Director: Adrian Lyne Starring: Michael Douglas, Glenn Close, Anne Archer,Ellen Latzen, Stuart Pankin, Ellen Foley, Fred Gwynne, Meg Mundy, Lois Smith. USA. 1h 59m
“So Andrew’s new girlfriend is turning out to be a right bunny boiler” “A what?” “You know.. Fatal Attraction.. “
This was the conversation that made me realise how influential movies have been on the English language. The term Bunny Boiler, referring to a person, usually a woman who’s a bit psychotic and clingy, was born from this literal potboiler that, when it really gets going, is hard to look away from.
Adrian Lyne went straight from 9 1/2 weeks (1986) to Fatal Attraction and then straight into Jacob’s Ladder (1990). He’s often quoted to be intrigued to make moves that create a discussion, a movie that’s not forgotten by dinner time and still arguing about it the next day is a winner for him and it’s safe to stay that this run of movies all hold a powerful grip on their audiences many years later. His ability to pull the carpet on an unsuspecting audience and touch on surreal symbolism is quite masterful.
Director: Phillipe Mora Starring: Barry Otto, Max Fairchild, Imogen Annesley, Frank Thring, Michael Pate, Burnham Burnham, Barry Humphries. Australia . 1h 38m
Easily the most Australian of the Howling franchise and possibly the most Australian movie ever. If you’re a fan of the 80’s Australian Horror genre then you might just have a soft spot for this turd instalment in an iconic werewolf series. In saying that, if that’s not your into garish lit scenes, vulgar humor, vile body horror and ransom nun, commandos and Aboriginal spiritual warriors popping in at random points then this might be hard to get into. I do wholeheartedly agree that it’s not a brilliant made movie, it doesn’t really make sense, and is more comedy than horror, but is Howling 3 really that bad? A film so bad it didn’t even get a cinematic release in its home country?
Director: James M Munro Starring: Mike Lackey, Bill Chepil, Vic Noto, Mark Sfreeazza, Nicole potter, Jane Arakawa, Pat Ryan, Bernard Perlman, RL Ryan, USA. 1h 31m
Cinema can be used for many things, most films are there to purely allow it’s viewers to switch off and eat some popcorn, highlight a great night out, others are more contemporary and are tool used to expand esoteric ideas and philosophy, then there’s street trash an almost plot less movie with lots of slimy stuff oozing out of low lives in New York while they do stuff but it’s delivered in such a unique way that it’s gained a solid cult following and is a guilty pleasure for many.
James M Munro initially crafted a short movie with the same title back in 1984 and expanded the abstract story into a full feature length however there’s hardly any addition to the plot. The gooey film is still just about a group of winos drinking contaminated booze and slightly borders on the sub comic in Alan Moore’sSwamp Thing called Nukeface Papers where the destitutes begin to drink toxic waste and get up to crazy shenanigans.
AKA: Demons III Director: Lumberto Bava Starring: Virginia Bryant, Sabrina Ferilli, Paolo Malco, Patrizio Vinci. Italy. 1h 34m
So many classic horror novels are produced from the bizarre dream of the writer, Frankenstein was a fever dream so powerful that Mary Shelly had to get the essence down on paper in a male dominated world, going against the grain she knew that her unique mix of man playing god and the promise of some dark everlasting life was literary gold. Other writers have often marveled how they bring their nightmares and dreams to live in their writing and films, which is the premise of this scrawny horror. Made for TV in the mid 80’s there’s a lot of 70’s backlash in this Bava effort, which made up a trilogy of direct to video/tv film series.
Director: Alan Parker. Starring. Mickey Rourke, Lisa Bonet, Robert De Niro. USA. 1h 53m.
In the dark final scenes of Angel Heart, after you’ve picked your jaw up and shaken the last hour and 1 hour 53 minutes out of your system the sweat dries, the blood and dust settles and it’s all quite simple to understand but it certainly didn’t’ feel that way only moments before and you begin to feel silly for not seeing all the warning signs as the detective story turns into a dark occult nightmare.Continue reading Angel Heart (1987)→
Director: Paul Verhoeven . Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Daniel O’Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer. USA. 1h 43m.
