1984

October 1, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1984: Gremlins

GOOPY

Gremlins – Goopy

To kick off The Horror Time Capsule, I thought I would go with something that I remember seeing as a kid a lot, but not so much as an adult. It’s funny how so many films in the 80s that were geared towards kids had so many non-kid friendly moments and themes. This brings me to “Gremlins” a kids film that could have only been made in the 80s.

In short, the plot of this film features an exotic pet brought home from Chinatown that has very specific rules that need to be followed in order to best care for the pet. That pet is Gizmo, and Gizmo is a Mogwai.

Now in small town America, and under the care of Billy Peltzer, who like any good pet owner, doesn’t care for his pet correctly which leads to more Mogwais that don’t have the same innocent temperament as Gizmo. More hijinks ensure that see the once fuzzy Mogwais transform into green and even meaner, Gremlins.

While I wouldn’t consider this a “horror” film in the traditional sense, this was Joe Dante’s biggest film to date. And while I consider “The Howling” his horror opus, “Gremlins” is by far his most memorable film, in my opinion of course.

The is murder, general monster hijinks, monsters exploding in microwaves, monsters melting into puddles of goop, and of course my favorite, a story about someone’s dad dying in the chimney after pretending to be Santa Claus and breaking his neck. Noting quite says “Merry Christmas” like a dead dad story.

Here are some other 1984 favorites:

CHUD
Children of the Corn
Friday the 13th Part 4
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Silent Night, Deadly Night

April 14, 2015

SR Podcast (Ep. 44): Police Academy – Movie Commentary: April 2015

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

Today is movie commentary day! Today we watch the one and only Police Academy.

There isn’t another movie in the likes of Police Academy. I mean how many movies include a human soundboard, extreme racism, a man in a horses ass and a surprise blow job to a 100 year old man (that could possibly be or not be by Steve Guttenberg).

Sounds like the perfect ingredients for the perfect film right? Well it is one of the funniest comedies ever made. So cue up that VHS copy of Police Academy and prepare to laugh at one of the more ridiculous comedies ever made.

 SHOW NOTES
Vampire Academy Joke

Police Academy – Trailer

Police Academy – Theme Song

August 29, 2014

1984-A-Thon: Runaway

Before we begin I would like to thank Forgotten Films for allowing Simplistic Reviews to join this fantastic 1984-A-Thon. A lot of great reviews for the amazing year of 1984. Head over to Forgotten Films for more!

And use #84athon on twitter to keep up to date!

So what does Tom Selleck’s Mustache and a Dog sniffing robot have in common? They’re both part of a special division of the police department called the Runaway Squad that goes after Gene Simmons of KISS.

Yep that’s right there is a movie that has that and it’s called…

Runaway: Fun
1984 – Action – 99 mins

Runaway is a futuristic film staring Tom Selleck, Gene Simmons, Stan Shaw, Cynthia Rhodes and Kirstie Alley. Selleck plays a police officer that specializes in malfunctioning robots. This future robot driven world was Directed and Written by the late great Michael Crichton, who I think created a very interesting film that doesn’t get much attention. Runaway isn’t a bad film it’s extremely fun to watch and it’s a damn shame this film isn’t better known.


The Good

Tom Selleck was great in his role as Jack Ramsay. Michael Crichton takes a risk casting Kiss’s Gene Simmons as the bad guy, Charlie Luther. Simmons looks the part, his stare is fantastic. He is very menacing and in my mind knocked it out of the park. I only wish his delivering with his lines was a bit better, otherwise I was impressed. Kirstie Alley pops up for a few scenes and she was pretty good. Cynthia Rhodes did a very good job playing Selleck’s partner and love interest. It’s a shame she doesn’t act anymore I really liked her in this film.

Jerry Goldsmith comes in for music and kills it with his first pure electronic score. I really dig this film’s score and feel it works perfectly with Crichton’s vision.

Crichton does a good job directing this one. He really understood how to create suspenseful scenes. There is a scene with a robot killing family members and Crichton sets this up that makes you go to the edge of your seat. The other is when Ramsay goes up in a elevator. Ramsay is scared of heights and you can feel his pain as he makes his way up.

