Archive for the '80's movies' Category

Oct

maximum overdrive“Maximum Overdrive” is arguably the best machines taking over the world movie ever made that doesn’t involved a Californian Governor and Edward Furlong. This was Stephen King’s directorial debut in what amounts to a 90 minute AC/DC video of vehicular homocide and killer Sony walkmans. Fortunately it does have Pat Hingle blowing crap up with a rocket launcher and plenty of grease stained shirts.

When the Earth passes through a radioactive comet, it’s space mojo crop dusts the planet causing all the machines to turn homocidal. ATM’S swear at bank patrons, lawn mowers starting mulching gardeners and Walkman fry out teen listening to Petshop Boys. (Which would have happened eventually anyways.) After a draw bridge nearly wipes out the nation’s watermelon crop, a little league game is interrupted by a runaway steam roller and a pop machine that snipes players with jet propelled soda cans. Luckily, one of the kids Deke (Holter Graham) can dodge them like a caffeinated spider monkey and escapes on his dirt bike.

Maximum OverdriveAcross town at a Dixie truckstop where most of the patrons still don’t realize the south lost, waitresses are getting attacked by kitchen utensils and arcade games are electocuting customers. But their homemade strudel pie there is still delicious. Emilio Estevez plays Billy, a parole fry cook who when he isn’t shacking up with hitchhiker hotties, he’s spouting alien conspiracy theories about intergallactic brooms. They’re all being held hostage by a pack of psycho semi trucks circling the building liked indians around a covered train. The convoy is  led by a creepy green goblin semi whose got a thirst for unleaded blood and forces the survivors to pump gas all day for all his 18 wheeled buddies. Later that day, the most annoying newlywed couple ever to drive a 4-door crash through the semi line by doing an evil kinvel stunt flip crashing their car. The driver, Curtis, escapes but Connie is caught by her seat belt, her shrill whining voice is her only defense.  Sadly she’s cut free  just before it gets side swiped by a evil tow truck. Later that night, Emilio and Curtis attempt to rescue a injured bible salesman whose been screaming out in the ditch all night keeping everyone  from a good night’s sleep. They make their way through the sewer ducts to get to him but then Deke shows up on his dirt bike and they pretty much forget about the poor sap stuck in the mud. They all head back to the diner where Mr. Hendershot, the redneck business owner, is discovered hiding a huge militia stockpile of weapons in the basement. This gives everyone a chance to shoot machine guns and use rocket launchers near flammable gas pumps, a pyromaniac’s dream come true. maximum overdrive

After blowing up a few semis and roving artillery carts, the survivors duck back through the tunnels just as all the trucks decide to finally demolish the place and put up a Walmart. Everyone heads toward the boat docks for a final showdown with a drive thru speaker who Deke uses for some quick target practice. “No, I wouldn’t like fries with that!” KAAABLAM! Billy blows up the green semi with a rocket launcher just for kicks. Despite most of their friends and family dying horrifiying deaths, they’re all in pretty good moods as they set off on a boat trip to some uncharted island. Maybe they’ll build huts out of bambo while singing kumbya and then make a radio out of coconuts. Don’t want to miss a second of that all AC/DC channel.

A mega-cheese award goes to Ellen McElduff who plays a boozin’ waitress that scretches out  “You can’t do this! We made you!” just before she gets gunned down in a blaze of glory. Also  to Yeardley Smith who plays the high pitched Connie and does voice of Maggie Simpson. She does more for preventive eloping than Lorena Bobbitt. Retroman Steve says take “Maximum Overdrive” for a test drive and be sure to stock up on beef jerky and puffy hats with filthy sayings.

roadside attractions

  • Watermelon crushing
  • Pop machine head smashing
  • Electric knife wrist attacks
  • Gas pump-fu
  • Video game electrocution
  • Soda pop batting cages
  • Little league steamrolling
  • Continuous AC/DC
  • Wall-o-porn
  • Grill scraping
  • Estevez-estravanganza
  • bathroom flatulance
totals

8

blood BLOOD

Who knew recalled vehicles could do this much bodily damage

1

blood BREASTS

There’s rumors of breasts somewhere in this film, but heck if I could see them. Usually that would be hard to miss.

