the impression the director is working out their issues with women onscreen, and I don't have much tolerance for that. I can handle most gore - if it serves the narrative, but misery just for misery's sake isn't my idea of a fun time

Rob Zombie pushes my limits in this regard. I think he's a talented filmmaker, but some of his films (which are largely tributes to the era we've been discussing) are just over-glorified depravity.
 

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I like movies of the 1930-60s and consider myself fairly well versed in the period. I agree that many are superior to many of the films from later periods.
I just think time has helped to hide some of the crimes. A lot of quality films have been lost, movies that people would actually like to watch. I can only imagine what has happened to the films that the people involved would happily see people forget. What you see watching TCM, you are not seeing the 1940s equivalent of Porky's (or worse), they don't bother showing that stuff, assuming it wasn't purged and burned.
VHS and video store promotional material has made it much easier to dredge up the worst of 80s and 90s "film" making, a fair bit of 70s schlock too. The 70s sure did have a fetish for rape / revenge murder movies, pretty happy to see that trend fade, well except for the 2010 remake and sequels, seriously WTF is wrong with people. :shock:
The great American films of the 70s to me are more the character pieces and crime thrillers (with a big dollop of character piece snuck into the genre films).

The explotation and horror films of the 70s were largely made outside the major studios. I think the 70s were definitely a golden age of horror films with the likes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Let's Scare Jessica to Death. A lot of the genre films of the 70s (and 80s for that matter) were sleazy, hence the term exploitation, but the likes of Death Weekend or Coffy more than make up for the less than great ones. It is impressive how many directors were able to do good work within the confines of disreputable genrework, John Carpenter probably being the greatest example..

And without that great outburst of genre vitality in the 70s that proved the commercial potential of the forms we'd never have had the studios dip their toes into genres like horror, sf or fantasy. It was the move of the studios into those genres in the 80s that really put the final nail in independent film production in the US. Ironically, now Hollywood is almost entirely sustained by the genres that were once considered b-movie material at best.
 

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The great American films of the 70s to me are more the character pieces and crime thrillers (with a big dollop of character piece snuck into the genre films).

The explotation and horror films of the 70s were largely made outside the major studios. I think the 70s were definitely a golden age of horror films with the likes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Let's Scare Jessica to Death. A lot of the genre films of the 70s (and 80s for that matter) were sleazy, hence the term exploitation, but the likes of Death Weekend or Coffy more than make up for the less than great ones. It is impressive how many directors were able to do good work within the confines of disreputable genrework, John Carpenter probably being the greatest example..

And without that great outburst of genre vitality in the 70s that proved the commercial potential of the forms we'd never have had the studios dip their toes into genres like horror, sf or fantasy. It was the move of the studios into those genres in the 80s that really put the final nail in independent film production in the US. Ironically, now Hollywood is almost entirely sustained by the genres that were once considered b-movie material at best.
Sure there are gems among the crap, Roger Corman has some great movies mixed in with his less good. John Carpenter did some of my favorites. You seem to focus on the big studios, and in that limited scope, I agree the older stuff was more consistent.

I'm not seeing the death of independent film. It just shifted from trying to compete for theater time (good luck with a handful of distributors owning most of the theaters) to direct to video then to cable and now streaming. Showtime and HBO started putting out some high quality movies in the 80s (as well as piles of cheese), and now you've got Netflix, Prime and others who are doing some good stuff the big studios seem incapable of. The big screen is dying, direct to your living room is where it is at these days and at least to me it seems like we are in a golden era of independent film making.
 

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Selective outrage, at about the same time C&C Music Factory got sued by Martha Wash, because they replaced her with a lip syncing Zelma Davis. Davis was being promoted as the female vocalist in the band, when in reality they used a number of different female singers (Davis did sing on some songs).
Wash did the female vocals in Gonna Make You Sweat. She is a large woman better known as half of the Weather Girls (Its Raining Men). For the video they substituted Zelma Davis, a model who lip sync'd the part. In court Wash was able to force the producers to give her credit for her work as well as provide her with royalties.
The public reaction seemed to be meh its just marketing, but for some reason Milli Vanilli which wasn't much different was seen as hugely deceptive.

This was spoofed (along with a while lot of other stuff) in Rusty Cundieff's mockumentary, "Fear of a Black Hat." If you like old-school rap, it's a pretty funny flick.

 

Toadmaster

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Hammer films certainly had its share of toplessness, paint-red blood, and lesbian love scenes, but I don't recall them indulging in much rape (aside from the metaphorical stand-in that vampires represented, natch). With the gothic visuals and theatre actors, I always considered it slightly higher-class trash rather than "smut". A lot of the American/Italian sploitation films of the era I simply can't watch - they make me feel sick to my stomach.
No Hammer didn't go to those levels, probably in large part due to the UK's own film regulation board which seems to be less conservative than the US when it comes to sex and nudity, but more conservative in regards to the amount and kind of violence allowed.