I’d like to start this off just announcing that Robocop has been one of my all time favourite movies since i first saw it, the effect has been massive on my day to day life, so I’ll try to keep this review short but I could probably write a book on Robocop.
Comparisons could be made between this robotic man of justice and many hero’s and monsters from the past, being created by man from bloody remains and what could be seen as (techno)magic he is akin to a sci fi golem. Either way the film became an instant cult classic inspiring a few sequels a lame TV show and much music shenanigans.Continue reading Robocop (1987)→
Director : Sam Raimi Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Richard Domeier. USA. 1h 24m
I can’t stress enough how basic this review is going to be. I’m sure there have been books written about this film as it’s one of the most iconic horror movies of all time. I honestly couldn’t sing it’s praises enough in just one review but feel that it’s essential for this years 2016 31 Days of Horror.
I’ll blow your butts to kingdom come
There is something totally unreal about the Evil Dead 2, it really is funnier, scarier and better than the first indie movie, which in its own rites was actually an amazing film in it’s own rights. The original flick featured a group of teens going into the woods and accidentally summoning demons that possess and destroy them, the second film picks up from where the first ended, which is rare, but Ash (Bruce Campbell) has been plagued and hunted by the demons that were unleashed in the first movie, and is unable to escape and is slowing being tormented into madness and goes through temporary moments of possession. After being attacked and bitten by the undead Linda, Ash has to cut off his infected hand. The original professor’s daughter Annie (Sarah Berry) and her academic partner Ed are making their way to the cabin when they realise that the road is “blocked” it’s actually folded the fuck up, but they get Jake and Bobby Jo to give them a lift on an alternative route, by the time they arrive at the cabin, Ash has reached a new low or high depending on how you look at it, his rogue possessed hand is running amok, and he’s satin the middle of a room laughing along with the soft furnishings. They have to duck as Ash initially thinks they are the hoards of the evil dead, and they think he’s a murderer but eventually differences are put aside, ash received a chainsaw hand replacement and together the group battle the Evil Dead.
Starring: Christina Marsillach, Daria Nicolodi, Urbano Barberini, Ian Charleson. Italy. 1h 47m
Slightly arthouse but very gothic, this epic giallo film from legend Dario Argento see a fusion of opera and slasher collide in this suspense filled macabre horror. Seemingly inspired by the tragic Macbeth, that is the exact plat which Betty, a stunning understudy is working on when she is stalked by a hooded sadistic killer whose main objective is to torture Betty by forcing her to watch him kill but how’s cunning managed to keep his anonymity. On the opening night of the Verdi Opera, a stage hand is killed and all of the ravens that were brought in for the tragic opera, but the curse of Macbeth lives on and Betty is soon on the run. As the film slowly progresses every new character is a potential killer and Betty soon realises she can trust no one, a bulk of the film is literally Betty randomly getting pounced on, then upon waking up in a bound/gagged situation and unable to look away as an innocent person is brutally slaughtered in an outlandish way.
There is a unique feel in this gothic art house giallo, it has the loud badly dubbed soundtrack like so many others but the killer toys with the victims in such a bizarre manner, being one of the few gialli that focuses more on the torture aspect than bizarre settings and a horrific murders.
Poor (not so ugly) Betty, grapples to find sanctuary from this nightmare, one of the more memorable scenes is when she’s getting fitted for a costume when she finds herself bound with tape placed on her face with needles poking up ensuring that she can’t avoid watching the tailor get brutalised,and then a impromptu autopsy is performed on her after she swallows the killers bracelet. Each attack is like a small drama stage play in itself, with the intense lighting and pounding music. The torture method was one conjured up by Argento himself when joking about people shying away from his murder scenes in the cinema, he threatened to tape pins under their eyes so they couldn’t look away and materialised the fascinating idea here.
