#1635 War Cat aka Angel of Vengeance (1987)

There’s a group of survivalists living in a desert that after clashing with a motorcycle gang decide to make a game of human hunting out of one of the females. Needless to say it does not go as planned as she decides to fight back instead.

War Cat revisits the often seen human hunting / female revenge concept, and does not bring anything that new to the mix. It does perform as expected, so those who are fans of the genre will find something here to spend easy 90 minutes with.

80s-o-meter: 82%

Total: 61%

#1612 The Barbarians (1987)

The first movie I’ve seen featuring David and Peter Paul – aka The Barbarian Brothers – the aptly named The Barbarians is an Italy – USA co-production shot in the lush landscapes and forests of central Italy, perfect for an adventure movie.

And the movie is actually pretty darn well made, starting from the basic technical aspects and camera work, all the way to the extensive set design. The brothers bring their unique flair to the movie – although it has to be said that I could have done without their constant, highly annoying snorting.

Still, the brothers manage to be lovable goofballs, and The Barbarians was actually an adventure comedy I enjoyed quite a bit more than most of the sword and sorcery movies I’ve seen lately.

80s-o-meter: 84%

Total: 83%

#1599 Halloween 2021: Deadly Daphne’s Revenge aka The Hunting Season (1987)

Deadly Daphne’s Revenge kind of shouldn’t be in this Halloween feature, but little did I know it wasn’t strictly speaking a horror movie, but more of a thriller. It seemed to be made in the vein of I Spit On Your Grave and its numerous 80s copies, but what it ends up is kind of a made for TV style movie that looks like it was shot in mid seventies, with quite terrible acting, a few quite interesting plot twists, and an ending gone horribly wrong.

It’s in this ending that the movie finally claims its name, and introduces some horror elements, but .. well … it’s just plain stupid, isn’t it.

80s-o-meter: 50%

Total: 43%

#1581 Halloween 2021: A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987)

A continuum to the 1979 CBS TV adaptation of the Stephen King’s 1975 novel of the same name, Larry Cohen’s A Return to Salem’s Lot is in independent continuum to the the series where a reporter is persuaded into writing a comprehensive history of the vampires occupying the small fictional town of Jerusalem’s Lot.

I don’t know how faithful is the newer version to the original, not having either watched the mini series or read the book, but on the surface it seems that only the overall theme is used, along with the main antagonist from the TV series being used on the VHS cover, likely to have a stronger connection with the original. In this sequel the character is not to be found.

But a quite decent vampire movie is to be found here. Michael Moriarty has always been quite a mixed bag for me, but here he does well, and the weird co-existence with the vampiric townsfolk is interesting to watch. The real delight of the movie though is Samuel Fuller in the role of Dr. Van Meer, an old eccentric vampire killer.

80s-o-meter: 80%

Total: 70%

#1576 Halloween 2021: Aerobicide aka Killer Workout (1987)

Somebody is wasting people inside a small gym. And instead of closing it down, the gym is kept running while mutilated bodies fall out of every locker room and broom closet. Because, why not?

Aerobicide is light weight entertainment with light weight slasher elements in it. The movie never manages to be quite scary and the writer/director David A. Prior does not seem to have any elementary clue of how to build up suspense; the movie just moves from one killing to the next, and they viewer could not care less who’s next one to go. The same shallowness worked well in Prior’s Deadly Prey, but here everything just feels far too fluffy.

I did like the theme although Aerobicide does not do much with it. I mean, what could be more 80s than aerobics, sweat bands and leg warmers? Plus it seems to act as a quite potent padding material, filling up many precious minutes out of the movie’s measly running time of just 79 minutes.

80s-o-meter: 94%

Total: 38%

#1574 Halloween 2021: I Was a Teenage Zombie (1987)

Don’t let the (relatively) nice poster fool you: I Was a Teenage Zombie is a shoelace budgeted, amateurish horror movie that has nothing to offer but horrible production quality and bad makeup.

And it’s not even the teenage main character that gets turned into a zombie but a 70s style hispanic pimp (read: falls into a river and climbs up with his face mucked with green body paint). Then, he then goes around humping people. I kid you not.

You have to wait until the one hour mark for anything interesting to happen to the actual teenager, and even after that it’s not too interesting. He gets body painted in a similar fashion and walks around cluelessly until he fights the pimp, and the end credits roll.

It’s not every day that one comes across something this inadequate.

80s-o-meter: 52%

Total: 0%

#1571 Halloween 2021: Berserker (1987)

A good rule of thumb is that what it comes to horror and suspense, it’s not what you see, but what you don’t.

