Archive for the '80's movies' Category

Aug

posted by retroman | August 8, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movies, Bad movie, Guest Review, Horror movies

angeliqueAngelique (www.twitter.com/Laughing_Bones)

“I’ve been a horror fan since my mom went to see Cujo in the theaters while pregnant with me.  That set the stage for my love of the good, the bad, and the downright ugly, and I’ve seen some of the worst and best horror movies out there, and since I was old enough, I would hold movie marathons and make my friends watch them as well.  I  When I’m not writing about horror, I blog (http://theculinaryadventuresofdangergirl.com.blogspot.com/) about whatever comes to mind.  Otherwise, you can find me in and about the wilderness of East Tennessee, preparing for the inevitable revolution/zombie apocalypse.”

Lost Highway Welcomes Angelique to the our little roadside detour of b-movie cool and without further ado…whatever ado means…here’s her review of Poltergiest 3: Why didn’t it stop at 1.

Poltergiest 3
Let me start by saying that if Carol Anne was my daughter, I’d drive her out to the middle of nowhere, leave her, and hope for the best.

OH WAIT!  That’s just what her lovely parents did in Poltergeist III, only they replaced “middle of nowhere” with “Chicago” and “hope for the best” with “foist her on your sister, her husband, and his daughter, because we can’t take it anymore.”

Following the events of Poltergeist and Poltergeist II, the story opens with Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) in a posh high-rise penthouse in the heart of Chicago, living with her aunt, her uncle, and step-cousin.  She is obviously a burden on the family, but they all try to put on happy faces as she sits around and plays with that damn Speak-n-Spell all the time.  I swear, when she’s not dealing with the threat of ghosts, the kid does nothing else!  I lost interest in mine when I realized it wouldn’t “say” curse words, but she can’t get enough of it!  Well, I suppose this is what happens when televisions, clown dolls, and toy phones are off-limits to little girls who attract evil spirits from the other side.  Ahem, back to the story.  This is only the beginning, for there is danger afoot, and strange things begin happening with gusto, which everyone promptly ignores.

Poltergiest 3Carol Anne has the dubious honor of being enrolled in a special school for gifted children, lorded over by the insidious Dr. Satan-er, Seaton, rather.  Seaton.  Dr. Seaton (Richard Fire), who likes to impress other psychiatrists with his acumen and impeccable goatee, makes Carole Anne out to be some Mesmer-esque master of minds, has inadvertently awakened the ghost of that crazy Reverend Kane (Nathan Davis, and an assortment of rubber masks), who will stop at nothing to get Carol Anne to lead them into the light.

This, of course, has alerted Tangina (Zelda Rubenstein), who gets on a plane immediately to help her, because Dr. Seaton is an asshole.

Bruce (Tom Skerritt) and Pat (Nancy Allen) have fights over Carol Anne between dealing with the various technical problems the building is going through; he likes her there, she wants her gone, and resents her sister for foisting her crazy child off onto them during a most stressful time in their yuppie lives.  If it weren’t for all the ghosts and such, this could have been a movie of the week about the benefits of acceptance and family change.  It’s not, but the writers certainly didn’t realize that.

Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) is miffed because she has to watch Carol Anne and her red footie pajamas all night, but Carol Anne uses her mental might to convince Donna to go ahead to the party, she’s just gonna be sitting around, you know, playing with her speak and spell, maybe slipping into the liquor cabinet…wait, that didn’t happen.  I wish it did, for it would have given her a little more character depth.  Donna applies too much eyeliner, and Carol Anne leans into the bathroom door to give her some makeup tips.  Then, there’s a knock at the mysteriously closed bathroom door, and she opens it to see…CAROL ANNE!  What just happened?  Never mind, she has a party to attend.  After arriving at the party with her collar popped and deeming it dullsville, she uses a handy set of master keys to break into the pool and throw a better party.  She and her afro-sporting boyfriend Scott (Kip Wentz) sneak off to rob the grocery store of their cheese-doodles and Coors Light while upstairs, Carol Ann has run into some trouble.

Kane begins to torment Carol Ann in the apartment, and I can’t say that the special effects were all that ’special,’ because 90% of them are done with dry ice fog and flashing lights, but they’re scary enough for Carol Anne, and she runs away.  She’s seen on camera by Donna and Scott, who were trying to make out in the security room holding armloads of groceries, and they follow her to the parking garage.

