Saturday, April 22, 2023


What The Hell Did I Just Watch?
Silent Scream, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Wanted: Dead or Alive, Amityville 3-D, The Nesting, and Dead & Buried. Even when presented with evidence that I actually saw these "classics," it's still news to me. 

"Movies are the memories of our lifetime." Martin Scorsese

The Fabelmans (2022) - Steven Spielberg

Except when they're not. 
I've loved movies all my life. And of all the things that make film the art form that speaks to me with the most eloquence, my favorite is its magical ability to feed dreams and create memories. Indeed, the miracle of making lasting memories is so much a part of what I associate with movies that I seldom consider when it's not. Which is most of the time. 

Not every movie can, nor needs to be, the kind of movie we never forget. But I'm always amazed how some films, through no effort on my part, practically fuse themselves to my psyche on contact, while others slide off like Teflon.
Which brings me to the subject of this post. 

To Movies I Forgot I Ever Saw
(Something tells me I'm not the only one who doesn't remember seeing this
 1987 comedy starring Shelley Long and Corbin Bernsen)

A recent spate of hysterical weather here in L.A. left me with plenty of time and zero excuses not to give my apartment a thorough cleaning. While clearing out a particularly Fibber McGee-ish closet, I came upon a box crammed with old movie reviews I'd written between the years 1976 to 1990. (Since my teens, I'd gotten into the habit of taking a pen and pad with me to the movies, scribbling notes in the dark to be later transposed into reviews written for my eyes only.) The discovery of this stack of files, containing roughly some 600 typed (my Wite-out® addiction was out of control) and handwritten reviews, mercifully put an end to cleaning for the day as I immersed myself in reading about all the films I'd seen during that time.

Even the oldest of my essays felt familiar after a paragraph or so; my feelings about the films reviewed not really having changed much over the years. What surprised me was when I came across several reviews of movies I would have sworn I hadn't seen at all. Reading them failed to jar a single memory. No bells rang. No flashes of recognition. No memories retrieved. A complete blank. An entire experience vanished. 
I certainly don't expect to remember every detail of every movie I've seen. But at the very least, I DO expect to remember that I saw the damn thing.  
Michael Douglas and Sharon Gless in The Star Chamber - 1983
Did I see this crime thriller? Yes. Do I remember seeing it? No. Allow me to volunteer an "Ode to Cinema" quote they can maybe try out on the next Academy Awards Broadcast: "Some movies stay with you for a lifetime. Some movies stay with you for the time it takes to walk from the theater to your car." 

That this "Lost Movie" phenomenon can be ascribed (in varying degrees or combinations) to: 1) The sheer number of movies I've seen in my life, 2) My age, 3),  the "forgetability factor" of the films themselves (virtually all are escapist genre films), and, perhaps most significantly, 4) the advent of Cable TV (which introduced me to movies I would never have paid to see)—only adds to its fascination.

So, as a change of pace from posting about films that are meaningful to me and that I've never forgotten, I thought it'd be nice to give a shout-out to the movies I've completely erased from my mind. For this reason, the critiques and comments will come from reviews written when I first saw them. There are 20 films in total, the uniting factor being that had you asked me if I'd seen any of them, I'd have said, "Definitely, not!"


Andrew Stevens-Derrel Maury-Kimberly Beck-Robert-Carradine-Steve Bond
A bullied teen exacts bloody retribution on his tormentors in this cynically prescient High School horror film /social allegory.

What I wrote in 1982:
"As there is not a single authority figure or teacher to be found anywhere on campus, my lingering thought was that the titular massacre must have happened before the opening credits. A shade more ingenious than your average teen horror flick, but hands-down the worst-acted, 'Massacre at Central High' is an odd mix of astute and tacky. But by the end, I'm not sure which won out." 

Carol Lynley-Wendy Hiller-Edward Fox-Honor Blackman-Olivia Hussey
Playwright John Willard's influential 1922 murder mystery (big house, reading of the will, unsavory would-be-heirs, mad killer on the loose) receives its 6th screen iteration in this 1978 UK release that didn't cross the pond until 1981.