8

beast BEASTS

Lots of metallic beasts running on unleaded evil. Oh and 1 Stephen King.

9.15 OVERALL
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We have a limited amount of extra prints from the Rosen’s Drive-in showing of Maximum Overdrive. These are glossy 11 by 17 high quality prints and will go great next to your AC/DC poster. Only $5.00 plus $2.00 shipping and handling. Continental U.S. orders only.

Also check out the Maximum Overdrive T-shirt from our friends at Fright-Rags. Click on the design below to order a t-shirt.

maxshirt

Check out the trailer for “Maximum Overdrive”

trailers
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Oct

posted by retroman | October 10, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Horror movies, Review by Doktor

There isn’t a word to describe how totally AWE-some this movie is. That’s mostly ‘cos this movie isn’t all that awesome. The instant I saw Jeremy “One Life to Live” Slate was crossing over into horror I decided to use my time more wisely, I began to search my dog for that louse that had been evading me for months. He was an onery cuss, the louse, and when I found him he put up a good fight. In the end, I got him.

That is a far more entertaining story, so I will now return to my disgustion of The Dead Pit.

This is your typical 1980’s horror set in a mental asylum flick. The plot goes something like this, there’s a crazy psychologist who is killing his patients ‘cos… it’s fun? A colleague catches him in the act and is forced to kill him. Rather than go to the police, the good doctor boards up (i.e. drives a couple nails and fills the gap with spackle) the secret basement pit and all  the dead patients therein and promptly forgets about the whole mess. Twenty years pass and there’s an earthquake which opens the “sealed” basement, releasing the zombie psychologist. There’s not much more by way of explanation, and that’s a good thing, ‘cos as the Jolly Green Mongoloid would have called it, “Ho, Ho, Ho, UMH-tarded!”

The Mad Psychologist is so mad, that when he returns from the dead, he wears rubber gloves. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to do. He’s dead, or undead, so he doesn’t have to worry about any germs. The people he’s treating are soon going to be dead, so no need to protect them…

It makes my head hurt, so I’m going to move on.

Our hero, Jane Doe, has had her memory taken, surgically. She was found wandering around, unawares of who she was. The court sentenced her to a stay at the mental hospital for “therapy” until such time as her memory returned. After much convoluted plot twists, we discover that her memoryectomy was performed when she was a small child. Not only that, but it was performed by the Mad Psychologist, who, remember, was killed twenty years earlier.

Half Naked

Which means she’s been wandering around for 20 something years as an amnesiac…

I think I can actually feel a tumor forming.

There is one attribute, one saving grace, which our heroine possesses, breasts. More importantly, she has the exhibitionistic dignity required to present them for our viewing pleasure. It’s not cheaply thrown in there. Rather, I find how Brett Leonard, the writer/director, slipped them into the story to be dignified. Jane is tied up in a basement. She is wearing a half wife-beater and panties, both cotton, both white.  A cackling nurse isn’t so much spraying Jane’s face and chest as she’s BLASTING them. So much so, in fact, Jane’s half shirt rips right off.

Ah, subtly, thy name is Brett Leonard.

So, in the end, the Mad Psychologist’s pit of dead patients comes back to life to, uhm, do something. It’s not to kill Jane, ‘cos Mad Psychologist has her captured and tied down next to the pit when they rise, and they pass right by her. I ‘spose it’s ‘cos he’s her [spoiler] father. What they do is  get out and wander around a bit, disabling all the vehicles in the parking lot. They then take after the staff. They kill the two police guards, who, in all honesty, deserve worse. If you fail to see the group of about twenty shuffling zombie patients coming at you across a wide open area, moaning and carrying on, you need to be removed from the gene pool. They go on to kill a couple orderlies, a nurse or two and all the patients.

