Tag Archives: 1988

Sotto Il Vestito Niente II / To Beautiful to Die (1988)

Director: Dario Piana Starring: Francois-Eric Gendron, Florence Guerin, Randi Ingerman, Giovanni Tamberi, Nora Ariffin, Italy. 1h 35m

The only way to confirm that you were watching a horror movie in the 1980’s was the moment a pair of boobs were flashed across the screen, the exposure of flesh was the indicator that you were in for some slaherific blood and gore, monsters and creeps and this 1988 film is a perfect victim of its age! The intro plays out like a dated underwear advert (something the director was king of having filmed over 600 of them), but this panty advert lasts what feels like 20 minutes, but luckily the models are soon hacked to pieces so don’t get too attached..

Continue reading Sotto Il Vestito Niente II / To Beautiful to Die (1988)

Deep Space (1988)

Director: Fred Olen Ray
Starring: Charles Napier, Ann Turkel, Bo Svenson, Ron Glass. USA. 1h 30m

I love when the smaller budgeted movies attempt to retell bigger budgeted blockbuster style stories, and this film, that spends most of its time I’m swimming in the success of other sci fi  classics like Alien (1979) in fact it’s totally an Alien rip off, but all of its good intentions, seems to be another homage to cult film but plays out like another version of the fated project, The Dark (1979),  and this about s successfully thrilling as Alien 2 on Earth (1981)

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18 Films From 1988 Still Worth Talking About Vol 1

They live (1988)

Everything about this movie is just absolutely awesome, John Carpenter has made his reputation as one of the best loved and prolifically imaginative horror directors of all time but with so much energy he branched further into the world of sci fi with the addition of tried and tested actor Keith David and the bombastic Roddy Piper in the lead of a very psychotropic cult classic. Loosely based on the short story “Eight O’clock in the Morning” by Ray Nelson, this film follows a drifter who stumbles on some glasses which reveal that the planet slowly being populated by technicolour aliens who hide behind a level of science based glamour, but through these amazing glasses Piper can see the truth and the world they have crafted is a George Orwell Nightmare, but never fear the Rowdy Canadian Wrestler is here to save us with some of the best one liners in any film and much ass kicking. It’s really one of those films that comes by only once in a blue moon, a perfect combination of imagination, cool effects, wonderful actors and a director who isn’t driven by his ego but by what he’s learnt that fans want to see and that’s a movie without bubble-gum. Continue reading 18 Films From 1988 Still Worth Talking About Vol 1

Cannibal Campout (1988)

Director: Jon McBride and Tom Fisher
Starring: Jon McBride, Amy Chludzinski, Christopher A. Granger.USA. 1h 28m

For me this is one of the very definitions of BMovie, an illegal romp in the woods with a VHS camcorder as a bunch of friends desperately trying to film a feature length horror while on the run from a local park keeper.

The duo of directors managed to cobble together a cohesive movie however its production does drop a little bit on some levels, but you don’t really expect to have amazing special effects and wonderful acting then a movie is forged around ducking and diving around a local park. Film is borderline so bad it’s brilliant, while still retaining a small cult following it’s definitely something you would need to see to tick off all of your bingo card of cannibal hillbilly movies. Continue reading Cannibal Campout (1988)

Dream Demon (1988)

Director: Harley Cokeliss .
Starring. Jemma Redgrave, Timothy Spall, Jimmy Nail, Katheleen Wilhoute, Mark Streenstreet, Susan Fleetwood, Nickolas Grace . UK. 1h 26m.