Let me warn you right now: throughout the rest of the movie, you will hear the name “Carol Ann” about EIGHTEEN MILLION TIMES.v

She goofs around, running backwards until she steps into a puddle.  WATCH OUT, IT’S A REFLECTIVE SURFACE!  Oops, too late; zombie hands jerk her down, Donna and Scott arrive just in time to provide a not quite convincing rescue attempt, and they all get pulled into the puddle.

Poltergiest 3

From this point on, things get a little flaky.  Scott reappears and is crazy, screaming about Donna.  Dr. Seaton comes to the building and tries to analyze him.  Tangina comes in and rubs her necklace some more.  She spouts some exposition about love and how it’ll set the girls free or something, (I don’t know, I quit listening for a minute), until she started talking about the evil beyond the bedroom door.  I thought for sure she was talking about the Speak-N-Spell, but no, she meant Kane, and the mirrors.  She and Dr. Seaton face-off, then something spooky happens and the evil reaches out and deep-fries Tangina.  We immediately have an excellent Lara Flynn Boyle freak-out as she climbs out of the still-steaming corpse of our favorite magical midget.  Arguably the best part of the movie, second only to when she pushes Dr. Seaton down the elevator shaft after he goes chasing after the reflection of Carol Anne.  Come to find out, that’s not really Donna or Scott, but doppelgangers who like to make out sloppily, then rip each others faces off.

The last half of the movie is spent following Bruce and Pat around, watching them get locked into large freezers, fighting undead livestock, almost drowning, snatching necklaces from an apparition of Tangina, being teleported into frozen, snowy parking garages and being chased by possessed cars. I’m not sure what mirrors and ice have in common, but for some reason they go together like peanut butter and jelly in this flick.  Are they playing up the idea that ghosts suck the heat out of the environment for energy?  It isn’t ever explained, aside from the light being cold.

During the final showdown in Carol Anne’s foggy room, Carol Anne shows up and spouts some angsty mess about how nobody loves her or wants her but Kane, but it’s a ruse to get the magical necklace from Pat.  She disappears,  then Pat gets strangled by her own reflection, pimp-slapped by Kane, sees the whole family lying around dead, and freaks out.  Tangina appears yet again, spouting more about this love thing, and how it’ll save everyone, and how she can end this whole thing by leading him into the light, and could have done it all along.  SHOULDN’T SHE HAVE DONE THAT TWO FLIPPING MOVIES AGO??  Why’d she leave this poor girl to be tormented?  Question for the ages, I suppose.

If there’s one thing I hate, its when horror movies try to have some kind of redeeming value.  I wanna be scared, not actually learn anything (except for maybe a few new ways that I could potentially die or enter an alternate dimension).

roadside attractions

  • Gratuitous One-way mirrors
  • Disembodied hand coffee-mug flinging
  • Elevator shaft Swan Dive
  • Undead livestock
  • Chicken-fried psychic
  • Corpse burrowing
  • Face peeling
  • Necklace rubbing
  • Decapitation by shovel
  • Face peeling
  • Head melting
totals

0

blood
BLOOD

They flash-fried Tangina

4

beast
BEASTS

I’m including the Speak-N-Spell here, you guess the rest of ‘em!

0

blood
BREASTS

Lara Flynn Boyle doesn’t have much more than mosqito bites anyway

3.0 OVERAL

When the scariest thing in the movie is a Speak-n-Spell, it’s the best you can do.
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Poltergiest 3″

trailers

dripper
Jun
Boogens

When I was 5, I had this same fear sitting on the toilet.

In “The Boogens” we learn exactly what happened to those pet turtles that were flushed down the toilet when you were a kid. Things go bad when an abandoned sliver mine is re-opened for business. It inadvertently releases the “Boogen”, an ancient creature that has an uncanny resemblance to Gamera the flying super turtle. This hero in a half shell also has deadly tentacles and a craving for fresh blood but still takes time to relax in it’s underground private spa. It also has an impressive steam cleaned bone collection and often raids basement pantries while spelunking or eats annoying pet dogs… thus helping rid the world of canned Lima beans and miniature poodles..huzzah!

