Hey again guys:
I’m not quite sure if it’s just me, but I’m assuming that many folks my age were equally affected by the mid-eighties triad of The Bomb, AIDS and Crack, whose growth-stunting effects on the young teen mind were unmatched at the time.
Being in 7th grade and watching THE DAY AFTER (Thanks Andi T.) three nights in a row was, for me, terrifying.
AIDS didn’t even need a made-for-TV movie to screw up a 13 year-old, hormone-riddled mind.
And, thank you, CRACKED UP for showing us how even such a fun thing as smoking pot can quickly lead to the untimely death of a budding high-school sports star.
Now, before The Big Three came at me, I had been content to believe the biggest concerns in America were with their far more innocent analogs, Bulllies (MY BODYGUARD), Premarital Sex (see a very special episode of GIMME A BREAK), and just plain-old Pot (Do yourself a favor and get a copy of the ABC Afterschool Special, STONED with SCOTT BAIO.)
And somewhere between these two groups, my brain was branded with an indelible memory.
Perhaps, not so indelible, as I don’t really remember every aspect of it.
I just remember the icky-ness of it.
And the icky-ness was huge.
At least the way I remember it.
Aside from The Big Three, one of the largest psychic scars I garnered as a kid occurred upon viewing FALLEN ANGEL.
In it, RICHARD MASUR plays a consummate creep, and DANA HILL is the newest addition to his softball-team / kiddie-porn ring. Mostly, what I recall is a never-ending bounty of pills for the kids to enjoy and a cooler full of Orange Crush to wash them down with, accompanied by a blurry cascade of satin jackets and too much lip gloss.
The only line I can remember enough to butcher is from when a more experienced girl tries to get DANA HILL‘s character to ease into the whole gig, telling her, “It’s no big deal. Just show a little skin and give a toothpaste smile.”
P.S.: By the way, all that icky-ness from FALLEN ANGEL would eventually come flooding back to me in a tidal wave of revulsion while watching DANA HILL chew gum and blow bubbles on the train in EUROPEAN VACATION.The sounds….
UNK SEZ: Eric, I was traumatized by FALLEN ANGEL too; I never watched ONE DAY AT A TIME the same way again and I think RICHARD MASUR‘s mustache alone should have been arrested for indecency! As disturbing as that 1981 television film was, who can deny the fact that DANA HILL delivered a fine performance, just as she was always known to do. DANA seemed to be in just about everything in the early eighties (most notably in SHOOT THE MOON opposite DIANE KEATON and ALBERT FINNEY ) but then disappeared due to poor health. Thanks to her signature raspy voice though, she went on to do a lot of voice over work in popular cartoons like GUMMI BEARS. Sadly DANA died of diabetes in 1996 at the age of 32. If anybody out there would like to help people with diabetes in honor of DANA this holiday season, just do some shopping HERE!