The Weak

For me the pacing is a little off in this film. I feel some scenes get too slow and others a bit unneeded. The writing is okay, from Crichton I would expect more. It’s not bad but every time I watch this film I get very annoyed with Selleck character’s name being thrown around. Turns out Ramsay is said 52 times which is more then once for every two minutes. I thought it was just me, but IMDB has this in their trivia so I’m not the only one that thought that apparently.

The Bad

For me the the worst part of this film is the beginning. It starts off with Selleck and his new partner, Cynthia Rhodes going after a malfunctioning farm bot that ends pretty cheesy. This beginning is very unneeded and if I had my way I’d take it out. Yes there is some foreshadowing going on in this scene but my feeling is we could of moved it to the next malfunctioning robot scene.

For anyone watching this film for the first time might start losing there attention here. The bot isn’t dangerous and is just running around. Yet the group of “male” farmers call in the police to chase it. For me these farmers could easily stopped the bot (Maybe it’s for insurance purpose, maybe) but it wasn’t dangerous. And in doing so we have this guy and girl having a Benny Hill police chase that ensues with a farm bot. Every time I watch this scene this is what I see and hear, which isn’t what you want in a dark film like this. The ending for this scene is the two officers jumping together with arms spread outward onto the bot which cuts to them carrying it with dirt and smoke covering their faces. Maybe if the robot was killing farmers and cattle I would find this a tad more interesting, but the comical chasing makes this scene weak.

All in all Runaway is a good watch. If you haven’t seen Runaway do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s a fun 80’s film to watch. It has 80’s action, 80’s boobs, 80’s Tom Selleck and Tom Selleck’s Mustache. Gene Simmons is a great bad guy and Goldsmith delivers once again on music.

Check out Forgotten Films for more of the 1984-A-Thon!

May 6, 2013

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Catchphrase

A Nightmare on Elm Street – Catchphrase

Say what you will about the horror genre, but from Dracula to Jigsaw, no other genre has given the movie-going audience more endearing, beloved, and downright frightening characters in the history of film.  Some of the most recognizable characters come out of the 1980s Slasher Film boom, and without a doubt, while I give Jason Voorhees a heaping helping of blood-soaked credit, you still have to give it up to Wes Craven and his greatest creation, Freddy Krueger from 1984’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”

“Nightmare” is the tale of a group of high school friends, including a young Johnny Depp, as they are plagued by the vengeful spirit of child murderer Freddy Krueger, who haunts their dreams.  One by one the teens are dispatched in often-graphic ways while they sleep.  While the plot might seem a little more far-fetched than your standard slasher film, that was the touchstone for “Nightmare.”  While still in it’s infancy, the slasher genre received a huge shot in the arm and deviated from the traditional “killer in a mask” scenario that was popularized by “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween.”  It was fresh, new, and terrifying.

What John Carpenter did to William Shatner masks, is what Craven did to fedoras and Christmas sweaters, he made them scary.  What also works for Craven was the timing of creating Freddy.  While Michael Meyers and Jason were scary, they didn’t talk.  With Freddy, we got a walking, talking boogey man who haunted us in our most sacred of places; our bed and dreams.  Dreams are supposed to be a safe haven, especially for kids.  We should be able to control our dreams, and escape from the daily grind of life.  But Freddy pretty much takes a piss on that notion, and whether its beds that eat you, or stairs that give way to quicksand, the Springwood Slasher was always there to haunt you.

Craven, usually known for some type of social or political statement in many of his films, created “Nightmare” with a fairly basic premise, by horror movie standards, but he did just enough to separate it from what people had been used to from the previous six years (using 1978’s  “Halloween” as a landmark).

While the sequels got goofier and goofier, and Freddy pretty much became the poster-boy for bad horror movie puns, the original “Nightmare” still stands as one of the most lasting horror films produced in the last 25 years.  The later sequels, including the fantastic “Freddy vs. Jason,” tried to really squeeze out a plot about a town conspiracy involving Freddy, the use of the sleep drug Hypnocil, and of course “A Dream Child,” worked for the jokes, but nothing else.  While I do appreciate the fact that the writers attempted to make sense and legitimized the series, what people really want is for Freddy to say a line or two, whip out his clawed glove, and killer teen stars from the 1980s.

On this “National Nightmare Day” (actually famed psychologist Sigmund Freud’s birthday) pop in your Blu-Ray, or even better, your VHS, slid on your favorite Christmas sweater, shout a one-liner, and enjoy “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”  And after you get done with that, creep over to Slaughterfilm.com for more hot Freddy action with their video review of the genre classic.

