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Do You Watch TCM Underground Often?


lydecker
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While I think I know the rationale for TCM having added TCM Underground a few years ago  -- Get "younger demos!!!" Acquire films for a cheaper price than you would pay for "classic films," etc.  --   I must confess that I rarely, rarely watch it.  Most of the offerings seem to me to be less underground and more drive-in/went-straight-to-home-video rejects. I mean titles like Motel Hell and Eye of the Devil do not exactly inspire me to tune in.  Which makes me wonder . . . do other people on the boards consider TCM Underground "Must See TV?"

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I rarely watch TCM Underground.  I'm not a big fan of horror movies and the TCM Underground seems to mainly consist of terrible horror movies.  Occasionally, I'll see something on the schedule that I want to watch, e.g., Roller Boogie or Burnt Offerings, but it's few and far between.  I wouldn't mind if TCM dumped Underground and replaced it with another series, a la Noir Alley.

For that matter, I rarely watch Silent Sunday Nights or TCM Imports, but I know those series, and probably TCM Underground, have their fan bases.  I wouldn't dream of trying to prevent silent and foreign film fans from seeing these weekly showcases.

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I've watched a few of them,but it is not a weekly destination like Noir Alley is for me. Largely they are really bad horror films from the 70s and 80s. The younger demos are not going to be interested in that either. That is going to be people my age (60) or maybe a little younger who might remember these films when they first came out and connect them to something that was going on in their youth.

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I never watch TCM Underground, although, like other folks, I don't see any harm in keeping it on the schedule for those who enjoy it.

For me, the TCM Underground selections are primarily the kinds of movies that I avoided when they first came out, since I'm old enough to remember some of them.  On the rare occasions when I saw such movies back then (usually on TV or on the big screen at the urging of friends with different tastes in movies), I found their cheesy production values and far-fetched plots kind of depressing.

But if those movies have a following, by all means keep TCM Underground.  I wouldn't want TCM to eliminate the weekly showcases that I like (primarily Noir Alley, but also Silent Sundays and TCM Imports to a lesser degree) just because they have a niche viewership.

 

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I love that TCM Underground exists, but I don't often watch it any more since they rarely show something that I either haven't seen or own a copy of. 

And it's been on more than a few years. It's been on for 12 years. Relatively short in the scheme of things, but for half of the time that the channel has been broadcasting.

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I watch it sometimes. I particularly liked it when they showed David Lynch movies and also animated movies like Belladonna of Sadness and Fantastic Planet. Many of the movies shown are cheesy but there are some real gems there.

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10 minutes ago, Gershwin fan said:

I watch it sometimes. I particularly liked it when they showed David Lynch movies and also animated movies like Belladonna of Sadness and Fantastic Planet. Many of the movies shown are cheesy but there are some real gems there.

And some of us like the cheesy ones, too.

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8 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

And some of us like the cheesy ones, too.

Yes, I agree. Some of the "so bad it's good" ones can be fun. I wasn't trying to disparage them but just listing my personal favorites that have been shown on Underground.

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Upcoming TCM Underground features include:

  • Macon County Line (1974) and Return to Macon County (1975) on 9/21
  • Alone in the Dark (1982) and Eye of the Devil (1966) on 9/28
  • Deadly Friend (1986) and Demon Seed (1977) on 10/5
  • Funeral Parade of Roses (1970)** and Portrait of Jason (1967) on 10/12
  • Dreamscape (1984) and Dead Sleep (1990)** on 10/19
  • The Hand (1981) and The Beast with Five Fingers (1946) on 10/26
  • The Lawnmower Man (1992) and The Terminal Man (1974)** on 11/2
  • Lady Street Fighter (1981) and Sister Street Fighter (1975) on 11/9
  • Sisters (1973) and Eyes of a Stranger (1981) on 11/16
  • River's Edge (1986) and In Cold Blood (1967) on 11/23
  • Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore (1996)** and I Was a Teenage Serial Killer (1993)** on 11/30

 

**I have not seen these, and will most likely be recording/watching them.

 

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57 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I love that TCM Underground exists, but I don't often watch it any more since they rarely show something that I either haven't seen or own a copy of. 

And it's been on more than a few years. It's been on for 12 years. Relatively short in the scheme of things, but for half of the time that the channel has been broadcasting.

12 years!! Never would have thought that . . .

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Im not a late nighter, but A lot of TCM UNDERGROUND titles are made available on TCM ON DEMAND, and I have watched quite a few selections that way- I recently saw MOTEL HELL that way, but it did not particularly impress me much. 

