Torment, a horror movie depicting a deranged killer seeking her daughter and
It’s hard not to find a pattern after seeing so many horror movies, and in case of Hunter’s Blood it’s yet again clean cut city folks travelling to rural America – this time to do some hunting – and then getting attacked by maniacal rednecks.
But Hunter’s Blood plays its cards quite wisely here, and goes against the plot clichés often seen in this subgenre: the police isn’t evil, or trying to protect or help the hoodlum gang, the antagonists seem more close to real backwoods delinquents rather than the hillbilly caricatures, plus the movie does not rush into killings just for the case of showcasing blood, but instead takes its sweet time building up the characters and excitement. And it’s one of the most palm sweating, thrilling rides I’ve seen.
The award of least effort in a horror movie seems to go to Dreamaniac this year.
Haphazardly put together slasher with no real storyline and taking a place in a younger’s party with a summoned succubus doing all the killings is pretty much as uninteresting as movies come. The former porn director David DeCoteau even failed to get any of the females undressed for the gratuitous nudity the movie was clearly going after.
And yes, that VHS cover needs also addressing, touting to frame this straight to video release as something too gory for the silver screen, when we all know it was just plain too bad to ever see a theatrical release.
I’ve seen the premise before: country hicks getting infected by virus turning them into undead creatures. Bloodsuckers from Outer Space and Redneck Zombies were both surprisingly entertaining zombie movies, but Ozone: The Attack of the Redneck Mutants unfortunately falls far behind of both.
The movie makes a maximum effort of being just plain disgusting. There’s endless scenes of people turning into zombies, gushing black ooze and puking yellow excrement. On top of this the movie has been dubbed completely, with voice actors really working for their money adding all kinds of moaning, gushing and cacophony, making the movie really hard to watch through.
The zombies look, well, passable, but that’s just about the only good thing I can say about the movie.
On the surface an American trigger happy action comedy of heroic friends from small rural down travelling to Columbia to save their friend, Let’s Get Harry actually has a bit more depth than that to offer.
From the get go the movie is quite honest that the guys are way over their heads for a challenge of this proportion, and this is evident through the movie as self-doubt and cowardism that does not always turn into heroism, which I found extremely refreshing in a movie like this. Even the mercenary they hire for the mission has his flaws and sometimes misjudges the situation gravely.
The sprinkle on the top of this donut is the great cast, each of which bring something of their own into the mix.
Bad Girls Dormitory starts off as any sleazy women prison exploitation movie out there: someone innocent gets jailed, they go to prison with a sadistic warden, corrupt staff and strict picking order between the prisoners. Catfights and topless shower scenes aplenty.
Compared to the other similar sleaze out there, Bad Girls Dormitory landed somewhere in the lower rank, with shoddy production values and with the whole movie looking like it was shot in a backstage of an empty restaurant.
What I did not see coming thought was that in the third act Bad Girls Dormitory turns from below average prison exploitation to actually quite good and entertaining action movie. If the movie had relied only on this aspect, the movie could have been something of a gold nugget instead of the kind of turkey it is.
Last Resort is one of those silly and totally harmless comedies of the 80s that could have been almost entirely forgettable without the strong cast of Charles Grodin, John Ashton and Jon Lovitz starring in it. There just never was anyone better than Grodin to portray your average white collar American who when faced with huge adversities keeps on talking softly and agreably while building up thrilling amount of anger behind his polite smile.
There are also some gags here that genuinely made me laugh, like being stuck in a bungalow walls so paper thin that anyone can hear them speaking; upon discussing with his wife if they should make love they decide to pass on it, concluding the night by telling they love each other, to which their son replies that he also loves them.
Also the Lovitz’ character of a bartender not getting one word Grodin says to him, and often popping to scenes uninvited is a recurring gag that eventually managed to made me snicker.
Look, I’ve seen so many movies about Americans going back and actually winning the Vietnam war that I either look into two interesting aspects: realism or the total lack of it. P.O.W. the Escape very much falls into the latter category.
The story here is about hard boiled ol’ Colonel Cooper with a track record of never leaving anyone behind, now being assigned to rescue prisoners of war from a sadistic Vietnamese camp run by officer who persuades Cooper to escort him out of the country with a gold treasure.
Charismatic David Carradine is the perfect lead for this schlock and it’s downright ridiculously funny how he is immune to all the gun fire. When everyone else holds back, Carradine just rushes in to demolish the whole village; there is never any feeling of real danger which is not optimal for a action thriller. Other than that, P.O.W. the Escape is made to entertain, and as such it does keep the good action pace going on to the very last minute.
