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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Saturday January 31, 2015 11:10AM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- August 09, 1993
- Vol. 40
- No. 6
Picks and Pans Main: Tube
USA (Wed., Aug. 4, 9 p.m. ET)
The USA press release describes this sordid film as a "fictional account of the alleged romance" between movie star Marilyn Monroe (played by Melody Anderson) and then Attorney General Robert Kennedy (James F. Kelly). "Fictional" is a good word. But others spring to mind, such as fanciful, feverish and degrading.
No scandal is left unmongered. We see FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover (Richard Dysart) in bed with another man. Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa (Thomas Wagner) orders a hit on RFK, but mobster Sam Giancana (Raymond Serra) overrules him because, he says, the Mafia is working with the White House.
The overheated charade culminates on the night of Marilyn's death in 1962 in a scene right out of the Marx Brothers as various groups of men scramble furtively around Monroe's properly, hiding from one another, each trying to recover the movie star's tell-all diary.
This history-as-soap-opera has a certain lurid fascination. But in the process it trivializes and cheapens two famous, much-adored figures who can no longer defend themselves.
Showtime (Sun., Aug. 8, 9 p.m. ET)
The first chapter in this horror trilogy is an old-fashioned bit of harum-scarum about a woman (Alex Datcher) on her first night as the cashier at a desolate gas station as a killer prowls the countryside.
The second story is a Grand Guignol treatment about a man (Stacy Keach) with thinning hair who seeks help from a TV pilatory pitchman (David Warner). Both these segments are directed by John Carpenter (Halloween), who also serves as the show's host, playing a creepy formaldehyde-guzzling coroner at a well-stocked morgue. (Yes, this program's con lent, format, style and tone owe a debt to HBO's Tales from the Crypt.)
The final and least impressive segment concerns a baseball player (Mark Hamill) who undergoes an eye transplant after a car accident. It's directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Other drive-in caliber movie directors, including Wes Craven, Sam Raimi and Roger Corman, have acting cameos sprinkled throughout the trilogy.
The entire exercise is far too gory for my tastes. But I guess in the horror racket, you can't make an omelette without eviscerating a few chickens.
January 31, 2015
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