Archive for the '80’s movies' Category

Aug

posted by admin | August 15, 2009 | 80's movies, B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Guest Review, Horror movies

Comments Off on Hobgoblins

Syrin of CinemaLost Highway would like to welcome the Syrin of Cinema, Krysha Syrin as a guest reviewer to Lost Highway. “My attraction to B-movies started merely a year ago, after entering college. After attending what was to later become a weekly movie night at a friend’s house, I realized how much I missed the silver screen. We watched Grindhouse and I was intrigued. I wanted to know the inspiration behind the film, the history of the bygone grindhouse generation. Weeks upon weeks of researching and interviews later led me to the true fans of the trade. Before I knew it, I was grabbing a Netflix subscription, scouring video stores, and getting my hands on all the B-movies and exploitation films I could.

Between attending classes and working towards a degree in Creative Writing, my spare time is spent viewing all sorts of films and trying to entice everyone I know to do the same.” You can check out her website as well as follow her on Twitter.

hobgoblins

At first glance, Hobgoblins appears to be a strange off-shoot of Gremlins. Look again. Hobgoblins is a quirky mix of bad puppetry, bad acting, and an explosion of the 80s crammed into 90 minutes of non sci-fi torture.

The plot, should you ever find yourself forced to scrape one up off the bottom of this barrel, consists of a senile janitor named McCreedy who sends his interns off to their doom by trusting them to follow instructions and not investigate an unlocked, green-glowing vault. His latest janitorial protégé, Kevin, manages to free a “great evil” which McCreedy had tried to warn him about in sentence fragments but failed do to his senility.

Kevin attempts to correct his wrongdoing by wrangling up the Hobgoblin with his ragtag crew. Amy, his girlfriend with exceptionally high morals; Daphne, who thinks “morals” are a brand of condom; Daphne’s boyfriend, Nick, a war vet who probably got discharged for smuggling out grenades; and Kyle, female in-training.

At some point or another, the entire crew falls prey to the Hobgoblins cunning trickery, resulting in their arrival at Club Scum and the inevitable progression of the film further, much to any viewer’s dismay.

– Thugs
– Loose women
– Frigid women
– Spandex pushed to its limits
– Mortal Kombat: Garden tool edition
– Puppet-induced hallucinations
– Flailing
– Van rocking
– Extreme parking
– War flashbacks
– The plot (and let me know if you find it)

2.5 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Hobgoblins

Aug

Comments Off on The Car

The Car

I consider my time as a teenager not too traumatic. I mean it was no Wonder Years though there’s been times where a disembodied voice would annoyingly narrate over me. My teen years just weren’t filled with all that typical drama, angst and teenage rebellion you’d come to expect. I had a few good buddies, couple of ex-girlfriend and enjoyed watching lots of b-movies.

the car

Back then I drove a 1969 Camaro SS that was given to my on 16th birthday (and yes my dad is that rockin’ cool.) I’m not sure why he trusted the car to a 16 year old lead foot who thought “Gone in 60 Seconds” was a drivers education video but I wasn’t going to complain.

The car was a thing of beauty. Daytona yellow with SS striping and a 300 small block v8 that we pulled out of a Monte Carlo just ready to break free from that hood. It had a low 411 gear ready to run a quarter mile in a heartbeat and it would take all your weight resting on that brake pedal just to hold it back at the stop light. It was like a wild animal ready to pounce and rip through any foreign compact that got in it’s way. My buddy and I would go to the cruise in town on Friday nights driving around aimlessly for a few hours, wastin’ gas, loading up on junk food, and occasionally stopping in at the Big Boy’s parking lot. For some reason all the cool kids liked to hang out there. Maybe it was just the siren call of that giant Big Boy statue smiling endlessly onwards mocking us with his dead cold stare taunting us while holding that giant burger. *shivers*

But my car drank gas like a sponge and eventually I had to put it into storage and drive something a bit more practical and a lot less exciting. Sure I drive a mini-van now, but my Camaro is still waiting in an undisclosed location. Patiently looking forward to taking to the streets again and if you listen quietly at night you might still hear that engine purrin’.

