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"You're gonna to need a bigger boat" - Roy Scheider, JAWS In 1983, I bought my first VCR. I saved the money during my first summer out of high school, while working as a "beach marketer." You know, one of those annoying people who approach sunbathers and ocean swimmers, to pitch some strange time-sharing deal. If they showed-- and stayed till the end of whatever torturous presentation awaited them-- Yours Enterprising received ten bucks. Or maybe it was twen- ty. (To ensure proper remuneration, the "special" invitations were rubber-stamped with our names.) Thus, how I earned three bills to buy a Panasonic video recorder that still works to this day, if you don't count the tape-eating tendencies on ejection. (Our family al- ready owned an earlier model and one of the very first home record- ers, which, I suppose, says a lot about our love of movies.) I got mine in August and almost immediately took it to North Carolina State University, where I was starting as a freshman in Agriculture and Life Sciences. (Alas, I didn't get accepted into either Compu- ter Science or the School of Design. My grades sucked.) We landed at Owen Residence Hall, my VCR and me, sans air conditioning (good God) and with not one but *two* roommates, the result of unexpected over-enrollment. (Our third wheel was either relocated soon there- after or joined a frat. I don't remember which.) Said three hundred-dollar toy was toted home the following summer, where I toiled for two weeks as a burger-flipper (my sole stint at McD's) and, for the rest of the rest, at a ocean-side condo complex, as a combination weeknight/weekend security schlep and person-who- vacuums-the-hallway-carpets-every-Tuesday-or-Wednesday. (There's a lot of sand at the beach.) When I wasn't working or chasing girls or hanging with friends in the bustling metropolis of Morehead City, I stayed sequestered in my bedroom and taped Home Box Office. (Each bedroom had both a sink *and* an intercom, making anti-social isola- tion *extra* convenient!) Now, I didn't have cable television in my room. That was a non-issue non-privilege. So, drilling a hole in the wall to my parent's room, I simply ran a double wire from their television's antenna's connection to mine. (The latter a wee black- and-white Curtis Mathis, either birthday or Christmas present. I wouldn't own a *color* TV until my early twenties.) And, yes, this action *was* with parental permission. However and if I recall cor- rectly, they were likely, ah, distracted when I weaseled out an af- firmative. While spending as little time as possible with the rest of the fam- ily-- hey, I was teenager!-- I'd sit in my room for hours on end, reading comic books, listening to music (heavy metal, newly discov- ered), and taping movie after movie off HBO. Most of the flicks were favorites, though sometimes I taped just for the sake of tap- ing. Made *copies* of copies, too, like the long since-lost footage of a certain someone trying to stay straight-faced while co-hosting a cable-access news show. (Said certain someone failed.) The res- ulting collection-- all in six-hour SLP mode, of course-- was toted to Raleigh that fall, where it resided at both North Residence Hall (sophomore through first senior year) and a fraternity house for two sundry summers. (I chose to remain in Raleigh for every subsequent summer break.) Fast-forward (ha!) fifteen years to today, Present Day, specifically Saturday, when the tapes were tossed. What can I say? They've been gathering dust for years, because I invariable end up *renting* them rather than watching the lower-quality, home- recorded version. Before the Big Chuck, however, I jotted down the titles. They're reprinted below and make for an amusing, if brief, early-Eighties time capsule. They're also an intriguing peek into the developing tastes of a young (obsessive) movie fan, who, years later, would embark on a non-career of movie reviewing. o 48 HRS - Walter Hill d. (1982) o AIRPLANE - Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker d. (1980) o AIRPLANE II - Ken Finkleman d. (1982) o THE BLUES BROTHERS - John Landis d. (1980) o BLUE THUNDER - John Badham d. (1982) o CADDYSHACK - Harold Ramis d. (1980) o CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND - Steven Spielberg d. (1977) o CONAN THE BARBARIAN - John Milius d. (1982) o DR. DETROIT - Michael Pressman d. (1983) o FLASHDANCE - Adrian Lyne d. (1982) o THE GROOVE TUBE - Ken Shapiro d. (1972) o JAWS - Steven Spielberg d. (1975) o MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL - Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones d. (1975) o NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE - John Landis d. (1978) o NEIGHBORS - John G. Avidsen d. (1981) o POLTERGEIST - Tobe Hooper d. (1982) o RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK - Steven Spielberg d. (1981) o RICHARD PRYOR LIVE IN CONCERT - Jeff Margolis d. (1979) o RICHARD PRYOR LIVE ON THE SUNSET STRIP - Joe Layton d. (1982) o STAR TREK: THE WRAITH OF KAHN - Nicolas Meyer d. (1982) o STAR WARS - George Lucas d. (1977) o STRIPES - Harold Ramis d. (1981) o SUDDEN IMPACT - Clint Eastwood d. (1983) o SUPERMAN 2 - Richard Lester d (1980) o SUPERMAN 3 - Richard Lester d. (1983) o THE SURVIVORS - Michael Ritchie d. (1983) o TIME BANDITS - Terry Gilliam d. (1981) o TO BE OR NOT TO BE - Alan Johnson d. (1983) o TOOTSIE - Sydney Pollack d. (1982) o TRADING PLACES - John Landis d. (1981) o THE TWILIGHT ZONE MOVIE - John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, George Miller d. (1983) o WARGAMES - John Badham d. (1983) o THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP - George Roy Hill d. (1982) Afterwords: "F*ck you, convict." And don't call him Shirley. Son- ny Bono as the bomber. "We're on a mission from God." Roy Scheider in big, bad-ass helicopter. The worst-looking hat that Rodney Dan- gerfield ever saw. "No, we don't want to report one of those ei- ther." Screenplay by Milius and... Oliver Stone! Any resemblance between a younger Mike Legeros and a younger Dan Aykroyd is purely coincidental. Is Giorgio Moroder still working? "Just you, just me..." Richard Dreyfuss crushes coffee cup. African swallows. "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." Eating a baby's butt through a park bench. Building on burial grounds. "Truck? What truck?" Dogs on horses. Pryor on fire. "Stand by to receive our transmission." Lone timpani. John Candy with buzz cut. Clint Eastwood explaining the many things that can happen to dog sh*t. Good sequel. Bad sequel. Robin Williams and ... Walter Mat- thau! "It's evil! Don't touch it!" Remake of the Jack Benny film. Charles Durning flips. "Beef jerky time!" John Lithgow as William Shatner. Is Dabney Coleman still working? John Lithgow again, this time as a woman. And our family's very first video purchase? THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES' SMARTER BROTHER, 1975, Gene Wilder both directing and starring with Madeline Kahn, Marty Feldman, Leo McKern, and Dom DeLuise. Eyah! Eyah! Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros
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