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  • Wow, back in the days when USA network had no illusions or delusions of grandeur, there was a little show...a show called Commander USA's Groovie Movies. Before UP all night, and whatever other crapola the network came up with. We had blue collar Super Hero, Commander USA, a regular joe in the mold of Schneider (One Day at a Time), Cliff Clavin (Cheers) and maybe even a little Dennis Farina. The Commander would show us the only movies USA could get (bad bad ones) from the safety of his hidden bunker. Classics like Vampire Circus, old Buck Rogers serials, and so many I can't remember....all broadcast on that dazzling new medium, Cable Television. I have a lot of fond memories of this show, it came on Saturday afternoon, right after the regular gamut of cartoons, and my brothers and I would watch raptly as Commander and his sidekick Lefty would show us goony movies we might never have discovered on our own. Surpassed only in later years by Mystery Science Theater 3000, this was THE show for me, chock full of sci-fi, horror, and whatever else the commander could get his red gauntleted hands on. There were little comedy bits in between the lousy, but still often scary, flicks...and they were FUNNY. Whether it was the commander waxing poetic about his super hero cronies, or often weirder stuff, the bizarre sense of humor exhibited by the show was a primary factor in warping my fragile young mind.

    We miss ya Commander...Oh Commander, My commander! Peace.
  • In these lame times we live, we could really use Commander USA back on the air! I'm a big fan of the Commander. I've got a ton of his movies on tape. Thanks to the Commander, I've seen obscure horror movies I never would have seen. USA was so great back then. Not only with Commander USA, but Saturday Nightmares and Nightflicks as well. Sci-Fi channel should put on programs like these. The question I have: Is Commander USA still alive?
  • Commander USA, Legion of Decency, retired. The only super hero I could relate to. I don't even have the excuse that I was an adolescent when I discovered him. But in spite of or because of my age, I loved those bits during the movies. I wasn't interested in the movies, just the Commander.

    The Commander was not only an action hero, he had an artistic side. The Commander loved whipping up one of his culinary masterpieces in a blender, usually featuring his favorite ingredient, Head Cheese.

    Of course, the Commander had to make a living. While he endorsed some peculiar products, who could resist the Commander's $14.95 specials? The Commander had a number of guests on the show and generally, they were stranger than he was. He was occasionally befuddled but always at ease. If something didn't work out as planned, "What the heck, have some Head Cheese." An attitude we would all be wise to adopt.

    I also think the Commander had a hand in the beginning of the cigar craze. It seemed that his ubiquitous cigar was the highest quality item of his wardrobe. No disrespect intended, but one wouldn't want to patronize the tailor who fitted his super suit.

    And finally, Lefty, his right hand man.

    Well, Commander, I know you've moved on to bigger and better things but for the loyal viewers of the show (and it is reassuring to know that I was not the only one) you have never been better. With all the remakes and return tos, why not one feature length film starring, Commander USA?
  • Yes, yes, yes! I remember many great Saturday's watching USA Network and having a kickaxe time watching Commander USA's show. The Commander was a great horror movie host in the tradition of Elvira and Joe Bob Briggs. But he was and is funnier than both of them put together. Whatever happened to the Commander anyway? We need ya back on the air, Commander. The world just ain't the same without ya, daddy-o. His sidekick Lefty was my favorite little thumbskull too.
  • Ah, my first taste of Hammer Horror films... my first encounter with Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and Lon Chaney, Jr. Thank you, Commander USA! This show was a major part of my formative years, well before I discovered Mystery Science Theater 3000. I'm now a horror writer. Go figure. If only they could bring him back!
  • I loved "Commander USA's Groovie Movies." I saw some of the most twisted films at a very young age on that program. Where can I get a copy of the programs? I remember seeing a film with a caveman-like creature hunting people in the woods and they defeated the creature with a trap that consisted of a log with spikes. I miss the program and wish they would play them occasionally late at night on USA.
  • Back in the eighties I loved this show. It was great! The Commander used to show a lot of interesting films, from obscure 1930's poverty row thrillers, to forties classic like I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE, famous and not so famous fifties sci fi's to obscure sixties and seventies cheapies. The Commanders humor wasn't high-brow, but it was funny. He always had fun with the movies he showed, but didn't make fun of them, unlike the overrated and cheaply cynical MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. The show had a lot of laughs and provided film buffs like me a chance to see and tape a lot of hard to come by films. Back in the eighties, unlike today, T.V. viewers were not yet infected with "Black and White Phobia." So alas, its doubtful any T.V. outlet would bother to produce a show like this today. After all, todays frat boys would not go for it.
  • hellraiser731 July 2018
    This is my fifth favorite horror host show which is another gem from the decade I lived in the 80's. It's also an under the radar gem, it's not a show that was particularly overlooked it did have popularity at the time but as time went on it's been forgotten, but not by horror fans like me.

