Turner Classic Movies Underground
January 12, 2009 8:24 AM   Subscribe

TCM Underground (warning: flash, sound) has been screening an excellent selection of Cult movies on late Friday nights that are worth staying up for. Upcoming films include: Terror of Tiny Town, The Swinger, Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, Willie Dynamite, Shack Out On 101, Two-Lane Blacktop, and The Legend of Hell House.
posted by Otis (34 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
For the record: I absolutely love Turner Classic Movies. Even with a couple of hundred channels available to me, I pretty much just leave the tv tuned to TCM.
posted by buzzbash at 8:46 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


*flailing*

Holy Sweet Bungee-Jumping Jesus Creeping Anabolic Dacshunds, they ACTUALLY SHOWED BLOOD FREAK?????

NOBODY knows about that film! That is my Grade-A King "absolute best bad film of all time" and no one else has ever heard of it but they actually SHOWED it!

Okay, even though I missed it, that certifies this as "people who really know what they're doing" right there!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, TCM is pretty-much the default channel on our tv, too. I really admire the way they've managed to stay true to the films, including letterboxing and, of course, no commercials. I just wish they would show these cult and other niche films at more watchable times, but, at least they show them at all.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:59 AM on January 12, 2009


I have been trying to see Shack Out on 101 for years.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:09 AM on January 12, 2009


FYI, looked it up on directv so I could record Terror of Tinytown (always wanted to see that!!!)... in Pacific time these movies are on at 11pm on Fridays, not 2am.

And ummm... is there really a movie about sweet bungee jumping jesus creeping anabolic dachshunds? Because if I so must see it. NOW.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:13 AM on January 12, 2009


Oh man, we watched The Terror of Tiny Town a couple months ago; got it on DVD for $5. It's a hoot.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:17 AM on January 12, 2009


I should point out that I bought the DVD entirely because it was on a card in a game of Balderdash, which is another fine product.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:18 AM on January 12, 2009


I own Terror of Tiny Town. It's a reprehensible film, really. A sub par horse opera rooted in an idiotic gimmick (it's all small people! They sing!) It really ruined the market for all-midget musical Westerns.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:22 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love really bad movies but only when I can watch them with my robot friends.
posted by DU at 9:26 AM on January 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


is there really a movie about sweet bungee jumping jesus creeping anabolic dachshunds?

No, but there is one about a mutant turkey-headed vampiric drug addict who gets saved by faith in Jesus.

...I know you were making a joke, I just had to share that...BLOOD FREAK is probably the one and only thing I am anywhere near evangelical about.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:43 AM on January 12, 2009


an idiotic gimmick (it's all small people! They sing!)

Come on. The duck. The duck.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:45 AM on January 12, 2009


TCM is made of win. That is all.
posted by Rangeboy at 9:46 AM on January 12, 2009


The duck almost saves the movie.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:47 AM on January 12, 2009


Only TCM has the balls to air The Legend of Lylah Clare.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:01 AM on January 12, 2009


Our Tivo and TCM Underground are developing a very close relationship.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:08 AM on January 12, 2009


Well...pretty good. But to really impress me, they'll need...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:11 AM on January 12, 2009


In the Ray Dennis Steckler thread the other day I mentioned that I'd seen Rat Pfink a Boo Boo on TCM, and well, more specifically it was on TCM Underground. They've also shown a couple of Herschel Gordon Lewis flicks. Pretty out there for basic cable.
posted by Heminator at 10:11 AM on January 12, 2009


Two Lane Blacktop!

man, I HATED that movie when I first saw it. Now I freakin' love the thing. Great double feature with Duel, FWIW.
posted by mwhybark at 10:22 AM on January 12, 2009


Robot friends are great and all, but since they've stopped showing up to movies, I've had to make do with real friends.

TCM will undoubtedly do a better job with film presentation, but if you can't get this channel in your neck of the woods, shady compilations of old movies can be a suitable fill-in. This compilation in particular shows no care for film restoration or proper cropping of the image, but it provides some fantastic films for days of distraction. Given that they are mostly (if not all) in the public domain, the only reason to buy such a set would be for sheer convenience.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:35 AM on January 12, 2009


I too love TCM. Seen a lot of famous movies on there that I otherwise probably never would've caught.

I also think TCM is further magnified in its greatness whenever I flip through the channels and see a good movie on AMC (American Movie Classics), and remember that it's full of commercials (or flip through to see some crappy movie that doesn't deserve to be on a channel with the word "Classics" in it).
posted by inigo2 at 11:25 AM on January 12, 2009


I too am one of the "TCM is my default channel" people and if I randomly turn the TV on, chances are I'll watch whatever TCM's got on before flipping around. TCM is basically what AMC used to be ten years ago before it decided to suck ("Gentlemen! It has come to my attention that we're not sucking enough. Henceforth, we at AMC will edit our films, show the pan-n-scan versions whenever possible, and interrupt them constantly for commercials!")

