#1639 Blades (1989)

Blades – a silly movie about a killer lawnmower loose in a golf course sounds 100% like a Troma Entertainment production.

Or does it? Compared to the zany Troma movies of the earlier 80s, Blades feels almost playing it safe and trying to cater for some big enough niche audience: the creative anarchy is missing, but on the other hand Blades is actually quite well-rounded movie with some real budget and effort put into it. Even so that the silly machine antagonist feels like a faux pas, and the movie could have fared much better if it didn’t want to be so much tongue in cheek.

While the lack of a good baddie makes Blades a disappointment, it’s still an easy to watch and enjoyable disappointment for the most parts – especially if you are a golf aficionado. It was especially the shaky golf pro lead who was written as a counterweight for typical movie male characters that made Blades feel interesting and fresh.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 65%

#1604 Halloween 2021: The Sender (1982)

The Sender is a movie akin to The Dead Zone, released one year later and does have many same kind of interesting properties to it including the final events of the movie.

But it does not have the same kind of sharpness in writing that Stephen King was able to put into his work. As for someone who enjoyed The Dead Zone, I did find The Sender interesting indeed, even with its needlessly convoluted plot.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 68%

#1602 Halloween 2021: Pieces aka Chainsaw Bastard aka Chainsaw Devil aka The Night Has 1000 Screams (1982)

Pieces, a Spanish horror movie shot in Spain with American actors gained cult fame with its cruel depictions of deaths by chainsaw, and inexplicable encounter with a martial artist, totally detached from any events in the movie.

The movie does a fairly good work presenting itself as an American movie, and even if the movie isn’t anything extraordinary, it’s still one of the better and more original slashers of the era, and definitely earns its place alongside the most iconic examples of its genre.

80s-o-meter: 56%

Total: 60%

#1601 Halloween 2021: Nightmare Weekend (1986)

Another Troma release where the plot is so convoluted (read: a mess) that it’s genuinely hard to keep track what’s going on.

Apparently there is some sort of computerised puppet (hence the scifi genre) that sends out some metal balls and affects people’s minds around it and people turn evil and then they get nakkid.

Nightmare Weekend looks better than your average Trauma releases, with absolutely gorgeous female cast to feast your eyes on – even that doctor dude from Pet Sematary is present here in one of his few rare 80s movie roles. All that does little good when the movie is a hopeless mess otherwise, though.

80s-o-meter: 89%

Total: 19%

#1600 Halloween 2021: Deep Space (1988)

When I introduced Deep Space to my self I could not contain my excitement. A nice looking Scifi B-movie with Charles Napier (of the Rambo: First Blood Part II fame) and Bo Svenson (of too many great B-action movies) starring in the same movie.

Then I saw that the director was Fred Olen Ray (of too many cheap movies), which cast deep a shadow over the whole movie.

But luckily this is one of the movies where Fred Olen Ray started to be good in his craft, and this Aliens copy is not bad at all. Sure, it’s still firmly in the B-movie territory, and the directors canny ability to make all the actors deliver their lines in a wooden fashion is still there, but one can’t deny this all isn’t entertaining. Napier is very charismatic in one of his rare lead roles, and chainsaws: there are actually effin chainsaws in this movie – got to love it!

80s-o-meter: 92%

Total: 83%

#1605 Halloween 2021: The Game aka The Cold (1984)

Some old buggers start a game where young people staying in a mansion have to face their fears.

The Game is an amateurish mess devoid of any movie magic. The plot is all over the place and it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on. I quite get what they were after, but phew, what a mess this one is.

As bad as it was, I guess I did not hate it. Hating it would’ve required me to care enough, and The Game really set the expectations low in the very first minutes to the film.

80s-o-meter: 23%

Total: 3%

#1597 Halloween 2021: The Initiation (1984)

At this point I’m not looking forward to slashers to offer anything new, but just hoping to see at least a small spin to the tired subgenre.

The Initiation offers at least two and while neither are something I would call original or particularly good, but enough for me to give them some credit for not just making ”that movie” one more time. It does still feel like a pastiche with tons of elements borrowed from left, right and center.

The nocturnal mall as the location works better than forest and Daphne Zuniga in the lead role brings the movie up a notch or two.

80s-o-meter: 84%

Total: 57%

#1595 Halloween 2021: Edge of Sanity (1989)

Eroticism, lust and decadence are the main themes here, and the movie is more of a cheap late night peep show rather than a horror movie. I know it was Perkins himself that has agreed to make the movie, but still seeing him in a humiliation like this almost turns my stomach.

