Saturday, January 11, 2020

AMAZING STORIES - "Secret Cinema" (1986)

 Okay, tonight's Saturday Night Special is just what you'd expect it to be, a follow up to last Wednesday's "Secret Cinema," show and the remake they did in 1986 for the "Amazing Stories" TV show, Season one, Episode number 20.

 IF I ever had a chance to plan something, I would have done this one first and saved the original for the "Saturday Night Special," because as KD so succinctly commented:
"While the re-do was very slick thanks to the big Universal TV budget, alas, it lost most of its charm in the process." 
And that pretty much sums it up, except it lost it's darkness too!
 Paul Bartel still gets credit for the story, but the changes were written by other people. Paul also direceted this episode. Here's the new 1980's Jane, as portrayed by Penny Peyser! At the same time, she was one of the stars of an ongoing TV show called "Crazy Like A Fox."

 This Dick was played by Griffin (An American Werewolf In London) Dunne!

 The setup for this story is not nearly as dark and mysterious as the original, instead, Jane's life is more like one big "live" sit-com, with real Three Stooges action like an overflowing refrigerator, and lots of pies to the face!

 The adorable Eve Arden gets the role of Jane's Mother. Eve was Connie Brooks on the very popular 1950's TV show, "Our Miss Brooks," that ran for two years, and 130 episodes, and that was followed by "The Eve Arden Show," for the next two years and 26 more episodes!

 I love Mary Woronov!
She was in ten movies with Paul Bartel, and my favorite of them all is "Get Crazy!"
For some unexplainable reason, IMDB only credits Mary Woronov with being the nurse in this show!

 But just like Mimi Randolph, Mary not only plays the nurse, she plays the waiter who was a waitress in the original........

.......And the cashier..........

 .......And Dick's lover!!

 Jane once again makes her way to the theatre that doesn't exist!

 Do you ever feel like you're living your life one episode to the next? 
Well, for Jane, it was true!

 Who knew Executive Producer Steven Spielberg liked pie so much?

Certainly not Sweet Jane!

 It's fascinating how they decide to use the exact same shot, but reverse it for some reason!

 In this version, Jane's show has a real producer, and he's ready for it to be over, and he wants blood, so Jane's Doctor tells her she needs to act out on her anger and shoot Dick, and so she does!

 Here's an extra role for Mary Woronov that Mimi Randolph didn't have, she and Paul show up at the crime scene as cops!

 All right everybody, that's a wrap, and they start taking down and changing out the set immediately, and Jane is like just WTF!? is going on around here. In a matter of seconds she's shot her ex but he's okay, and finds out that the last six months of her life was all fake, and filmed!

 Since this is a big and bright 1986 success story instead of a 1968 cheapass indie production, it was deemed that there should be a happy ending I guess!

 Paul and Mary end up with a Caddy full of garbage!

You know if I didn't know the 1968 version existed, I would probably have been perfectly fine with this version, just because it's Paul and Mary, but really, this version is lacking Peter and balls by comparison!
The original "Secret Cinema" kind of reminded me of "Daughter Of Horror" the movie onscreen in "The Blob," and the difference between this one and the 60's version, is kind of like comparing "The Blob," to the 1972 version "Beware! The Blob." It doesn't work, so just enjoy them each for what they are, and you'll have a good time!


KD said...

Thanks for the memory-jog! My favorite "Paul and Mary" movie is HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD! They were both also in the cast of the original DEATH RACE 2000.

EEGAH!! said...

Death Race 2000 is another one I really like too!

Randall Landers said...

Love Death Race 2000!

I was also thinking of the similarity to the Twilight Zone's "A World of Difference" and "A World of His Own." Even Star Trek fan fiction has "Visit to a Weird Planet" and "Visit to a Weird Planet Revisited" wherein Kirk, Spock and McCoy find themselves swapping places with Shatner, Nimoy and Kelley, one from the characters' POV and one from the stars' POV.

An very interesting concept with the fourth wall...

KD said...

My favorite "fourth wall buster" was George Reeves in the '50s SUPERMAN. What a great thing to have Clark Kent or Supes himself take a couple of seconds to wink at *US* kids at home with our cereal and milk in front of the teevee! :D

I really need to watch Paul and Mary in HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD again soon...there are trailers and clips on YouTube worth looking's a hilarious, trippy flick, a real barrel o' laffs!

DEATH RACE 2000 was based on a short story titled "The Racer" by the late Ib J. Melchoir, the man and the mind behind such films as ANGRY RED PLANET, THE TIME TRAVELERS, and the wonderful ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS, a great movie for this ten-year-old kiddo to see on a big screen in a real movie theater!

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