the carSpeaking of muscle cars with a mind of their own. “The Car” features an unmarked Lincoln demon car terrorizing a small country town with it’s thirst for blood… unleaded blood of course. The horn blaring hell car bumps off a few bicyclists while barreling down the highway one day, but soon it shows it’s true motives when it makes a human speed bump out of a french horn playin’ hippie and then goes on a hit and run spree with a high school marching band. Yes Satan has a deep hatred of marching band music. This was a bit surprising as I would have thought marching bands greatest hits would be on a continuous loop in Hell’s waiting room.

Some of the survivors take refuge in an old cemetery whose holy ground notoriously protects them from the likes of vampires, werewolves, and more importantly demon cars. The loud mouthed band teacher, Lauren, decides that’s the perfect time to taunt and belittle the unseen driver. I mean really how do you trash talk a car? “Your daddy was an Etzel” “Your momma’s so old she farts dust out her tailpipe.” The whole scene was just unnecessary.

the carMeanwhile, Luaren’s boyfriend Wade (James Brolin) is hanging out at the police station. He’s a divorced father and part time lawman who besides having the unfortunate name of Wade he also sports an epic 70’s mustache. Stache’s like that usually only grow on serial killers or porn stars so props to Wade for making it work.

Wade’s band of emotionally fragile deputies attempt to catch the car but Satan has seen plenty of episodes of Dukes of Hazzard and knows how to outsmart them law folks. The way I figure it this small town consists of about 100 people total so that breaks down to about 40 marching band members, 20 drunken wife beaters, 10 rodeo cowboys and the rest are sheriff deputies. logically, there should’ve been plenty of law enforcement to go around but the car continues bouncing people off it’s bumper like ping pong balls. Even the sheriff gets run down in the middle of main street and Lauren gets offed in her own home like a bug on a windshield. Not so much a drive-by but more of drive-thru kill.

Wade teams up with the town’s reigning wife beatin’ drunk and resident explosive experts (aren’t they usually the same person?) and they plan to lure it to the rock quarry where all made for TV movies go to die. As luck would have it the car can’t be found though and nobody had gotten killed lately but Wade arrives home one night to find the car parked in his very own garage just sitting around mooching a few oil quarts, reading his Motor Trends and puffing out some carbon monoxide. Mustering up a Jackie Chan stunt dive he escapes through the garage window and flees on his jr. dirt bike with the evil car in hot pursuit. With a total disregard to helmet laws he lures it outside town limits for the big demon showdown and pyrotechnic light show spectacular. They could charge admission for fireworks finales like that. Just add some heavy metal music and Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat and you’ve got yourself a show.

the car

This movie had made for TV movie written all over it with very little gore but plenty of melodramatic acting. The main star of course is the car itself. It was designed by the late automobile customizing extraordinaire George Barris. George also designed the original bat mobile, the Munster’s car as well as the sweet ride for The Hoff’ in Knight Rider. Big props to Mr. Barris for making this car a true killer on wheels and making me fear tinted window Lincolns.  Retroman says take a test drive with “The Car”. It’s a hot pocket of car killin’ mayhem with some b-movie cheese inside. But “Caution: Contents may be hot.”

– 1 Lincoln Deathcar with optional truck horn
– 1 James Brolin mustache
– 3 Car crashes with multiple crash and burns
– 1 Motorcycle chase with gratuitous demon explosion
– Extreme off-road biking
– French horn homicide
– Marching band hit and run
– Car door fu
– House drive-thru service
– Rodeo marching band shows