The worst Halloween movie and quite possibly one of the worst horror movies I’ve seen to date comes from a very unexpected place. Anthony Perkins of the Psycho fame stars in this erotic Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde movie, but unlike the quite capable 80s Psycho sequels, Edge of Sanity is an irritatingly bad movie.

Edge of Sanity is one of those rare movies that one does not only without any merits or redeeming qualities, but that you start to hate so much you hope they never actually existed.

80s-o-meter: 1%

Total: -1%

#1594 Halloween 2021: One Dark Night aka Night of Darkness aka Dark Night aka The Entity Force (1982)

A bullied girl takes on a challenge to spend a night in a Mausoleum to be accepted by a small sisterhood. Little does she know that a man in possession of strange powers has been just sealed inside one of the crypts, and he’s about to make the bodies reanimate this same night.

The premise in the movie is super interesting and there’s certainly a good tension and atmosphere to be found here at times, but the obvious padding and buildup just takes much too long, making One Dark Night one of those horror movies that would’ve worked better as a short film.

The finale isn’t quite the fireworks I hoped it to be after the lengthy buildup, but the tension is definitely there.

80s-o-meter: 72%

Total: 61%

#1593 Halloween 2021: Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes aka Amityville Horror IV (1989)

..and Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes is where the series gets stupid again. The evil has escaped from the Amityville house in a form of a brass floor lamp(!) and is now tormenting a new place.

Other than that the movie plays heavily with typical the genre clichés, like priests teaming up against the evil.

Amityville 4 is the first movie in the series to be made for TV – and frankly that should’ve been a cue for the team to leave skip the project and dedicate their time on something else.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 35%

#1592 Halloween 2021: Amityville 3 aka Amityville 3-D aka Amityville III: The Demon (1983)

Another movie that took part of the early 80s 3D craze, Amityville 3-D (like the formerly reviewed Silent Madness) has since then seen a Blu-Ray release in good old 2D. Excluding the overall blurriness towards the edges of the screen, and the few awkward scenes obviously set up with 3D in mind, the movie luckily does not suffer from its 3D origins much.

And as the case was with Silent Madness, this third installation in the Amityville series is actually surprisingly potent horror movie – contrary to all the expectations. The ominous hole in the room, the various types of scourge in the house and possessed daughter; it’s all good classical horror that relies more on the eery presence of evil, instead of them cheap jump scares.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 71%

#1591 Halloween 2021: Spookies (1986)

Apparently a cult classic of some sort due to its inventive use of horror FX, the effects are nice (even great) – but pretty much all of what Spookies has to offer.

More precisely, it’s the better than expected effects that make the other, below the average aspects of the movie look quite bad in comparison: the werewolf like creature roaming the forest for example, laughable. The 300-year old owner of the house, plain bad. There are a group of quests constantly branching off to different sections of the mansion to make themselves easier targets for the evil, quite uninspired.

On the other hand the birthday party, farting mud monsters and the possessed lady: all pretty cool, with the rest of the segments falling somewhere in between.

Spookies is more of a theme park right than an actual movie, which makes recommending it without urging to jump to the juicy bits – and skipping the boring – quite hard.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 61%

#1590 Halloween 2021: Necromancer (1988)

Ahem, so okay.. Apparently there’s a Necromancer living in this suburban garage who then helps one girl to take revenge on a gang of fellow high school students that raped her.

Necromancer is an exceptionally bad and credibility look into supernatural mumbo-jumbo, coupled with some piss poor special effects. And I’m being polite here.

I just skimmed through the movie once again before rating it to see if it would have any redeeming qualities to mention. But no – the movie starts ok but just keeps getting gradually worse and worse towards the end.

80s-o-meter: 89%

Total: 11%

#1587 Halloween 2021: Jaws of Satan aka King Cobra (1981)

Let’s start off with a piece of trivia: this movie was at first called King Cobra, but later changed to Jaws of Satan in an attempt to try and piggyback on the Jaws movie series’ success.

In the movie Satan has taken the form of a snake, and after a small killing spree starts tormenting Father Tom. In other words, this is one of those scary movies that relies leans heavily on the religious, supernatural themes.

There isn’t much good to be said about the movie itself as it’s really quite uninspired, other than that Fritz Weaver does a performs well as the flawed man of spirit. The fans of Christina Applegate might be also interesting to her debuting in the movie.

80s-o-meter: 50%

Total: 33%

#1586 Halloween 2021: U.F.O. Abduction aka The McPherson Tape (1989)

Preceding Blair Witch Project ten years, The McPherson Tape took that same home video approach to create a ”lost” tape, an evidence that documents the scary moments unfolding before our eyes.

