#1165 Halloween 2019: Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1983)

Shot in 1983 and released the same year and the following year in a limited release, and later in 1986 as the wide theatrical release, Mountaintop Motel Massacre is a slasher do doubt inspired by the genre classic Psycho.

In Mountaintop Motel Massacre we meet an old lady fresh out of asylum returning to her motel and starting to waste the guests by accessing the cabins using an underground tunnel. Known before as Mountaintop Motel and Horrors at Mountaintop Motel, the 1986 release of the movie saw the changing of its title as well as an updated poster with a deranged character that’s supposed to be the antagonist, but doesn’t really resemble anyone in the film.

While an above the average slasher, Mountaintop Motel Massacre is a fine example of how empty, soulless shells of movies slashers like these are when you get to compare them to an actual chilling and hair-raising horror masterpieces like Psycho.

80s-o-meter: 68%

Total: 49%

#1164 Halloween 2019: The Last Horror Film (1982)

Shot in location in Cannes Film Festival 1981 without permits, The Last Horror Film makes a valiant effort of mixing real life events and elements to the heartbreaking story of a dazed and confused New York taxi driver who dreams of making a horror movie with a beautiful actress he admires.

The real power of the movie is how well it depicts the mind of its protagonist turned to a stalking antagonist without realising it and the viewer will find themselves going through a barrage of emotions, and feeling sorry for him as he breaks and enters an apartment of a understandably shocked and traumatised young actress.

But it’s not all good news. This is a very uneven movie – even shoddy at times – and while the idea to mix in real life footage with sounds good on the paper, in reality it feels disconnected and out of place.

The Last Horror film is an admirable and ambitious attempt to do something out of the ordinary, but unfortunately its execution does not reach that same level of ambition.

80s-o-meter: 60%

Total: 61%

#1163 Halloween 2019: The Unnamable (1988)

A bunch of university students wonder off to an abandoned building where a demon-like creature – The Unnamable – attacks them one by one.

Based on a H. P. Lovecraft’s short story of the same name The Unnamable is dreadfully slow and eventless horror movie that offers no positive surprises or plot twists whatsoever; it plays through pretty much as it starts with no actual highlights along the way. Although the monster makeup is not bad, The Unnamable joins the endless list of horror movies where the end result would’ve been more impactful if the monster was kept in the shadows instead of fully exposing it to the cameras.

Considering that its entire plot could easily fit on a napkin, The Unnamable does flow through easily thanks to good production quality and snappy editing, which remains pretty much its only virtue.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 31%

#1162 Halloween 2019: Flesh-Eating Mothers (1988)

This is not the first time I come across a snappy horror comedy that is kind of a one-off joke that would be perfect for a horror anthology, but can’t really carry through a full length movie.

In fact, it was after 30 minutes to the movie that I began hoping it would wrap up soon.

Other than that, Flesh-Eating Mothers deliveries its corny, tongue in cheek, blood filled theme that the title promises, and rates somewhat above your average horror spoof. Effects, especially the makeup are not state of the art, but what Flesh-Eating Mothers loses in craftsmanship, it makes up in hilarious over the top gore.

80s-o-meter: 78%

Total: 55%

#1161 Halloween 2019: Sundown: Blood Beat (1983)

What do you do when you realise that slashers are the thing, but you still feel like you have something to give to the world of arthouse cinema?

You shoot an artsy slasher like Blood Beat, a truly weird combination of Japanese samurais, mystic possession (with some autoeroticism thrown in), abstract art, classical music by Sergei Prokofiev and Antonio Vivaldi and a story line that doesn’t make sense – nor does it bother to stop and explain itself to the viewer.

The usual shortcomings of shoestring budgeted B-movies goes with Blood Beat, most obvious of which is that the pacing is tediously slow, but I guess I have to give it some credit for trying out something a bit more unorthodox. I’d still much rather watch train wrecks like this than having to sit through yet another Friday the 13th bastardisation.

80s-o-meter: 41%

Total: 18%

#1160 Halloween 2019: Sundown: Biohazard (1985)

If the name Fred Olen Ray rings any bells, you probably know already what to expect from Biohazard: a low budget scifi horror movie hoping one day to be a B-movie.

Long story short, Biohazard is bad. But, it’s also borderline bad enough to be funny. An example: The ‘notorious’ killer who looks like a 5-year old kid running around in a dodgy alien costume makes much more sense when you find out that it is in fact the director’s 5-year old kid running around in a dodgy alien costume.

If you hang around long enough to witness the last five seconds and the almost heartbreaking blooper reel revealing how unprepared most of the actors are and are really struggling with remembering and delivering their lines, there’s no way you can stay completely mad with Biohazard wasting 80 minute of your life.

80s-o-meter: 71%

Total: 51%

#1159 Halloween 2019: Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989)

I totally dug the concept and the looks of Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat, but somehow grew bored of the whole vampire aspect of it all too soon.

