Tag Archives: 1984

The Jar (1984)

Director: Bruce Toscano
Starring: Gary Wallace, Karin Sjöberg, Robert Gerald Witt as Jack, Dean Schoepter, Les Miller, Don Donovan .USA. 1h 25m

Often described as one of the worst of the worst, this trippy sci-fi thriller is packed with a weird psychotropic atmosphere and has an interesting concept and sterling synth soundtrack but it really does write the book on how not to make a movie, while still maintaining that under-developed charm which B Movie enthusiasts really love.

It’s not entirely clear what Toscano was going for with his movie, it starts well but once the random trippiness kicks in his main character spends so little time in the real world there’s not a lot to grasp onto, the ploy is generally simple, but there’s so much imagery which really needs explaining. With attempts to blast the audience with Altered States-esque visual conundrums with alien and religious iconography. Continue reading The Jar (1984)

Runaway (1984)

Director/Writer: Michael Crichton
Starring: Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, Gene Simmons, Kirstie Alley, Stan Shaw .USA. 1h 39m

When I first saw this movie it literally blew my socks off, I was at the tender age of about 6 or 7 and it didn’t take a lot to impress me, but the idea of a future littered with robots and advanced technology was always something that really sparked something in me. Growing up saw a few inventions, phones beame fun again and not just the colourful see through ones, but more and more technology slowly creeped into my life, and luckily without any of Skynett’s T100, but looking back at Runaway is something I have the urge to do periodically as I still really enjoy the movie despite the dated clunky robots and suspect acting, it still holds some Vaporwave charm, and is still lighting a new generation alive with the hopes of electric dreams.

IT IS THE FUTURE. Machines are being programmed to turn against us. Someone must stop the madman who started it all. Continue reading Runaway (1984)

Terminator  (1984)

 D: James Cameron W: James Cameron P: John Daly, Gale Anne Hurd C: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Michael Biehn. 1h 47m. USA.

This timeless science fiction classic from James Cameron amounts to the perfect combination of the modern fear of a robotic apocalypse and time travel. Since the H G Wells novella published in 1895 The Time Machine the unlimited possibilities of time travel and its effects have been fully explored and probed but never with such sharp violence and ultimate bad ass villain.
It is a remorseless on screen adaptation of good vs evil but it’s an evil that we created in our attempts to play god, which see’s a modern heroine in develop from a fragile waitress into a tough bitch making bombs, dressing wounds and learning some awesome kill skills. Continue reading Terminator  (1984)

The Company of Wolves (1984)

the company of wolves

Director: Neil Jordan
Writer: Angela Carter Neil Jordan
Starring: Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Micha Bergese, Sarah Patterson. UK. 1h 35m.

A dark and twisted gothic fairytale derived from a cult classic stage play based around the Red Riding Hood story, brought into fruition by Director Neil Jordan and as a second movie it’s both delicately beautiful and visually powerful and it’s worth a mention that Jordan later brought us Mona Lisa (1986) the Crying Game (1992) and Byzantium (2012) three movies which detail tortuous deep sexual relationships and fantasy characters. Continue reading The Company of Wolves (1984)

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

Nineteen_Eighty_Four 1984


This is what I like to call a substance film, it’s got such a unique claustrophobic feel to every element of it, it’s a constant array of muted and dismal greys, a concrete totalitarian regime where the people are controlled to the point where their inner thoughts belong to the state and in the midst of this, one man dares to break the rules and fall in love.

Winston Smith (John Hurt) role in life is to re write history, in this bleak future where Big Brother (Bob Flag‘s image) is always watching and a constant voice (Phyllis Logan) can be heard informing the “people” of victory and successes in a war that no one has ever witnessed. But Winston strives for more, he can see the cracks in this fascist regime  and he dares to fall in love and rebels against the norm with revolutionist Julia (Suzanna Hamilton) but with intricate overseers including the monstrous O’Brien (Richard Burton) who have carte blanche to enforce what the party ys is right, who would dare defy the party forever.