A couple of the new workers, Mark and Rodger have moved out near the silver mine town along with Roger’s Girlfriend, Jessica, and her friend Trish. They all decide to rent a creepy old cabin nearby so it’s a short drive into town if there’s some sort of flannel emergency. The cabin just happens to sit on mutant grand central which practically rings the mutant diner chow bell. Instead of a massive battle against deadly tentacles we’re treated to overly long bar scenes of the couples talking and playing pool for most of the film. Will she make the 8 ball in the corner pocket?  Thrill to the sights of them ordering “another round!!!”

Eventually, they do actually stay in the cabin and the Boogen starts offing them with some good old tentacle slash and gash…. but it’s mostly just to get them to shut the heck up. It takes forever for anyone to actually figure out that people are even missing but when they do all hell breaks lose and it’s mutant turtles on a rampage. We have 4 explosions, 1 dead dog, extreme flannel, pool playing, pantry raids, creepy old guy with multiple Boogens…or would that be boogies? It’s a fun little 80’s monster movie that has “made for TV” written all over it.. except for the gratuitous nudity and swearing. Retroman says “rent it” and always remember to store you miniature poodles on a hard to reach shelf for safety.

trailers

dripper
Jun

posted by retroman | June 21, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movies, Horror movies

Sure a dad would like a tie, maybe a golf club or two…but most of all they want cake. So here’s a special happy father’s day gift to all you b-movie daddy’s.

trailers

dripper
Jun

Get Crazy
When did concert promoters go certifiably insane? $75 to see AC/DC? $150 for a crappy seat at a Celine Dion concert? Shouldn’t they be paying the audience to see her screech out 80’s cover songs? Does that include a free ride on a Canadian Zamboni? Shoot I remember when you could see REO Speedwagon for $10 and the best seats were for whoever got there blankets closes to the speakers first, and if you left for the bathroom well that’s your tough lost. Now it’s $5 for a watered down beer surrounded by middle aged guys with iPhones, and comb overs. The only thing they’re hopped up on is Lipitor, and Viagra. So save your cash stay at home, and pirate the songs off the Interwebs like your kids do instead. The only ringing in your ear will be your hearing aid, and you won’t have to bring a bottle to pee in. Well, that still might be a good idea.

Get Crazy
Speaking of the big concert events. The Saturn theater is about to put on one of the biggest rock shows for a new Year’s eve blowout to end all blowouts, and trust me there’s plenty of blow to go around. The movie “Get Crazy” has more drugs in it than a hooker in Charlie Sheen’s apartment. The only thing that puts a damper on the festivities is an evil corporate raider in a shiny jumpsuit named Colin Beverly, a greedy nerd that shows up with his color matching yes men trying to buy the theater. After a humiliating rejection by Wolf , the theater’s owner, Colin decides to plant a high-tech stink bomb to go off at midnight thereby bankrupting the theater…. and if that doesn’t work they’re going to give them all swirlies or stuff them in a locker. The owner thinking he has suffered a minor heart attack decides to put his puffy haired nephew Sammy in charge…a greasy little Donald Trump wanna-be whose looking for a quick buck. Sammy makes a deal with Colin to help plant the bomb so he can get a cut of the theater sales or become a drugged out dirty hippy, whichever comes first.

Daniel Stearn the robber from “Home Alone 1 & 2″ is here to save the day as the level headed stage director Neil Allen… that is unless an annoying little blonde hair kid drops a  steam iron on his head.  He often fantasizes about chain smoking frizzy haired women getting burned at the stake and playing Tarzan with a Jane in garter belts. He also let’s in creepy alien drug dealers dressed as masochists to dope up his staff with magic mystery pills. Neil has got upper management written all over him.

With all the prep work done the concert kicks off to a hodgepodge of punk, new wave, pop, and blues music. Think Hoochie Coochie man but imagine the punk band Fear doing a cover version with strung out cheerleaders. There’s also a Jewish blues band rocking out with King Blues, and a brief stint of Lee Ving screaming in a mic encouraging suicidal teens to jump from balconies. They really need a tranquilizer gun for this guy before he bites off someone’s ear. The headliner though is Reggie Wanker ( Malcolm MacDowell) who after doing loopty loops in his jet, gallivants around the stage with a stuffed crotch, and a bad case of Mick Jaggerism. Even Lou Reed stumbles in for the show after he sobers up being typically late, and typically folksy. It’s the Lou Reed way.
Get Crazy

Neil’s fanboy sister ditches her mom, and dad to sneak off to the concert for a chance to shake her money makers with Reggie on stage but she nearly gets knocked over by his enormous stuffed jock strap. Neil pulls her off the stage just in time before someone gets their eye poked out. Later backstage Reggie makes the sign of the 3 humping hyenas with some low self esteemed groupies only to find out his long time girlfriend just did it with a nerdy stage hand. He drowns his sorrows in bad blues singing with drug laced Gatorade, and talks to his penis about career advice….stranger yet is when the little wanker starts talking back. Did I mention there were a lot of drugs in this movie? Neil discovers the bomb plot, and attempts to get it’s location from Sammy, now a newly converted hippie, that is if a giant anamorphic joint doesn’t stop him first.

