Caffeinated Clint : Pre-Net Buzz


Remember way back when? Back before every man and his dog had a blog? Back before Twitter? Back before MovieWeb utilised a colour scheme? Before every other studio followed Dimension’s lead and created an official website? Heck, back before The Internet?!!

(Yes kids, there was a time.)

When I was in Highschool, we didn’t even have computers (actually, I think there was one – you had to book it a fortnight in advance if you wanted to use it, or the dot matrix printer attached to it), let alone a portal into the online world. Shit, it wasn’t until I was half-way through college that the internet became readily available..

Can you imagine!?

Can you imagine not being able to wake up every morning and check your email?

Can you imagine not waking up every morning to see what ‘superhero’ movies were in the works?

Can you imagine not being able to stream a TMZ video of an inebriated Leighton Meester dancing on a stranger’s car hood?

“So where did you get your movie news from back in the day then, Clint?” I hear you ask.

God, do you really want to know!?

I use to have to rely on the monthly ‘Movie’ magazine (remember it? It use to sell in the foyer of your local cinema) to get my movie news fix. Yes, one of those fluffy, glossy opinion-last plug-first cinema-chain sponsored efforts that allocated two pages an issue to the Hollywood happenings.

That news, be it about a new Ralph Macchio movie or a sequel to ”Twins” that would never happen (remember that as clear as day – Roseanne Arnold was set to join Schwarzenegger and De Vito for “Twins II : Triplets”, at least according to this magazine’s likely fifth-hand sources), was likely a month old by the time it got to us – maybe even more? – but we knew no different.

There was nowhere else to get movie gossip (heck, the local Newspaper was the first place most of us found out that Nicole and Tom were dating! These days, what with TMZ, Perez Hilton, and the News Wires, we’d be aware of the coupling days before the paper would run the story!)

Sure, there was Entertainment Tonight, but back then they were more interested in what Burt & Loni were doing than what kids Freddy would be slaying in his next jaunt. And if you were home from school that day you might get to watch John Michael Howson’s Showbiz report on Mike Walsh’s show. But by-and-large, there was nothing. Heck, you couldn’t even get a Variety or Hollywood Reporter in my neck of the woods.

So by-and-large, we had ‘Movie’, we had dreadfully-old (imported magazines would arrive on our shelves about 6 months later here in Australia) issues of Fangoria, Movieline and Premiere (which, mind you, set me back $20 an issue – and yes, I’d pay it each-and-every time. Oh man, how you yanks would laugh!), and we had Molly’s Melodrama on Hey, Hey It’s Saturday (Usually he’d stick to tunes, but I do remember tipping audiences off to ‘the next big thing in action cinema’ Steven Seagal in the late 80s!).

Later on, in the early 90s, we had something called ‘Video Trader’ – an industry magazine that those that owned video-stores could subscribe to. I use to work in a video store as a youngster, and I’d look forward to the day the new ‘Trader’ would arrive – it had some great gossip in it – usually about VHS releases, but sometimes about films in the works too (I remember it was in an issue of the Trader that I first read about “The Crow” and how the producers had signed rising star Brandon Lee to a sumly sequel deal).

But again, most of the news from ‘The Trader’ was probably about 6 weeks old by the time it arrived in the mailbox… there was nowhere to get ‘instant’ movie news. Not here, not downunder anyway – and especially not in the country.

How different would things have been for the industry had the internet had been around say in 1985, or even a bit later?

Significantly I’d think!

Would studios have been forced into putting more effort into their superhero movies – which, back then, were all cheap, campy European-financed schlock like “Masters of the Universe”, “Superman IV : The Quest for Peace” and “The Punisher” (the Dolph Lundgren one) ? I dare say so – the internet, and it’s outspoken members, are the only reason studios put ‘effort’ into them now.

It’s likely we would’ve also have seen a few studio’s going to the internet in search of some casting suggestions (would Lance Henriksen have ended up with the Terminator role – as originally planned – and not the Austrian guy who hardly knew English!?) some may have even disattached cast members based on forum backlash – Michael Keaton’s appointment as Batman would’ve definitely been on shaky ground! (I remember, sometime in 1988, the local newspaper ran a bit on Keaton getting the job – the writer was very, very certain this was a grave mistake; he wasn’t alone in his feelings either. We all know it turned out pretty good, but geez, would Warner really be brave enough to take such a leap nowadays!?)