Obviously drawing from a paranoia of where the human race was heading if hitler or stalin were to drop into power and to be honest we’ve not really paid much attention to the warnings of this amazing book/film etc, instead we’ve made a TV show called Big Brother so we CAN watch other people, new laws are passed daily to spy on people and we are slowly slipping into the Prole class. It’s hard not to get political after you’ve digested this fascinating and terrifying dystopian story.

It’s incredibly uneasy to watch, while your watching the decline of the individual, free thinking and privacy, thoughts creep into the mind that indicate that we’re heading for this dismal future.

Richard Burton (RIP), went out with a surly bang with this, his final film. He’s not on screen for very long but what you do see of him is so calm, reserved and yet extremely powerful, listening to him he sounds like a gentle friends but the torture scenes near the end make him out to be very much the opposite, John Hurt’s fragile looking character goes through a lot of thoughts and torture especially once he makes it into room 101, and attempting to drill 2+2=5 into him. It’s uncanny how many words from the newspeak that have been adopted, and most all there to describe a picking at society.

The movie shows a slice of this dismal life, from the gutter looking up to Big Brother looking down everyone. John hurt shuffles around alien English streets (now Oceana) with the guilt of his job on his shoulders and the want of being free, even while he wears his standard uniform, this is truly a reality where you are a number and not a person anymore.

The original book has influenced a series of sub cultures, new words and concepts and many poignant messages, while it shines through in this graphic and chilling movie, it’s moody melancholy atmosphere twinned with the claustrophobic prying eyes of big brother and constant announcements bring the clear message from the book onto the screen. Even without the violent ending it will get any intelligent audience thinking and honestly remarkable in many ways, although I can’t recommend the book enough, it really demands to be read.

Rating 8/10

full review and lots of post discussion stuff to come

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)



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Nightmare on Elm Street  (Horror,  1984) (18) D: Wes Craven W: Wes Craven P:  C: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Johnny Depp,. 1h 31m. USA.

Synopsis : Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dream. When the survivors are trying to find the reason for the being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

TAGLINE : She is the only one who can stop it.. If she falls, no one survives.

Welcome to the new chapter in nightmare fuel. Nightmare on elm street is one of the golden highlights of the 1980’s horror screen in giving us not only a brand new “hero” but also giving us another reason not to sleep at night. We all have to sleep and on occasions we all have nightmares but we learn to deal with it. Until this film introduced us to Freddy Kruger out charred prince of comedy gore who stalks us in our dreams.

Starting out at a running pace Nightmare on Elm Street defines itself with freaky surreal dream sequences and a fast paced psycho with unimaginable claws. Things start to settle down as we are introduced to the teenage cast who have recently lost a friend in an unprecedented and bloody way. In fact it’s a fantastic scene, one the very best. I remember trying to explain it to my friend after watching the movie, I think I managed to describe every bloody scene in about 35 seconds in a pitch that only bats could hear.


With a story that bounces off so many dream sequences it manages not to get lost in them. Most of the “dreams” are in a slightly weird daily life scenario, at some point a fragment of Freddy will be seen, his classic green and red jumper or his crazy knives scratching on a wall or metal pipe.

An amazing creepy soundtrack accompanies this gem, but what sets it apart from a lot of horror movies, is that it has a little nursery rhyme that gets stuck in your head and you never forget it. This does help connect the movie with fans forever! Even if you can’t remember all the words I still makes Freddy seem like a real childhood urban legend.

One, two, Freddy’s coming for you.

Three, four, Better lock your door

Five, six, grab a crucifix.

Seven, eight, Gonna stay up late.

Nine, ten, Never sleep again….


