#1665 The Seduction (1982)

The Seduction takes a tone inspired by the late 80s TV and series like Dallas, marching to the stage one ridiculously good looking character after another, leading a picture perfect life. Now, I don’t have any problem with beautiful people, but having even the antagonist look and dress like a model just makes everything feel a bit plasticky.

Talking of good looking people, The Seduction stars Morgan Fairchild, of Dallas fame herself.

As far as thrillers go, The Seduction may not be anything special, but luckily it’s quite easy and effortless to watch. The traits of the antagonist (gets into fights, but gets his ass easily handed over to him) are quite odd, but at least they made the experience just a little bit more memorable.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 60%

#1663 Six Weeks (1982)

Ho hum. It’s Dudley Moore once more playing Dudley Moore, this time not only falling in love with beautiful woman, but also with her daughter who is terminally ill.

It’s not the most original concept as far as tear jerker dramas go, and for the Six Weeks felt really, really calculated effort that never managed to move me. Call me cynical, but this one did not feel like coming from the heart at all.

There are some good moments between Moore and the daughter, and the odd love triangle between the three is something that keeps the interest somewhat up in an otherwise snoozefest of a movie.

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 29%

#1644 Runaway Nightmare (1982)

There’s only one thing wrong with being a renaissance man, and that is if you aren’t that talented.

This Mike Cartel’s movie, directed by Mike Cartel, written by Mike Cartel and starring Mike Cartel is one of these cases. It’s a messy, messy movie with no real focus what it really wants to be. The movie tries out quite a bit of different things, but fails on each and every one of them.

Runaway Nightmare makes me wish I had the will power to exclude all these kinds of exercises in movie making from my to-do list, but I’m still hoping there’s a gem to be found from that pile. Runaway Nightmare was not that gem, no by a long shot.

80s-o-meter: 58%

Total: 11%

#1627 Yes, Giorgio aka Bravo, Giorgio (1982)

Written as a vehicle for Luciano Pavarotti, Yes, Giorgio portrays a fictional tenor called Giorgio touring in America.

Giorgio is a big man child with superstition to ever singing at Metropolitan Opera, and so he desperately seeks the love and care of a female doctor. A world class singer, in private life he is something of a half-grown, with the inner life of a 5-year old: he throws tantrums when things don’t go his way, and gets into food fight with the opposite sex.

The only thing Yes, Giorgio has going for it are its opera numbers. But really – you’d be much better off watching any of Pavarotti’s opera performances on VHS, than to sit through this drivel.

80s-o-meter: 71%

Total: 9%

#1622 Truckin’ Buddy McCoy (1982)

There was apparently something alluring about the name, the premise and the VHS cover art of Truckin’ Buddy McCoy as it apparently turned out as one of the enduring favourites in the home video stalls for many years.

And admittedly there was a promise of a easy, mindless entertainment in the name as I saw it for the first time. But really, there’s nothing much going on here. There’s a truck driver who turns his new truck into bachelor hideout, drives around picking people up (in reality he just runs through outskirts of Los Angeles throughout the movie) pondering if he should get back with his girlfriend.

80s-o-meter: 70%

Total: 21%

#1605 Honkytonk Man (1982)

Moving from 70s to the 80s Clint Eastwood’s career was stuck (and built upon) repeating permutations of this lone ranger character, and it was only in City Heat and Heartbreak Ridge where he was able to break somewhat free from this mold. Well, arguably he still kind of played first and foremost Clint Eastwood in all of his movies, and this is what the audience (me included) were looking forward to seeing.

Then, there are movies like Bronco Billy and Honkytonk Man here where Eastwood gets to play a flawed anti-hero that needs others to save him from himself. Here Eastwood plays a worn-out alcoholic travelling musician playing in honky-tonk bars, and who recruits his 15-year old nephew (played by as his son, Kyle Eastwood) as the chauffeur and road manager.

The movie plays its hand straight away, and while the show is somewhat entertaining to watch, there’s very little progression or growth going on here, and I can’t help but to think that without Clint himself in the lead role the movie would’ve been completely forgettable.

80s-o-meter: 7%

Total: 57%

#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%

#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%

#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%

#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%

#1585 Halloween 2021: The Aftermath aka Zombie Aftermath (1982)

I’ve been somewhat in the know about the cult status of The Aftermath, but 30 minutes in to the movie I did not understand quite why; it’s pretty shoddy, but not quite bad enough to entertain, and visually it’s more close to movies you’d see towards the early 70s – including its beginning, lifted straight out of the original Planet of the Apes. Also the way the camera was operated and framed seemed to be a bit off all times.

It was only after digging to the internet for more information that I learned how the whole movie is a brainchild of the movie’s lead Steve Barkett, who also wrote, directed and edited the movie. Considering how much harder all this was not only to finance, but to pull off technically, my hat is off to Barkett. Overall, well done – the movie looks better than many bigger budget movies of the 1978.