8.4 out of 10

Check out the trailer for The Car

Jul

Comments Off on Chopping Mall

chopping mall

I really hate shopping….no let me rephrase that, I would actually prefer to have my toenails removed with  rusty pliers while rabid raccoons chewed through my stomach lining than go shopping. It’s no secret that dragging me to the mall is akin to taking a 5 year old to a masochistic dentist. It’s always the same, there’s a lot of leg kicking and uncontrollable sobbing until someone gives me a sticker and a toothbrush. It may be the fear of being confined in a small place or feeling woozy from the combined smells of the nail saloon and the nearby roasted almond stand, but I can’t get out of their quick enough. chopping mall
Women on the other hand view the act of shopping as an endurance sports that they need to train for year round constantly perusing all the stores for deals on hundreds of already over priced items. I’d ask me wife as she’s heading out the door “Well what are you getting at the mall?” she’d just wave and reassure me “oh, nothing just looking.” Later she’d return with a truck load of shopping bags full of decoupage and scrap booking supplies and now pulling an additional U-haul trailer filled to the brim with purses and shoes. “Honey, I didn’t have enough room so I had to put some items on layaway.”

When a man goes to the store we get what we need and leave immediately. No standing around, no chit-chat, and avoiding seeing anything we don’t have to. It’s almost the same etiquette for public bathrooms. It’s nice how our Neanderthal brains keep things simple like that. If it wasn’t for the invention of the remote control we’d probably still be hunting out of caves and peeing on shrubs to mark our territory. In the meantime to pay for the wife’s shopping excursions I guess I can always donate some more plasma. I’m sure I can make a good chunk of change before I get woozy and pass out.

Speaking of extreme shopping survival, robot killers are on the loose in the mall and they aren’t there for the sidewalk sales. This is the movie “Paul Bart: Mall Cop” should have been. In fact, I think if you add killer robots to any movie it can increase it’s entertainment value by a factor of 5 or 6 depending on how goofy the robots look. What I wouldn’t have give  to see a cyborg toss Matthew McConaughey into a pool of lava a few times.

In the film Chopping Mall apparently shopping mall crime is rampant across the country. Kids shoplifting banana clips and wayfarer sunglasses at an alarming rate or killing each other in the parking lots over swatch watches and members only jackets. Oh the humanity! So a new line of defense is needed that doesn’t require doughnut breaks. A new line of defense in the form of hi-tech robots stocked with death lasers, c4, torch cutters and Tasers that can take down a horse. Is it even legal to electrocute shoplifters? Sure It seems a bit excessive firepower for mall crimes, but it would be a great deterrent knowing you could have your head blown off at any moment for pocketing that friendship bracelet.

Just as this new security line of roving hi-tech garbage cans is set do go online at midnight, a group of teens decide to hide out and throw a party at a department store to partake in dirty dancing, debauchery and anything else that generally goes on in a Sears Roebuck.Chopping Mall

I was already a bit leary of robots running around a mall with early versions of Windows coursing through their circuits, but then their central computer that was strategically placed on the roof gets zapped by a freak lightening storm. (Always be sure to install lightening rods with your rooftop computer.) The robots circuits get scrambled but instead of doing lame impressions and hanging out Steve Guttenberg and Ally Sheedy they electrocute janitors and hunt down frizzy haired teenagers. See, I already like them better than Wall-e.

The teens are automatically locked in the mall until dawn so it gives them plenty of time to drink Slurpees, eat burritos, and stock up on semi automatics from the local artillery boutique. Some of the others get stuck in the air ducts from eating one too many corn dogs then get the smack down from a few of the bots including a golf cart electrocution and accidental bimbo barbecue. I’m not sure why so many of these kids get so easily wiped out by these hunks of tin since they’re about as intimidating as a busted garbage disposal. B-movie rules still apply though as the nerdy girl and geeky guy become the tag team heroes taking on the killbots with road flares and propane tanks. Suffice to say you should always try to hang close to the nerds to better your chances for survival.

This Roger Corman produced film was directed and written by Jim Wynorski and was first released under the title “Killbots” but bombed at the box office so was quickly re-released as “Chopping Mall” given repeat viewer whiplash. There’s also quite a few cameos included Paul Barel and Mary Woronov of “Rock N’ Roll Highschool” fame as well as Kelli Maroney who is best known for her work in “Night of the Comet” another classic b-movie flick. Also look for a quick cameo from Rodney Eastman of A Nightmare Elm St. fame who plays an uncredited shoplifter. Disappointingly his head was not incinerated by one of the rogue bots but he does drown in his own waterbed in Elm St. 4 so you can always rent that instead. This was a pretty decent b-movie that oozes the 1980’s and may make you second guess your toaster oven. Retroman says check it out and watch out for early mornin’ mall walkers.