It’s such a perfect scenario. If you’re afraid of clowns you have the choice to run or fight or avoid them all together, if you’re afraid of sharks just don’t go swimming in the sea, afraid of the dark?!  Turn the fucking light on. But if you’re afraid of a psychotic killer who will find you in your dreams.   What do you do?  We all have to sleep and therefore we are all open to be prey for Mr Kruger. He doesn’t even have to stalk anyone he’s victims come to him.


Robert Englund owns this movie from beginning to end. It’s hard to see him as anything else,  in every roll since 1984 it’s hard not to see a little snippet of Freddy,  they are one and the same,  although in no way am I calling him a peado, but it really was a landmark for him. Even though the rest of the cast were strong,  it’s great to see a character that’s as crazy and animated as Beetlejuice (1988) with a tendencies of Hannibal Lecter. In contrast the drunken mother, Marge (Ronee Blackly) is bland and her character meets the bare minimum,  she’s there but extremely boring and has no passion as was Johnny Depp’s debut, oh and John Saxon plays the tough cop who’s out to get his guy hellbent with a strong moral code.


It comes across as one of those films where the director and his team really had a lot of fun putting together the gruesome murders and due to the whole nightmare element they really had full reign to do whatever they could think of. Crazy attention is paid to the special effects and the invisible element to the killing scenes that adds a gripping element leaving everyone feeling vulnerable. When in doubt add blood, a lot of blood. Despite there being buckets of blood in some scenes it’s evenly weighed up other more well crafted scenes that make beds, baths, stairs and cars totally scary places to be.

I really enjoy the chalk and cheese element in dialogue,  everyone is being scared outta their minds. Being driven to drink and the brink taking everything so deadly seriously while Freddy is just fucking around, he like a stand up comedian in a room of the aged, like a freakishly annoying little brother chasing people around with poop on a stick, except Freddy is playing with knives and telling mum and dad on him has no effect.


It’s always strange when fans side with the bad guy, especially when he’s a kiddy toucher but Freddy kinda transformed horror bad guys not only was he just a janitor but he’s torturing the cool kids,  like a patron saint of outcast kids.While the film details the plight of! Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) trying to survive the onslaught of a dream stalker there are other darker themes here, with a back story of neighborhood vigilantes and pedophilia. As with a lot of Carpenters movies it’s all based on destiny and the sins of the past.


The films works so well mainly due to the Freddy, surprisingly the bad guy is actually everyone’s hero, we forget that the mild mannered knife wielding janitor raped and murdered children. Everyone wants to be him at Halloween. Robert Englund’s amazing chirpy character and Scooby Doo one liners really made the character stick and the film a success.

The only thing that doesn’t work for me apart from the slightly puzzling ending is that none of the kids knew about this peado in their neighborhood,  even with the parents trying to keep it a secret, kids usually pick up on this stuff and rumors spread.This is a minor factor though.


V: From the first time I ever saw this benchmark in horror I was hooked, I found Freddy funny and amazing, which really wasn’t the desired effect but he’s everyone’s favourite peado. It spawned the most sequels of any franchise so it goes to show how influential this was. From the concept to the killer there is something mystifying about the fairy tale that turns into literal nightmare. Freddy humor only compliments the savage brutality which I’d the kind of comedy I can stand. Wes Craven really did leave us with a king of nightmares.



Rating –  9/10

R: Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), Scream (1996), Dreamscape (1984).

Amadeus (1984)


amadeusAmadeus  – (Biography, Drama, Music,  1984) (PG) D: Mios Forman W: Peter Shaffer P: Saul Zanetz+2 C: F Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Toy Doctrice. 2h 40m. USA.

Synopsis :The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri- now confined to an insane asylum.

A stunning film portraying the rise and fall of a social misfit who also happened to be one of the greatest musicians of all time. Amadeus (1984) is based on the 1979 stage production of the same name. Recounting a fictional story of the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  (Tom Hulce) through the eyes of a jealous rival Antonio Salieri, (F. Murray Abraham) the destructive saga is recounted as a confession to a priest by the aged Salieri who is currently in an asylum after an attempted suicide.


