Ridgemont High's NSFW pool scene from a 1984 scrambled cable signal


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/06/ridgemont-highs-nsfw-pool-sc.html


#2

A photosensitive seizure warning might be good.


#3

I don’t even need to actually see this to be reminiscent of it.


#4


#5

I was absolutely right smack dab in the middle of those formative years when this movie came to video/HBO. The funniest thing for me is I recall Cates’ breasts being so much larger when I was 12. It’s amazing to me how our memory alters the dimensions of things.


#6

I watched this and immediately afterwards my phone rang, and a voice whispered, “Seven days.”


#7

Scrambled cable was magical for me back then. Not because of the scrambled possibly alien nudity, but because with the right combinations of TV settings and cable box settings, i could get pay TV for nothing. The picture may have been a little off, but I was at home and not in a theater, and I knew that, Home Box Office be damned :wink:

For me, it was one part sticking it to the man, another part doing whatever the cable TV equivalent of DXing is.


#8

My parents wouldn’t let me watch Purple Rain in the theaters (too racy) and my grandparents had cable. I remember sitting and watching it on scrambled cable.

When Prince died they re-released it in the theaters briefly and I took my daughter. I’m glad how it worked out. It was great watching it with her. The racy scenes seem awfully tame today. We thought Prince still looked great riding around on his motorcycle and his music surpasses all the 80’s cheese, or even, elevates it to pure art.


#9

Yeah. I don’t suffer from epilepsy but I still had to look away.

Which was hard to do…


#10

I don’t recall this sort of scrambling from the pay channels available around Boston. They typically looked like poorly tuned UHF channels (which is what they were, at least before cable arrived) that were sort of “twisted” horizontally. But the colors were intact so even if you couldn’t recognize figures (or…uhm…anatomy) you knew when folks got naked. And like the video in the article every so often the image would “snap” in for a bit.


#11

Brings back the memories … parents out, just me and the VCR and late-night scrambled Z Channel.


#12

“Do you remember the Internet at this speed? Up all night and you only saw eight women.”


#13

I’d be interested to know the technical details of how the picture was scrambled like that, does anyone have some good links/explainers?


#14

In Chicago circa 1979-80 we had OnTV for late night scrambled fun. And well worth it for even the little glimpses for us jr high kids!


#15

I remember the friend who had the illegal cable descrambler that gave him access to all thirty channels and pay-per-view, which is the only reason I watched Wrestlemania III. Well, that and Bob Eucker’s color-commentary. “A knee in the boiler really takes a lot out of ya!”


#16

I never did see this movie, so yea, thanks for the spoilers guys.


#17

As I recall the method used at the time was called MUX or multiplex scrambling. Probably one of the ones listed here, though I’m not sure which.


#18

Yeah, that’s how it looked on Cox Cable in San Diego… they just messed with the horizontal hold. About 80% of the time the picture would be too twisted to make out anything, 15% of the time you’d see, like, someone walking with their head and shoulders on the left of the screen with their torso and legs on the right, and 5% you’d see a couple seconds of something actually clear and fapworthy. And they usually didn’t bother to scramble the audio at all. We called it “squigglevision.”

Glad I didn’t grow up in Chicago.


#19

mmmmm Phoebe Cates…

mmmm Jennifer Jason “i never really smile” Leigh…

mmmm the Cars…

mmmm the 80s…


#20

I have still yet to ever see this movie.

But we did have two different scrambled broadcast movie channels in MA in the early 1980s, and I enjoyed messing with the controls to distort the video signals.