I also liked watching Carrie Fisher talk a blue streak around Robert Osborne when introducing films in their Essentials series (take a drink when she tells a showbiz story involving her mother!) Rose McGowan is an acceptable replacement, but she's not as right-on-the-brink-of-unhinged that Fisher sometimes was.

TCM Underground is great when I catch it. They had Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! on a couple of months back and I think I caught both Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Carnival of Souls on late-night TCM before in varying states of sobriety.

It makes me very happy that there's this channel on my TV that plays Deanna Durbin musicals in the day and Russ Meyer flicks late at night, and I didn't even have to ask them to.

That said, I'm kinda bugged I missed The Harder They Come, but psyched I'm just in time for the Terror of Tiny Town and should probably mark a calendar for the Blood Feast / 2,000 Maniacs double feature in April.
posted by Spatch at 11:34 AM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Two Lane Blacktop was filmed around here; my husband used to work in a gas station/convenience store that appears in the film. The shop had had a few facelifts over the years but no major remodels until two years ago. When they scraped up the linoleum, you could see where the lunch counter stools were in the film. A wooden shelf that appears in the background is still in use there.

I don't especially remember liking the movie, though. Maybe I just didn't get it. I certainly had no idea it was a cult film.
posted by workerant at 11:43 AM on January 12, 2009


Legend of Hell House is a movie I wouldn't watch at night for most of my childhood.

God I love that movie.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:44 AM on January 12, 2009


I don't especially remember liking the movie, though. Maybe I just didn't get it. I certainly had no idea it was a cult film.

Cult status is pretty hard to define or debate. Having people not understand or like the item of said cult status is worth bonus points towards recognized cultdom. In regards to Two-Lane Blacktop, wikipedia notes that Esquire magazine declared the film its movie of the year for 1971, and even published the entire screenplay in its April, 1971 issue, but the film was not a commercial success. Sounds like it's a viable cult film, though Esquireis a rather mainstream champion.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:18 PM on January 12, 2009


Films that made no history
posted by hortense at 1:33 PM on January 12, 2009


Apparently AMC is one of those channels where the letters no longer stand for anything.

TCM has lead to me becoming a huge fan of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire.
posted by drezdn at 1:48 PM on January 12, 2009


I would gladly accept any cable or satellite subscription that offered TCM as its only channel. It's always the first channel I dial in when in front of the TV. And they are great at showing more unusual stuff.

My most moving TCM experience: A few months ago, I think it was Tim Roth as guest programmer who selected Ken Loach's Cathy Come Home from 1966, about a family in the UK that plummets through different stages of poverty and tries to navigate the public welfare system. It tore me up. (Apparently, it did the same for Britain in the 60s, as it led to an outcry and the creation of a charity for the homeless.) BTW, if anybody knows where I can track that film down...
posted by troybob at 1:55 PM on January 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Another bit of praise for TCM: the Role Model series, especially the Gene Wilder interview by Alec Baldwin. Somewhat weird (set partially in an old castle by the windows, then with the two of them walking through a field), mostly fantastic, and all-together fitting.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:09 PM on January 12, 2009


I've never seen Willie Dynamite, but the soundtrack is excellent.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:17 PM on January 12, 2009


My most unexpected and fun TCM Underground experience was seeing "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" for the first time.
posted by blucevalo at 7:22 PM on January 12, 2009


I check the schedule for TCM for the evening when I get home to see if I should set record on anything. So far I've seen Gaslight (1944) with Angela Lansbury's first role at 18, THEM! (1954), and The Four Feathers (1939) just since New Year's. It's my default cable channel.
posted by steveburnett at 10:03 PM on January 12, 2009


Oh my...

So there IS something awesome on TV these days after all.
posted by JHarris at 10:34 PM on January 12, 2009


I've never seen Willie Dynamite

If you like blaxploitation, it's a necessity. I remember having to go to "the video lady" early in the morning at the Ashby Flea Market on the Berkeley/Oakland border to get a VHS copy of that film. DVD and stuff like TCM make it so much easier these days. In addition, the pimp protagonist of the title is played by the same actor who plays Gordon on Sesame Street now. What could be more awesome?
posted by jonp72 at 9:35 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Legend of Hell House is a movie I wouldn't watch at night for most of my childhood.

God I love that movie.


When I was a child, we'd wander around the house and shout snippets of dialogue at each other in terrible British accents:

[in a shocked voice] "Miss Tanner!"

"I thought you said you were a mental medium!"

Roddy McDowell is wonderful in it! And it had a spooky soundtrack.

My husband's uncle is in that movie, but I don't remember him having much of a part -- he just hands over the keys to the place, if memory serves.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 5:30 PM on January 13, 2009


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