You read it right. The movie was actually shot originally in 1978, but it took Barkett four years to shoot additional footage and to get the movie released. Released in the UK as Zombie Aftermath, the movie does not actually contain any zombies, and is very slim in the scary department as well, falling more closely to dystopian action movie category, rather than horror.

80s-o-meter: 28%

Total: 45%

#1554 The Escape Artist (1982)

Here’s something I always look forward to when watching these 80s movies: to find a relatively unknown gem of a movie. The Escape Artist tells the story of a son of a famous escape artist who wants to follow his late father’s steps, while also learning what really happened to him.

Griffin O’Neal (the son of Ryan O’Neal) plays the young illusionist thrown in the adult world so convincingly that it was astounding to find out he wasn’t hired based on his magician skills, but only learned the basics for the movie. Griffin is a natural on the silver screen and no doubt ramps up an already decent movie quite a bit, and I was therefore saddened to learn about his troublesome life ever since as it seems to me we lost quite a great skill here. Raul Julia makes for one of his best characters as the slick son of the mayor who form a duo with the young magician, constantly trying to outwit one another.

The Escape Artist is – well, magical – coming of age movie of one exceptional young man on an exceptional journey, relying on his exceptional skills and wit.

Much recommended.

80s-o-meter: 75%

Total: 91%

#1535 Best Friends (1982)

Since the first time I’ve seen this poster, it has been amusing me to no end to how Goldie Hawn looks just dying inside having been forced to nibble Burt Reynolds’ ear.

In real life they were apparently friends though, and Best Friends was a passion project for them that they wanted to do at some point. This is a romantic comedy of a couple that despite the mutual love get hesitantly married in a modest, small chapel, go see the relatives, get fed up with them and finally with each other and split up.

Best Friends is a pretty tame comedy with no laugh out loud moments, and the theme of suffocating relatives has been executed in a better way in many other films, all of which Meet the Parents (2000) being probably the most well known one.

80s-o-meter: 83%

Total: 43%

#1520 Partners (1982)

When I first learned about Partners, a comedy about two cops – one straight, one gay – going undercover to a gay community as a couple to solve a mysterious chain of murders, I could not but to cringe. I’ve witnessed on numerous occasions how gays have been portrayed in the 80s and 90s comedies, and it’s generally not pretty.

Partners isn’t devoid of these stereotypes, but in general it’s quite kind with its approach, poking an equal amount of fun of the projudice of the society was well as the inept police force and his womanising partner.

In the end Partners makes for a refreshingly different and charming buddy cop movie that earns my recommendations, but people that are easily offended of stereotypes should probably steer clear

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 83%

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#1502 The Soldier (1982)

First of all I have to say that the vast success of 60s-80s Bond movies almost completely escapes me, so my love for movies taking creative notes from them will be quite limited.

But when The Soldier is not blindly mimicking Bond, it actually has a few quite snappy moments going for it.

When watching The Soldier you have to take it in the right way: watch it as a top-notch spy thriller and you will be likely disappointed. But frame it as a worn out, soft covered VHS tape you discovered at the end of a local gas station’s rental rack and you will likely get a much better mileage out of it.

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 60%

#1490 Smithereens (1982)

Smithereens is a low budget in the production depicting a young girl in the early 80s New York punk scene who’s determined she is destined for greatness, despite lacking any talent to make it.

Instead, she tries to hang around local small time music celebrities and makes one bad choice after another that cost her her apartment, friends and generally always seem to take her further away from recognitions she’s after.

I found the movie slow and mostly uninteresting to watch, but it did stick with me later on, thanks to its sincerity, and quite original plot – so, not a total stinker.

80s-o-meter: 86%

Total: 52%

#1482 Making Love (1982)

Sometimes watching a movie without reading the covers can be beneficial. Judging by its name, with Making Love I expected to get a typical daring early 80s, post sexual revolution romantic drama with painful emphasis on the constant love making, but what I got instead is a study into one married man’s journey to coming into realisation of his homosexuality.

Most of the movie and the drama in it is still very relevant, even though the movie is almost 40 years old. The way that the movie portrays the love of the two leads is particularly beautiful, and the moment of them having to let go of each other is truly heart breaking.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 75%

#1468 The Concrete Jungle (1982)

I definitely was not looking forward to seeing The Concrete Jungle after suffering through various similar prison exploitation movies.

Luckily The Concrete Jungle manages to surpass most of similar women’s prison exploitation movies by staying low in exploitation and putting more emphasis on the script. Make no mistake about it still, the movie prison world is very much there; the prisoners are well groomed, look like models, sleep in their pyjamas in a dorm and get into cat fights.

But, there is an actual plot and the movie manages to generate empathy towards the main character thrown in the slammer for protecting her drug trafficking boyfriend. Tracey E. Bregman performs well in her role as Liz and overall the movie looks much more fresh than its release year would suggest, and the 70s style movie poster does not represent the look and feel of the movie at all.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 62%