What I wrote in 1982:
"Enjoyable in its old-fashioned familiarity, the film's somewhat shapeless execution (I can't tell if it's supposed to be a gentle spoof or intended to be taken seriously) prevents it from being entirely effective as either. Still, it's fun to simply watch the interplay of the film's better-than-it-deserves cast. I know 'The Cat and the Canary' is intended to be a bit of escapist fluff, but even lightness doesn't have to be this weightless."

Lee Majors, Robert Mitchum, Valerie Perrine-Saul Rubinek 
A hotshot advertising whiz discovers his agency is using subliminal advertising to influence a political campaign. This 1980 Canadian production was released in the US in 1981, almost simultaneously with the similarly-themed Albert Finney sci-fi thriller Looker.

What I wrote in 1982:
" 'Agency' misses the mark by failing to find a way to make the danger potential of subliminal advertising even remotely exciting. Not to mention cinematic. Lee Majors is as stiff and inexpressive as ever; lovely Valerie Perrine is wasted; and not even Robert Mitchum…oozing reptilian menace from every pore…is able to pump some juice into this suspense-free, anti-thriller."

Caitlin O'Heaney-Don Scardino-Tom Hanks 
Undistinguished slasher flick about a spurned bridegroom who flips his lid and homicidally targets brides-to-be. Notable only for being the film debut of Tom Hanks.

What I wrote in 1982:
"A tiresome excursion into the well-traveled territory of psycho-killer on the loose. No attempt is made to make us understand the killer or care about the victims, so the whole affair takes on a rote, shooting ducks in a gallery feel. The nondescript and interchangeable victims are lined up solely for the purpose of being picked off…as regular as clockwork."

Petula Clark- Cathleen Nesbitt-John Castle 
Actress Diane Baker (Marnie, Strait-Jacket) produced this family drama about a girl from a broken home who copes by retreating into fantasies fed by the Peter Pan book she's always reading.

What I wrote in 1982:
"Cathleen Nesbitt is very charming as a former actress fallen on hard times in this sweet, sentimental movie about the validity of found families and the unavoidability of growing up. Though it plays out like one of those Afterschool Specials on TV--its 60 minutes of plot pulled like taffy to extend to a 90-minute running time--it's a movie with its heart in the right place. And it's nice seeing Petula Clark in a movie again."

Edward Albert-Erin Moran-Ray Walston-Grace Zabriskie-Sid Haig
A Roger Corman-produced Alien rip-off that was, at a budget of $5 million, the B-movie King's most expensive film. The movie's oh-so-familiar plotline recounts the horrific fate that befalls the members of a rescue vessel dispatched to a distant planet in search of survivors of a marooned ship.  

What I wrote in 1982:
"This motley group of rag-tag rescuers couldn't get a kitten out of a tree. Certainly not with pint-sized Erin Moran on hand as a kind of fire-sale Sigourney Weaver. Gore and gross-outs stand in for suspense and character development in this imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-flattery knockoff that hews so closely to Ridley Scott's infinitely superior film, it could have been made on a faulty fax machine."   

Rachel Ward-Leonard Mann-Drew Snyder
A mad killer on a motorcycle terrorizes students at a Boston girls' school. Notable for being the film debut of Australian actress Rachel Ward and the ignominious final film of British director Ken Hughes (Casino RoyaleChitty Chitty Bang Bang). 

What I wrote in 1982:
"This instantly disposable entry in the shock/shlock horror race is so similar to a host of others that you'll swear you've seen it before. In other words, it's one of those movies where all the women know a mad killer is about, yet insist on venturing out alone or seeking refuge in places that offer no escape. The appearance of the stunning Rachel Ward is the film's sole note of distinction."

Nell Schofield-Jad Capelja-Jeffrey Rhoe
Australian coming-of-age comedy about two teen girls desperate to be accepted by the in-crowd of surfer boys. A 1981 release, this early effort from Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Crimes of the Heart) opened in the US in 1983. 

What I wrote in 1984:
"A teen beach movie with a feminist perspective sounds like a great idea. Too bad the perspective of the two girls at the center of this authentic-feeling look at adolescent peer pressure is roughly level with your average doormat. Realistic perhaps, but 80 minutes of boorish chauvinism hardly makes up for 5 minutes of triumphant female rebellion just before fadeout."

