Magazines #48: US Weekly (April 25, 1983)

A great time capsule with TV reviews, swimsuits, an article on The Evil Dead, the top ten songs and movies of the day, and a slew of entertainment miscellany from the Grand Old Year of Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Three.  Enjoy.

Okay, "Smash Hit" is not a good name for a child abuse charity campaign.

A couple of the Letters stuck out to me.  First, do you find it odd that Wendy O. Williams was on the previous cover of US... and that she's writing to US Weekly?  Very strange.

Second: "It's about time someone noticed this fine talent".... Mel Gibson.

I watched MTV religiously during this time period, and I don't remember "Walk This Way" being offered in 3-D.

As a horror fan, I find it amazing that this low budget flick gets positive attention in US Weekly.  When you consider that Evil Dead was basically illegal in England (it landed on the "Video Nasties" list), it's remarkable that Sam Raimi gets a promotion in a mainstream entertainment rag.
His work is a horror— and moviegoers love it
Zombies. Demons. Dismember­ment. Chain saws. Possessed stu­dents wild in the woods. Yipes!
If you liked Night of the Liv­ing Dead, you'll love The Evil Dead, a low-budget film written and directed by Detroit's Sam Raimi. "My parents wouldn't let me watch horror films as a kid because they thought I'd get nightmares. So I made a horror film to give people nightmares," says Raimi, 23.
A filmmaker at 13, when he used the family video camera, Raimi got the idea for Evil Dead while he was a literature major at Michigan State. With friends Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell, he made a short called Within the Woods and used it to raise pro­duction money for Evil Dead. "We got everybody in Detroit to invest," says Raimi. "Doctors, lawyers, contractors. Plus we worked as busboys and cabdrivers to pay our lawyers.
"We couldn't afford to rent a Steadicam, so we invented the Shaky-cam," he explains. "That's a 15-inch piece of two-by-four with the camera strapped in the middle. Two people just pick it up and run like hell."
Evil Dead's future is very much alive. The film first curdled audiences' blood at last year's Cannes Film Festival, where it was a sleeper hit. It even scared the daylights out of scare novelist Stephen King, who called it "the most ferociously original horror film of the year."

Other horror fans will note the influence of masters George Romero and H.P. Lovecraft in Evil Dead's outrageous plot and grisly special effects. Says Raimi, "You always hear directors say it's better to leave horror to the audi­ence's imagination, but I can imagine some pretty horrible stuff. So why not show it?" —James Verniere

Damn, I'm old.  I remember all this like it was yesterday, and it's over thirty years ago.  The magazine points out that Letterman turns 36, and now he's old and retired.

Anyway, check out the mixed bag of films playing at your local cineplex...
1. Tootsie (Columbia) Dustin Hoffman's anything but a drag in this satirical comedy.
2. Gandhi (Columbia) India's legendary holy man receives the epic treatment.
3. 48 Hrs. (Paramount) Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy mix macho may­hem with laughs.
4. The Lords of Discipline (Paramount) David Keith is back in uniform as a military cadet.
5. Vigilante (Film Ven­tures) Lurid variation on Death Wish violence.
6. Lovesick (Ladd) Dudley Moore's no shrinking violet with Elizabeth McGovern.
7. Sophie's Choice (Uni-versal/AFD) Meryl Streep as William Styron's doomed heroine.
8. The Verdict (20th Century-Fox) Paul New­man's road from barroom to courtroom.
9. E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Universal) Steven Spielberg traces a boy's friendship with an alien.
10. The Year of Living Dangerously (MGM/UA) Mel Gibson's in hot water in Indonesia.
And here's the top records...
1. Thriller, Michael Jack­son (Epic)
2. Business as Usual, Men at Work (Columbia)
3. Frontiers, Journey (Columbia)
4. H20, Daryl Hall & John Oates (RCA)
5. The Distance, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band (Capitol)
6. Lionel Richie, Lionel Richie (Motown)
7. Rio, Duran Duran (Harvest)
8. Built for Speed, Stray Cats (EMI-America)
9. IV, Toto (Columbia)
10. Another Page, Christopher Cross (Warner Bros.)

