This is part three of our interview with Amanda from Made for TV Mayhem. In this installment, we asked for some of her recommendations and thoughts on TV movies!
B&S About Movies: Do you have any recommendations?
AR: Sure. In the first episode of the Made for TV Mayhem Show, I go into why I love This House Possessed, Fantasies and Dark Night of the Scarecrow, so I’ll just say check that out if you’re interested. Other titles I don’t mention as much but absolutely adore would probably be Secret Night Caller, which features Robert Reed in a really dark turn as an obscene phone caller! I also love Night Terror with Valerie Harper, which is a bit of a riff on Duel and really suspenseful. Midnight Offerings is one of the best telefilms ever made. I fall more in love with it with each viewing, and sit down with it a few times a year!
Other movies I love are The House that Wouldn’t Die, The Stranger Within, the small screen remake of I Saw What You Did, and the pilot for Nick Knight. Those are the ones that come to mind. Ummm… I also really dig The Haunted, Outrage, Sandcastles (that’s a supernatural romance), and Scream, Pretty Peggy is a favorite from my childhood. There’s dozens I’m forgetting! And that’s just the horror stuff. I love all the small screen genres!
B&S: Which film is most ripe to be remade?
AR: I’m one of those people who isn’t really up on remakes. I mean, some are quite good and I really liked The Woman in Black remake. I do think remakes often shine a spotlight on the originals so I tend to be more open to TVM remakes, and there are some good ones. The Initiation of Sarah remake (which was also made for television) is a lot of fun. So was Satan’s School for Girls, which is like a feature-length episode of Charmed, basically. Hmmm… I think something like She’s Dressed to Kill would be fun because it’s basically a giallo set in the fashion world and could be pretty fabulous on a larger scale. Plus, it’s fun but flawed, so it might be worth revisiting. In an old article I wrote about telefilms that would potentially make for a decent reboot I said I thought Crawlspace’s exploration of our disconnect with society might be relevant if put into a sort of Web 2.0 space. So, I’ll go with that!
B&S: Who would be your dream team if you could film your own made for TV movie?
AR: Oh gosh! I am hoping you mean living or dead? I would love to bring on Aaron Spelling as a producer because he understood how to mainstream hot button topics, and many of his films and TV shows have an interesting subtext to them. I’d get John Llewellyn Moxey to direct, and I’d either hire Rita Lakin or Paul Playdon to write the script. Or, maybe Juanita Bartlett, because Midnight Offerings is everything. As for the cast… that’s hard. I guess Stephanie Powers, Barbara Eden, Suzanne Pleshette and Joan Hackett could lead the cast, because I love female-driven films. For their co-stars? Robert Reed, Robert Culp and maybe John Ritter. What would the story be? Who cares!
What is it about 1970s TV movies that are so doom laden? So many of the storylines — and the endings — are downbeat, even as Hollywood made the transition to blockbusters with happy endings.
I would argue that most genre films of the 1970s were downbeat, whether they be theatrical or made for television. Look at Deathdream, Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, Massacre at Central High, Don’t Look Now, and even big films like The Omen embraced a sort of nihilism or pessimism that was fairly prevalent during the decade. And moving out of the horror genre, what about the disaster movies of that era? I remember Earthquake’s ending is a little shocking! That was sort of the joy though of movies from that decade. You never knew who’d make it out alive! It was just an edgier time in terms of the willingness to go there.
Is there more? Of course! Come back for part 4 tomorrow!