Commander USA’s Groovie Movies

Posted: March 29, 2018 in Entertainment, Horror, Life, Movies
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The year was 1985, basic cable television in the form we now know it was still crawling towards its teenage years, and an eight-year-old USA Network decided to start the new year off with a new Saturday afternoon show. The USA Network had access to more quality films and programming than your average local UHF channel, but, despite this advantage, their access to films was still a wee bit higher on the ratio of the stinkers vs the great films out there. As such, the early day weekend blocks were often showcasing the not even close to being the best in science fiction and horror on the USA Network; a common thing with many early basic cable channels.

In order to make these less than stellar movies stand out from the crowd, the powers that be at the USA Network decided to take a page out of the broadcast channel playbook from years earlier and have the movies hosted by someone playing a character. The USA Network held a casting call in late 1984, and among the people that tried out for the role of the host was Jim Hendricks. Hendricks apparently had what they were looking for, and on January 5, 1985, the costumed persona of Commander USA strolled onto the TV screens of America to beam mostly so bad they were good films into American homes from his secret headquarters under a New Jersey shopping mall. By the time the show saw its last episode in 1989, it had seen more than 200 shows air, Commander USA had hosted a few events along the way, and an (unintentionally) one shot magazine, Commander USA’s World of Horror, had been produced.



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