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May 24, 2019, 12:19:32 AM
621555 Posts in 48080 Topics by 6491 Members
Latest Member: chainsaw midget Forum  |  Movies  |  Bad Movies  |  Why 80-90's B-Movie ? « previous next »
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Author Topic: Why 80-90's B-Movie ?  (Read 6088 times)
« on: March 04, 2001, 10:14:08 AM »

Why do cable channels play 80-90's B(boring)movies instead of the great Sci-Fi/Horror B(best)Movies of the 50-60's?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2001, 12:32:24 PM »

This question has been asked before, the answer as not changed: newer color movies tend to get higher ratings than older black and white films.  Also the target audiences for advertising tend to watch more contemporary color programming than those 'old and boring' black and white movies.  Most black and white movies either are put into early or late nostalgia slots for insomniacs or placed on speciality stations like TCM or AMC.
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2001, 12:50:25 PM »

I wouldn't mind that Chad, but no specialty channel exist for B Sci-Fi/Horror films. Even AMC and SCI FI CHANNEL haven't come close this type programming except maybe around Halloween.
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2001, 03:07:34 PM »

Aye the rub of it all.  What prohibits this fans dream from happening is simple economics.  See all stations and networks buy the rights to air all programming they show for a certain amount of time.  They then turn around and sell time to advertisers to earn back the expenditures of that purchasing and the administrative costs of actually running the network/channel/whatever (or defer the costs to the viewers as HBO and others do).  But when the Sci-fi Channel was launched by the USA Network back in the early to mid-nineties other cable stations and broadcasters began buying up the rights to other programming just to keep USA from getting all the goods.  Whether they actually ever got around to airing that material was another thing entirely.  It was just done so Sci-fi wouldn't have everything.  Same thing with a B-movie network/channel.

Us "We're gonna show it all all of the time!"

TurnerTimeWarnerFoxAMC Networks Inc: "Oh no your not, we have the rights to (fill in the blank w/Universal Classics or Hammer or AIP or Kaiju or whatever) for the next five years and will renew because your IPO just won't last long enough to foot the bill."  Evil Laughter.

« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2001, 03:19:53 PM »

Drats, money stands in the way of good TV viewing again. It should be against the law. Let those movie be free to all. A patent you can only have the rights to for 17 years after that anyone can use it. Film and Music industries make me sick. They ruin the purpose of good film.
Ken Begg
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2001, 04:12:08 PM »

Don't forget also that individual cable channels often buy the exclusive rights to show packages of movies.  These can last for years.  Thus AMC or Sci-Fi might have the rights to the Universal Horror classics.  They will probably elect to show these mostly around Holloween when they will get the highest ratings.  But the point is, no one else can show these films, even local free TV stations, during the period of this contract.  Here in Chicago horror host Svengoolie has to explain this at least once a month, because people always ask him to show those.

On a somewhat similar situation, I'd like to direct everyone interested in this subject over to  There you can learn who to write to pressure Warner Brothers to start releasing their tons of old genre fare on DVD, which they've been sitting on and look to continue to do so.  This isn't exactly the same situation, but it's in the same ballpark.

Then come back here, of course.  I don't want Andrew mad to me.
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2001, 05:06:48 AM »

That's nice Ken, I already wished a messy death on you in one of the above posts anyway.

I take solace in the fact that, within my lifetime, a great number of b-movies will revert to public domain.  Then the floodgates of cable will be opened.  You hear us MPAA?  Just 5 years until the people own "Frankenstein!" (1931).

Anybody know what the status is on that 20-year extension to copyright (making it 95 years) that they were trying to push through Congress?  Last I heard it was stalled and maybe dead, but you never know.

« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2001, 02:46:49 PM »

Public Domain is a double edged sword.  Crappy prints from low life companies will be flooding the market and, since Universal no longer as any monetary gain from the property, prints will start rotting and disappearing.
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2001, 03:26:58 PM »

As a struggling writer I have no quibble with the copyright laws for literary creations (they are held for about one hundred years until reverting to the public domain then anyone can publish them in anyway, or any format (abridged, condensed, or unabridged), of choice, or hacks can make as many crappy b-movies 'based' on them as their coffers allows).  Movie copyrights are usually held by the production company for legal purposes.  This is due mainly to the point that, if a movie is personal property, then personal assets (cars, house, clothes, etc.) can be taken by the court if litagation arrises for whatever reason.  Also so many individuals are invovled in the production of a movie that appointing one person as soul owner of the copyright is impossible.  Sadly this alows the copyright holders to re-edit and alter a movie without any input from the original creative team.  

As far as complete and unfettered access to the product?  I think it should only be after an extended period where those involved have earned their deserved royalties for their hard work.  Sadly many companies (both Hollywood and 'Independent') cook the books to keep as much money for themselves as possible.  Case in point: No one who worked on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre made a dime from that movie until New Line Cinema got the rights in the early eighties (it had sunk to becoming nearly public domain by that time).  The largest check that Tobe Hooper ever received from the distributor wouldn't even buy him a McDonald's value meal these days, despite the movie makings millions and millions for Byranston (the distributor of TCM as well as The Devil's Rain and Deep Throat).  The Latent Image suffered a similiar fate in regards to the original Night of the Living Dead.

As far as it all being free, well all the movies reviewed here, and elsewhere, cost money to make and where made to make money back.  I think that the for the longest time these movies were made and dumped and forgotten, mostly owing to the fact that there were no ways for the viewing public to keep them like books (thank God for video and digital technology) but now fans and filmmakers that grew up fans (i.e. Martin Scorsese, etc.) are making firm steps to save these movies from disappearing.  The downside to that is that it costs money (some times a great deal of it) to do so, which means that investors will be expecting to earn back the expenditures that restoring these movies cost.  So the 'saved and restored' movies once again will fall into copyright and distribution deals to earn the maximum amount of money they can make (a double edge sword for 1 - most money will undoubtedly go to lining several fat cats pockets and 2 - happily other films will be saved and restored and redistributed).  As far as the government stepping in and helping, well okay, but they sure as hell are not going to be saving b-movies.  Those pandering to the masses pulp fictions are a dime a dozen (used to be in the thirties at least) and are not the type of dignified contributions to the arts that we want our valuable tax dollars spent on saving, only movies of a certain artistic standing will get the funding (so long H.G. Lewis, Romero, Corman, etc it's been real unfun knowing you) and even then it can be yanked at a moment's notice (Republicans love taking away funding for offsenive art and public television).  

I firmly believe that a non-profit, fan based organization is the only chance any other these buried treasures stand at staying alive beyond our short lifespans.  So God bless Something Weird and Anchor Bay, it is these companies that are leading the way.  But the restored reissues they release are newly copyrighted as well and not free to everyone, but considering the cost and effort they put into it I think it is a very small price to pay.

Eghads, it never ends!

comments anyone, anyone?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2001, 04:53:28 AM »

Well said.
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