And we might have also have been saved from quite a few blunders! Stinkers like “Almost an Angel”, “Another Stakeout” and “My Stepmother is an Alien”, might’ve not only bypassed cinemas and went straight to VHS, but studios may have flat-out just abandoned them, what once the ‘script review’ went online.

On the other hand, would films like “Dirty Dancing”, “Three Men and a Baby”, “Revenge of the Nerds”, “Police Academy”, “Crocodile Dundee II”, and “Top Gun” had been the hits they were with the Internet being a regular everyday appliance in everyone’s household? Maybe not – after all, those films likely would’ve got a blasting from the critics, even the softer online reviewers, somewhat hurting their chances at the box office. And you know that’s true – tell me you don’t avoid a flick if everybody on the web, especially those who seem to share the same taste, blast a film before it’s release? I know I do.
And instead, flicks like “The Bonfire of the Vanities”, “Joe Versus the Volcano”, “Say Anything” and “The Abyss” – that would’ve likely received rave reviews online – might’ve done the opposite of what they did (which, at the time, was zip).

Can you imagine how much more effort studios would’ve been forced to put into trailers? Now, knowing they’d be playing all over the globe and be scrutinized by gazillions, filmmakers would be forced to do a lot more than just splice together a few scenes from the movie – they might actually have to buy some music – specifically for the trailer!, out-source an expert trailer wizard, and maybe even – dare I say – script something!

And would Rupert Everett’s little secret have gotten out earlier… if TMZ had been around in the ‘80s?…. thus destroying the nice little career he had for himself in the Reagan-era as a leading man?

    And here, just for kicks, are a few movie news items we might’ve spotted on the web on December 4th 1983 (had it have existed then)

Lynch loathes Ewoks, loves Earthworms!

He may have knocked back the chance to direct “Return of the Jedi”, but seems Oscar Winning filmmaker David Lynch isn’t totally opposed to directing a science-fiction film. In fact, while talking to Bloody Extraterrestrial, the “Elephant Man” director announced he was looking at bringing Frank Herbet’s spacely literary series “Dune”, to the big screen. “It would really lend itself beautifully to film. I think it has all the makings of a hit. Those loved Star Wars, will really love this”. Though he hasn’t decided on a lead, Lynch said he fancies “Kyle MacLachlan. He’s a big up-and-comer. He will be Dune’s version of Luke Skywalker. I think he’s going to be the next Lenny Von Dohlen – has star written all over him. ”.

Back to the… Drawing Board!

Disney has rejected Robert ‘Used Cars’ Zemeckis’s latest, “Back to the Future”. Described as a “sci-fi romantic comedy” the film would tell the story of a surburban teenager whose friend, an elderly scientist, invents a time-machine. Seeing an opportunity to patch up his parents’ rocky marriage, the youngster travels back to 1955 to set things right. “We don’t know if it will ever happen”, Zemeckis told Dark Hole. “Disney turned it down because they thought that the story of a mother falling in love with her son was too risqué for a film under their banner. Maybe we’ll try again in a year’s time”.

Murray replaces Belushi for Ghost Story

The once-proposed John Belushi/Dan Akroyd comedy “Ghostbusters” is back on! Belushi was set to reteam with his “Blues Brothers” and “Neighbours” co-star Akyroyd for the Ivan Reitman-directed horror/comedy – about four money-beseeching pals who team up to start an evil spirit extermination service – but unfortunately passed away before the script was written. Aykroyd says they’re now starting from scratch (that includes losing Eddie Murphy and John Candy, who were pencilled in to co-star opposite Aykroyd and Belushi) with “my good friend Bill Murray, who you all love from Saturday Night Live, coming onboard; we’ve some other surprises in store too”.

Mad Max idea Terminated!

Mel Gibson has turned down the chance to play a futuristic bounty hunter in the new film from ‘Piranha 2’ director James Cameron. The film, unimaginitively titled “The Terminator”, would’ve starred the “Road Warrior” favourite as an evil cyborg (flesh on the outside, machine inside) who travels back in time to assassinate a future leader. Gibson told the Australian press that it was just wasn’t his “pot of beer” so passed on it.

