Tuesday, May 5, 2015

USA UP ALL NIGHT WEEK : I Was A Teenage TV Terrorist

I Was A Teenage TV Terrorist (1985)
Starring: Adam Nathan, Julie Hanlon
Directed by: Stanford Singer

Review by: "Machine Gun" Kristin 

There's that "10 o'clock news" blare of keyboard and cardboard buildings of Lloyd Kaufman's Troma film company introduction tacked onto every one of their movies. Here they strike again (check out my other Troma review of "Luther The Geek") with "I Was A Teenage TV Terrorist". I picked this to review solely based on the title, which didn't really work in my favor. This was the second film featured on the much loved USA network cable show, "Up All Night". We follow Paul (Adam Nathan) and Donna (Julie Hanlon), a cute teenage couple from Ohio. Upon Donna's pretentious Greek tragedy high school play ("boo! get off the stage!"), Paul steals a camera which he reveals on their car ride home. The kids are wearing these white masks which immediately reminded me of this crazy "As Seen On TV" gadget I remember seeing the commercial for when I was in middle school. 

I have a photo of it (I like taking TV pictures), but here I found the whole bizarre commercial: 

The beginning sequence of "I Was..." is edited in a "channel surfing" style, with TV flips and white noise. I kinda wished the whole film, (in which the pacing is really slow) had this style, although it probably would become old after awhile. Paul's angry workout spandex clad mother announces he's going to New York for the summer to work for his father's TV company called Romanceco.

Italian for stupid

Your entire retched generation has poisoned itself on their comics and bongo music and the whole lot of you are bound for hell on a road paved with self-indulgence 

I really like that Troma has created a couple of different films in their catalog based on media formats,  here with TV sets and video tapes, and in another better Troma film, "Hollywood Zap" with video games. Adam ends up working the basement of the TV station and starts selling their old tapes to a pawn shop in the city for extra money. Donna tries her hand at acting and flunks a frozen asparagus commercial where we watch her practice while writhing around on the floor in their apartment wearing a Ben And Jerry's t-shirt (whom they thank in the credits).

The Ben & Jerry's workout

Asparagus people!

Of course (who wouldn't?) they become bored and decide to blow up the TV station, making waves as a supposed "terrorist group". It sort of transforms into a teenage, lite version of "Network" where high ratings and star makings surpass any sort of common sense. This when the movie becomes more interesting, using the ridiculous news media to their advantage. I probably watched this about 3 times and fell asleep a couple of times though. Even so, I still liked the film and found it to be pretty charming, although some aspects of it just went right over my head and I missed some of its more clever lines. 

I watched this on Troma's fantastic YouTube channel where you can watch pretty much anything with their name attached to it. Its in all its fuzzy, 3rd generation grainy blurry glory, keeping with this VHS appearance. The only downside to this though is the indiscernible audio and lack of subtitles. 

There's maybe 3 different versions of the same poster for this film. I'm guessing the guy and girl portrayed in each poster is supposed to be appeal to a different social clique in each one? haha.

Also, you can find Adam Nathan in Michael Jackson's over the top 16 minute opus, "Bad". He's only in for a few seconds as a classmate in the first half of the video.

Watch "I Was A Teenage TV Terrorist" HERE
Buy it HERE

Check out my Etsy shop of mostly weird buttons/pins that I make! 

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