Clip flicks are loved by movie studios. They were a cheap and easy way to draw in fans without having to invest heavily in extensive sets, actors, writers, or much in production other than editing. Some had hosts reading from scripts, some had minimal wrap-around stories, some just had clip connections. THAT’S DANCING (1985) showcased some of the greatest dancing moments in cinema up until then. The THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT series spanned decades with clips of classic film. This is October. Halloween month. So I present to you two clip flicks. If you want them scary and if you want them corny, there’s a flick for you.
TERROR IN THE AISLES (1984) celebrates the best in horror film. The scariest, the darkest, the most terrifying. Our two hosts, Donald Pleasence and Nancy Allen, are no stranger to the genre. Allen was to familiar to the flick’s audience in a handful of modern blockbusters like DRESSED TO KILL (1980) and CARRIE (1976). Pleasence had an epic career, from CIRCUS OF HORRORS (1960) to the first six HALLOWEEN (1978) flicks. They sit in a movie theater, surrounded by stereotypes of horror movie watchers, and introduce the clips. The clips themselves, while creepy, fall just short of excessive gore. Modern scares like THE THING (1982) and THE SHINING (1980) take their place along classics such as WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE (1960) and gems as early as BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935). The only downside is that the clips lack identification, so if you find a movie you’re unfamiliar with and perhaps want to watch, it’s not easy to figure out what it is.
While TERROR IN THE AISLES celebrated the scariest in horror film IT CAME FROM HOLLYWOOD (1982) celebrated the cheesiest. Unlike TERROR, this has no single connecting sequence. Instead it has various skits based on the theme of the next section’s films, from a scientist studying aliens for “It Came From Outer Space” genre flicks to stoners discussing drug films. In case the horrible frames from films like ZOMBIES OF THE STRATOSPHERE (1952) or THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED UP ZOMBIES (1964) aren’t enough to make you laugh, the hosts include some of the funniest names in sketch comedy for that time–Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Gilda Radner, and Cheech and Chong. To make sure they got the best of the worst they enlisted the help of “special consultant” Michael Medved (low-budget film expert…among other jobs).
Whether you want to be scared:
or want to laugh:
we at the Blender have you covered this Halloween.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT–What’s the most memorable clip you can think of from a scary movie?