How would you like a movie like First Blood, but with multiple Rambos running around in the forest for the price of just one?
Enter The Devastator where a Vietnam vet reassembles his combat strike force to fight a horde of cannabis farming hoodlums in the California forests. And yes, there is even the corrupted Sheriff of a local small town after this bunch of John Rambos.
Compared to First Blood, this one is a paper thin show where no character or act of violence has any real weight to it: it’s just a bunch on random guys running and gunning around the mountains. One of the protagonists is a show wrestler kind of big guy who walks around laughing maniacally, and one of the real upsides of the movie is the moment he finally gets gunned down and rendered quiet.
Do you know which movie stars the brown haired pre-teen boy called Harry Potter Jr who’s interested in all kinds of magical and superstitious and gets sucked into an adventure full of weird mystical creatures, witches and such.
If you answered Troll, you are quite right! If you answered something else, you must have mixed up this masterpiece with some less known trivial pulp.
The house getting overtaken by Trolls and other magic creatures is bit of a weird mix made a bit in the vein of Gremlins, but does not manage to hit the same buttons in terms of adventure, scares, thrill and humour – but it does a pretty good job attempting it. While the Troll figure is well made, it’s not a strong antagonist lead in any sense of the word, but the remaining visual effects are actually executed much better than in your average movie of the era. Speaking of humour, there is a little song with wonderfully weird atmosphere to it, performed by the Troll army – something I will be looking to listening soon again.
With Rad we are closing in to what I would consider a 100% 80s rating: there’s BMX bikes, BMX baddies, evil businessmen, crazy futuristic gears, dance offs, radical and rebellious kids, and conservative parents and townsfolk, simply amazing pumping soundtrack – and the dreamy Lori Loughlin to top it all off.
It’s a sports movie, so there’s that certain formula everyone already knows – but then it just becomes the question of not how it will all and, but how entertaining the movie will be along the way. And Rad is admittedly pretty entertaining.
The Canadian shooting location does its very best to pass as an American small town. In all honesty I did not find Bill Allen to be the best choice for the lead role as he comes off a bit plasticky compared to many teen stars of the era – but he still manages to pull off the role as a something of a poor man’s Matthew Broderick.
Not to be mixed with a similarly named Working Girl from 1988, the 1986 Working Girls takes a documenting approach to a work day of Manhattan prostitutes, and their clients.
I was informed that the team had done some research for the movie by visiting similar brother apartments and the end result feels quite believable. The story doesn’t take place in one of those crack house brothers often seen in action movies, and this is also not one of those glamorous penthouse brothels that the ultra rich visit. The same goes with the workers and the clients alive who conduct their business without making a big number out of it; this is just one day among the others.
It’s specifically the men visiting the shoppe that feel like they’ve been lifted straight out of real life clientele.
Done with every Jim Jarmusch movie of the 80s? You might then be interested to check out Sleepwalk, directed by Jarmuch’s partner Sara Driver that feels like having fallen from the same arthouse tree.
Sleepwalk presents us with an interesting concept – a woman is hired to transcribe an ancient Chinese manuscript, after which she slowly starts to discover the manuscript has powers that begin to take over her life. This is where the movie goes off the rails and wanders deep into the world of nonsense. The events that follow in the movie are interesting and visually appealing to watch, but totally disconnected from the main story line.
If you can accept that not much of the movie even tries to make sense, you might find Sleepwalk enjoyable piece of experimental, surrealist cinema. It just isn’t for everyone – nor does it try to be.
Although the poster claims that Slaughter High is from the makers of Friday the 13th, they don’t share the same writers nor the director, so I’m not quite sold on that claim. Anyway, Slaughter High is a copy pastey slasher revenge movie where mistreated and disfigured nerd who was picked in high school gets back to his old school mates visiting the abandoned school in a class reunion, wearing an off-the-shelf old joker mask. Or is it him?
Well, yes it is. And there’s nothing very imaginative going on in the movie. The killer has gained superhuman powers and speed and will get anywhere in the school before others and can smell where they are without seeing them, while the ex students have become more stupid than ever, running around the school and getting separated from each others to be more easy targets.
Slaughter High isn’t a bad slasher and has proper production quality to it, but other than that it’s totally and utterly uninspired product.