This timid British television production boasts some great names, but for some reason the most influential actors were cast as dodgy villains; two posing as slimey reporters another as a repressed memory bad daddy character it’s sad to see the smallest and nastiest roles in what turns out to be a pretty uneventful haunted house horror go to great names while it’s lead by two no brainer whimsical women. Let’s say Cokeliss lost a lot of the power and charm he exacerbated in Black Moon Rising by this time but the film isn’t a complete loss. Considering the very different surreal undertones it’s a different kettle of fish and thus treated in a very different manner. Continue reading Dream Demon (1988)

In the Aftermath (Angels Never Sleep) (1988)

Director : Carl Colpaert
Starring : Tony Markes, Rainbow Dolan, Filiz Tully. Japan/Australia. 1h  25m

There is always an element of Love and Hate with this Anime/Live Action mashup, the film will captured my affection many year ago and I still enjoy watching it, while blindingly unaware of it’s origins I just assumed two directors got together to produce this mix of post apocalyptic drama/ baroque mystery, many years later I realised how this project basically butt fucked a precious classic Anime movie and turned it into a Troma movie BUT I still adore it.

So the original Anime is  Mamoru Oshii’s 1985 undefinable classic Angel’s Egg, which sees a young girl traverse an abandoned town while nursing a giant egg and entertaining a young soldier, the film dissolves into a biblical darkness that even the director himself can’t really explain. But Carl Colpaert decided to rehash the strong imagery in between new footage filmed in the hot Australian desert and brings new life and meaning to the bizarre original. Continue reading In the Aftermath (Angels Never Sleep) (1988)

Tales from the Gimli Hospital (1988)

Director: Guy Maddin
Starring: Kyle McCulloch, Michael Gotti, Angela Heck . Canada . 1h 12m

With a lot of surreal movies, I don’t assume to fully understand them, but I do find their unpredictability evocative. While this film is visually different there’s a lot to puzzle over with the linear but a bashitcrazy story.

Seemly inspired by the Directors childhood memories heightened by a DMT trip, there’s a lose connection. Madden does have Icelandic heritage and a lot of vocal history does get tainted over the years but for part it’s a realistic situation at first..

While their mother lays dying in a hospital bed, a pair of siblings are being confronted in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital by their grandmother. She tells the children a long and convoluted story about the Gimli of old, a tale about Einar the Lonely and his best friend Gunnar and the angelic Jofridur.

Einar (McCulloch) has contracted smallpox and is resting in the old Gimli Hospital when he makes friends with Gunnar (Gotti), the pair really appreciate the company in their time of sickness and the bond grows between them, but only for  a short time.

While divulging personal information with each other their tales start to get weirder and the men’s testosterone really gets them going once a sexy nurse catches their eye and they really start to outdo each other to gain her adoration.

Independent movies with a surreal flaire are fairly popular but none of them quite have the same creepy and yet riveting atmosphere as the Gimli Hospital. It’s dark and at times intensely creepy but at times it has a bit of razzmatazz slapstick.

Some scenes are filled with characters babaliese with a gentle overture and smooth poetic voice overs. Juxtaposed with the harsh black and white shadowy photography that flickers as if lit by candle, the film “feels” scary but nothing will jump out at you.. Apart from some of the most bizarre but engaging cinema you’ve ever seen.

It’s impossible to guess what’s coming next and there’s no sense in trying to look for themes, it’s erratic but yet at the same time you begin to expect the unexpected. The imagery is pretty powerful, from buttock bloody manly wrestling (not like that you fiend) and milk dripping from the ceiling of the hospital, there’s a deep motherly aspect that runs throughout the film but if you didn’t guess it’s in the strangest way.

Guy Maddin seems like a pretty laid back normal guy, and has a very fine tuned appreciation of film and the arts.It really shows in his works, the detailed attention and courageous scenes are out of bounds with what it usually attempted to be shown on film. Definitely not something easily forgotten and certainly something new, no matter what you’ve seen in the past.