This very much hindered the mileage I got out of the movie, and although the movie introduces many new little twists, it also embraces all of the clichés of the genre: Vampire bats coffins, crosses, sticks through the heart, even Van Helsing – they’re all here.

Shot in 1989, but officially released only two years later to VHS, Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat has since gathered a cult following common no doubt partly due to featuring one Bruce Campbell of The Evil Dead fame.

80s-o-meter: 84%

Total: 61%

#1158 Halloween 2019: Vamp (1986)

On the surface Vamp could’ve been one of the best teen horror comedies of the 80s. But as the it starts to stalling already in the early striptease scene, it soon becomes apparent that the movie is playing with nothing but an empty hand when it comes to the actual plot.

There are multiple single elements here that work tremendously well, but as the manuscript has a fuel for only 30 minutes at best, the pacing of the movie becomes much too slow to make for an interesting watch.

The nocturnal atmosphere of the movie still works well though and the movie offers a good selection of interesting characters that remain the strongest aspect of this movie – just don’t expect this to be the long lost horror comedy gem you’ve been looking for.

80s-o-meter: 89%

Total: 60%

#1157 Halloween 2019: Basket Case (1982)

An indie cult horror comedy Basket Case follows a bizarre story of a deformed half of the formerly conjoined, but separated against their will twins seeking for revenge, while being carried around in a rattan basket.

A pet project of the writer/director Frank Henenlotter, Basket Case is a refreshingly different take on slasher movies and the movie’s mood as well the attacks of the deformed creature are nothing short of nightmarish and haunting.

Although Basket Case can be considered to be ahead its time as an indie horror comedy that punches above its weight, it did feel a bit more dated than I hoped for. Basket Case would go on to spawn two sequels, released in 1990 and 1991, respectively.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 63%

#1156 Halloween 2019: Dead Dudes in the House aka The House on Tombstone Hill (1989)

A group of friends go renovate an old house only to find themselves trapped inside with no way to escape, and taunted by an old woman who tried to lure them away from the herd to turn them to blood thirsty undead.

Dead Dudes in the House is very firmly a B-movie, but punches above its weight and manages to maintain a good balance between having tongue in cheek and being actually haunting and somewhat scary experience. As such it’s one of the definite highlights of Troma Entertainment’s very uneven catalogue of movies.

As often with low budget movies, Dead Dudes in the House was released and re-released in various formats and markets under different titles such as The Dead Come Home, The House on Tombstone Hill and The Road.

80s-o-meter: 72%

Total: 65%

#1155 Halloween 2019: Silent Rage (1982)

A slasher featuring Chuck Norris? Although the movie markets itself as a action crime movie, make no mistake as it takes most of its cues from the contemporary slashers – in good and in bad.

On the bright side, Silent Rage also brings something a little different to the table and manages to move cross-genre in a surprising way. There is even a bit of scifi brought into the mix as we are introduced to the mad scientist who fiddles with the Mother Nature, creating a self healing, relentless kill machine not unlike Michael Myers or Jason.

With this genre of choice many of its banalities are unfortunately also brought in to the mix, including a very disappointing and clichéd last second cliffhanger ending.

80s-o-meter: 68%

Total: 58%

#1154 Halloween 2019: Street Trash (1987)

Old stash of weird booze found in the basement of a liquor store turns the unfortunate ones drinking it into gooey liquid in Street Trash, an experience of a movie to say the least.

The main focus of the movie are naturally the imaginative death scenes that are unlike anything else seen on the screen and anyone interested in trashy effects will find them to warrant watching the movie by themselves. The time between these death scenes is filled with all kinds of imaginable filth from the dark side of mankind: violence, death, chauvinism, necrophilia, castration and rape, in a some kind of loose comic wrapper.

What differentiates the movie from similar trashy films is the quality of the production. The film looks genuinely good and the camera an FX work is solid. All this makes Street Trash a freak of a cult movie that Is incomparable to anything else I’ve seen to date and as such it’s one hard movie to recommend for anything else but to quench your curiosity.

Be aware though, whether you enjoy Street Trash or not might boil down to the state of your intoxication and/or level of medication.

80s-o-meter: 76%

Total: 57%

#1153 Moving Violations (1985)

Moving Violations is a film known for most as the only film release featuring John Murray, Bill Murray’s baby brother.

While John is no Bill, he actually fares surprisingly well here. While the constant wise cracking is right there on the verge of getting tiresome, I can imagine how annoying it might’ve gotten in someone other’s hands. But John Murray does not carry the movie through, the movie actually does it all by itself.

A comedy in the vein of Police Academy about bad drivers forced to attend to a traffic school has some actually funny moments throughout and ends up a well above average comedy in the best tradition of the 80s, including the ending that wraps up the movie in a more satisfying way than almost any other comedy out there.