As a guy, I can't say as I recall the Dial-a-Lash.  Anyone remember this?

Act now! You only have until Midnight, May 31st to get your Computer Telephone!

TV Reviews
"One new addition that seems destined for a longer run, thanks to good ratings, is NBC's The A Team, the show that every week asks the question: Will Mr. T finally disembowel someone with his teeth?"
Say what?  What a strange and macabre thing to say.

There's a lot to criticize in this season's lineup.  The reviewer rightly bashes Aaron Spelling's first try at a sitcom "At Ease".  Then there's Tim Conway's awful attempt at continuing his success from The Carol Burnett Show in Ace Crawford, Private Eye,  where he "bumbles through a morass of blindman jokes, midget jokes, gay jokes, sometimes even funny jokes:"

Condo, yet another McLean Stevenson failure, gets a somewhat positive review. And I agree - Mama's Family was much better as an occasional sketch on The Carol Burnett Show than as a sitcom.

Shannon Tweed and C.H.i.P.s' Bruce Penhall model some swimsuits.  We'd all get to know Shannon in the coming years, not just via Falcon Crest, but through an avalanche of straight to skinamax classics and Playboy spots (and then via Gene Simmons).

I guess Eric Estrada was yesterday's news by 1983, so they tried to insert a new hunk (Penhall).  I'd stopped watching the show by this point.

Now we get into a section called "Faces and More Faces" - your average snapshots of celebs of the day.  Diana Ross boogieing with Julio Iglesias is a treat, as is Morgan Fairchild's cleavage.  And Greystoke was a dreadful Tarzan movie

Before there was Lady Gaga, there was the far superior Dale Bozzio.

Cathy Lee Crosby gets "Traffic Violator of the Year" for her enormous amount of traffic citations.  I have a feeling if this were you or me, we'd be in court, not winning awards.

Oh - look out.  Sly is making the infamous sequel to Saturday Night Fever.  Quick - somebody go back in time and tell him to stop!

This picture of Herschel Walker is destined to go down as one of my favorite scans ever.  I remember his days at Georgia well, and then HWT's days with a few teams in the NFL.. but I'd forgotten about the USFL days.  They let you on without graduating college - a controversial thing in those days.

Oh, dear God the haircut, the frills around her neck - it's awful.  Arguments to the contrary are invalid.

This is from a stupid little article called "Inner Enemy" - just some psychobabble from psychologist George Bach. The article isn't worth repeating, but the highly disturbing image is.

We'll end with some trivia.  Can you answer these without cheating?  You should know #5 as we reviewed this movie on Retrospace a few years back.


  1. Man I miss King Biscuit (not that we do not have a lot more - too much? - music availability these days).

    Any chance the Dial-A-Lash model is Joan Severance?

    Trivia quiz - got them all except question 2.

  2. I do remember the Dial-A-Lash commercials, and that is indeed Joan Severance. And Mr. T never disemboweled anyone with his teeth because nobody died in an A-Team episode.

  3. Notice how men posed in Speedos/skimpy bathing suits without a hint of irony or self consciousness back then. They would appear on things such as "Battle of the network Stars" in prime time time clad in nothing but those. Of course, it helped if one had the body for it. People laugh at (or are repulsed by) this now, just like men's short shorts of the 70s/80s, but it was simply what was worn. If you ask me, they looked a lot better than the baggy, saggy Bozo shorts and bathing suits men wear now.

  4. Speaking of Morgan Fairchild, a week or so ago I saw her guest star in a 1977 episode of The Bob Newhart Show, specifically "Grand Delusion". That may have been her very first TV appearance.

    Interestingly, the episode was directed by Dick Martin of Laugh-In fame. He directed a total of eleven episodes of The Bob Newhart Show in the last two seasons.

  5. Morgan was on TV before that for a few years as Jennifer on Search for Tomorrow.