Tag Archives: 1990

Leatherface : The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Director: Jeff Burr
Starring. Kate Hodge, William Butler, Ken Foree, Tom Hudson, Viggo Mortensen, Joe Unger, RA Mihailaoff. USA. 1h 26m.

Jeff Burr is the king of terrible remakes, okay that’s unfair but he’s never really had a commercially successful one, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t adored by fans of bad horror, I find his films quite watchable but agree that they can be under par, but fun none the less.

This box office disaster was see a return to the cult classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre family but these are more like the Beverly Hillbilliys. The opening of the film see’s Leatherface slaughtering a young girl with a sledgehammer, cutting off her face to make a new mask as her sister watches on silently, the young girl, Sara escapes into the woods. Continue reading Leatherface : The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Ankoku Shinwa / Dark Myth (1990)

Director : Takashi Anno, Tomomi Mochizuki
Writer: Daijiro Morohoshi
Starring : Nozomu Sasaki, Alan Marriott, Mizuho Suzuki. Japan. 1h 40m

When I first started getting in Anime Akira (1988) probably kicked things off for me, and I dug deep in powerful fast pace cyber and horror films. But one film really stood out on a few trailers. Its pale colours, still images and traditional soundtrack make it stand apart from the rest of the 90’s Manga collection.

Having a deep love of folklore and being totally mystified by the demonic creatures in the advert I was sure to get a copy ASAP and i fell in love with animated films all over again, but for very different reasons than before. Continue reading Ankoku Shinwa / Dark Myth (1990)

Robocop 2 (1990)

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Director: Irvin Kershner.
Starring: Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Dan O’Herlihy, Belinda Bauer, Tom Noonan, Gabriel Damon. USA. 1h 57m.

After the amazing success of Robocop we were blessed with a sequel, and on this rare occasion we got a semi decent film. Picking up not too long after the first film in things haven’t really changed in Old/New Detroit. We find out hero more integrated into the police department and accepted by society. But obviously everything has to go wrong, OCP are ever greedy and wanting more control of the city and they are also interested in creating Robocop 2 (shock horror). The biggest drug on the street is Nuke and the man who invented it, Cain (Noonan), and his gang are Public Enemy No.1, and therefore Robo’s biggest enemy, along with the terror they bring, Murphy also has to contend with a bigger and better and more psychotic Robocop 2. Continue reading Robocop 2 (1990)

Arachnophobia (1990)

ARACHNOPHOBIA, Julian Sands, 1990, (c) Buena Vista

Director: Frank Marshall
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Julian Sands, Harley Jane Kozak, John Goodman .USA. 1h 43m

It seems so odd writing a review for this so many years after watching it, but the fact that the film is still one of my favourites is a testament to it’s amazing ability to thrill and entertain, but this is coming from an old timer who’s love of horror will never die and when a new golden age of creature features was descending upon us. Continue reading Arachnophobia (1990)

Misery (1990)

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Misery  (Horror, Thriller, 1990) (18) D: Rob Reiner W: Stephen King (book) William Goldman (screenplay) P: Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman + C: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall. 1h 47m. USA.

Synopsis : Paul Sheldon, a successful novelist, is rescued after a snow storm by his “Number One Fan” and must rewrite his latest novel to her liking in order to stay alive.

TAGLINE : The Tide has Come

Skillfully adapted from a much loved Stephen King novel of the same name, Misery is a well crafted, superbly acted charismatic tales of a writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is held captive after a car crash by a former nurse Annie Wliks (Kathy Bates). During their time together the broken and vulnerable  writer has to fight for his survival against a bi polar, suicidal, politely aggressive OCD psychopath.

The film is a total marvel, the characters are so unique and well developed, there is a display of amazing  from the small cast of 5 main actors. Caan is unusually nice, as he spends most of the film doped up, in pain or just plain scared. There is a grizzled sheriff played by Farnsworth who was a nice addition  as the character wasn’t in the original book, the scenes of him and his “Deputy” are very memorable.

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There is evidence of a firm hand and great direction from Rob Reiner, as his second Stephen King adaptation the film has a more claustrophobic yet homely atmosphere than his previous Stand by Me (1986). In his captors quaint cottage hideaway the unlucky writer is forced to face his fears and Wilks’s  inner demons. Between the strange violent outbursts he manages to  befriend her, uncover her dark past, write a novel and forge various escape plans to the setting of a romantic Liberace soundtrack.