Verdi’s opera is infamous for bringing bad luck but the aesthetics inspired Argento to be a little bit more experimental with the visuals, from the early scene filmed from the black reflection of a crow’s eye to the haunting dream sequences and flashbacks suffered by Betty. The varied and well executed effects and camera work pays off, everything about the film is about an voyeurism and being centre stage, and every element is arranged in such a way where it’s all very much centre stage and “look at me”, and Argento didn’t really need to force us to look at this marvel as his attempts to make it stunning have mesmerized fans for years.
After several grisly murders and lots of flashbacks there are two epic endings, one follows on nicely and the other hits you like a bat out of hell.. And shouldn’t be missed,
R – Watch me when I kill, New York Ripper, Bird with Crystal Plumage L – A-Z of Giallo, Italian Cinema, Crazy endings A – My love affair with Giallo Post Discussion
Director: Kathryn Bigelow Starring: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton. Janette Goldstein, Joshua John Miller. USA. 1h 34m.
Famed for being one of the few vampire flicks never to mention vampires, Near Dark is more than just your average vampire flick, it’s a dusty road trip from hell with some ancient and amusing characters who just happen to drink blood. Strangely his romantic horror is never really all that scary but is serious enough to unleash some tough alternative ideas into the vampire genre, but between the hard luck story, the power struggles and the endless road there’s a hint of comedy albeit it dark and some iconic vamps emerge forever etched in our memories.
There is no doubt that this film comes from the south, everything about it drips gravy and biscuits. Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) is a young farmer’s son, who meets a beautiful drifter Mae (Jenny Wright) who changes his life after she bites him and he’s forced to join a nomadic group of vampires who are quite happy slaying their way across America. Continue reading Near Dark (1987)→
The Lost Boys (Comedy, Horror, 1987) (15) D: Joel Schumacher W: Jan fischer, James Heremias + C: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne West, bernard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Keifer Sutherland, Kami Getz, Corey Fieldman, Jamison Newlander, Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Alex Winter. 1h 37m. USA.
Synopsis : After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires.
TAGLINE : Sleep all day, Party all night, Never grow old, Never die, It’s fun to be a vampire. A slightly peculiar and spectacular vamp flick that drags the cloak off the old count and turns the charismatic seductive vampire of the past into a hot sexy leather clad hunks.
It’s hard to avoid linking this movie to the classic Bram Stoker novel that gave us huge insight into what we understand as Vampire folklore, but it’s also impossible not to mention the many similarities to another classic novel, Peter Pan. The boys are lost and will never grow up and are looking to invite other young hopefuls to be part of their little gang, the lost boys. The major difference is that these guys hang out in an amusement park and eat people.
While the attempt here is to be a horror movie, there is also a strong comedy element but really what the film achieves is updating the vampire ideology and making vamps sexy again for a new generation. No more counts trapped in castles riding in horse drawn coaches, these outcasts ride motorbikes and listen to the all the best tunes.
Starting out with a backdrop of Santa Cruz accompanied by Echo and the Bunnymen People are Strange, the film introduces the family that are now moving into the pleasantly daubed Murder Capital, Michael (Jason Patric) his little brother (Corey Haim) and their lovely mother Lucy (Diane West) move in with the rustic taxidermy enthusiast Grandpa (Bernard Hughes) makes friends with the Frog Brothers who run a comic shop, mum gets a job at a video store owned by Max (Edward Herrmann) and Michael falls in love with Star (Jami Gertz) and gets involved with the Lost Boys then things take a turn for the worse. Michael gets infected by the vampire virus and has to save himself and his family from a coven of vamps and the curse.