What followed the early 80s stream of slashers was a stream of slasher comedies. I would argue that most slashers are quite humorous and over the board in their nature to begin with, and I’m sure the teams behind them were having a good laugh while making them, so in this light there’s very little point of parodising them other than justifying arriving to the slasher party several years too late.
If I had not check IMDB, I would have never known Evil Laugh was a comedy. Sure, it’s more goofy in some aspects and the characters make references to other slasher movies, but the movie is never laugh out loud funny.
Youngers get slashed, there’s some naked skin, one imaginative killing and possibly one of the most stupid looking antagonists, and that’s pretty much that. No matter how bad slashers are, at least they earn my respect for trying. Comedies like this too afraid to even be proper slashers don’t even have that going for them.
Hotshot is a football movie made in the vein of soccer almost becoming a household sport in America during the 80s, a trend that never did carry too far.
What makes the movie interesting is it featuring one Pelé, arguably one of the best football players in the history of the sport. This aspect of him not wanting to play the sport anymore, but upon a request of a young hothead American player becomes his protege and teacher is what makes Hotshot of any interest.
Other than that, Hotshot is pretty much your basic sports movie with nothing much surprising to it, coupled with way below average production values, especially for a movie made in 1986.
Even before I started to watch Ratboy, I had a feeling that it was going to be something exceptional. But little I knew that it was going to be exceptionally bad.
And bad it is, oh boy. I would go as far as to say that out of the 1657 80s movies I’ve watched so far this one is the worst. Sondra Locke is apparently the primus motor behind this train wreck of a movie, starring in the lead role and sitting on the director’s chair, and for both parts she fails miserably putting on one of the least likeable characters ever and acting like it was a chore for her, and not being able to find any gold nuggets from Rob Thompson’s script. Maybe there was nothing there to be found – I don’t know – but at that point it could’ve been a better call to go for another script instead.
If there is anything good about the movie is the way it never manages to show its main character favourably like these kinds of movies usually do; having a heart of gold, or some other supernatural skill that makes him exceptional for the viewer. He is just a small man with glued on rat like features who enjoys living in dirt, is not that bright, farts, panics and gets angry easily (resorting to even beating up two women with a stick).
Ratboy is one of those movies that just leaves one scratching their head wondering what kind of reasoning got this project greenlighted, funded and cast with a relatively well known actors. Was there never anyone in the project team with the guts to stand up to say what we are doing here might ultimately be a just a huge waste of celluloid?
Sometimes the story behind a movie is more interesting than the movie itself. I was at first put off by the fact how The Aurora Encounter had cast one Mickey Hays based on his appearance caused by progeria to portray the role of an alien out of space, until I learned that it was actually Make-A-Wish Foundation that had made Mickey’s dream come true to get to act in a Hollywood movie.
Now, for the movie itself, it’s another prime example how much further ahead the marketing and art departments ofter were to the movie crew itself. The poster art is absolutely stunning, with a great promise of an engaging scifi adventure.
What you actually get is haphazardly made western where a space ship quite obviously held by crane and often visible wires lands and takes off, with the alien stepping out, visiting and scaring a few people. It’s tediously boring thing to sit through, with no real engaging plot going for it.
King Kong got a pretty ok reboot in the 1976 Dino De Laurentiis remake starring Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange and Charles Grodin, and ten years later King Kong Lives tried to pick up where the previous movie left by introducing a female counterpart for the colossal gorilla, but without the star power of the previous installation.
Movie fails to utilise neither one, and the apes themselves could be passable for late 80s, early 80s release, but by 1986 the audience had been already spoiled with the next wave of special FX and King Kong Lives absolutely can’t keep up in this race, and feels like a relic from the past with absolutely no value for the viewers of today.
A fictional tale loosely based on African-American jazz musicians’ life and influence in late 50s Paris, Round Midnight feels an exercise too keen on substance and being accepted as a cool cat piece of French cinema.
Although I understand the intention for going for an atmosphere that can be sold to American cinema goers, it all frankly feels far too clichéd to be taken seriously: dark, smoke-filled rooms, a gloomy and dark Paris where it always rains, and characters (despite of battling with serious personal problems, like alcoholism) that feel naïve caricatures instead of actual persons.
The musical pieces composed by Herbie Hancock and performed by a bunch of skilled musicians are the best aspects of the movie, hands down. As I enjoyed the jazz pieces, but not so much the interludes between them, I could not but to think that for the selected fictional style of the movie it would’ve been better to go all in and make Round Midnight a full musical instead.