– 2 Electrocutions
– 1 Exploding bimbo head
– 1 Flaming Barbara Crampton
– Robot choke hold
– Extreme gum chewing
– Grappling hook impalement
– Mall free form diving
– Propane grenades
– Paint can fu
– Laser fu
– Golf cart robot showdowns

7.9 out of 10

Check out the trailer for Chopping Mall

Jun

posted by admin | June 16, 2009 | 80's movies, Cult films, Cult movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Repoman

“Introducing the New 2010 Chevrolet Chernobyl with optional power windows, power locks, and death ray emitting trunk.”

This weekend, while working on my Camaro behind the old toolshed & trailer, I busted a fan bracket off the engine block. There’s no nearby Autozone or NAPA dealer, and it was after 5 on Sunday. Luckily, Joe Don’s Salvage Yard is just a hop, skip, and a drunk stumble down the road, and I can always count on Big Joe to still be up watching “Law and Order” re-runs at his front office desk, mostly to avoid his old lady. The man refuses to get cable, and uses an old black and white TV with rabbit ears wrapped in tin foil. Usually I try to sweeten the deal with something deep fried as a gift for Joe. He’s much more willing to help me scrounge around the lot if his veins are immediately filled with salt and nitrates. However, this time I had nothing with me, not even a piece of pocket-warmed beef jerky; I was going into a gun fight without a six-shooter and Joe knew it. He immediately became agitated, cursing and mumbling under his breath, fumbling with the TV antenna, and just waved me off in the general direction of where I might possibly find the fan bracket or get a painful staph infection–whichever came first.

I find the junkyard to actually be a very peaceful place to think and meditate, much like a cemetery… minus the possibility of a spontaneous zombie uprising, though I am well prepared for such a situation. Sure, I always get funny looks at funerals when I carry that machete around, but you can never be too careful. I like to show it to people in the procession and say things like “Yeah, you never know…we might need to bury him twice.”

After hours of dead ends I finally found what appeared to be a Camaro similar to mine, with a heck of a lot more rust. It was a bit hard to tell though, as most of it had been flattened like a PB&J in a kid’s lunch sack, but the engine was still intact, so with my trusty Allen wrench, I removed the fan bracket cautiously. I couldn’t help but imagine the scene of Indiana Jones removing the golden skull from the altar. Checking around for hostile natives, I made my way back and paid the fair price of $25 and the promise of a bucket of chicken for Joe when I came back. Who said you can’t put a price on adventure?

Speaking of pioneers in the salvage industry, Emilio Estavez plays Otto Maddox, a rebellious punk who enjoys head banging with friends and eating his dinner out of dog food cans. Ahh, the rebellious youth of the 80’s. These are the same guys that wore Wham shirts. Howard Dean Stanton plays Bud, a seasoned, disgruntled repo-master who enlists Otto to join his dojo of car jackers. The other beer-inspired repo staff are: “Lite”, a streetwise gun touter, and “Miller”, a hippie mechanic who tries to teach him the repo code of ethics, and hopefully convince him not to make “Mighty Ducks 2.” Taking a few too many head butts at the previous night’s rave, Otto feels a kinship to them and the life of the auto repossessor. Sure the hours stink, but you do get the benefits of getting shot at by enraged Mexican immigrants, or getting the snot kicked out of you by a Mowtown band with guitar cases.