Hijinks aside The majority of the film is focused on the concert with a bit of slapstick comedy thrown in between the pot smoking, and pill popping. It’s “Reefer Madess” meets “Meatballs” blended with “Spinal Tap” served in a dirty ashtray and a perfect follow-up to the director’s earlier film “Rock n’ Roll Highschool.” Retroman says check it out so you too can be “one with the universe man in a dazzling moonbean of peace love and colors maaaaannn.”

Nancy Regan likely showed clips of this film to scare elementary kids, and would threaten that Mr. Electric is hiding under their bed.

A Special thanks goes out to “Super Strange Videos” who sent us a copy of “Get Crazy” for review…the movie is incredibly difficult to find. Stop by their site and tell em’ Lost Highway sent ya.

roadside attractions

  • Rocket surfing
  • Darth Vader Drug Dealer
  • Extreme Hippies
  • Stackable naked chicks
  • Free style stage diving
  • Watercooler acid trips
  • Exploding Limos
  • Rowdy Dowley extreme jock strap
  • Talking willy wankers
  • Creepy Joint mascots
totals

0

blood
BLOOD

None unless someone got a nose bleed from the coke

8

beast
BEASTS

The man they call Piggy

9

blood
BREASTS

Plenty. seems like every Mcdowell film has knockers

  8.5 OVERALL
dripper

Check out the trailer for “Get Crazy”

trailers

dripper
May

Almost every B-movie and horror movie fan out there has a story of how they were introduced to movies–like a cool uncle who let them watch “Porky’s” where they saw their very first set of boobies. For me, I became hooked on B-movies and horror movies after my first visit to Video Unlimited, a video store near where I lived. As a young boy many a weekend and summer were spent watching videos that I rented from both stores; they had two locations. I was very fortunate to have a really cool Mom who would let me watch any kind of movie, regardless of the genre (except porn). Hey, even the coolest Moms have to draw the line somewhere. My Mom became even cooler when I found out she was a big horror movie buff. On her days off from managing the drive-in (Rosen’s), she would usually be watching horror movies with me. Now how many kids can honestly say their Mom likes horror movies?

So, let me get back to my Video Unlimited memories. The one thing that always amazed me about both stores was that even though they weren’t very big, the staff magically found a way to somehow store and showcase thousands of titles. I always wondered if they had access to some kind of interdimensional portal with a limitless supply of videos. Video Unlimited’s selection was a lot like Video Vault in that whatever movie you were looking for, they usually had it or something similar to it.

Videos

And while I’m on the subject of selection, I have to mention the size of the movie rental catalog that was sitting on the front counter of the Laplata location. This thing was HUGE. Think a of a triple-decker club sandwich that is made of phone books, without the ham, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayonnaise. To me this catalog was my B-movie bible. I’m pretty sure that whenever I went near it the book was enshrined in a golden light and I heard celestial music coming from up above. Seriously, this catalog contained so many movies from every possible genre and sub-genre that if I live several lifetimes like the Highlander, Duncan MacLeod, I still wouldn’t see all of the movies listed in it. And when I had watched all of the current releases, or I just wanted to focus on a particular genre, this became my go-to book. The selection of the so-called “big boys” of movie rental back then and today–Blockbuster and Hollywood Video–could never compare to the impressive selection of the small Mom-and-Pop video stores. Try calling Blockbuster to find out if they carry “Wood Chipper Massacre”, and the people working there won’t have a clue as to what you’re talking about.

