Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"Knock, knock..."

I recently purchased a slew of HBO/Cinemax guides (ranging from 1981 to 1985) and, just last night, was perusing through these little slices of nostalgia.  More on the guides in a later post, but I've been on this high all day, thinking about how things used to be, how each film was regarded as an event, although not superficial.  And, whenever I think of early-to-mid era HBO, I think of John G. Avildsen's comedic gem, NEIGHBORS.  A classic and a shame that more people don't regard it as such.  Also a shame that it has yet to see a resurgence on DVD.  Odd, considering that it is John Belushi's final work and you'd think that would be merit enough.

By the time NEIGHBORS came out, I already idolized Belushi, much in the same way that I idolized his fellow SNL alums, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase and Bill Murray, even though I hadn't seen... er, uh... wasn't yet permitted to see much of their work.  (I was almost five years of age, at the time.)  With Belushi, I had only seen CONTINENTAL DIVIDE, since it was PG and on cable.  I watched it several times and thought it was hysterical, despite the fact that it wasn't all that funny.  Clearly, I didn't know any better.  My only other exposure, at that point, was the first Blues Brothers album, "Briefcase Full Of Blues," that my father owned, which I begged him to play constantly.  (Of course, my folks didn't trust me with the "real" record player... you know, the one in the family room and not the 45-friendly Sesame Street model that I had in my bedroom.) 

When Belushi passed away, I clearly remember being both saddened and confused.  Up until that point, I hadn't experienced anyone's death, nevermind a celebrity.  I couldn't believe such a thing was possible.  One of the reasons I found it hard to believe, was that NEIGHBORS had been released not long before and the memory of it's publicity was fresh in my mind.  "Nah, can't be.  He's still making movies," I thought.

Anyhow, the following TV spot really creeped me out (as well as the two posters for the film), even though it shouldn't have. But, then, anything remotely related to TWILIGHT ZONE creeped me out. Oh, well. Here's the spot already...

A comic nightmare.  Ah, I love it!

While searching for that promo, I came across an appearance Belushi and Aykroyd did to promote the film on THE TODAY SHOW...

Nice dig by Belushi on Gene Shalit's "hairstyle".  Also of note, the project in development that they're discussing is SPIES LIKE US, which was later made in 1985 with Chevy Chase in Belushi's role and John Landis directing (as was originally intended).

Subsequently, here's another interview clip, this time it's Chevy Chase on THE TOMORROW SHOW with Tom Snyder.  Significant because Chase takes a shot at Rex Reed for taking a shot at Belushi in his review of NEIGHBORS...

Great dig on Reed's "performance" in MYRA BRECKINRIDGE!

Piss on Shalit for questioning Steve Martin's version of PENNIES FROM HEAVEN. That film is brilliant.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Great article. The mystery of the missing NEIGHBORS release on dvd may never be solved...but I maintain hope.