The Dead Pit

Not wanting to get arrested for loitering, they set their sites on Jane and her convenient friend the Demolitions Man. Demo Man whips up a bomb to weaken the truss on the water tower, which has been “blessed” by the other convenient character, Nun Nutter. Nuns can’t bless things, much less would they do so by just repeating “in nomine patris et fillii et Spiritus Sancti” (in the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit), but I digress. The game plan is such: when the tower topples the  blessed water will pour down into the cellar and consecrate the unholy ground of the pit, thus turning the zombies into pudding.

When it comes down to it, Demo Man was caught without his Hero’s Death Exemption card and therefore has to go down the with water tower. While he’s blowing himself up, Jane faces off with her daddy, Mad Psychologist, one last time.

Naturally, when Mad Psychologist melts we get a shot of Jane kneeling down, eyes closed. The camera slowly pans into her face and… all together now… her eyes are glowing red, just like his did. Thankfully, it’s over, and to the best of my knowledge there was no sequel.

roadside attractions

  • Zombies (whose make-up looked like mime paint)
  • Zombie pudding (what zombies become when sprinkle with holy water)
  • Miniature of hospital and water tower (for flooding scene)
  • Rent-a-center version of Sean Connery (Demolitions Man)
  • Hypnosis
  • Pseudo-psychology
totals

6

blood
BLOOD

couple gallons

7

blood
BREASTS

Two. Displayed in a show fit for any teenage boy’s wet dream.

7

beast
BEASTS

Mad Psychologist, zombies, lunatics.

6.5 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “The Dead Pit”

trailers

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Oct

posted by retroman | October 3, 2010 | 80's movies, Grindhouse, Horror movies, Review by Die-Anne Takillya

The plot, or as much of it as I could make out: This man dies in flagrante aardvarkus with a lady who finds biting chins intensely erotic. He turns out to the brother of the main character, Carol. She and her husband/boyfriend, (It’s never really made clear, also, only four or five of the charaters have names that I could make out. Bad audio on this sucker.), travel to England to settle the estate. Her brother’s widow is there, and she’s creepy, the house is without power, so they go about lighting the place with black candles. Carol doesn’t like the fact that all the candles are black, and EXTREMELY bright; two candles light her whole room! The lights in this room are CLEARLY on. Blow them out. There are also lots of demonic lithographs decorating the parlor. They’d make for some interesting needlepoint patterns. These turn on the boyfriend/husband, and not ten minutes into the film, we have another session of aardvarkery. The widow watches through a peephole, and abuses herself. Then she starts giving Carol teas made of herbs she refuses to identify. If more people would refuse to drink things that strangers bring them, we wouldn’t have many horror movies.

Then they start trying to spellify Carol and seduce her husband and get him to join their freaky coven run by the Reverend Hooper, (a priest with a coke fingernail) so she can get the inheritance. Carol suspects something is up, but keeps having nightmares about incestual relations with her brother while the widow watches…and joins in. The evil maid Georgina steals Carol’s necklace so they can put a spell on her; a spell involving the chin biting lady (Oh, her name is Annalise!) and a goat…and that’s as far as I’m going to go; your imaginations will not do what really happened justice, except for when the wide shots revealed it was a man in a goat suit. Here is a play-by play of my reactions during this scene:

Um, you’re not supposed to touch a goat like that.

Are they talking about what I think they’re talking about? Juices? Mingling?

They are.

In detail.

Oh God.

The maid and Annalise are combining their purchases. The preacher man interrupts.

Wait; why is she naked in the barn? No. no no no no no. No. This can’t…they can’t…OH MY GOD THEY DID! She’s…in…and…oh god…Wait; that’s a man in a goat

suit. Intercut with the…No no no please don’t kiss the goat. DON’T LICK THE GOAT’S EAR. OH GOD, WHY DID THEY DO THIS??

