Why late night television will never be the same. Remembering USA’s Up All Night, USA’s Saturday Nightmares and TNT’s MonsterVision

You know, sitting down and watching television now isn’t quite all that enjoyable compared to when I was a kid. Maybe that can be said about allot of things. But growing up with kick ass cable shows made every evening feel like a night at the movies.

I remember having Rhonda Shear with USA’s Up All Night talk to me about her favorite flicks like Return to Horror High, 976-Evil and Chopping Mall. I loved how not only I eagerly awaited these shows but felt such a connection with these great and sometimes awesomely bad movies. Even though it only ran from 86-98, their are allot of us out there who truly appreciate having another late nite show us flicks that would normally ever see the light of day. Here are some videos I found of USA’s Up All Night.

Sticking with the USA channel, they also had another great show called Saturday Nightmares. I honestly think that for a period of time USA was way ahead of its time. It had kick ass programing on a daily basis and had great shows for us monster movie insomniacs. The show ran from the late 80’s to the early 90’s. I wanna say it came on around 9pm, but I could be wrong. One thing I really dug about USA’s Saturday Nightmare was that they showed episodes of The Hitchhiker, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Ray Bradbury Theater and thats on top of the movies they showed. On a side note, I HIGHLY recommend you watching these shows. They are truly amazing and gems of the genre.

Some of the flicks I remember seeing are The Video Dead, Twice Dead (which needs to come out on dvd!), Halloween II and House. I will forever remember being taken down a hallway with murals of Frankenstein, Dracula, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. Ahhhhh USA network, I don’t care what you have become now, but you will always have a place inside my heart.

Last but not least, we come to one of my favorite shows of all time. TNT’s MonsterVision. Hosted by the one and only Joe Bob Briggs, TNT’s MonsterVision ran from the early 90’s all the way to 2000. One thing that really made this show stand up and beyond every other show was the way Joe Bob Briggs broke down the flicks, which he usually showed two a night. Briggs would host the segments from inside and outside a trailer and was visited by his mail girl, Rusty, who is very easy on the eyes. Before each film, Briggs would usually give the “drive-in totals,” a list of what he considers the high points of the movie. For example, in his introduction to Phantasm II, Briggs said:
“Twelve dead bodies. Exploding house. One four-barreled sawed-off shotgun. Dwarf tossing. Ten breasts. (Of course, those are scissored out of the TNT version). Embalming needles plunged through various parts of various bodies. One motor-vehicle chase, with crash-and-burn. Ear-lopping. Forehead-drilling. Wrist-hacking. Bimbo-flinging. Grandma-bashing. Devil sex. ( I laughed so hard when he said that.) Crematorium Fu. Flamethrower Fu … Four stars. Check it out.”

MonsterVision would occasionally stray from horror and science fiction in showing western, blaxploitation, kung-fu, dramas, comedies and other film genres. But one thing that made this show great was I throughly enjoyed all the flicks. If its one thing Joe Bob Briggs knows, its movies, and that sir is no lie. Bottom line, cable television will never be the same. I really think its a damn shame we don’t have shows like these anymore late at night. Television will never be cool again. Thats the truth.


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