In fact, I think I have watched every underground selection that has been made available on demand, or at least tried to.

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2 hours ago, laffite said:

Motel Hell sounds interesting.

It wasn’t.

I watched it and it made next to no impression on me, granted that’s after I’ve watched a lot of really sick and disturbing and messed up stuff this past summer

I did not find the comic aspects of it to be the least bit funny, and they overplayed it with the  gutteral choking sounds of the victims, One of whom was Cliff the mailman from “cheers”

 

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I do, I have seen some really entertaining though weird films on there.

 

The Baby (1973) A bizarre thriller about a grown man still treated as a baby by his nasty mother (Ruth Roman). A social worker (Anjenette Comer) tries to save him.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1977) A killer in a sack mask terrorizes a Texarkana town, based on a true story. Ben Johnson is the Texas Ranger on the case. Directed by Charles Pierce (Legend Of Boggy Creek)

Willard (1971) a cult classic with an excellent performance by Bruce Davison as a young man who trains an army of rats. Ernest Borgnine is his mean boss and Elsa Lanchester his eccentric mother.

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29 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

It wasn’t.

I watched it and it made next to no impression on me, granted that’s after I’ve watched a lot of really sick and disturbing and messed up stuff this past summer

I did not find the comic aspects of it to be the least bit funny, and they overplayed it with the  gutteral choking sounds of the victims, One of whom was Cliff the mailman from “cheers”

 

Oh no, not Cliff. I think I would agree with your assessment here since I am too snobbish to go slumming in the mire ; = ). As you no doubt get, my post was meant to be facetious. What a title, eh? Was Janet Leigh in this one? She has had two hell motel experiences, one in the middle of nowhere while being assailed by a group of thugs and the other with a loony tune as manager and with a room that comes with a shower. Hell Motel should have borrowed her. Orson and Hitch might have have pleased.

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Do You Watch TCM Underground Often?

It just depends.  At times, yes.  I like cheesy goodness too.

As some may be aware, I tune in and watch/record mostly based on the rarity of the movie itself, not the theme.  If the theme actually provides them with some sort of an incentive to play stuff that otherwise wouldn't get played, then fine.  Whatever floats everyone's boat, and there are some real dingys on here.  I'm not one of those complaining though.

In any case here's a bubble-sort of stuff they have played, in order of how recent:
http://www.moviecollector.us/reports/Movies-Only_last-scheduled.htm

and in order of how repetitive (hat tip to Stephan55):
http://www.moviecollector.us/reports/Movies-Only_times-shown-&-last-scheduled.htm

Then there are some more possibilities - stuff my listings don't say TCM has shown so far, which can be found by scrolling down to the "X-files" section on this page:
http://www.moviecollector.us/reports.htm

 

If it adds more rarities or previously unshown movies, then I think it is better off.  If they are using it to recycle the same ol same ol, then never mind.  Overall I would say it is the former.

 

 

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As far as I know, I've only seen one film that ever aired on Underground and it wasn't on TCM, it was on a DVD. That film was Martin Scorsese's Kafkaesque dark comedy After Hours from 1985. It was a very offbeat  film with formidably flaky and eccentric supporting turns from Teri Garr, Catherine O'Hara, Roseanna Arquette, and Linda Fiorentino. There was one  time I took a peek at Underground, but the film seemed so unhinged from the first few minutes that I turned it off. That film was Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills.

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4 hours ago, laffite said:

Oh no, not Cliff. I think I would agree with your assessment here since I am too snobbish to go slumming in the mire ; = ). As you no doubt get, my post was meant to be facetious. What a title, eh? Was Janet Leigh in this one? She has had two hell motel experiences, one in the middle of nowhere while being assailed by a group of thugs and the other with a loony tune as manager and with a room that comes with a shower. Hell Motel should have borrowed her. Orson and Hitch might have have pleased.

Well, it WAS better than NIGHT OF THE LEPUS...

also also, and this is the sort of thing only *i* would complain about but...a detriment to MOTEL HELL was they had a very rich orchestral score. Seriously I think a 32 piece symphony recorded the soundtrack, which had a sweeping kind of Merchant Ivoryish Thing going- It was decidedly out of place for a low-budget horror movie about psychotic cannibal sausage makers

Seriously.

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6 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

It wasn’t.

