Having watched GORILLA AT LARGE this past week, and having been sent on a magical mystery tour of nostalgia by it, I started consulting my old memory banks, trying to remember which of the two special 3-D broadcasts I recall from my childhood, the aforementioned GORILLA and REVENGE OF THE CREATURE, actually aired first. It seems to me that it was CREATURE, but I couldn’t swear to it in a court-of-law. I started sifting through the sewers of the Interwebs, then, to see what they had to say about it. Not much, it turns out. How could their not be a record of such a momentous historic occurrence as the airing of those movies?! (Well, to me they were.)
So here’s what I found.
According to IMDB in regards to GORILLA AT LARGE: “Broadcast on network television in the early 1980s with a special promotion from 7/11 convenience stores offering cardboard 3D glasses—the glasses themselves featured a Scratch-And-Sniff patch that smelled like bananas. Right before the movie started, a host would instruct people at home to adjust the color and contrast settings on their TVs to enhance the 3D effect. The broadcast itself was generally considered a failure because the 3D effect didn’t work very well depending on the quality of picture from individual TV manufacturers.”
I don’t remember my glasses being banana-scented. I also don’t remember the 3-D not working. On the contrary, I recall it worked magnificently. Granted I’m remembering it through the eyes of childhood and I’d never seen 3-D before, but still, I remember it working.
IMDB had nothing to offer concerning the TV broadcast of REVENGE OF THE CREATURE, but I did find this contemporary article from the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR about the short-lived 80s 3-D fad. And this website says the CREATURE was first aired in 1981, the first 3-D movie ever shown on broadcast television. That would jibe with my memories. Ima go on record, then, and say that CREATURE aired in the summer of 1981 and GORILLA AT LARGE was the follow-up a year later. Correct me if I’m wrong.