Stephen King has a lot of rolling themes with his work, after suffering a car crash himself and writing through his recovery you can understand the personal fears that would have cropped up in such a vivid mind. Misery is one of the direct influences of such an event. Often we think of the recovery process and horrors that might occur in the real world, but chucking in a  plump nurse and a snowy setting suddenly the fears a magnified beyond all belief.

miserywilksMisery is infused with lots of sarcastic dark humor and the detailed character development causes some hauntingly realistic scenarios. It’s a horror story in both the visual sense and in a psychological approach. Attempts are made to understand Annies broken mind. The interactions between the two lead actors is magical, the contrast of the powerful male figure being crippled and forced into a submissive role could be questionable. There is also a healthy relationship between two other characters the sheriff and deputy, a couple who in contrast have a mutual love (with some added spice), whereas Annie and Paul have a slightly different relationship, and it does happen, in the broad strokes a relationship is forged between them, not a nice one, but they soon start to learn eachothers character through their crazy situation.

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This is what true horror is about, without huge special effects and with no visible monsters, the fear factor of this movie are the inner demons and what the extent of one human beings twisted mind. Contrasted with a lovely warm home, floral wallpaper and a cardigan crusader nurse,  it puts you out of your comfort zone,  there are some crazy torture scenes, amplified but a change in the weather might i add, but there is no dungeon,  simply a laura ashley bedroom and jello afterwards.

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Rating –  10/10

V: It’s hard to find fault with this movie, the atmosphere, candid scenes, music, drama and action are all fantastic. It’s a great story and the actors really make an example of what acting should be about. I suppose some bods out there have found some goofs here and there but it’s nothing major and doesn’t distract from the film at all . It’s a golden example of what tense thrillers should be like. A well deserved Oscar for Kathy Bates.

Q : “Eat it you sick twisted fuck

BS: I adore the opening scene when Paul is leaving the Cabin and he’s driving through the snow listening to Shotgun by Junior Walker and the all stars,  then the big red letters of MISERY get splayed across the screen. Similar adaptations of this appear in Funny Games  1997) and Cabin in the Woods (2012).

TIL : Never trust a nurse. Never go driving in a blizzard and Never piss off your No.1 Fan.

DGI : Your allowed x10 drinks one for every bone broken and some champagne for the dinner scene!

5B : James Caan, Kathy Bates, Stephen King adaptations

L: Stephen King Movies, Snow Movies, Cabin Movies, Friendly Serial Killers, Books in films, Held Captive, Films about Books, Films about Writers, Duo Movies.

PD : Post Discussion coming soon.

Kisha

 

Moon 44 (1990)

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Moon 44 (Sci Fi, Mystery, Thriller, Action 1990) (15) D: Ronald Emmerich W: Dean Heyde (Screenplay) Roland Emmerich (story) +: C: Michael Pare, Lisa Eichhorn, Dean Devlin, Brian Thompson, Malcolm McDowell, Stephen Geoffreys, Leon Rippy, Jochen Nickle 1h 38m. Germany.

TAGLINE : In the Outer Zone.. You need a friend.

Synopsis: Year 2038. The mineral resources of the earth are drained, in speace there are fights for the last deposits on other planets and satellites. This is the situation when one of the bigger mining corporations has lost all but one mineral moons and many of their fully automatic mining robots are disappearing on their flight home.

Moon 44 is one the more memorable Sci Fi films, and deserves to be remembered for the authentic atmosphere and style, it permeates 80’s style futuristic realism pulling (almost literally) excellent set designs and styles from Blade Runner (1982) and dazzling space ship scenes akin to the likes of Outland (1981) and Alien (1979) although I’m unsure why the pilots opted for helicopters in the year 2038…

When the unruly cop Stone (Michael Pare) is sent to an off world mining colony to investigate the source of stolen mining ships, he has to go undercover as a convict and while he has a contact on the inside he has to navigate through the prisoner code and the mining politics and the dodgy dealings going on in the industrial landscape of Moon 44.

This was one of Ronald Emmerich’s early science fiction attempts before Independence day (1996) and similarly the thin plot is full of holes and lacking in decent dialogue, but it makes up for that with some very interesting characters, wild interactions between the pilots and their navigators all at a very cheesy level of bravado, but if you can hold down your lunch and stop cringing it happens to be some damn fine drama. There are a lot of questions raised during the movie, mostly about the plot and why shit is going down the way it is. Why employ prisoners to protect such an expensive hoard, why if you were a pilot who has to rely on a navigator would you treat them so badly? And why would you fly a chopper and need a navigator in the future? I don’t feel that we’re progressing in intelligence or technology,

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The main assets of the film are the visuals and effects they make for a believable mining colony in the “outlands”, although what I still don’t understand are any of the mechanics of how the mining ships are being stolen and going missing, but if you put this behind you and go with the flow it’s still a good film to watch. With some refinement to the story and maybe with some long shots, and proper space battles in ships and not choppers his could defiantly be one of the best retro sci-fi movies, rather than a stunning movie, lacking a gripping in-depth story line.