I had to pause the movie and get a drink. Ok, that’s better. Now, back to it.

While Carol is fully clothed and out dealing with solicitors (The British kind, not telemarketers or door-to-door salesmen), The widow and Carol’s husband get hopped up on herbs and, you guessed it, make the sign of the eight-tailed marmot. Then it shifts to her standing up, and then to a shot of a glass with…something yellowish in it. I feel like Brad Pitt at the end of Seven, screaming at my television, “WHAT’S IN THE GLASS? WHAT’S IN THE GLASS?” And then, the light revealed what I was afraid of. That sure as Hell ain’t sweet tea in that glass. I used to think I was kinky until I watched this movie.

As it progresses, I think more and more that this was a hardcore porn with the penetration scenes cut out, because these people are getting it on all over the place, in just about every imaginable combination. I’m surprised there isn’t more BDSM going on here, because in the movies Satanism, witchcraft, and demon worship usually go hand in hand with that sort of kink. The movie’s not over, yet, though.

Carol’s got some sort of mystery ailment, and the doctor’s in on it, and gives her some tranquilizers to mix with the herbal junk. The whole coven wants the inheritance, I suppose. They’re planning on giving her a stroke or something, then have a satanic orgy that Carol sees in a dream. OH WE SEE GAZEBOS! Hmm; they’re all into chin biting. Is that a Satanist thing? Just asking. Ok; so after that, the husband/boyfriend joins the naked coven and there’s another orgy. So Carol’s going to be driven mad by the Satanists. She’s smelling sulfur and hearing things; acting all paranoid when the Priest stares menacingly at her. Those are some groovy tie-dyed jeans she’s wearing, though. And she’s naked again! Does nobody here own pajamas? I can’t do this anymore. I can’t.

My apologies, folks; I can’t…let me get another drink. I will finish what I start!

The stable hands are all over each other, literally. Carol has stopped wearing pants altogether; then the maid’s husband lets the cat out of the bag, telling Carol about the whole demonic plot. He is killed, of course; I’ve never seen an execution by sword up the wazoo before. Carol is caught while on the run, and told she’s going to be Satan’s bride. This basically means she’s going to be annointed and ticker-taped by everyone. Then in a scene very reminiscent of Rosemary’s Baby, and twice as explicit, she is given a midair refuling by Satan.

BUT WAIT, IT WAS ALL A DREAM! Or was it…

Roadside Attractions: 48 Breasts. Yes, I’m serious, I counted them TWICE. 1 quart blood. 2 beasts, the goat and the man in the goat suit. Sword-fu, herbal tea-fu, so much aardvarking, in all combinations.

This is a basically a gothic porn in which Satan’s deeds are done not with spells or ritual, but with the whangdoodle. And it’s not sexy. This movie makes me want to talk to an adult I can trust. Total exploitation, nothing scary at all here, aside from the amount of body hair on these folks. This was such a turkey, I’d serve it for Thanksgiving dinner, and make pot pie with the leftovers. Do yourself a favor, don’t watch this alone, or you may turn into a deviant. Of course, if you’re already a deviant, like myself, then it’ll make you question your street cred. I have nothing to worry about, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

2 cheese wedges

Sep

posted by retroman | September 1, 2010 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Review by Die-Anne Takillya

Donna Bleed (www.twitter.com/DonnaBleed) brings you another great b-movie review.

witchboard
Since I wasn’t run off with flaming torches and pitchforks, I decided to give you guys another one.  One of my very favorite bits of cheese; parents hate ‘em, the kids adore ‘em, they’re a hit at slumber parties…have you guessed it?

That’s right, it’s Witchboard!