Johnny Yune-Margaux Hemingway-Raf Mauro  
The late Korean-American comic Johnny Yune lends often wince-inducing old-school brand of stand-up humor (all one-liners & obvious setups) to this Jerry Lewis-style vehicle about an innocent who gets mixed up with the Mafia.

What I wrote in 1984:  
"'They Call Me Bruce' is a road-movie comedy that's funny in the offbeat, low-budget, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink way that 'Airplane' is. The idea of Margaux Hemingway as a villain is promising, but she remains the most well-known, least well-used member of the cast."

Linda Blair-Stella Stevens-Sybil Danning-Tamara Dobson-Nita Talbot-Edy Williams
A women's prison film starring Linda Blair. Now you know the entire plot and premise. What gets me is how I could ever forget a movie with a cast as camp-tastic as this. 

What I wrote in 1984:
"It takes place in one of those prisons where false eyelashes and blow-dryers are more plentiful than shivs and cakes with files baked into them. The cast alone is a hoot: prison warden Stella Stevens barks all of her lines; Linda Blair (who must have a patent out on these kinds of roles) goes topless; Tamara' Cleopatra Jones' Dobson leads 'the sisters' in a riot, and eternal starlet Edy Williams is on hand as an extra. "

Samantha Eggar-Linda Thorson-John Vernon
A Chorus Line meets Friday the 13th in this casting couch slasher about a cattle call audition that has wannabe actresses vying for a role to (literally) die for.

What I said in 1984:
"Samantha Eggar, who really must have had some mortgage payments to meet, easily outclasses her co-stars in this contrived-yet-derivative slasher flick that should be a lot more fun than it is. Also, there's something perverse about making a movie about actresses, yet failing to cast any. And whose idea was it to cast the monumentally colorless John Vernon as a dynamic, sexually dangerous movie director?"

Teri Garr-Michael Keaton-Martin Mull-Christopher Lloyd-Ann Jillian
Husband is fired from his job, so wife becomes the breadwinner. Call the Press.

What I wrote in 1984:
"The comedy in this movie feels as fresh and up-to-date as an episode of Ozzie and Harriet. Keaton and Garr are as charming as all get-out, but the entire film feels like one of those TV commercials where a grown man has no idea how a refrigerator works… dragged out to 90 minutes."

Maggie Smith-Michael Palin-Denholm Elliott-Liz Smith
The class-conscious wife of a small-town chiropodist in postwar (meat-rationing) England hopes to gain a cultural leg-up by stealing a pig intended for a banquet celebrating the Royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip.

What I wrote in 1988:
"This very British comedy about class, social climbing, and bodily functions is a delight from start to finish. Maggie Smith is probably the screen's most gifted vocal gymnast. She can wring more comedy and pathos out of the simplest line of dialogue than any actress I can think of. Michael Palin wisely bows to her clear comedic domination of their scenes together." 

Jane Alexander, William Devane, Lukas Haas, Kevin Costner-Mako
The threat of nuclear war was on everybody's mind in the early '80s, spawning several films (The Day After -1983 [made for TV], Under Fire - 1983, and Silkwood -1984). This particular plea for disarmament was initially conceived as a PBS American Playhouse TV exclusively production and humanizes the political argument by focusing its lens on a northern California family.

What I wrote in 1984:
 "Achingly painful depiction of a nuclear holocaust that hits so much harder because there's not a trace of 'disaster movie' spectacle or sensationalism. And precious little sentimentality. That the annihilation of mankind is viewed from the perspective of one unexceptional family seems to drive the nightmare of it all straight to the heart."

 Annette O'Toole-Martin Short-Paul Reyser
The all-important "third date" is the subject and setting of this comedy about two people single burdened with too many fronts they're trying to keep up.

What I wrote in 1989:
"An uneven but thoroughly delightful romantic comedy of the '80s that manages to be both charmingly sentimental and touchingly straightforward in chronicling the self-inflicted pains and humiliations of the modern dating scene. Ten years after 'Annie Hall,' it's nice to know the 'nervous romance' is still good for a laugh or two."

