#1911 Grave Secrets aka Secret Screams (1989)

In the era where far too many slashers were made, Grave Secrets is already winning for being a good old possessed spirit horror movie.

It’s a movie that does nothing exceptionally well – but nothing that badly neither. It’s biggest problem is with the writing, with nothing too much of interest and of suspense taking place until the last act. It’s this ending where the movie finally wakes up a little, consequently waking the viewer also.

As much as I dig Paul Le Mat, he seems to be sleepwalking through the movie, and I couldn’t have but thunk that perhaps another choice for a lead would have kept the attention up for a longer.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 62%

#1908 Criminal Act aka Tunnels (1989)

Criminal Act – or Tunnels, as it’s much more apt name for it – promises a horror story inside old, long forgotten tunnels crossing under a newspaper, whose two female reporters go out wandering around there, just for the heck of it.

So it’s a bit far fetched to begin with, but what follows requires even more overlooking the probable. The movie turns into bit of a cartoon for adults, with film’s baddies sketched with heavy strokes of caricature making it even harder for one to buy the plot. It’s like watching a comedy without the humour part.

Horror is promised on the movie cover, but that’s an element that is not be found here.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 22%

#1889 Slashdance aka Slash Dance (1989)

When it comes to B-movies, I often mention the padding, meaning trying to make the movie last more than an hour with insufficient footage and content by making each shot last too long and generally lingering on with one scene for much longer than necessary.

Slashdance takes this to the very extreme, with most of the movie just feeling like a filler.

There’s a theatre, young women dancing around and then getting killed one by one. And boy do they dance: endlessly, just improvising badly and trying to keep the film rolling.

80s-o-meter: 76%

Total: 3%

#1881 Teen Vamp (1989)

An unpopular nerd turns into a cool cat leather-jacketed vampire after getting bit by a vampire prostitute in a shoelace budgeted horror comedy Teen Vamp.

This one’s is a feeble, amateurish attempt if I ever saw one. Some of the similar hobby horror movies manage to turn the underdog setting to their advantage either by being over the top in either the concept or the gore, but Teen Vamp remains amazingly tame until the very end.

Teen Vamp is one of those amateur movies where I bet the the team enjoyed shooting it more than the viewers enjoy watching it.

80s-o-meter: 60%

Total: 17%

#1876 Blue Vengeance (1989)

Underdog time! An (almost) one man project by J. Christian Ingvordsen, Blue Vengeance depicts a cat and mouse hunt between a rogue cop (Ingvordsen himself) and a psychopathic killer (Mark Trax) shot in a guerrilla style on the streets of New York.

And unlike many similar low budget movies, the team has really put some love in thought into this one and looks good, and also credible in a cool kind of way for which also the memorable antagonist played by Mark Trax contributes, and there is a certain similarity between the the character he creates here and Jackie Estacado, the main character of The Darkness comic series (without the mask, that is).

Blue Vengeance is an uneven ride – but also very refreshingly different from the main stream cinema and definitely one of those rare cases where a shoe lace budgeted action horror manages to better a sizeable portion of its multi million budgeted counterparts.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 82%

#1865 The Beast Within (1982)

A movie I wish I had watched as a part of this years Halloween feature, The Beast Within is an apt little horror thriller taking a place in a small town along the Mississippi river.

To be completely honest I had somewhat hard time following all of the plot and nuances the movie was trying to convey, but this did not take away much of the enjoyment I had watching the secrets of the small town unravel. The production quality and direction of Philippe Mora (minus the flaws in story telling) is solid and the sense of danger and gloomy events were enough to keep in glued in my seat through the movie.

Also the cast led by Ronny Cox do their part with flying colors, contributing to an enjoyable overall watching experience.

80s-o-meter: 84%

Total: 21%

#1859 Night Visitor (1989)

Again a thriller about two demented brothers on a killing spree, Night Visitor throws a few interesting twists to the story that I had still easy to adapt to after finish my schools over 25 years ago.

You see, here the main antagonist is the conservative history teacher. What a thrill! After becoming the eye witness of an a satanist ritual killing a high school kid has a hard time getting anyone to taking his word over the professor.

He then seeks help from a retired detective, which for a long time seems a misstep from the movie (also a weird choice of movies for Elliott Gould), from which point on the movie drags itself through the finish line without much surprises.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 72%

#1853 Windows (1980)

An exploitation movie at it’s heart, I don’t really know how to categorise Windows; It fails as a whodunnit by revealing the culprit early on, and does not work as a psychological thriller as it fails to deep further into the psyche of the antagonist.

We see a recently divorced woman getting mugged and humiliated in her home done in a very exploitative manner, then her running into her while riding a taxi cab and then finding out he was contracted for the job by a woman whose identity is revealed. I mean, she is right there in the poster!

From thereon you are left waiting for a plot twist, that never comes.

80s-o-meter: 65%

Total: 24%

#1852 Halloween 2023: Death by Dialogue (1988)

Death by Dialogue tries a little something new by following events where five youngsters are being tormented by an evil manuscript reciting the kills happening before they take place.

There are some interesting and imaginatively created baddies here and the action is overall entertaining, but the movie gets a little too tricky and hard to follow considering the kind of fluff it tries to be.

This is one of those videos that entertains enough to sit it through, but does not really leave any memory prints behind.

80s-o-meter: 87%

Total: 60%

#1850 Halloween 2023: Madhouse aka There Was a Little Girl aka And When She Was Bad aka Flesh and the Beast aka Scared to Death (1981)

Like any decent 80s slasher, Madhouse has been distributed with numerous different titles. But luckily this is the only thing that the movie has in common with your basic run-off-the-mill slashers.