Rating: 7/10

List: 18 Films From 1988 Still Worth Talking About Vol 1
R: Eraserhead
(1977), Archangel (1990), the Heart of the World (2000)
A: Where’s the fish a short and incomplete guide to surrealist cinema Vol. 1


La Weekend July 5

Ghostdog (1999)

One of those life changing movies, and continues to be my go to film from time to time, a small indie movie graced by some impressive names, just because it’s that darn good of a film. Ghostdog is a lonely character, is only friend is a French speaking ice cream seller, his passion is Bushido and his Pigeons. After being saved by a mob boss, his adapted the way of the Samurai and looks upon this man as his master and he is a retainer. The mafia uses his dedication and sends him out to do hits. One goes awry and the mob turn on Ghostdog, but they don’t’ know who they are fucking with. Forest Whittaker plays the main character and he’s perfect, RZA had a hand in it’s production and the soundtrack takes a facet from each style of black music, it almost started a movement, (black) urban samurai 9/10

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Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)


Day 8 of 31


Killer Klowns from Outer Space  (Horror, Comedy, Science Fiction,  1988) (15) D: Stephen Chiodo C: grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon Royal Dano. 1h 28m. USA.

Synopsis : Aliens who look like clowns come from outer space and terrorize a small town.

TAGLINE : It’s Craaazy!

This oddity of the horror world is a unique slapstick fright fest. Not really satisfied with being a true comedy instead it uses the Klown aspect to add in some cheerful ploys and colourful props to almost mask the true underlying sadistic actions of some peculiar visitors from outer space. Seemingly inspired by a blend of any clown phobia, a few urban legends and retro comics, it’s often overlooked that this movie is also a tribute to old school sci fi!? The aliens, despite being over sized sharp toothed clowns aren’t ever really detected by the locals in the town they are terrorizing with comedy antics and eventually death, as they harvest the idiot townspeople wrapped up in candyfloss.

There isn’t a huge amount that you can say about the plot, it’s very simple, some aliens disguised as clowns descended upon a town, wreak havoc, queue every single cliche about evil clowns imaginable, the end. There is a steady flow of surreal antics and it’s pretty unrelenting. A blend of slapstick comedy to the pure farcical, this film will serve up all the typical clown antics in the most bloody thirsty manner. While it’s ridiculous at times and the klowns themselves are very dark in their character it’s almost impossible not to notice the homage to retro 50s/60s sci fi throughout the movie, apart from the use of the words rayguns! Oh wait hold on…

klowns Continue reading Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

Maniac Cop (1988)


Day 5 of 31Maniac Cop (4)

Maniac Cop  (Action, Crime, Horror,  1988) (18) D: William Lustig W:  P:  C: tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Laurene Landon, Richard Roundtree, Robert Z’Dar, Sheree North,. 1h 253. USA.

Synopsis : Innocent people are being brutally murdered on the streets of New York City by a uniformed police officer. As the death toll rises and City Hall attempts a cover-up, Frank McCrae heads the investigation. A young cop, Jack Forrest, finds himself under arrest as the chief suspects, having been a victim of a set up by the real killer and a mysterious woman phone-caller. Forrest, his girlfriends and McCrae set out to solve the puzzle before the Maniac Cop can strike again.

TAGLINE : You have the right to remain silent. Forever.

A betrayed cop on a killing rampage! what could be more fun? This almost goofy comic style slasher fits in a fair deal of killings while maintaining an action movie feel throughout.

The ultimate twisted revenge story apparently not inspired by any real events but let’s face it, cops get charged for murder all the time so it’s hard to know if it was based on something true. As with other slasher icons, the killers character turns out to be the person you’d least expect, but in this case the person you’d normally go to for help. When you can’t go to the police for help who can you trust? and its this dilemma that actually fuels the back story of city hall corruption in a style akin to Robocop (1987) In a warped good cop (but really a bad guy) vs a good cop (who was turned bad by the system), the moral compass is constantly spinning in this kill spree, shot primarily at night.

Maniac Cop (1)

A crazed cop is on the loose and killing innocent people, the only man to stop him is the ashamed Officer Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell) and an aged tough cop Frank McCrae (Tom Atkins) Starting out with a brutal murder of a woman looking for help from a police officer the film takes an instant turn to the domestic side introducing the troubled life of Bruce and his wife, as soon as he’s implicated in her “murder” everything heats up with him trying to prove his innocence and trying to track down the real killer.