See you in your nightmares!

October 31, 2012

31 Nights of Halloween, Silent Night Deadly Night

Silent Night Deadly Night: Killer
(1984, 79mins, Horror)

Prologue: 

This was one of the fantastic films I saw at the Exhumed Film Festivals that I went too back in the good days. Like Burial Ground, Silent Night Deadly Night was one of my favorites that I saw there. I might even go as far as saying, Silent Night Deadly Night might be my favorite do to the sheer fun of watching this inside a packed theater at 2am. To see a film that came out way before I even step onto this planet inside a theater is one of the greatest pleasures I have ever had. There is something awesome about seeing a film like this on the big screen.


NAUGHTY!

The Opening:

The film starts out on Christmas Eve 1971, with the family driving to see their grandfather (who was Back to the Future’s Pa Peabody). Mom, Dad, Billy and Ricky come to talk to Grandpop, put he just stares straight when they try. Everyone then leaves except Billy, who Grandpop begins to talk too.

He asks, “You scared, ain’t ya? You should be! Christmas Eve is the scariest damn night of the year!” He then asked if Billy was good this year, Billy says no and Grandpop brings to laugh saying, “You see Santa Claus tonight you better run boy, you better run for ya life!” Then the parents just happen to come back in and Grandpop stops talking acting like he was before they had left.

We cut to a man robbing a convenience store. He’s dressed as Santa and shoots the convenience store guy dead. (I’m sure you can see where this is going)

“31 bucks. Merry fucking Christmas.”
We come back to the family driving, in which they run into our killer Santa on the side of the road. They stop to see if he needs help. He pulls out his gun and kills the father. Billy gets out and runs. The mother jumps out and Santa begins to rape her as Billy watches. Santa then kills the mother and screams out into the darkness for the boy.


NAUGHTY!

Then we cut to building with a sign that reads, Saint Mary’s Home for Orphaned Children. 


NAUGHTY!

From here on the fun begins! 


Officer Miller: “Can you believe this? It’s Christmas Eve and we got orders to bring in Santa Claus.” 

Review:

Silent Night Deadly Night is a fantastic B-Movie! 

It is a fantastic horror film and even in my house a fantastic Christmas film. If you have not seen this film it is a must. Sure the acting is atrocious and everything is over the top but it is a flat out good time, with so much comedy you will be laughing a ton. The gore, the 80’s nudity and the great story of a guy dressed up as Santa Claus killing the shit out of people is enough to compel anyone to watch this B-movie masterpiece. After the first time I saw this film I wanted to watch it again, that’s how much fun it is.

Anyone like a Classic 80’s Montage! 

Ira Sims: [at closing time] “Seven o’clock… it’s over! Time to get shit-faced!” 

NAUGHTY!


                                                                                    Epilogue:

When you finish this film, you will say to yourself. “Wow that was something, there is no way on earth they could make another that was better or even on par with the first one”.

Well guess what they DID! They made the greatest sequel of all time…

Now For (Drum Roll)…

Silent Night Deadly Night: Part 2!


NAUGHTY!

July 29, 2012

Cloak & Dagger

Cloak & Dagger: Imaginary

Cloak & Dagger came out in 1984 (a fantastic time in movie and music history) and it holds up over all this time, even with the weak dated graphics. This is one of those films that you watch when you where younger and it sticks with you…Forever!

Why watch this film? Well…Do you like video games? Do you like 80’s films? Do you like good kickass films? This film is a good reason films are made. And today if you want to escape from the real life and sit down and enjoy a solid 101 minutes this film is for YOU!

It’s a fun kid’s film to watch. Yep thats right. It’s a family film even though people get shot and killed, especially from the 11 year old main character. When people say they don’t make them like they used too, here is a example. Could you imagine a kids film today with kids shooting spys? Yeah I too was totally born at the wrong time.

Without spoiling the story, it’s simply about a 11 year old kid named Davey (I know, such a dated name) who stumbles onto classified information hidden in a game cartage. And spys chase him down to retrieve the cartage.

This film also has one of the greatest scenes you will always remember. After seeing these two older people help this kid, that no one believes including his own father, your nightmares begin. I won’t even try to write it…
Watch this clip to see what I mean!

Trust me you will love watching this film!

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