#1191 Halloween 2019: Witchery aka Evil Encounters aka La Casa 4 (1988)

Shot in USA with American actors, Witchery is actually four and final installation of a weird Italian Casa series. La Casa and La Casa 2 are actually the original American The Evil Dead movies, while La Casa 3: Ghosthouse is an Italian movie disguised as a sequel but otherwise completely unrelated.

La Casa 4 is also completely unrelated to any of the previous movies. Most of the budget seems to have gone towards the exotic location as the movie itself is really tame, consisting mostly of a mixed group of visitants wandering around an old house and having encounters with an old lady doing all sorts of witchery.

The movie gets very low mileage out the the location as well as its cast starring David Hasselhoff and Linda Blair, both of which could’ve been replaced by any other lesser known actor without any noticeable impact.

80s-o-meter: 75%

Total: 26%

#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%

#1124 Ghost Warrior (1984)

400-year old samurai frozen alive is revived with the miracles of the modern science in Ghost Warrior, by far the coolest concept of the ancient man in present day movies I’ve seen to date.

There’s no doubt about the star of the show: Hiroshi Fujioka is nothing short of awe inspiring as the oriental warrior Yoshimitsu, bringing to the role tons of charism,

The movie provides some very enjoyable kickassery by Yoshi but regrettably nothing much more than that. It’s a shame, since Yoshi’s clashing with the modern day could’ve easily provided enough material to fuel even a full TV-series.

80s-o-meter: 75%

Total: 81%

#816 My Name Is Bill W. (1989)

Part of the Hallmark Hall of Fame series that began running already in 1951, My Name Is Bill W. is a dramatisation of the William Griffith Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Based on the real life events, the movie is an interesting look into the life of an addict, and still as topical as it was back in the 1920. Production quality wise the movie is definitely one of the better made for tv movies, and the era is well established. James Woods – whom I’ve really grown to like only recently – plays the lead convincingly, but remains a far too distant character to the viewer to adapt to. JoBeth Williams thankfully provides a much more natural object to identify with in her role as the loving, caring and mentally exhausted wife at the end of her tether.

Like the most made for tv movies, this is no roller coaster ride, but if the slow pacing doesn’t scare you, My Name Is Bill W. definitely rates as one of those rare watchable period pictures.

80s-o-meter: 43%

Total: 62%