When I moved out of the area I began going exclusively to Video Unlimited’s Waldorf location, their second store. After about a year of renting several movies on a weekly basis and talking about movies with the staff, I was asked for my imput on what B-movies and horror movies the should carry at the store. So I began making movie recommendations based on previews I had seen, articles that I read in ‘Fangoria’ (when ‘Fangoria’ was still a horror magazine), and movie screeners that I had viewed. Yes, I was given movie screeners to watch, which was one of the coolest things to me. In case you don’t know, a movie screener is an advance copy of a movie that is shown to critics and distributors. I saw a lot of screeners, but the one that comes to mind was for the movie “Seed People.” It’s basically Full Moon Entertainment’s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I remember it being an enjoyable little movie, when Full Moon actually made movies worth watching, unlike the Z-grade trash that Charles Band pimps today for a quick buck. Now if helping to select movies and viewing advance copies wasn’t awesome enough, another perk of being a loyal customer was that I had my pick of all the cool posters they had from movies, like “Silent Night, Deadly Night”, “The Fly” (Cronenberg’s version), and “Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood.” In addition, I also got nifty movie promos like trading cards from another Full Moon release, “Subspecies”, which I still have packed in a box somewhere today. This was way before eBay. Back then nobody really thought of this stuff as being collectible or having any real value. To the owners all it was doing at the time was taking up valuable space that could be used to store copies of movies. Now I’m sure that they probably wished they had kept a lot of these posters after seeing how popular and valuable they’ve become over the years.

Soon I got a job at Rosen’s Drive-in, and I didn’t just didn’t have as much time as I used to to watch movies, but I would still visit Video Unlimited at least once a week to say “hi” and to see if there were any new releases that caught my eye. Sure, I saw plenty of movies while working the projection booth at Rosen’s, but I could never get my fill of movies. Similar to Kirstie Alley’s relationship with food. Have you seen her lately? Yikes! She looks like she swallowed a water buffalo.

Movies

Anyway, when I started a professional haunted house attraction a short time later, I found myself with even less time. Things were so crazy that everything quickly became a blur. And before I knew it, one week, two weeks had passed by in a flash, so I decided to stop by my favorite video store to see how things were going. Well, as soon as I walked across the parking lot towards the front door I had a sinking feeling–something wasn’t right. And my feeling was confirmed when I stepped inside and saw the shelves with only a few movies scattered on each of them. All around me there was a feeding frenzy similar to Piranhas attacking a helpless swimmer at a lake resort. People were quickly grabbing and buying VHS cassettes and everything else in the store, except for the floor tiles. I didn’t ask many questions even though I was shocked and upset, because whatever I was feeling was probably nothing compared to what everybody who worked there was going through. This was their business, their livelihood. From what I was told later on the video store had been struggling for a few months. And things only got worse when their rent was raised and Blockbuster (the Walmart of video stores, which isn’t a compliment) moved into town about 300 or so feet away. The competition was simply too strong and they just couldn’t survive any longer.

To this day I don’t understand why someone didn’t tell me what was happening sooner. Maybe I could have done something to help. Though in all honesty, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference anyway, because the profit-driven, soulless, corporate video rental chains like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video were gaining momentum in the video rental market, and it was only a matter of time before the small Mom-and-Pop video stores like Video Unlimited would soon disappear. However, the Laplata store was able to say in business for several more years until sadly, in 2002, it was destroyed by a devastating tornado that hit the strip mall where it was located. Last I had heard the owner decided not to rebuild the business.

I hadn’t been to the Laplata location in many years, but hearing the bad news was still a real bummer. It was like loosing contact with a close friend, and then years later finding out that they had passed away. For most of my childhood these two stores had been a very important part of my life. I know it’s just a couple of video stores to most people, but the movies that I was exposed to made me, Drive-in Dan, the B-movie fan that I am today. The movies that I rented from these stores led to other interests that have carried over into adulthood, like my passion for special effects makeup after seeing Tom Savini’s masterful work in films such as “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter”, “Dawn of the Dead”, and “The Burning.” Watching films such as “Halloween” and Dario Argento’s “Phenomena”exposed me to the unique musical styles of John Carpenter and the Italian Prog Rock band, Goblin, which I still enjoy to this day. After seeing “The Road Warrior” I was inspired to make vehicles and various contraptions using parts from miscellaneous model kits, and today I continue to create things from found objects.

I will always have fond memories of the two Video Unlimited stores. I’m glad that I grew up in the 80’s and was able to be a part of something truly awesome. Hopefully, other B-movie fans out there had their own Video Unlimited while growing up.

ZombieWorks
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About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>