Meanwhile, during all this grand larceny fun, a one-eyed self-lobotimizied scientist, J. Frank Parnell, is transporting glowing shrimp platter aliens in his car trunk across state lines. Besides breaking some food import laws, he’s also encouraging people to look in his trunk, which immediately vaporizes them, leaving behind only the fresh scent of pine. It’s his own Ark of the Covenant on wheels, minus the Nazi’s. J’s plan is to meet up with Leila, one of the few members of the official fan club of UFO’s who isn’t still living in their parents’ basement, and expose the world to the truth. Otto puts some of his smooth moves on her, and she gets Estevezed in the back seat of his car. How romantic, but she hopes the horizontal mambo will encourage Otto to help her find the scientist, so they can  book the intergalactic shrimp cargo on local talk shows.

A $20,000 bounty is put on the Malibu, and soon a secret G-team in rented suits, along with every repo and car theft ring in the county is out looking for it. The G-team is led by a cruel German dominatrix with a mean kung-fu grip robotic hand (do they charge extra for that?), and an unhealthy obsession to get those alien remains at any cost. Otto gets captured  and is tortured by Mrs. Roboto so that she can try to learn the whereabouts of the actual car, but Otto is rescued before his hair gets singed. He later encounters his ex-girlfriend, Debbie, a particularly nasty punk rocker who left Otto for his best pal at a mosh party, leaving him heart broken in his tighty whities. It’s your typical boy meets girl, boy catches syphilis kinda of love story.

Debbie is hooked on speed and sushi eating with her new boyfriend, Boni, when they run into Otto while they’re robbing a 7-11. Everyone has a gun pointing at someone else’s head, leading to a pretty frantic session of scratch and win tickets. Boni however, just wants to settle down, get married and have little spiked hair social deviants. But instead, he ends up getting a shotgun blast to the chest. Just an early preview of married life, my friend; count yourself lucky.

Any semblance of a plot was lost a long time ago, but no one really cares at this point. We meander the city streets at night in glowing cars, have spontaneous shootouts in hospital stairwells, torch street people, and listen to hippie mechanics spouting universal wisdoms about the cosmic order of consciousness and the lattice of coincidence. Gotta love Saturday nights in L.A.

Repoman is a definitive cult classic that gets even better upon repeated viewing. A special Roadside award goes to Emilio Estevez, whose role as Otto redefined the anarchist punk rocker, and Howard Dean Stanton, who fit his role as a crusty, seasoned car reposessor perfectly. If I saw either of these two guys near my car, I’d be getting nervous. Retroman says check it out, and be sure to order the all-you-can-eat sushi buffet.

– Obsessive air freshener collecting
– Generic food in a can
– Radioactive intergalactic calamari
– Devo radiation suits
– Mace to the face
– Rat tossing
– Coffee to the face
– Emilio Estevezing
– Mexican rockabilly Vegas lounge singers
– Levitating cars

Rated 9.3 out of 10

“Don’t fear the Repo…baby I’m your man…we’ll be able to fly now”… man, those lyrics ring so true now.

Check out the trailer for Repoman

May

posted by admin | May 21, 2009 | 80's movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on One Dark Night

If you can read this you're too close
“If you can read this sign then you’re too close.”

I have one question. When did magicians get so lame? Case in point, David “I am blander than a rice cake” Blaine’s recent stunt on national TV with his Dive of Death. I believe this will go down in history as the most un-entertaining thing since the invention of CSPAN. Blaine is known for his endurance stunts of living in igloos, catching bullets in his mouth and agitating street patrons with lame card tricks and his depressive demeanor but this time he took his annoyance to new heights with this live televised stunt. Hanging himself upside down for days from a 7 story pole in New York facing the ever threat of death or in his case, fame obscurity, and would supposedly end in a terrifying plummet to the ground. In reality he was in a secure safety harness, took frequent coffee  & pee breaks, and bunged slowly towards the ground before being lifted in the air by a crane like a maniac-depressive peter pan. All the while an apathetic New york crowd watched from below who I suspect  if they would have found some sticks would have made him into a human piñata. “I got your abracadabra for you right here Davie Boy.” Now that would have been some must see TV.

