Tele-terrors: The Real and Imagined Horrors Inside the Made for Television Movie

Date(s) - Thu. Apr. 20, 2017
7:00 pm GMT - 10:00 pm GMT

The Horse Hospital

Amanda Reyes, Jennifer Wallis, Kier-La Janisse

£10 advance / £11 on the door / £8 concs

Often considered the bastard step-child of the theatrical motion picture, TV movies have long been relegated to the dusty corners of our childhood memories. However, despite its scorned status, telefilms could be thoughtful and, at times, subversive. And, in this compact, mass marketed form, the TV movie reached millions of viewers, generated discussion, and aided in the development of our collective consciousness.

Some of the dismissive tone of critics may come from the fact that made for TV films look surprisingly superficial, relying heavily on B movie film techniques to produce and market themselves. Using tawdry titles such Satan’s School for Girls (1973) or salacious taglines like, “He’s found the perfect prey… A young defenseless human” (Savages, 1974), telefilms sought to grab audiences by any means necessary. And, it was this desire to entertain and win Nielsen rating points that allowed the medium to cross over into a wide spectrum of sub-genres, tackling everything from the supernatural to the very real terrors of everyday life. This lecture offers an exploration into several facets of the made for television movie, surveying its cultural touchstones and analyzing the influence the telefilm had on Americans during the run of the network made for television movie produced between 1964 – 1999.

This class will be taught by visiting  TV scholar Amanda Reyes, along with Jennifer Wallis and Miskatonic founder Kier-La Janisse, who both contributed to her new book Are You in the House Alone? A TV Movie Compendium 1964-1999 from Headpress, who will have copies available for sale at the event.