But Berserker takes all this too far by spraying all the scenes full of thick machine fog that makes it hard to make see just about anything. The concept of some ancient viking who would be possessed by a Berserker rage making them strong enough to fight a bear is there only to later demonstrate some bear handler wrestling with a grizzly.

Plus, the whole concept is just another spinoff of your tired slasher formula where a group of horny teenagers wander off to a remote forest, have sex and get killed. And that norse supernatural nonsense does not make that formula any more interesting.

80s-o-meter: 81%

Total: 28%

#1570 Halloween 2021: Dark Tower (1987)

Contesting for the stupidest horror movie concept this year, Dark Tower tries to sell the viewer an idea of an evil office tower that is out to get the architect.

The concept of the high altitude office building horror reminded me of Michael Moriarty’s earlier Q – The Winged Serpent, but has quite a bit less of everything going for it. And unlike the earlier Spellbinder, the movie does not manage to sell the supernatural concept at all, ending up just plain stupid.

I was hoping that at least the movie could get some additional mileage out of its exotic location of Barcelona, Spain, but the movie does not embrace this aspect at all, and could’ve been shot in any generic office in any generic city.

80s-o-meter: 58%

Total: 11%

#1567 The Last Fling (1987)

John Ritter and Connie Sellecca, both seasoned TV and made for TV movie actors star in this TV movie made by ABC. As far as made for TV movies go, this one fares very well, resembling your quite average feature film made with a modest budget, and actually got distributed widely as a rental movie as well.

Ritter plays a popular playboy grown tired of one night stands, while Sellecca portrays a role of a fiancée who goes out to try to match her groom’s wild stag party – with dire consequences.

The story is nothing to write to home about, but solid acting work of both leads and good production quality make The Last Fling an a-ok time passer.

80s-o-meter: 90%

Total: 72%

#1566 Tin Men (1987)

Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito, the two best disgruntled, conning scoundrels ever on the silver screen in a movie where they get involved in a massive feud? Sign me in!

Honestly, the movie seems such a good fit for both personas it feels like it was written specifically with these two gentlemen in mind. A story that starts from one bad day and unfortunate accident between two rivalling house aluminium siding salesmen soon gets out of hand, and what seems an bitter downward spiral escalating further and further soon turns out a totally unexpected, beautiful love story.

An already enjoyable comedy, surprisingly it’s this romantic part of Tin Men that ends up its strongest asset.

80s-o-meter: 0%

Total: 91%

#1558 Border Radio (1987)

When you see a black and white in the movie netting a mere 5.4 average in IMDb, it usually means the the movie does not even enjoy a strong cult following – so you know you’re not probably going to have a particularly good time with this particular title.

And this is the case with Border Radio as well. As with many other similar indie movies, Border Radio seems to be all about style over substance, and the characters and what we really know about them evolves very little during the 90 minute runtime. Sure, we get exposed to the faces a lot and they grow onto us that way, but it’s still a far cry from really connecting with any of them.

The movie and it’s southern California scenery look nice though.

80s-o-meter: 43%

Total: 22%

#1547 Someone to Love (1987)

Look, if you’ve seen any Henry Jaglom movie, you’ve already seen Someone to Love. This is one more for the pile of his adults wallowing in their own problems kind of movies, but with 100% more wallowing and even 95% less interesting content than any competing Jaglom movie.

Jaglom’s strongest suite, the improvised dialogue works well here, but the sheer lack of events makes the film feel like it’s dragging on and on. Really, at only 107 minutes, watching the movie felt like the few longest hours of my life.

Only thing that breaks the monotony are the inserts of Orson Welles’ dialogue, and while they are nice, I can’t help but to think some other author might have gotten something more memorable out of his ultimate feature film performance.

80s-o-meter: 40%

Total: 8%

#1545 Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity (1987)

A textbook example of how to make a decent B-movie, Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity shows not only that one does not need a huge budget to make an entertaining movie, but also that B-movies don’t necessarily need to be laugh out loud bad.

Getting its inspiration very likely from The Most Dangerous Game (1932), Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity follows two intergalactic woman fugitives who crash land on a remote planet to find themselves in the vast mansion along with other visitors and robot servants, hosted by an eccentric aristocrat who has more plans for his guests than first meets the eye.

Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity is throughly enjoyable scifi action movie that goes far beyond its modest budget. Should you watch the movie, pay close attention to the appearance and mannerisms of Don Scribner in the antagonist role as is looks as if young Christian Bale had taken a few notes of this very performance into his later day-to-day repertoire.