It’s totally the 80’s, ladies and gentlemen, that is fer sure!  There is a lot of neon and spiky hair at Linda (Tawny Kitaen) and Jim’s (Todd Allen) party; They’re celebrating…something; what it is isn’t really ever made clear, or I missed it because I’m on a lot of sinus medication.  What is clear is that there are a lot of Pepsi products, a lot of Jack Daniels, and a lot of macho posturing over Linda between Brandon (Stephen Nichols) and Jim.  This entire first scene could have had the dialogue replaced with grunts and club waving and the point still would have come across.  Rich boy lost girl to witchboardpoor boy, and Rich Boy is trying to convince her he’s better.  With a Ouija board.  Yeah, I know, you’d think it’d be a little sexy, what with the board sitting on their knees and them having to get close, but his pinky ring and her firey mane gets in the way.  I’m serious; it looks like Tawny had been attacked by the Blob, only it didn’t eat her, it just chose to perch on her head forever.  I know this was in the Whitesnake “Here I Go Again” heyday, but come on, this is a ridiculous amount of hair.

Basically what little party footage we have is a lengthy pseudo-intellectual yuppie-type party discussion on religion and spirituality (Don’t you love those kind of parties!), culminating with Brandon saying he’s essentially an athiest, but he likes to talk to the spirits of the dead through the Ouija.  Let me pause here by saying that you come across as a huge dick, when you correct people when they say “Wee-Gee” instead of the proper “Wee-Jah,” then go into the history of it being the French and German Words for ‘Yes’ and then giving the pronunciation guide again.  NOBODY CARES, BRANDON!  It’s a party, relax!  You’re wearing an 800-dollar suit, sitting on a naugahyde sofa that’s covered in cheese popcorn.  Nobody gives a rat’s a** about your seance credentials.  We cut to scenes of the dudes that I’d be hanging out with if I had been there, namely Jim and his best friend, Lloyd (James W. Quinn), then finally back to the seancing.  Is that a word?  If not, I’m making it one.

Anyway, he convinces Linda that since their systems are ‘pure,’ (as in no smoking and no drinking tonight) they start to use the board. Brandon is trying to reach his spirit guide, David.  He is the spirit of a 10-year old boy with a very nasty temper who can blow all four tires on your Cobra if he thinks you’re making fun of him.  The first of many jump-scares present in this movie, this one is very effective, except for the girly leap that Brandon gives when the noise startles them all.  Trust me, what this film lacks in content, it tries to make up for with jump-scares.  And lots of shots of Tawny in baby doll pajamas, rolling around in the king-sized waterbed.  Hey, it’s the 80’s.  Live it up.witchboard

In the fracas, Brandon forgets the Ouija board, and of course, Linda can’t resist it’s ability to highlight her manicure the next morning.  She asks it several questions, the big one being “Were the tests positive?” implying that she thinks she might be pregnant.  Ladies, Ouija boards are 100% accurate with these delicate matters, so don’t go wasting money on silly things like a pregnancy test or a doctor’s appointment, just consult the spirit world and everything will be just fine!  We learn that David doesn’t like Jim, and doesn’t want to come back as Linda’s baby because of it.  This is followed by the sad death of the most entertaining character in the movie, and the ruination of a perfectly good Sonny’s Bar-B-Q hat.  RIP, Lloyd, your screen time was much too short.  I have to say that am quite impressed at the speed of the police involvement in this movie; the homicide detective, Lt. Dewhurst (Burke Byrnes) is already questioning Jim, rhapsodising about Vegas magic acts, and inserting a red herring while at Lloyd’s funeral.

The middle of the movie can pretty much be summed up as this: Linda continues to use the board, scary things happen, she has a lot of morning sickness, Brandon thinks she’s possessed, and is trying to convince Jim.  We also get a little bit of the story behind the testosterone-fueled posturing between Jim and Brandon.  Not much, but enough of their pouting close-ups make it onto the screen for you to realize that they’re both huge weenies, and it wouldn’t be bad if a load of improperly secured sheetrock fell on them both.  I mean, these guys are pout MASTERS.