The approach is powerful as it effectively makes the viewer one of the few eye witnesses to the incident, and also give the footage certain mythical and forbidden flavour. While McPherson Tape nails the home video look & feel and the overall flow of the tableside conversations feel genuine, the actual interesting content of the movie is just about two or three minutes out of the 62 minute running time.

More interesting the the movie content (it’s not very interesting) or its scariness (not very scary) is the viral aspect that McPherson Tape managed to gain: the movie got spread around as VHS copies for years, with people who were sure this was the official proof for extraterrestrial life. The actual, official truth only came out years later as the official release, long time after VHS was no more.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 31%

#1584 Halloween 2021: Sweet Sixteen aka Sweet 16 (1983)

Here’s another slasher I’ve mixed up with many similarly named slashers – Bloody Birthday, Happy Birthday to Me 15 and to name a few.

Sweet 16 draws its inspiration (quite loosely) from native Americans, mixes in some weak mythology and puts them up against racist rednecks and watches them clash. Everyone bad gets what’s coming to them and then it’s up to the viewer to start the guesswork who was the actual killer, and watch through to the totally expected last minute jump scare attempt.

The movie is not exceptional in any sense, and was going for a passable rating. But here’s the thing: I really hate the exploitative sexual angle in the marketing of this movie that has nothing to do with the theme (or the actual content) of the movie – and loathe it even more for it targeting 16-year olds.

Cheap trash, this one.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 18%

#1583 Halloween 2021: Star Crystal (1986)

You’ve seen the beginning of Star Crystal before: starship crew on a expedition on a remote planet (well not too remote, Mars) brings into the ship something containing an alien life form that gets quite unhappy with the humen aboard.

After a few goofy deaths with passable FX the movie seems to be all out of crew to sacrifice to the creature. But here is where the movie actually genre blends into an exploration of the inner life of the alien, who is now busy absorbing all the information of the humankind (good and bad) stored on the starship’s mainframe computer.

The change is unexpected and not without problems – the action totally plateaus just when you expect it to go into the next gear. But even if the movie turns into close encounters of the boring kind, I do applaud the film crew’s courage of wandering off the beaten path and trying something new.

It is the very only reason why the movie left any lasting impression.

80s-o-meter: 89%

Total: 63%

#1582 Halloween 2021: The Head Hunter aka Headhunter (1988)

It was usually the Italian film production companies that migrated to Miami to shoot their films with American actors, so Headhunter with its South-African film crew is bit of an anomaly in this aspect.

That is not all the movie has in common with its Italian counterparts; it is visually quite apt (special effects notwithstanding) and on the surface level it feels as a quite passable small horror movie where an evil spirit is chopping off heads for their personal collection.

The idea of the bad entity works, but then the movie gets unfocused with tribal African mumbo jumbo, and other similar aspects like the cop’s domestic affairs that just had me snooze off. Movie gets once again mildly more interesting towards the end as the evil becomes a shape shifter and things get almost hilariously (but not quite enough!) overboard.

80s-o-meter: 90%

Total: 61%

#1580 Halloween 2021: The Carrier (1988)

The Carrier depicts a small rural town where after being attacked by a creature, a local boy becomes a carrier of a strange disease that charges everything he touches with flesh eating powers invisible to the naked eye.

What happens after the town folk find out about the disease spread by an unknown culprit is where The Carrier really gets interesting. A wave of panic and paranoia ensues; people try to cover up with whatever plastic bags they can find, turning the town into kind of a current day version of Mad Max. The disease is horrible – but even more frightening is the way it turns people against each other, not tearing through, but completely wiping out the fabric of the society overnight.

The Carrier was a truly pleasant surprise that successfully plans together horror and social commentary (not forgetting the very obvious comedy aspect). This is the unexpected sleeper 80s hit of this Halloween.

80s-o-meter: 57%

Total: 91%

#1579 Halloween 2021: Primal Rage (1988)

Bo Svenson became the unexpected antagonist star of this Halloween. His hard boiled detective character levelled up Night Warning, and in Primal Rage he plays a scientist that whips up a virus that causes people becoming berserk killers.

Primal Rage is an Italian production shot in Miami, but it does not show at all, and the production quality is right up there with similar Hollywood movies. As a movie it’s bit off an uphill and downhill ride: the title and the video cover are great, and the movie shows a lot of promise, but does not quite redeem any of its promises.

The last 20 minutes of the movie is actually pretty entertaining (including a totally hilarious ending), and redeem a lot of its earlier shortcomings.

80s-o-meter: 89%

Total: 68%