Rita Tushingham-Jackie Burroughs
When I wrote about Claude Chabrol's film Le Cérémonie (1995) on these pages back in 2017, I'd completely forgotten that I'd actually seen this artless Canadian adaptation of the same source novel
(Ruth Rendell's A Judgement in Stone – 1977). Tushingham plays a mentally fragile housekeeper with a guarded secret in this psychological thriller that's also something of a family affair: It's the directing debut of Tushingham's then-husband, cinematographer Ousama Rawi, and her daughter Aisha portrays Tushingham's character as a little girl.

What I wrote in 1988:
"A thriller that really struggles to find its footing. The idea of Rita Tushingham as a homicidal housekeeper is distinctly irresistible, but the result is a jumble of missed potential. Hampered by the flat look of a made-for-TV movie and a tone that careens recklessly from character study to exploitation horror, not even Tushingham's considerable talent can salvage this pedestrian handling of a not-uninteresting premise."

Melanie Griffith-Tommy Lee Jones-Sting-Sean Bean
A thriller set in Newcastle, England, that has American Tommy Lee Jones and expatriate Melanie Griffith somehow getting embroiled in money laundering, shady land deals, and romantic triangles. All set to a sax-heavy jazz score. Directing debut of Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas). 

What I wrote in 1990:
"Curiously affectless romantic thriller full of mood and atmosphere and a lot of posturing by its pretty cast. At least the dull action is intermittently enlivened by Melanie Griffith's scary punk haircut. Behind the MTV music video lighting and smoke effects are one very good actor and three OK ones in search of a movie."
Whoopi Goldberg-Sam Elliott-Ruben Blades-Jennifer Warren-Brad-Dourif
A Los Angeles detective is on the trail of a drug kingpin pushing a particularly potent strain of cocaine with the street name…you guessed it, fatal beauty.

What I said in 1988:
"Whoopi Goldberg, the actress Hollywood hasn't a clue as to how to use, is cast in a routine cop flick that clutches its pearls like a Southern white lady every time Goldberg has a scene with love interest Sam Elliott. Better than 'Burglar' (1987) but a long way from 'The Color Purple' (1985)." 

Eric Stoltz-Judith Ivey-Jennifer Jason Leigh
The arrival of a stranger threatens the close relationship of two sisters bound by a scandalous secret. 
The directing debut of Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls).

What I wrote in 1988:
"In a nutshell: Snidely Whiplash comes between Polk Salad Annie and Cracklin' Rosie. A tense & exciting third act is the payoff for making it through this swamp & sweat bayou thriller about a mysterious 'handsome stranger' who disrupts the lives of two sisters who run a hotel out of their decaying Louisiana mansion, yet still find time to harbor a dark secret." 

Diane Lane-Michael Woods-Cotter Smith-Tyra Ferrell
A department store window designer is stalked and terrorized by a man fixated on the provocative content of her window displays. This erotic suspense thriller had the ill fortune of opening the same day as Fatal Attraction

What I wrote in 1988:
"Behind that awful, Barbara Cartland-type title is a fairly effective, if derivative, suspense thriller. Diane Lane plays a department store window dresser who lives in what looks to be Jennifer Beals' loft apartment from 'Flashdance,' and whose sexually overheated, Laura Mars-style widow designs attract the attentions of a loony out to make her life pure hell." 


I guess movies are no different than all of life's experiences; we don't get to decide which will be the ones that stay with us for a lifetime. But while a past experience can never be relived, movies are forever. Maybe I'll rewatch one of these forgotten gems and see if this time anything "sticks." 

Be sure to check out the Companion Piece essay to this post:  

May all your movie experiences be more memorable.

Copyright © Ken Anderson   2009 - 2023


  1. Your interesting essay illustrates the slipperiness of memory. We all have events in our lives that have left us forever. My mother once showed me a photo of myself as a teenager standing by some fountain somewhere. I had NO memory of the fountain, the picture or anything. Weird. I'm sure I have movies that I've seen that I don't recall seeing (I just don't have documents to refer back to). But I thought you'd be interested to know that you reviewed a movie that I had TOTALLY forgotten about. When I read your review of the "The Cool Ones", I suddenly remembered having seen it, probably on TV, years ago. I'd had no memory of the film up to that point. (I'm still working out whether I should be grateful for that or not).