I was mostly bringing Hammer up in regards to exploitation films, but not the extreme revenge films of the 1970s.


This was spoofed (along with a while lot of other stuff) in Rusty Cundieff's mockumentary, "Fear of a Black Hat." If you like old-school rap, it's a pretty funny flick.

Never heard of it but found some more trailers and it looks amusing. I'm a classic rock guy at heart but I have a very eclectic music collection which includes some older Rap and Hip Hop. I grew up in Oakland and lived in the area until the late 90s so I gained some appreciation for it through osmosis. :grin:

I'm familiar enough to get most of the references here.

 

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Would it be fair to say the 70-80s was the first time you could market to teenagers where there wasn't a strong parental code in place?
I think that's some of what's going on here.
 

Stevethulhu

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I don't know whose been forcing you to read threads that you're not interested in, but you should probably tell them to stop, because it's giving you a bad case of the grumpies
This isn't grumpy. This is just lacking sleep.
 

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Sure there are gems among the crap, Roger Corman has some great movies mixed in with his less good. John Carpenter did some of my favorites. You seem to focus on the big studios, and in that limited scope, I agree the older stuff was more consistent.

I'm not seeing the death of independent film. It just shifted from trying to compete for theater time (good luck with a handful of distributors owning most of the theaters) to direct to video then to cable and now streaming. Showtime and HBO started putting out some high quality movies in the 80s (as well as piles of cheese), and now you've got Netflix, Prime and others who are doing some good stuff the big studios seem incapable of. The big screen is dying, direct to your living room is where it is at these days and at least to me it seems like we are in a golden era of independent film making.
I think most good films come from outside the modern film studios but the studio films are still the ones that dominate the culture. Se need a good mix of well crafted studio pictures and independents for a vital film culture.

I hope streaming as the new savior pans out but for the last number of decades it has been very hard for American directors interested in making non-genre films intended for adults to get their films funded.

Scorsese, Lee, Soderbergh, Lynch have all spoken about it and they are big names so one can only imagine how hard it has been for younger, talented directors who are lucky if they get to make a film every 5 years. Often they have to rely on funding from Europe, which is pretty ironic.

It is good to see the streaming companies stepping up and supporting good filmmakers in the last few years but I'm a bit leery of their intentions long-term.

Right now they seem interested in prestige films they can fund at a reasonable amount, if that continues it will be good for American film but they could be just following the typical producer path that the likes of Miramax and Joel Silver followed: start with some low budget prestige films and then drop that for middle-brow 'crowd pleasers' and big budget action films.
 
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TristramEvans

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I didn't realize these were Canadian only!

Yeah, though the eventually got bought out by a US company - Lays.

I miss them - they had some amazing flavours you just can't find anymore, and they were super thick and salty
 

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Video stores were a magical place to me as a kid and as a teen. Love how they always put the foreign and horror films in the back. And of course there was the taboo room beyond the curtain back there too.

80s-vhs.jpg


Our local convenience store was stocked with Chinese horror and kung fu films.

42815586762_d5c93f040e_b.jpg
 

Toadmaster

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I think most good films come from outside the modern film studios but the studio films are still the ones that dominate the culture. Se need a good mix of well crafted studio pictures and independents for a vital film culture.

I hope streaming as the new savior pans out but for the last number of decades it has been very hard for American directors interested in making non-genre films intended for adults to get their films funded.

Scorsese, Lee, Soderbergh, Lynch have all spoken about it and they are big names so one can only imagine how hard it has been for younger, talented directors who are lucky if they get to make a film every 5 years. Often they have to rely on funding from Europe, which is pretty ironic.

It is good to see the streaming companies stepping up and supporting good filmmakers in the last few years but I'm a bit leery of their intentions long-term.

Right now they seem interested in prestige films they can fund at a reasonable amount, if that continues it will be good for American film but they could be just following the typical producer path that the likes of Miramax and Joel Silver followed: start with some low budget prestige films and then drop that for middle-brow 'crowd pleasers' and big budget action films.
I think funding has always been an issue, and there are new ways of doing that as well with things like kickstarter, Go fund me and such. Not an entirely new phenomenon, Monty Python got the money for Life of Brian in large part from George Harrison of the Beatles who put his home up for collateral, and a smaller part from other musicians brought in by Harrison. Asked why he would risk his home, Harrison said because he wanted to see the movie. I think there are a lot of people who would donate to see a specific story put on film. It used to be movie makers had to solicit the wealthy becuase it was impractical to find a million individuals to donate $1-100 each, but with the internet that is possible. I donated $10 towards a small film, looking at a $15,000 budget and raised $33,000. Just a youtuber with 219,000 subscribers who talks film stuff, imagine what a known producer / director might take in, say John carpenter decided to do HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. I don't think it unrealistic that he could raise $20-30 million through an internet fundraiser, he made The Thing in 1982 for $15 million ($39 mil in 2020). If 1% of the US donated $10 each that is $33 million dollars.