No, non for me thanks. I ate a whole Cheerio and I\'m stuffed.I think David should go back to some street magic, maybe try reading a few people’s minds and absorb their psychic energy much like the electrifying Raymar in “One Dark Night.” Raymar is a recently deceased psychic that used his magic to decoratively arrange food utensils on his apartment walls and soak up some student’s brain energy. He unfortunately overdosed during a brain juice binge the night before with some co-eds shorting himself out permanently. Later at his funeral his estranged and just as boney looking daughter Olivia shows up. It turns out she may have inherited some of that psychic power when she has vague premonitions of the future through some montage visions or she was just hallucinating from lack of nutrition. She’ll probably just end up using her new powers for writing fortune cookies, doing weather forecasts, or predicting trivial things like “You’re going to have lunch,…it’ll be seafood but the shrimp will be bad.” or in her case “You’re going to end up in a schlocky 80’s movie.”

Hope your wait wasn't too long at the DMV.Her husband Allan played by Adam West can’t seem to find his bat pole anywhere to get out of this film and spends most of the time trying to convince her that all that magic mumbo-jumbo is just in her head. An Andy Warhol albino in a turtle neck shows up to tell her otherwise and gives her a book on tape that warns of Raymar’s evil telekinetic powers and his possible return from the grave. She obsessively listens to it over and over again while poor Allan can only drown his misery in whiskey obviously still fuming over Michael Keaton getting picked over him.

Meanwhile in what appears to be an entirely separate film, a young pre-breast enhanced Meg Tilly plays the nerdy girl Julie Wells who wants to break out of her goody two shoes stereotype. Julie’s dimwitted plan is to join the local girl gang “The sisters” so she too can get a shiny purple jacket and have her hair feathered even higher than gravity allows. I’m not sure a gang of 3 girls  really deserve their own embroidered jackets, bowling leagues are bigger than that and much more deserving their garments of cool.

Mama always said I had a sparkle in my eyes

Carol (Robin Evans), the queen of the shiny coat wenches convinces her to join only if she stays alone a whole night in the Mausoleum where Raymar’s body is kept. So Julie armed with only a sleeping bag, a flashlight and some Quaaludes, explores the endless casket filled hallways for the night. Meanwhile the other girls plot to sneak in and dress up as retirement home escapees to try to scare her. Their obvious lack of showmanship upsets the spirit of Raymar who starts breaking free from his entombed prison throwing around flower vases and moving around furniture with his psychic powers. He’s a sort of  malevolent interior decorator from beyond the grave.

Soon his brain power grows to the point that the tombs burst open and he can prop himself up while levitating dead bodies with his mind. It sounds a lot scarier than it looks  though as the rotting bodies float awkwardly around like they’re on magic coat hangers in a laundry shop. With a back field blitz they pile up on the pranking co-eds smothering them until they can’t breath. It’s a death by dry cleaning.

Julie’s boyfriend, Steve, finally shows up just in time to save her from a Raymar brain drain but then has his butt handed to him by another bunch of muppet zombies that knock him unconscious. Rotting Raymar tries again to get a jump start off Julie’s brain…but I think we all know that battery was running a bit low. There’s a showdown with his bone skinny sister who suddenly swoops in to try save the day using her natural ability to blend in with the undead to her advantage. Steve Just lies there like a slug, it’s his only defense.

Writer/Director Tom McLoughlin of Friday the13th part 6 fame did an admirable job with a very simple premise and one that taps our deepest fear of graveyards, mausoleums and dry cleaners. Also noteworthy is Tom Burman who did the gruesome special effects in this little PG-rated fright flick and he definitely showed his chops with some realistic gooey corpses.  Retroman says check it out for a few good creeps and always be sure to have your corpses professionally cleaned, pressed and folded before packing them for overnight trips.


– Multiple dead bodies
– Utensil-fu
– Obsessive toothcare
– Exploding mausoleums
– Undead puppeteers
– Electric eyeballs
– Fondu faced corpses
– Gratuitous use of Adam West
– Crypt-a-glow night lights

Rated 8.4 out of 10

Check out the trailer for One Dark Night

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