    1. Hello Ron - HA! Your closing parenthetical remark made me laugh aloud! Given that brains can self-protectively block out trauma, I hope "The Cool Ones" wasn't one of those memories you hoped to keep repressed.

      And yes, memory is indeed slippery. You give two excellent examples of the fact. My most common experience with old films is similar to what happened with you and reading about THE COOL ONES: the more you read about it, the more your memory of having seen it came back.

      But like your expercince with the photo of you as a teeneager, it was weird for me to read the entire synopsis and critique of a movie (one I wrote, yet) and STILL draw a blank as to remembering anythign about it.
      So much of movie fandom is all about memory and the indelible nature of film, I thought I really needed to highlight my encounter with the flip side of that romantic ideal.
      Thanks, Ron. Appreciate your insight. You keyed into exactly what the feeling behind this essay was. Cheers!

    2. Count me as another who got the Fibber McGee reference. Tons of their radio episodes are posted online by "OTR" (Old Time Radio) enthusiasts.
      And I'm sure you know they did a few low-budget movies in the 1940's as well. In one their co-stars were Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. It's posted on YouTube. Not saying it's a good picture, but is definitely a curio.

    3. Hi JeeJay - Another one joins the club! And, no, I wasn't aware of there having being been a series of low-budget "McGee & Molly" movies. Thanks, too, for passing on the info regarding the online availability of the old radio shows. I haven't heard one of those episodes in decades, but given how much humor changes over the years, I suspect that remembering the shows is more pleasant than revisiting them. Thank you for reading this post and commenting!

  2. I LOVE this idea for a post. Entertaining reading (and nostalgia from the VHS rental days as I looked over the posters/covers from the movies.) I've experienced this myself many times! I was once a waiter who worked very few hours because I made enough during Saturday weddings to make up for most of the rest of the week and I would take advantage of a local store who rented movies 3 for $0.99!!! I figured I could FF any parts of a movie that bored me and still only have spent $0.33 (though I am at heart someone who suffers through the whole thing no matter what.) Before I kicked off my blog, I wrote imbd comments/reviews for whatever I'd recently watched. I think I did 800-900 in all! And sometimes I'll look up a movie and find one of my own written takes on it with NO KNOWLEDGE that I had ever watched the movie in question!! So it's a valid phenomenon. I guess certain combinations of story, star and visuals just sear in our minds far more heavily than others. Anyway, it was fun reading your vintage assessments of these generally far lesser known titles than the ones you feature as a rule.

    1. Hello, Jon – Yes! So you know just what I’m talking about. Were not for having a record of those IMDB posts, you’d have had no memory of having had seen some of those films.
      Your bringing up the video rental thing coincides with that other variable, cable-TV…neither of which existed when I was a youngster (or even in college)…that changed the face of movie watching.
      I know that part of what always made movies so memorable was that going to see them was always such a production (getting on a bus or going by car to the theater, the group activity of a night out, etc.), it being part of the “event” factor helped seal them in my mind.
      Once movies became a thing I could mass consume at home with barely a break between them (like your 3 VHS rentals for 99 cents, my local store offered big rental discounts mid-week) my choices became less discerning, and the speed of consumption left little time for the films to really sink in. I think I always remembered the movies I actively sought out. The ones I watched out of curiosity or minor interest…not so much.
      Since posting this I revisited two of the films I really should have remembered “A Private Function” – which is really hilarious, and “Testament” which is a heartbreaker.
      I appreciate your reading this post and confirming the phenomenon. Thanks for taking the time to comment, as it’s always so great hearing from you!

  3. OMG! You know who Fibber McGee was? I that nobody says that but me. I never met anybody who knows that name. They all just look at me when I say Fibber McGee. P.S. love Hello Again.

    1. Indeed I do know who Fibber McGee and Molly are...and I doubted if anybody else besides my partner would get the reference, and you did! I never saw their TV show, but as a child my parents had a collection of LPs of old radio shows and Fibber McGee and Molly were among them. Also, I recall a reference being made to them in Peter Bogdanovich's "Paper Moon" when Addie is listening to the radio.
      But there surely must be very few of us. My partner is the only person I know who knew who they were before I met him. He'll get a kick out of knowing someone else out there remembers Fibber and his overcrowded closet.