    Jim Hendricks whom is sadly no longer with us is just hilarious as Commander USA with that colorful Superman like outfit. He sort of reminds me a bit and looks a little like actor Denis Fania as he has that mustache with that dry wisecracking New Yorker laid back wit to him. He just has some of the best lines, there quirkiness and a bit of smart assness to them sometimes. He's an unusual guy there are a few things that he might say and do that seem random or off the wall, which sort of fits with his character as he's someone that beats to a different drummer but also the nature of this show. Though I really like some of the guest that he always has whom are just as colorful and random as he is. From an American sushi chief, a botanist that swings on a vine, an envoirmentalist whom wears flowers, a leaperchn, the list goes on, they are just people you have to see to believe.

    This show doesn't fall into the conventional horror host standards and setting where it would usually take place in some part of a dark castle or mansion and the host is part of the community of darkness as some warlock, witch, ghoul, etc. This show didn't fall into those conventions which to me is the show's strength. From the fact our host is a super hero (well sort of, I have no idea if he saved anyone) and the setting takes place in a sub level room of a shopping mall.

    I really like the set it's a bizarre but at the same time kind of cool set; you have some old horror or sci-fi movie posters in places as well as some random things like some dear head hanging and whatever is on the desk for the week. Though to me the things that really stand out are the chair he uses to watch the film, which is a barber chair. And I really like what he does to summon up the screen, he clams it's a radiation shield and to open it up he uses a kazoo, I guess it's sound activated. And we see the screen technology which looks like part of a set for an old sci-fi TV series let alone his remote which is those bulk TV remotes from the 1960s, it's such an odd mix but that's what makes it all the funnier. This set has become one of my ideas for my private movie cave. I even like the selection of films that he brings out which is just a corn a copula of B movie goodness or badness depending on the movie.

    Some of the film were one's I honestly never heard about and in fact some never even came to VHS (probably for good reason) which I always found interesting because it just makes each episode a surprise; some of those bad B movies you might now recognize as an episode of "MST 3000" or "Rifftrax". Even when the film was bad it was just great to see the clips for Commander USA on the break segments which is really the big reason I watch the show.

    However, there were several really good horror and B movies he delivered like "Super Inframan", "C.H.U.D". Even had "Friday the 13th 1, 2, and 3 though it's too bad he didn't get to do a big marathon on the franchise, that would have been awesome but at the time not all the sequels came out so oh well. So, if your looking for another vintage horror host show this is one to fly off to.

    As for Jim Hendricks/Commander USA we'll never forget you and what you brought to the horror and cult film community, you did it your way and you succeeded; for that we salute you.

    Rating: 4 stars
  • It makes me said to think of what The USA Network was, and what it's become today. So many AWESOME shows, and films were shown on that channel back in the middle 80's through early 90's, and Commander USA's Groovy movies was a HUGE part of that.

    I loved The Commander's goofy antics and lame jokes, as well as all of the great, cheesy, brilliant, and hilarious films he showed. I saw "C.H.U.D" (1984) for the 1st time on Commander USA in 1987. Something I never forgot. He also showed GREAT films like "The Children", "It's Alive", "Friday the 13th Part 3", "They Still Call Me Bruce", "The Death of Bruce Lee", "Student Bodies" and so many more.

    Sure, The USA Network played a lot of these films on Saturday Nightmares, and Up All night as well, but it didn't mattered, as they didn't show the same movie EVERY day.

    Now adays, all The USA Network shows is Law & Order and NCIS. I swear that's 18 hours of their daily programming. The other 6 hours is paid programming, except for Monday when the show WWF wrestling.

    I'd kill to have the 80's programming back! I wish this would be released on DVD! I'd buy it in a heartbeat because you can't put a price on my memories! I'd love to relive these days again! I'd kill for television like this again! "Commander USA! Soaring Super Hero. Legion of decency, retired"