Studio movie budgets have become obscene, maybe reining them in will put more emphasis on movie making over block buster spectacles. Some of the most profitable films have had very modest budgets (actual profit, not biggest box office take).

I also think following Covid, movie delivery is going to change drastically. Theaters were already struggling to fill seats. high ticket prices and low quality films isn't a winning combination. Some big movies intended for the theater are going straight to streaming.


I had a friend who bought a 1960s Cadillac. It had an ashtray and cigarette lighter for all 6 seats, center dash and center back seat, plus one in each arm rest. heaven forbid you had to share a lighter. :skeleton:



Video stores were a magical place to me as a kid and as a teen. Love how they always put the foreign and horror films in the back. And of course there was the taboo room beyond the curtain back there too.

View attachment 19667


Our local convenience store was stocked with Chinese horror and kung fu films.

View attachment 19668

I know they are hopelessly outdated with streaming, but I do miss the video store.
 

Toadmaster

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Bunch

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I think funding has always been an issue, and there are new ways of doing that as well with things like kickstarter, Go fund me and such. Not an entirely new phenomenon, Monty Python got the money for Life of Brian in large part from George Harrison of the Beatles who put his home up for collateral, and a smaller part from other musicians brought in by Harrison. Asked why he would risk his home, Harrison said because he wanted to see the movie. I think there are a lot of people who would donate to see a specific story put on film. It used to be movie makers had to solicit the wealthy becuase it was impractical to find a million individuals to donate $1-100 each, but with the internet that is possible. I donated $10 towards a small film, looking at a $15,000 budget and raised $33,000. Just a youtuber with 219,000 subscribers who talks film stuff, imagine what a known producer / director might take in, say John carpenter decided to do HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. I don't think it unrealistic that he could raise $20-30 million through an internet fundraiser, he made The Thing in 1982 for $15 million ($39 mil in 2020). If 1% of the US donated $10 each that is $33 million dollars.

Studio movie budgets have become obscene, maybe reining them in will put more emphasis on movie making over block buster spectacles. Some of the most profitable films have had very modest budgets (actual profit, not biggest box office take).

I also think following Covid, movie delivery is going to change drastically. Theaters were already struggling to fill seats. high ticket prices and low quality films isn't a winning combination. Some big movies intended for the theater are going straight to streaming.




I had a friend who bought a 1960s Cadillac. It had an ashtray and cigarette lighter for all 6 seats, center dash and center back seat, plus one in each arm rest. heaven forbid you had to share a lighter. :skeleton:






I know they are hopelessly outdated with streaming, but I do miss the video store.
I think in Bruce Campbell's book "If Chins Could Kill!" He talks about them raising the money for Evil Dead from various local businesses. I think one was an insurance company and another an appliance store but I could be mis remembering it.
 

Voros

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Would it be fair to say the 70-80s was the first time you could market to teenagers where there wasn't a strong parental code in place?
I think that's some of what's going on here.
I'd say the really nasty material was more 1970-75' By the late 70s the backlash was making even exploitation directors take their foot off the gas a bit.
 

Toadmaster

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I think in Bruce Campbell's book "If Chins Could Kill!" He talks about them raising the money for Evil Dead from various local businesses. I think one was an insurance company and another an appliance store but I could be mis remembering it.
I've heard that Evil Dead 2 is the movie they wanted to make but lacked the resources to do it. That would certainly explain the similarity between them as ED2 is much more of a remake than a sequel. Also the superior film in my opinion.


Evil Dead 2, Phantasm 2, From Dusk til Dawn and Tremors are great game-able horror films, because the protagonists have a brain. They don't fuss about if monsters are real, simply I don't care what they are, they are trying to kill us, how do we fight them.


I'd say the really nasty material was more 1970-75' By the late 70s the backlash was making even exploitation directors take their foot off the gas a bit.
The late 1960s and 1970s seems like it was kind of a the gloves are off period in American movie making pushing a lot of boundaries, but some of the most extreme came in the late 70s, almost a challenge to the efforts to rein in excesses. It wasn't just violence or sex movies, but hardcore pornography was suddenly not only legal(ish) but some were being treated as "art films" and reviewed by regular film critics. You can find movie reviews by Roger Ebert for Deep Throat, Devil in Miss Jones and Behind the Green Door. :devil:




The MPAA rating system only came into effect in 1968 and it went through several changes by the early 1970s to something similar to what we are used to. PG-13 came along in the mid 80s. It is kind of interesting to look at movies over time, the rating system has grown tighter and tighter. There were G movies in the 70s that today would be PG or PG-13. R also seems to be stricter, as a kid of 11 or 12 it was no big deal getting into an R rated movie. I gather these days you have to at least look like you are 16 or 17 and it seems like film makers are terrified of getting an R because they are much more limited on getting the film into theaters. I remember as a kid hearing about movies like Dawn of the Dead getting an X rating, and then being withdrawn from the rating process for an NR so we knew it had to be good.
:grin:
 
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