80s-o-meter: 92%

Total: 79%

#1544 Rage of Honor (1987)

Shô Kosugi starred in many famous 80s Ninja movies, most of which really did not resonate with me, except for the entertaining Ninja III: The Domination, and his venture out from Ninja genre fared ever worse with the low budget stinkers like Rage of Honor and Black Eagle.

In Rage of Honor he plays a sort of a James Bond type that goes after a drug king pin in Argentina and while the movie is not quite as bad as Black Eagle, it just does everything in such an unimpressive and mediocre way that the movie leaves no lasting impression whatsoever.

80s-o-meter: 83%

Total: 28%

#1534 Slam Dance (1987)

Tom Hulce’s movies of the 80s seem to range from great to kind of crappy. After his 1978 break through role in Animal House he started the new decade strongly with Those Lips, Those Eyes, won the critics over with Amadeus, followed by disappointing Echo Park, playing the support role in the highly popular Parenthood before wrapping the decade up in Black Rainbow, another slight disappointment.

While Slam Dance never had a chance of becoming a great movie, this story of an artist framed for a murder of a woman could’ve turned out an OK thriller, but it’s either the story by Don Keith Opper that’s too convoluted, or then it’s the director Wayne Wang who fails to translate it to the silver screen in an understandable manner.

Slam Dance is a messy film where nothing is quite real or convincing. Many of the elements here don’t quite seem to mix in well to the idea of Slam Dance trying to be an erotic thriller, and the sub plot of her ex-wife walking in to the scene just the wrong moment again and again gets old before the midpoint of the movie.

80s-o-meter: 85%

Total: 41%

#1525 Made in Heaven (1987)

Made in Heaven is a movie narrated in two acts: in the first act we see the protagonist as a young boy heading off to California, getting killed in an accident, ending up in heaven and falling in love with another soul.

In the second act they both have been born again, unaware of their previous lives and mutual time together in heaven, and the thrill the movie offers to the viewers is of course the hope of their life lines somehow intertwining, perhaps leading them to find each other once again.

I have to admit I found the movie incredibly dull and slow paced for most of its running time, but the final events did admittedly get to me to the extend of turning the overall experience quite positive. Clearly this concept of soul mates has something special going for it, only if the endless taxiing before final payoff of a takeoff was crafted just a bit more exciting.

80s-o-meter: 55%

Total: 61%

#1519 The Allnighter (1987)

Hey look, it’s Susanna Hoffs (of the The Bangles fame) making her debut in a lead role, in a movie written and directed by her mother Tamar Simon Hoffs.

While Susanna herself performs the role adequately, The Allnighter itself is such a mess that is pretty much nullifies that performance. I would have loved the movie actually living up to its name, taking place in one long night, but instead the events take place during a time period of few days and none of them are properly followed through, leaving one scratching their head wondering what actually is the theme of the movie.

The movie looks good though and has all those nice seasonings of California, surf, beach houses, parties and overall good mood, sprinkled on top of an empty shell of a movie.

80s-o-meter: 91%

Total: 30%

#1518 Someone to Love (1987)

Look, if you’ve seen the other Henry Jaglom’s movies of the era, you’ve pretty much already seen Someone to Love.

The theme is once again adults wallowing in their life and relationship troubles, this time invited and enclosed in an old theatre. Jaglom’s trademark improvised dialogue is once again the aspect of the movie that stands out most, but other than that the array of the characters does not grasp one at all.

Orson Welles can be seen in his final feature film role having a dialogue of his own. Although these interludes do break the monotony of the movie, they make the film feel even more uneven and fragmented as it should be.

80s-o-meter: 61%

Total: 22%

#1512 Flowers in the Attic (1987)

When ran into Flowers in the Attic I already knew it by its name. Based on the 1979 novel of the same name, this was the first movie adaptation of the book.

But I did not know the grim gothic tale it was. A story of a grandmother locking the children to wither away in a north wing of the family mansion, and their mother betraying them the movie is not an easy thing to watch – especially considering this kind of abuse in the world is not fictive.

I haven’t read the book or seen the 2014 made for TV version, but based on what I’ve read the director Jeffrey Bloom has made the right call downplaying the incest relationship between the children that would’ve made the movie even harder for me to stomach, and toned it down to normal teen curiosity and a strong comradeship between the two elder siblings.

80s-o-meter: 28%

Total: 85%