#1596 Halloween 2021: Visiting Hours (1982)

No Halloween without sneaking in at least one Canadian horror movie in. This time around the reason for including one is the awesome looking poster, plus of course film including Michael Ironside as the main antagonist, as well as William Shatner in a smaller side role.

Too bad the movie is once again a good reminder that nice covers do not a good movie make, and Ironside can’t really do much in his role if the manuscript and directing is not up to his skill level.

A far cry from a haunting psychological horror thriller, Visiting Hours has violently intensive moments in it that might make your heart beat a bit faster, but the lack of dimensions and depth in everything shines through.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 43%

#1533 Porky’s Revenge (1985)

The third installation of the Porky’s series does one thing right: it restores Chuck Mitchell to the silver screen as the antagonist, now running a sleazy river boat for booze hounds looking forward to seeing some hooters.

Porky’s Revenge also introduces other sub plots like shot gun wedding, state champion basketball match, and a raunchy relationship between the teachers, all of which alone work better than the play motif in its predecessor.

Couple this with a revenge plot that introduces just the right amount of excitement towards the finale, and Porky’s Revenge not only manages to match the first installation of the series, but actually makes for a better movie overall!

80s-o-meter: 55%

Total: 65%

#1532 Porky’s II: The Next Day (1983)

What do Halloween and Porky’s series have in common? Well, they both have sequels that pick up the story from the very minute the original one left off.

Propelled no doubt with the runaway success of the first movie, Porky’s II: The Next Day revolves around the students trying to put on a play, with Reverend Flavel trying to shut them down.

There’s limited fun to be had with the movie poking fun of some redneck KKK organisation, but other than that, The Next Day is one really tame and lame show compared to the original.

80s-o-meter: 51%

Total: 41%

#1531 Porky’s (1981)

A Canadian sex comedy about 1950s High School teenagers was a huge success upon its 1981 release – and interestingly perhaps more American than many of its similar USA releases.

Most of the elements typical to the sub genre are there, and don’t provide much more than what you’ve used to with other similar titles of the era. But where Porky’s gets interesting is when the boys travel across the border to a strip club owned by Porky (aptly named Porky’s), get conned, humiliated and driven out of the state. The plotting and eventual revenge against this tub of lard is by far the best aspect of the movie, making it interesting to watch until the end. Chuck Mitchell really makes on despicable antagonist here!

Porky’s would go on to spawn two sequels, Porky’s II: The Next Day and Porky’s Revenge, released in 1983 and 1985, respectively.

80s-o-meter: 51%

Total: 60%

#1511 Mindfield aka Mind Field (1989)

Canada – or USA lite as some pundits like to call it – felt in the 80s somewhere in between Great Britain and the States (a bit like Australia did as well) performing at times pretty convincing imitation of the Hollywood cinema, but more than often not really finding a tone of its own, and ending up sort of a poor man’s version of its US counterpart.

Mindfield is 100% Canadian product that got into this list for featuring one Michael Ironside who had already achieved a sizeable career in the US that would ultimately culminate in Total Recall (1990) that made him a household name and one of the definite baddies in the cinema history.

In Mindfield he also performs well, but anything else in the movie falls so far behind the expectations that it’s clear his talent is wasted here. Don’t let the nice poster or the scifi mind altering thriller blurb fool you – Total Recall this totally ain’t.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 38%

#1193 Christmas 2019: The Christmas Star (1986)

This year’s Christmas special is by far the shortest yet. But, it’s also 100% longer than I previously anticipated as I thought I’d run out of eligible movies already last year,

The Christmas Star is one of those movies shot in Canada, but with U.S. actors and look & feel to make a saving in the production costs. The cast is actually remarkably good for a totally unknown little movie; familiar faces here include Ed Asner (who’s known for portraying Santa in various films), Rene Auberjonois (who sadly passed away earlier this month), Alan North and Fred Gwynne.

The story itself is basic, but manages to find an interesting sidetrack from the usual Santa Claus movies. The Christmas Star is not a big budget movie, but being a Disney movie there’s a certain quality to the production.

I watched the movie together with my 6-year old daughter who was glued to the screen right from the beginning to the end. So did The Christmas Star just become a xmas tradition for our family? That’s to be seen next year!

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 83%

#756 Halloween 2017: The Gate (1987)

A rare canadian movie to make it to the blog, The Gate is a horror adventure about two kids opening up a hole to another dimension in their backyard, causing hordes of demons spawning out and breaking havoc.

The movie is fairly well done underdog, beating many Hollywood movies in their own game. While the stop motion demon gnomes reek of a low budget, the zombie construction worker opening portals by walking through the walls boasts a convincing makeup and has just the right amount of spookiness to him that suits the movie perfectly.

Strictly speaking The Gate is not a horror movie, but more like a ghost story done with a Spielbergian touch. Therefore, how much you will actually enjoy the movie pretty much boils down to how in touch you are with your 12-year old self that still enjoys videogame-like end boss fights.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 71%