More of a horror movie (in a good way) than a slasher, Madhouse has many haunting elements in it, but steers clear of endless jump scares. The same goes for the overall atmosphere, which has that constant feeling that there’s something off, and that things will get even worse soon.

And speaking of elements, Madhouse seems to introduce even too many different ones into one movie, but somehow makes it all work in the end – but it could have gone the other way as well. Visually the movie is outdated in many ways, and the effects (especially with the Rottweiler) aren’t exactly convincing, but get the idea delivered.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 61%

#1848 Halloween 2023: Evil Spawn (1987)

A pretty useless story of an actress past in the twilight of her career taking injections by some mad professor, turning her into this combination of a blood thirsty killer / insect.

Done in the day – and also introduced by in the DVD – Fred Olen Ray, the movie is full of bad acting and dialogues ripped straight out of 1950s B-horror movies. It would’ve been a much more interesting story to see her struggle in the actress career and either overcoming it or taking some other unfortunate actions, rather than going by this nonsensical storyline.

Either that, or going full ahead with the apprent humour aspect. Neither of which is seen here.

80s-o-meter: 75%

Total: 20%

#1847 Halloween 2023: Witchcraft II: The Temptress (1989)

Just when I thought the Witchcraft was an useless horror movie, enters its sequel Witchcraft II: The Temptress.

A kind of continuum of the witch story seen in the first movie, the second part builds its story upon an evil vamp seducing the now grown up baby from the prequel, with the hope of him becoming the supreme warlock. Gone is the little budget there was in the first installation, and everything here from writing to effects is subpar. Having much too old actors play teenagers is the ongoing joke with the 80s movies, but this movie really takes things to another level.

Probably the only good thing I can say about Witchcraft II: The Temptress is that it is the last one one in made during the 80s in the Witchcraft series of movies that has spawned a whopping 15 sequels to date, and that I don’t have to sit through the remaining 14.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 24%

#1847 Halloween 2023: Witchcraft (1988)

Before seeing the movie I did like its title and wondered if i was going to be dragged into one of those 80s wild rides of Fangoria cover page sfx and make up work.

Well, Witchcraft was nothing like it to say the least. We have human like witches who are looking forward to get possession of a new baby who is to become the great Warlock. We have some eery scenes of wandering around the weird old mansion discovering hidden secrets and dream like sequences of an – again – human looking witch dripping a spit of fake blood out of her mouth.

..and that’s as scary as the movie ever gets.

80s-o-meter: 75%

Total: 37%

#1846 Halloween 2023: Torment (1986)

A psycho killer after women is loose, ending up in the house occupied by the girlfriend of the detective after him, and her mother-in-law to be.

As with The Stepfather movie, it’s the finding out an entirely unknown dark side of one’s close one that always personally feels the most haunting to me – which is the case also in Torment.

William Witt – a complete unknown to me – does a tremendous job in the role of the killer, making him totally believable, chillingly cold and menacing.

80s-o-meter: 86%

Total: 79%

#1845 Halloween 2023: Dawn of the Mummy (1981)

One of the first movies I remember seeing was The Mummy from 1959, which left a lasting impact on little me. Now, I haven’t consumed much of the mummy movies from thereon, but everything I’ve seen has dropped short of that experience.

Enter the early 80s Dawn of the Mummy, which is by far the poorest take on the subject I’ve seen. The movie frames the mommy as something of a slasher kind of killer, wasting photo models who ”happened to be nearby”. Occasionally the Mummy also turns in a cannibal, rips his victims up and consumes .. uh, some parts of them.

Dawn of the Mummy falls into that unfortunate slot where the movie is just plain bad, but not the kind of bad that would have any guilty pleasure entertainment value to it.

80s-o-meter: 2%

Total: 4%

#1844 Halloween 2023: Hunter’s Blood (1986)

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 fans of Billy Bob Thornton and Billy Drago will be delighted to know that both gentlemen can be see here in one of their early roles.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 75%

#1843 Halloween 2023: Lunch Meat (1987)

When I see some amateur gore like Lunch Meat, I can’t but to compare its offerings to the brilliant Bad Taste. Especially so when in Lunch Meat’s case the movie is about hillbilly family hunting people to harvest and sell their meat for restaurants.

Where Bad Taste goes for imaginative, weird and entertaining extremities, Lunch Meat – likely sharing a similar shoelace budget – repeats the often seen, unimaginative and predictable pattern we already know.

I can’t think of much to like here. At its very peak moments Lunch Meat is ok-ish. But, those moments are few and far between.

80s-o-meter: 52%

Total: 12%

#1842 Halloween 2023: Cameron’s Closet (1988)

Cameron’s Closet as a title seems like ringing a bell, as if I’d been exposed to it somewhere in the past. But more likely it just resembles some other sumilar sounding title I’ve gotten it mixed up with.

The movie works fairly well as long as the monster is kept in the closet of the young Cameron who possesses telekinetic and telepathic skills, and some of the scares are genuinely effective.

But as the movie wanders too far into the dream world, it soon starts to become a pill far too big to swallow. Keeping things low key and building upon the premise of an entity in the close would have likely yielded better results, and the movie quite unfortunately looses its footing in the third act.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 50%

#1840 Halloween 2023: The Attic (1980)

The Attic is probably the first movie this Halloween that takes an effort to be an actual movie. You know, one with story, building up characters and all that.

And it was a nice surprise! Carrie Snodgress who was earlier unknown to me creates a wonderful character of an old maid librarian living with her tyrannical father, and it’s easy to grow attached to her, her fears, self-doubt and small scale dreams to have the courage to take a possession of her life.

Ray Milland as the father and Ruth Cox as the unlikely young friend and confident both make for interesting, multi-faceted characters. Director George Edwards holds up the horror elements to the last minutes of the film – but they feel even more impactful at that point.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 84%