      And I like Shelley Long, so maybe I should give "Goodbye Again" another look, asmy 1987 review wasn't very generous.
      Thank you for reading my post, and your comment really made me smile. Cheers!

  4. And here I was hoping "Midnight Lace" was included in your list!

    1. Hi Peter - Ha! I honestly don't think it would be possible for me to forget a Doris Day movie. Even though with some of them, it would be a mercy. But "Midnight Lace" is one of my all-time faves, and has a rightfully earned 'unforgettable' status in memory.

      Do you remember reading my post on "Midnight Lace" from six years ago?

      You were kind enough to be the first to comment, which is how I know you own the original poster ("The Woman in the Midnight Lace: Target for Temptation...or Terror!") you identified so easily here.
      I love that Mystery Date look of that poster art, which appears in its original form on the Midnight Lace post.

  5. I've been wrestling with a similar feeling lately. Sure, we all have our personal and culturally deemed faves, but what about all the rest?

    Hello Again was on constant replay on HBO in their early days. What I can remember is Shelley Long and the husband character driving across one of the East River bridges in one of those boxy '80s Lincoln Town Cars, and then she's at a party choking on a chicken ball (whatever that may be). That's it. All I can recount from that movie. Definitely an '80s fairytale full of Reagonomical greed-meets-best.

    I'll say on Cat and the Canary, I knew the title (as a movie) but have not seen; Radley Metzger was a great niche director that usually turned out artful curiosities. That Wendy Hiller is in it will have me searching the movie out. Perhaps she was cast for her performance in Murder on the Orient Express?

    You've theorized another philosophical tenet in watching, thinking about, and recalling film. Memory can't record, but celluloid does. (Or digital, now, I suppose.) I have ticket stubs to most of the movies I ever saw in a theater. I couldn't remember seeing about half of them.

    Memory doesn't fail us; imagination saves us. Long live the cinema, in whatever form it takes, and bring on the less-than-rememberable artifacts.

    1. Hello, PR - Your referencing the heavy-rotation cable-TV broadcasts of HELLO AGAIN had me thinking about how the advent of cable and its overscheduling of certain titles contributed to my seeing so many movies I had no real interest in/never would have watched otherwise.
      Unless possessed of a certain distinction, these films…especially if they were romantic comedies and genre films (with their staunch adherence to traditional tropes), suffer the most, as they tend to blend in my mind into one large, forgettable haze.

      I don't recall HELLO AGAIN fondly, but I did look at THE CAT AND THE CANARY again, and it is enjoyable if unremarkable. But it is curious how the ease of availability plays a part in movies being more easily forgotten by me.

      I love that you save your movie ticket stubs! I do that with my theater tickets or with special event movies that mean a lot to me. Given how slippery memory can be, a stub you have no memory of today may come back with crystal clarity in a year.

      Your observation regarding memory and imagination is very well put. And very true when it comes to the film enthusiast. Cinema really is a magic kind of memory machine. The permanence of film’s existence may not restore a lost memory, but those same movies remain an enduring resource for the creation of new memories—any time we want to.
      Thank you for your always-thoughtful comments, PR. Appreciate your reading this post.

  6. loulou de la falaiseMay 3, 2023 at 6:47 AM

    This reminds me of a Dick Cavett story. He was asked if he ever met so and so and said never in my life have I met so and so, and was showed a picture of him with so and so. I imagine in his line of work you weren't going to remember everyone. Anglophile and Maggie fan that I am I saw A Private Function in the theater, and remember the last hands on buttocks scene. I also saw Mr. Mom, totally forgettable. Good read, Ken.

    1. Hello loulou - That great Cavett anecdote captures precisely the "feeling of certainty" I had in feeling that I had never in my life seen these movies, and then being presented with evidence to the contrary. Everything that follows is a hope that a long lost memory will be triggered like in some psychoanalyst melodrama. But even that is elusive. I'm glad I re-discovered A PRIVATE FUNCTION, because it truly is a wonderful little comedy. But the blank I draw with "Mr. Mom" is better off staying that way.
      Happy you enjoyed the post, and happy you took the time to share your comments.Thanks!

