Cold Bishop wrote:
For an entire generation of kids, this sound
meant that some shit was about to go down. The anticipation and wonder of sneaking into the living room late at night and turning to those premiums channels is a sensation that I regret this generation will never experience; the blatant, wild vulgarity of internet porn is not the same. And when I'm up late channel-surfing, I sometimes feel genuinely sad that television is unable to invoke it from me again. In those days, my door was open to mystery...
The closest channel these days that to me emulates this 'what will I see next?' feeling of mystery is MGM-HD. It isn't widely carried and it does have commercial breaks in-between movies and at the halfway mark (two minutes) but the flicks themselves are uncensored. From westerns to low-budget and from classics to direct-to-video Sybil Danning 80's action flicks (with Woody Allen stuff on permanent rotation and in high-def), there's a retro-cool vibe to the stuff MGM-HD shows (helped immensely that a lot of the stuff they show bombed theatrically and was little-seen outside of their cable rotation heyday) that is one of my most-watched movie channels.
Also, because they have little movie studio product left that they have access to (and getting slimmer), the Showtime extra channels (Beyond, etc.) sometimes get old stuff to fill in their schedules that isn't available elsewhere. A few weeks ago I saw 'The Medusa Touch' on Showtime 2 at 6AM (in HD!). This one was on permanent rotation in NYC's Late or Late Late Movie on Channel 7 through most of the 80's and through the 90's (where I first discovered it). Richard Burton freaking out (close-ups of glassy-eyed face helped) as 'the man that can create disasters' crashing a toy plane against a building, Lee Remick as the shrink that tries to help him and a cool/suave Lino Ventura as the French detective (think Clouseau but actually competent) trying to piece it all together... what's not to love? When I saw the 'bouncing bricks of Minster Cathedral (i.e. Westnister Abbey)' finale I was in absolute geek cinema heaven. :)