Archive for the '80's movies' Category

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.
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Check out the trailer for “Poltergiest 3″

trailers

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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

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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

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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
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Check out the trailer for “Get Crazy”

trailers

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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 >>