“Forgotten Hollywood”- Invasion of the Cable Snatchers…

Posted on June 24, 2023 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Like all science fiction classics of the 1950s, mad scientists are tinkering with our cable box in some sort of mind-control game, leaving a metaphoric nuclear waste in its wake. The monsters emerge promising a bright future. The ending credits appear and so does a huge question mark. When the curtain drops, the audience is uneasy about a sequel.

“`It starts innocently enough. Like Klaatu, the fictional humanoid alien in The Day the Earth Stood Still, David Zazlav  (head of WB Discovery) promises sunshine, lollipops and rainbows from the parent company. But, an influx of dramatic prose is needed to justify an unsettling sixty-minute production. In this screenplay, it starts with the loss of extras dressed as talking heads and corporate hacks at CNN. Like actors in red uniforms at the start of each Star Trek episode, they are vaporized in some ghoulish way… And then, the opening credits:  “Space, the final frontier…”

“`Meanwhile, back at TCM, folks notice changes as people and programs start to disappear. A Friday-evening underground show vanishes without a trace; their host squirted from the earth like a watermelon seed. Dispatched characters from the margins of society eerily resemble an old man who first discovers the Blob, a trailer park family invaded by Them!, or a gentle sailor attacked by Killer Shrews.  One of the stars has his popular show repeatedly pre-empted, the villain hoping the citizenry will not notice the interruption of Eddie Muller’s film noir Saturdays. But, they do notice!

“`A mushroom-like crowd hovers over this years film festival, but its patrons are assured that all is well in their community. Yet, every fan suddenly feels like they may be part of recipes in an upcoming TCM cookbook (as part of a Wine-Club promotion). It really does not matter that annual get-togethers have risen in astronomic popularity, despite the pandemic (which may or may not have set off this corporate sickness about to envelop the global hamlet).

“`And then it happens on a bright June day, havoc ensues! The team, who has cultivated and curated a co-mingling of film stars and fans to ensure an incredible loyal base of viewers, are dispatched. Programmers, coordinators, media intermediaries and others, disemboweled; and a stunned fan-base suddenly has a zombified look resembling the Children of the Damned. Someone has to assume the roles formerly played by Richard Carleson and Richard Denning. Dave Karger and Eddie Muller express absolute disgust over the tragic decision. The citizenry take to social media and writing letters to the editor to protest.

“`As in most of science fiction classic of the day, familiar faces emerge in cameos. In Them!, classic moments from Fess Parker, Leonard Nimoy, and William Schallert.  In our melodrama, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Ryan Reynolds and Paul Thomas Anderson present a case to the villain and emerge like former British Minister Neville Chamberlain with declarations of “peace for our time.” All while Sudetenland of former Czechoslovakia is annexed by Germany. Put another way… Rome is burning and Zazlav is fiddling; a fiend with a face!

“`There is the obligatory catyclismic global implications (presented before the flick’s ultimate conclusion), with stock footage from the inner sanctum of RKOs film library, including floods and volcanic eruptions. In this production, newspaper headlines spell out the demise of TCM-Movies UK. Its last day to air is on July 6th. And WB Discovery is reportedly looking to sell off half of its film and television music catalog. As Allen Ludden use to say on a popular game show: The password is… LIQUIDATION!

“`Our initial glimps of the so-called new and improved TCM (besides upcoming programming) will be during this Fall’s TCM Classic Cruise. It might be a prudent idea for Chairman Zavlav to avoid being on the passanger list. In the meantime, let me offer best wishes to Charlie Tabesh, Pola Changnon and the rest of our comrades who have fallen.  They are off to opportunities of merit, one hopes. This story is not done. Cue the end credits and requisite question marks.  ???

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 24th, 2023 at 1:34 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Bookmark this post:
Digg Del.icio.us Reddit Furl Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon Windows Live Technorati Yahoo MyWeb

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.