80s-o-meter: 95%

Total: 85%

#1152 The Squeeze (1987)

Halfway through The Squeeze I noticed myself dozing off to ponder what grade should I give it. The movie was struggling to find its own tone of voice and although the movie looks good and features Michael Keaton it was clear this wasn’t going to be one of those definitive comedies of the 80s.

But before I finished writing the review in my head (”Easy to watch, somewhat enjoyable, but nothing much more”), the movie suddenly dropped all the excessive plot lines and really got down to business. From thereon it got better and better until the very end and I ended up really liking The Squeeze.

If only the writing had been a bit more tight during the first half of the movie, The Squeeze would’ve had a chance of not ending up in oblivion.

80s-o-meter: 89%

Total: 83%

#1152 Leonard Part 6 (1987)

Bill Cosby who fared well as a stand-up comedian and triumphed as the all-American TV daddy pretty much brutally bombed on the silver screen during the 80s.

Leonard Part 6, the notoriously bad spy spoof movie written by Cosby himself picks the story up like the fame of the protagonist spy – now retired – had been established before, but in reality no previous Leonard movies or TV series exist. This is first of the many gags of the movie that belly flops.

Really the problem here is the inept script, along with the fact that Cosby himself is somewhat hard to stomach these days. Judging purely by the stills it actually looks like a half decent comedy, but run it from any timestamp for just one minute or more and you’ll soon understand what an unfortunate misfire the movie is.

The movie fails to provide one single laugh which really makes one thankful that the parts 1-5 don’t actually exist.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 11%

#1151 Physical Evidence (1989)

Let’s get the bad out of the way first: Physical Evidence is a weak courtroom drama that does nothing better than your average episode of Matlock.

Secondly, there is nothing here that would sticks with you and you’ve most likely forgotten all about the movie less than 15 minutes after watching the it. This is a pretty bland ordeal.

But, it does have that easy-to-watch late night cable movie quality to it and as such I never found watching the movie a chore. A slightly older Burt Reynolds of the late eighties (that I much prefer to his earlier roles) plows through his role without much enthusiasm, and what little focus that movie might’ve had earlier is completely lost during the last 15 minutes.

80s-o-meter: 90%

Total: 58%

#1150 Little Nikita (1988)

What would you do if your parents would turn out to be something completely different than you grew up believing? And furthermore, would you betray them to save them?

The set up of Little Nikita is certainly thought provoking and it seamlessly mixes up interesting aspects of family dynamics, betrayal, cold war and coming to age while realising nothing you’ve built your life upon so far might not actually be as they seem.

I found very little that I would like to change in Little Nikita and the concept felt refreshingly different while still maintaining good dramatic sense and all the basic building blocks of a solid thriller.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 88%

#1149 China Girl (1987)

China girl is a modern Romeo and Juliet kind of take on forbidden love between two youngsters of different ethnic backgrounds.

The movie establishes its fairytale like mood well right of the bat and mixes it up with some delicious eighties aesthetics and over the top dramatics.

The pacing of the movie works well, and what starts as a harmless rush soon escalates further and further out of control, keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat until the very end that wraps up true to its classic story origins.

80s-o-meter: 93%

Total: 87%

#1148 Tenement aka Game of Survival (1985)

Tenement is an exploitation action thriller that follows a hoodlum gang taking a hold of an old apartment block building, consequently trapping all of its habitants inside.

The violent and graphic – although with some of the pinkest blood ever seen on the silver screen – exploitation angle feels really distracting at first, but as the plot evolves further, the inhabitants withdraw to the higher levels of the apartment and finally start fighting back, the movie does get a whole lot more interesting.

While I can’t say that Tenement would have many merits, it does have some interests aspects and both stylish and hilariously goofy design choices going for it. I did not at all dig the cinematography that has has that distinctive mid 70s look & feel to it, but I loved the way the gang members were so indifferent when finding one of them brutally eliminated by the inhabitants and how proudly this flick just embraces its B-movie status and runs with it.

80s-o-meter: 68%

Total: 61%

#1147 Twister (1989)

I’ve happened to come across various quirky movies lately that I’ve liked for their charming weirdness, but the quirkiness that Twisted has to offer is very much the wrong kind of artsy, self-serving and pretentious kind.

Twister feels like an experiment where few actors have put into a house to see if anything silly happens. Sure, they all deliver their lines with professional certainty, but everything they say or do is totally pointless and trivial. It’s also worth mentioning that the movie’s title doesn’t really have any connection with the film other than for one quick, passing scene.

There aren’t many positives to mention here. Crispin Glover performs his trademark eccentric schtick well and his wardrobe is one of the most fabulous ones seen on the silver screen.

But that’s pretty much it.

80s-o-meter: 60%

Total: 4%