  7. I love this post, and I am now hoping a book is in the your writing is fabulous and I'm sure there are some more gems you haven't mentioned yet from this fabulous time period ..

    1. Hi Gill! - Yes, that was quite a sizable stack of old reviews I came upon. The vast majority I remembered...even if the films themselves didn't warrant the memory space they took up...but these ones that slipped through the cracks fascinated me, for there's no rhyme, reason, or pattern to why the memory files on these movies were sent to the shredder. I'm sure you've experienced something of the same.
      And I like your idea of a book! Thanks for reading an commenting, Gill! Hope all is well with your and your fabulous blog.

  8. P.S. If you do decide to go for this book option, I will be first in line to review it...btw any mentions of Delon and Berger...

    1. Ha! Alas, no mention in those old files of Berger or Delon movies. Early cable TV didn't have the Euro diversity of contemporary streaming sites. That's how I managed to be so late to the party regarding those actor' films, and in my delayed discovery of Giallo.

  9. Hi Ken! I love this piece. If only I’d kept old reviews like you had done. I often wonder if I’ve forgotten more movies than I remember. I’m afraid I don’t even have to go back thirty or forty years. Recently I came across the movie Lizzie (as in Borden) with Chloe Sevigny. 2018. I like Chloe and have always been fascinated by Lizzie so I gave it a try. It was slow and stodgy but I stuck with it. Not until about ten minutes before the end, when Lizzie was in prison and visited by the maid, did I say to myself…oh my God, I’ve already seen this. I’m blaming it on the movie, not my age.

    1. Hello Max - And thanks! I can so relate to what you say about not having to go all that far back to have a movie simply drop out of your memory. And indeed, you and I are in the same boat. Back in 2014, I saw the horror film "It Follows. " Then, about a year or so ago, someone recommended it, and the title rang no bells. So I watched it and was halfway through before I realized I'd seen it before (and wasn't particularly crazy about it. Which I'm telling myself is the ONLY reason I forgot).

      It's an odd phenomenon in that you don't really remember forgetting a film. It's just gone, and you don't think anything of it. I was thrown by having so much proof of movies I'd seen. It makes you wonder what else one forgets. I've heard movie commentary tracks where some actors have completely forgotten they've made a particular film or appeared in a TV show until the moderator reminds them.

      Very nice hearing from you, Max. And thanks for contributing to what has turned into a reassuring commentary section, with folks letting me know my memory isn’t the only one to blow a fuse now and then.

  10. So glad that I'm not the only one that suffers from this "movie dementia". I, too, rationalize it by the sheer number of films I've seen. In the 90's, a friend's uncle worked publicity for one of the studios and would give him fists full of passes to movies every week. Sometimes we'd go to the movies up to five times a week, more usually two to three. That's a lot of movies. Often they were flicks I probably wouldn't have paid to see, but hey, they were free.

    1. Yes, I'm starting to think it's a fairly common thing. The circumstances you passes and several movies consumed within days...doesn't give a movie much time to take root. I've always been fond of seeing movies I enjoy several times. I definitely notes in my collection of reviews, the films i forgot were all ones I'd seen only once. And/or like what you mentioned...movies I wouldn't have paid to see.
      I'm assuming you're much younger than me, so it's reassuring to know that advanced age isn't an exclusive factor in this phenomenon. Thanks so much for contributing your own experience of "movie dementia" (I love that name!) to this post.

  11. I know the feeling: Memory is tricky. Having seen exactly one of these films ("Testament"), I merely quibble that "Under Fire" (1983) has nothing to do with the threat of nuclear war. It's a fine film about journalists and journalistic ethics amid the Nicaraguan conflict. Perhaps the convoluted (later) involvement of the Reagan administration suggested a link to global fears.

    1. Thanks for calling my attention to that. You're absolutely right about "Under Fire" not having anything to do with 80s' nuclear attack movies. I blame its inclusion on my putting too much faith in my 1984 self. I transposed that mini-list of nuclear panic films from my early review without think to double check. Memory is tricky, indeed!
      There was plenty of anxiety to go around in the '80s, so that movie belongs on another list.
      Thanks for reading this post, John and highlighting an area I'll be accurately updating, soon.