Morita on “Karate Kid” snub

“Happy Days” fave Pat Morita told TMZ he was “very sad and angry” that the producers of the new martial-arts drama “The Karate Kid” wouldn’t audition him ‘’because they had a no comedian policy”.
The actor, who plays ‘Arnold’ on the hit series, said the producers wouldn’t even look him in the eye when they knocked him back. ‘’Look eye!, always look eye!’’ the disgruntled actor said, exiting the In-and-out Burger on Sunset.

Sly grinds Axel [to a halt!]

Sylvester Stallone has dropped out of producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s new actioner “Beverly Hills Cop”. Paramount are said to be on the hunt for a new lead. Got muscles? Know how to fire a rocket-launcher? Look good donning a bandana? Might be time to give the studio a call!

Raiders of the Secret Cameo

An insider tells Aint it Cool News that a popular ”Saturday Night Live” favourite has filmed a cameo in the highly-anticpated “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. “He is only in the film for a couple of minutes – you’ll see him greeting Harrison’s character as he boards a private plane – but audiences will get a real kick out of it!”, says the scooper. So who’s your money on? Murray? Murphy? Chase? Aykroyd? Piscopo? (Update : The SNL Fanclub newsletter has revealed it’s Aykroyd who has the cameo).

Andie may go “Ape” Shit

Confirmed! You’ll remember a rumour we ran a month ago suggesting an actress is being sought to dub over Andie MacDowell’s lines in “Greystoke : The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes”? Well according to star Christopher Lambert, in an interview at Frothing Soon, it’s on the money. “Voicing another, yes. Will be. Andie, nice, and very good. Producers liking more… another. Best interests for movie”. In the film, Lambert plays the titular Tarzan.

“Superman IV” Spoilers!

In the next “Superman” film, the fourth in the popular series, “we will be introducing the character of Brainiac”, writer/producer Ilya Salkind tells Kryptontic. “It’s a very exciting entrance for him – he will be shrinking everybody, including the Man of Steel, to the size of a pea. Let’s see if Superman can get out of this one hey!?’. Though he proved popular with audiences, Salkind has it’s “unlikely, due to budget constraints” that Richard Pryor (“Superman III”) will be back for the new film, but “we will have another big-name star playing the new villain – I can guarantee it”.

Staying Alive… in the Jungle!

Sylvester Stallone looks set to reunite with John Travolta –the star of Sly’s “Staying Alive”, currently stinking up the box office – on the “First Blood” sequel. Travolta would play Rambo’s (Stallone) partner in the actioner, set to lens early next year. An insider tells The Daily Mail, “They had such a good time together on the film this year – on set and off – that Sly’s writing a role for him in the First Blood sequel. They’re already working out together”.

Cool-Ass Cross-Over!

According to Mikey Ausiello Jr, TV heartthrob David ‘Knight Rider’ Hasselhoff will be guest-starring on a future episode of smash-hit sitcom “Different Strokes”. “Hey there peeps!” writes Ausiello in his weekly “Hit up Mikey!” column, “Hearing rumblings that Michael Knight might be teaming up with Arnold – yep, that Arnold! The producers of Different Strokes are toying with an episode set in Hollywood and Gary Coleman has already asked his BFF David Hasselhoff to appear in it! I’ll let you know when to set your BETA-recorders!”

Dreyfuyss’ next reviewed!

ScriptMagnate has a very positive review of “Total Recall”, the film adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s short story ‘’ “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale’’, which producer Dino De Laurentiis is producing. “It’s a really suspenseful, interesting action-thriller. It’s reminiscent of TRON, but also has a Raiders of the Lost Ark vibe to it”, says the reviewer. ‘’I think Richard Dreyfuss is going to make an excellent Douglas Quaid!” The film still doesn’t have a start date, according to the IMDB, but ‘Australia’ is pencilled in as a possible filming locale.

…. and believe it or not, they’re all real stories.

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Caffeinated Clint
Clint is the creator, editor and maintainer of Moviehole. Loves David Lynch, David Fincher... actually, any filmmaker by the name of David.