A lot of the movie just literally sets the scene of the coolest place on earth for any teenager, all day sun, comic and video stores on an amusement arcade and hot guys, great music and parties all the time, this place is literally never never land. But obviously there is something very sinister here, the hot guys just happen to be literally on the wild side. Along with all the cool attractive attractions the next biggest theme is the father figure, the boys are lost, the new kids on the block are moving with only their mother from what seems a messy divorce and everyone is lacking a father. See this is what happens to single moms your kids will fall in with a crowd of vampires! You’ve been warned. If i had to sum the movie up in a few scenes one would be the epic montage of the frog brothers and the young Corey arming up to fight the blood sucking vampires. The Frog Brothers have suspicions that their are vampires active in the town and are self proclaimed vampire hunters, gaining most of their knowledge from comic books. They assume to have found the leader of the vampires and aim to kill them to free Michael from the curse so they arm up with super soakers filled with holy water from the local church during a christening and lots of other amusing makeshift weapons in a Goonies style.
Another scene that really captures the essence of the movie is when Michael first falls in love with Star at a gig on the beach one night, while following her and trying to get his love thang on he’s suddenly confronted with the lost boys who are all lush and fine looking, asserting their dominance over Star and using peer pressure to shaming Michael into joining them.
Where are the police? throughout the whole film, you’ll notice missing children either on the boardwalk or on milk cartons and there is one brief altercation with a fat officer near the but all of the sleuthing and justice is all dealt with by the Frog Brotherswith help from everyone. For some reason the name Michael is said 118 times.. Now i know he’s one of the characters and is quite pivotal but FFS!
Music plays a huge part in this new chapter of blood suckers, while the theme track Cry Little Sister is haunting with a choir backing the rest of the soundtrack is from the MTV alternative including Run DMC, the Doors/Echo and the Bunnyman and INXS to name a few, songs that pretty much go with the look and feel of the boys themselves. Everyone comes across as a kool kat, there will be no oscars for the acting here but it will suffice. For me the best actor award would go to Grandpa as his scenes are probably the best, short but so very sweet. The best try awards would go to Kiefer and Jason. The development of these two pivotal characters was enhanced by these two talented young actors. This was the first film that the two Coreys did together and kicked off their lifelong friendship.There seems to be four generations at battle, Corey and the frog brothers, trying to be grown ups and dicking around, Michael, star and the lost boys
Joel Schumacher directed this horror soon after St Elmo’s Fire (1985) where a group of college kids are trying to deal with being young adults fresh out of school, this twins with other films such as the Breakfast Club (1985) and Pretty in Pink. (1986) The lost boys is a darker and more sinister group of individuals who are trying to deal with their own personal dilemma in a group. Despite taking on a horror movie after something as jovial as St Elmo, its no wonder that Lost Boys isn’t all that scary, in fact its hard to be scary where there are so many hot guys on the screen most of the time.
Moral of the story… I dunno.. don’t stray with the wild boys? Definitely don’t drink from an unmarked bottle and when it doubt always take advice from comic books! On a serious side the movie deals more with the tragic effects of broken families and the need to be within a group or family. I have to say that’s bullshit but the message is there.
Lost boys is definitely the horror film that your girlfriend is bound to know and be willing to watch, if you’re a fan of the 80’s it will bring back some memories and thrill you throughout.
The film works on many levels, the dynamics between the two brothers the rivalry with Michael and the gang, the motherly care and all of the “cool” stuff too, even the little twist at the end is pretty neat, but what doesn’t work is the horror. The film isn’t really all that scary, the kill scenes are a little lame but they get the story across and are more enjoyable than anything freaky. V: This was one of those films I grew up with and it probably influenced me more than I will admit. It’s almost an unwritten law that to be one of the goth kids you have to appreciate this film. It really did open up the modernization of a lot of the old style gothic tales, sadly no one manages to make it this hot and this perfect again but it’s good to aim high, every now and again someone comes close.
Rating: 8/10 R: Fright Night (1985), From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), Near Dark (1987) , Skinwalkers (2006), American Werewolf in London (1981), Streets of Fire (1984) , The Crow (1994) L:Selected Vamp Films, Modern Vampire movies