It is a guilty pleasure and I’m still rating it high as I adore this level of cheesy muscle-bound bravado which doesn’t make it a great film but one that I thoroughly enjoy. The film is heaving with all the retro elements of future expectations, the chiselled face cop, the computer geek donned with a baseball cap and who is no match for the less intelligent gym bunny prisoners who have lots of issues and big chips on shoulders.

 

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Rating : 6/10

R: Outland (1981), Blade Runner (1982), Silent Running (1972)
Q: Scooter “Oh yes I like to go fast!”
TIL: You don’t need to have a solid story to make a good film.
BS: The intro scene is quite good, it really gives the viewer an idea of the type of character the cop is. Also look out for the recycled Blade Runner (1982) sets!
L: Selected 90’s sci fi, German Movies,
5B: Michael Pare, Brian Thompson, Malcolm McDowell, Stephen Geoffreys.
DGI: Chug a beer until you know what’s actually going on.

Kisha

the Krays (1990)

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Krays (Biography, Crime, Drama 1990) (18) D: Peter Medak: P: W: Philip Ridley: C: Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp, Billie Whitelaw, Susan Fleetwood, Kate Hardie 1h 59m. UK.

TAGLINE : When People are afraid of you, you can do anything. Remember that.

 

Synopsis: This fact-based movie follows the life of the twin crime-lord in London’s ’60s underworld.

A sentimental and raw biography of twin London gangsters, this film documents their rise from the back streets of London to the headlines of the international press. The film charismatically details their devotion to their mother and the unique bond.

As with a lot of biographical movies, it is difficult to encapsulate a lifetime into a short piece. So the movie only touches on several key events in the lives of the Kray twins. While some of the grimy and often violent crimes that are still evident in the London boroughs, are recorded in the movie. It still misses some of the more difficult and hard hitting facts about the crime duo.

Maybe a lot was missed out purposely, as the overall theme of the movie that comes across suggesting, quite rightly; that the brothers were seen as celebrities during their time. The film oozes scenes of the twins dressing up models in tailored suits and being spoken of highly among the local people almost as robin hood type characters and getting their photograph taken with lots of other celebrities in their lavish clubs. i think this image was the main purpose of the film. Secondly they are portrayed as being extremely devoted to the elder female figures within their family primarily the mother and aunt rose (Susan Fleetwood) and then finally they are described as being  violent and psychotic criminal masterminds.

While the screenplay itself is quite simplistic it is highlighted with casually placed well-directed scenes not always making the most of cinematography or soundtrack track, the character and energy from the film comes mostly from the sincere acting of the two brothers and ballsy cameos from Whitelaw as opposed to any background music camera mechanics.

The first half of the movie focuses in on the twins at children growing up during the London blitz, going to school, and a protective mother and a almost invisible father. the second half of the movie lands them is grown men in the middle of a ready made empire. A large part of the building of a criminal hq and dodgy businesses was completely missed and is possibly one of the more interesting aspects of their lives.

The acting could very well be described as polished. There is definitely some panache from each brother. It’s not the kind of acting that will win anybody an Oscar, but it will definitely be remembered as one of the more stylised British performances. Which in turn is homage to the two original characters. The film is often pulled back from the violence by inserts of wisdom and powerful performances from Fleetwood and Whitelaw (RIP to both) as they attempt to interject the raw emotion and thoughts of a strong iron lady who is the backbone of her community.

Hungarian born director Peter Medak at the time was typically filming numbers of shorter television shows. Maybe he lost his sense of timing when given something of much more magnitude to direct the pace seems to slow and quicken and the ending is sudden. It’s a homage to the Krays, it neglects the controversy, instead it presents a stylised history of the Krays as much as Goodfellas (1990) tried for Henry Hill Just placing the boys on a British pedestal instead.

 

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Rating : 8/10

R: The End (2008), Essex Boys (2000), Rise of the Footsoldier (2007)

Q: Aunt RoseOne day they’ll drain Victoria Park lake and you know what they’ll find? Babies, that’s what. Bullets and dead babies”..
BS: The big showdown finale is great, the set up is similar to the killing montages similar to the Godfather and Infernal Affairs.
L: London film, British Crime and Gangsters, Crime Biographies, Biographies, Twins in Film.
5B: Billie Whitelaw, Susan Fleetwood, Gary Kemp, Martin Kemp