A vast challenge even for the veteran director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1975) But he pulls it off with his own unique brand of virtuoso passion and a meticulous approach. Utilising the incredible acting skills of F. Murray Abraham and Tom Hulce who each play composers who are in competition for Emperor Joseph II’s (Jeffrey Jones) attention. Salieri being the present court, favourite, feels admiration and threat from the untameable raw talent of the young and oblivious Mozart. Salieri then tries everything to dispose of his giggling party animal rival, through deceit, seduction and greed.

From the opening scenes, Tom Hulce’s high-pitched maniacal laugh (much like my own) and childish behavior paints the character of the beloved Mozart, a comical pervy, dirty minded foul-mouthed virtuoso eccentric genius. In contrast we learn about the pitiful Salieri in languid flashbacks detailing him as a constant mediocre wanna be who brown noses himself to the top.

The melancholic yet scintillating narrative provided by Abraham’s as the senior Salieri , whose vocal ones gives his own tough overtures to all situations, heavily laced with sarcasm and personal pain and bitterness of the young genius and nothing more.

Amadeus, The man. The music. The magic. The madness. The murder. The mystery. The motion picture

This bitter and sweet movie, as much as it centres around Mozart is in fact about Salieri’s failures and his hatred for the youthful man. His perceptions getting more contorted as his actions become more desperate.


This movie boasts an interesting blend of Mozart’s music, including my all time favorite Requiem. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but what is charming is the stunning costumes, and exceptional attention to detail. It’s funny while being quite tragic at times, it’s courageous on many levels and re-creating a historic Salzburg and many acclaimed sets and stages.

The actors were put through their paces and their dedication is visible. Hulce learnt how to play the piano and harpsichord so the shots could be more versatile. Abraham spends hours in make up to age himself for the asylum scenes. On the whole the movie is

Rating –  10/10

R: La Vie en Rose (2007), Farinelli (1994), Immortal Beloved (1994) Marie Antoinette (2006)

Q : He was my idol…
They are all so beautiful why don’t I have three heads?
No, but I’m the best!

OST: Amazingly full on Mozart here…
TIL : Hate can drive a person quicker than love.
BS : Sadly I’m going for a scene that has been mimicked and copied a million times. When Salieri is reading the music and drops the pages (in slo mo) out of mixed emotions of hate, love, admiration, fear etc..
5S : F Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce
L: Musical Biogrpahies, Selected Costume Drama,

PD : Post Discussion – TO COME




(Thriller, Horror, Adventure, Sci Fi 1984) (15) D : Joseph Ruben W : David Loughey S : Max Von Sydow, Denis Quaid, David Patrick Kelly. 1h 39m. USA.

A young psychic on the run from himself is recruited by the government to save the US President who’s mind is trapped inside the dream world.


Denis Quaid is a psychic running from the mob into the open arms of a government dream project. After a chat in a bar with an author Charlie Prince (George Wendt) the dangers of the project and a plot to kill the president becomes more apparent. Finally shit kicks off!

I reallyh appreciate movies that use stop motion FC, and this one uses them quite well in the dream sequences, but the let down is that the dreams were mundane and not as oddball or off the scale as I would have liked, still that’s neither here nor there, you still have dragon men, zombie in the underground and nuclear war! BRING IT ON!

Big thumbs up to David Patrick Kelly who plays his typical dodgy little fuck’s part quite well and it’s always super cool to see him as a villain in any movie. Since the Warriors (1979) he’s never failed to antagonise.


Q : “If your talking about our sex life then George has a little problem”

BS : After the death of Mrs Matuski the confrontation between Quaid and Kelly is great. And includes this… Q : You may not know it to look at me but I’m a pretty sensitive guy”

TIL : Never draw your bad dreams and leave them available for your enemies to find.


R : Nightmare on elm street (1981), Inception (2010).