I watched it and it made next to no impression on me, granted that’s after I’ve watched a lot of really sick and disturbing and messed up stuff this past summer

I did not find the comic aspects of it to be the least bit funny, and they overplayed it with the  gutteral choking sounds of the victims, One of whom was Cliff the mailman from “cheers”

It's NOT--Motel Hell likely only showed up as one of the "MGM Orphans", as, like "Night of the Lepus", it's been showing up every danged elsewhere on streaming in the past few year or two, as many of MGM/UA's Cannon, American International and other late 60's-early 80's B-acquisitions have.

I'm all for the idea of TCM Underground; conjures up the old 90's "TNT Monstervision", back when Joe Bob Briggs used to host it, and which TNT promoted with clips of "5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.".  But on one of the other streaming channels, Vudu Free Movies On Us tried to spin off their "Impact" streaming channel of rare underground B-movies, and within a few months, their lineup soon degraded to the exact same twelve MGM/UA/Cannon movies over and over.  Including guess-which.

If we see "Lifeforce", "Night of the Comet" or "Return of the Living Dead" show up as Underground Movies, you'll know the orphanage has claimed another movie-broadcast victim.  :(

1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

As far as I know, I've only seen one film that ever aired on Underground and it wasn't on TCM, it was on a DVD. That film was Martin Scorsese's Kafkaesque dark comedy After Hours from 1985. 

After Hours, "Kafka-esque"?  Actually, that's a good point, never thought about it that way.  (And After Hours has also been a lot more visible lately, with the new 80's-Paramount wing of the orphanage.)

I just took it as a general "nightmare comedy"--and Marty's got a great sense for comedy that we don't see very often--but CtToI, it does follow the exact same structure of a Kafka story, only played for midtown-New Yorker laughs.  A few years ago, everyone was struggling to follow the plot of Scorsese's "mindbending" Shutter Island (2010), which was so bald-faced and flat-out Kafka fan-fiction, one of the characters in the script even accuses the villains' plot of "That's the Kafka-esque brilliance of it."

Okay, Marty, we GET it, you read him in college.  Still, unlike Woody Allen's fan-fictions of Bergman, Fellini and Chekov, Scorsese could at least create a Kafka comedy...Don't see that every day.

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2 hours ago, Hepburn Fan said:

I heard that.

Okay, how about a solution. I suspect this thread is meant to deal with the other one on Information Please.

You, MCOH, are one of the perfect individuals to hear me out.

Simple, kind of. TCM ONE & TCM TWO. The first channel might concentrate on the older movies. The second channel could go more modern. Numerous tweaks until it is perfect. TCM has hosts. TCM probably has way too many movies for a single channel.

Does this mean TCM Underground in Prime Time? Sure could. Silent Weekends? Why not. Noir Alley at two different times, once on each channel? Now you got it.

So, if AT&T believes they can make more money than they spend, it could be a done deal. AT&T has DirecTV, DirecTV Now, and Watch TV. TCM is already on them all.

So, "Ain't That A Hole In The Boat!"

EDIT: The other thread has been removed.

Hey welcome back (If I am correct here).

It all depends on what their priorities are.  On the plus side they could squeeze twice as much in (but would they really - maybe it would turn out to be 1.5x or less).  On the minus it would stretch out their resources, and I think that is what people around here are considering.  One thing's for sure...if it weren't for TCM, I would have "cut the cord" a long time ago.  And that's a fact, Jack...I mean Jimmy (I think).

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I enjoy TCM Underground, as bad as the films often are. I usually wind up falling asleep at some point during them, though. I like spotting the blink-and-you'll-miss-them actors and actresses before we knew of them for something famous.

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30 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Well, it WAS better than NIGHT OF THE LEPUS...

also also, and this is the sort of thing only *i* would complain about but...a detriment to MOTEL HELL was they had a very rich orchestral score. Seriously I think a 32 piece symphony recorded the soundtrack, which had a sweeping kind of Merchant Ivoryish Thing going- It was decidedly out of place for a low-budget horror movie about psychotic cannibal sausage makers

Seriously.

That's part of the cheese.  Mmm cheese.

A bit like having someone like Elmer Bernstein do the music for a movie like Robot Monster.

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7 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

The Lawnmower Man (1992) and The Terminal Man (1974)** on 11/2

**I have not seen these, and will most likely be recording/watching them.

Terminal Man?  Yeah, might want to record that one, for the benefit of the fast-forward button.

I remember when they showed that to our rowdy all-night sci-fi audience, and...the result wasn't pretty.  Fun, in a way, but not pretty.

(They also showed Lawnmower Man the year it opened, and even then, it was the definition of So 90's.  Now that I've got a Playstation VR helmet, I might go back and snicker at 90's movies' depiction of "Virtual reality".  B) )

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