There really is no panache to this movie, it doesn’t have a style per say, it’s just another excuse for mindless gorefest and that’s part of it’s charm, it’s unashamed fun for gore fiends. While you can’t ignore that the basis of the film is just to have an excuse to kill a lot of people on the streets of New York, and it’s obvious revenge threads, you can’t help but look at the underlying corruption in the police and political force behind the police throughout the movie. A manipulation of the media in an attempt the control the public is quite prevalent.

Maniac Cop (8)

Without trying to give away too much about the plot for those who haven’t seen the movie I’d like to just talk about the Maniac Cop, hopefully this won’t kill the movie for you but it’s hard not to talk about Robert D’Zar’s massive size and unusual looks helps him create a hybrid between Frankenstein and Terminator. His hulking size and inability to feel both physically and emotionally he’s an unstoppable force. It’s quite unique for this movie, and normally a lot of prosthetics would be required but in this case it’s just carefree having such an unusual actor at the helm.

Most of the murders are set at night where the Maniac really gets to freak people out  with a body count of 19, the maniac certainly does find his groove. Sadly for this project Campbell is a little more restrained and doesn’t have his usual quirkiness, albeit it’s not in a similar situation, there are no demons or chainsaws. It’s still interesting to see him in a different character, thus proving he can act. But he’s only one of 3 very strong main characters and if he did show up as Ash then he’d steal the show.

Maniac Cop

Boasting two of the most infamous chins in low budget buckets of blood horror and action films, Bruce Campbell was still riding on the cult success of Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2, and was starting to make a name for himself, he wasn’t as refined a chin as we know him today but that wild eyed raven hair electric character creeps in at times. Bolstering the film, was the Cherub Chin himself D’Zar (RIP) who’s unusual features made him a perfect candidate for this emotionless monster.

Director William Lustig  was on a massive wave of slasher epics, and Maniac Cop comes a short while after Maniac (1980) and Vigilante (1983), so the refining of this psycho on a kill spree was getting a good finishing polish in this film.

Maniac Cop (2)

It’s always interesting to see a movie like this, that questions our perspectives. We see a man in a police uniform and instantly trust him, no questions asked. Anyone can wear a uniform but how cautious are we? Even though Campbell was cheating on his wife and runs off with his lover, he’s still seen as the good guy which is so bizarre!! If this was the Jerry Springer show then he’d be getting booo’d and his girlfriend getting her Jerry Beads. As I said the moral compass is all shifty here.

Surprisingly it does have a decent story line, it’s not plausible in anyway but there is a full explanation of how the killer was created and as much as no one believes it, it did make for a great bloody prison shower scene without a shred of gayness.

The film works as a silly B grade movie with some thrill kills and some action scenes chucked in for good measure, no one was fully on their best for this film but it’s still cherished by fans because it just doesn’t care and gets on with telling this crazy comic book style tale, it’s very much horror for horror sake. While connections can be made between this and Halloween for example, why not, they are both slasher and probably appeal to the same audience.

Maniac Cop (3)

V: While the film is loved and hated like Marmite, I think some take it too seriously. While I accept that it’s not the best written movie and it has the typical plot holes of any slasher, it does deliver enough of a story to put he kills together. I adore it for all the wrong reasons, it’s got in a few of my favourite actors, a healthy levels of kills and is just so much fun to watch, it’s not academic or anything amazing if you really wanted to see a deep in depth movie, keep on looking, if like me you’ve got a childish wicked side you’ll love it as much as i do.


Rating –  7/10

R: Maniac (1980), Maniac Cop 2 (1990),Vigilante (1983), The Burning (1981)

Article : 18 Films From 1988 Still Worth Talking About Vol 1