After Linda ends up so scared she visits the creepy landlady (Rose Marie of the Dick Van Dyke Show), he agrees to let Brandon bring in a punk-rock medium, Zarabeth (Kathleen Wilhoite).  I must give the directors credit; the effects for the time were pretty good, and the collapsing pyramid of Mountain Dew cans is impressive.  Brandon takes back his evil ouija, and takes Zarabeth home.  Zarabeth dies a few minutes later, which is sad; the movie could have used a little bit more of her “psychic humor.”  She does give us a clue as to who is doing the killing. I won’t say who, but I will say that the word is Portugese, and I’ve had too much cough syrup to even begin to get it right.  Also, her death scene is pretty good.  Note to self: don’t keep spiky lawn ornaments around.

witchboardAfter Zarabeth’s untimely death, Brandon discovers that he’s been duped; he was given a chalkboard with Linda’s grocery list instead of his ouija, so he decides to go on a fact-finding mission.  Jim witnesses Linda undergo a psychic attack during which she flings herself around like…well, I can’t really say what she flings herself around like, or the site will get letters, so I’ll say that it was graceless, and quite the opposite of the way she flung herself around in the Whitesnake videos.  She gets a concussion, and is admitted to the hospital, and Jim finds out that she’s really not pregnant, so all this morning sickness is ouija-induced after all.  That pesky cop comes around again, making more references to magicians and jugglers, and implying that Jim’s missing drywall hammer is responsible for another death.

Jim joins Brandon and they  motor off to Big Bear to verify David’s story,  to the place David supposedly met the Reaper, but not before stopping at an occult store for another ouija board, and do a seance on the pier.  Jim asks Brandon the same question I hoarsely screamed at my TV: Doesn’t the board have to be on your knees?  Not when it’s where the spirit supposedly died.  The camera does that thing where it takes on the POV of the evil spirit flying around, then some barrels come untied and knock our intrepid heroes down.  They’re okay, though, until Brandon takes an axe to the face.

Then we have a bizarre breakdown by the one person who has shown no emotions aside from anger and amusement.  Jim cradles  Brandon’s body, sobbing and screaming like a little girl. Once again, the cops are hot on his trail, but first he has to deal with Linda in drag, trying to kill him with an axe.  After escaping the hospital and being attacked by the shower, she’s now possessed by the evil Portugese mass-murderer ghost dude that lived in their house and has been running around killing the good characters! An intense fight scene, complete with him pulling punches because he doesn’t want to hurt her.  The cop busts in, but Linda quickly subdues him with a poker to the head, then tries to convince Jim to shoot himself because it turns out he’s the portal for the evil after all (SHOCKING TWIST ENDING!) but Jim shoots the ouija board instead, and the evil pushes Jim’s through the window, where he executes a graceful backwards gainer onto a white station wagon.

Yet another stupid, redemptive ending, they get married, but in the wreckage of the apartment, the landlady discovers the ouija board, full of bullet holes but none the worse for wear, the perfect setup for a sequel!  Of which there are two.  This one scores a 5 out of 10, for some decent jump scares, and the writer’s gumption to kill off a character who says, “Do you see ‘Spaz’ written on this man anywhere?”

roadside attractions

  • Gratuitous hair flinging
  • Ouija-fu, knife covered in ketchup
  • amateur plumbing, evil spirit POV
  • Falling Sheetrock, axe to the throat
  • sundial skewering
  • head rolls in dream sequence, throat grabbing
  • barrels roll
  • axe to the face
  • strangulation
  • and a poker to the head
totals

1

blood
BLOOD

quart at best; Lloyd has some smeared around his face, there’s some excellent splatter action on the dock, and Zarabeth has some on her neck.

2

beast
BEASTS

Malfeitor and Jim when he doesn’t have a shirt on.  Yeesh.

2

blood
BREASTS

during the shower attack scene.  She covers them up quick, though, so keep your eyes open.

5.00 OVERALL
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Check out the trailer for “Witchboard”

trailers

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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
Scare Bears
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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 >>