Archive for the '80’s movies' Category


posted by admin | July 26, 2008 | 80's movies, Comedy, Cult Film, Cult movies, Review by Barry Goodall

Comments Off on Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

“I don’t need a seat belt. I have my own built in air bags.”

Before there was the king of late night b-movies, Joe Bob Briggs, there was the hostess with the mostess, the queen of scream, the mistress of the dark, Elvira. Her sarcastic wit and b-movie knowledge was only overshadowed by her huge kuzungas (not sure about the spelling on this one!). Being the Joe Bob fanboy that I am, I still must admit that Elvira is much easier on the eyes than a Texan good ol’ boy in a bolo tie, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Elvira had her own self-titled comedy back in the late 80’s. She certainly had the best double features in film history, so it only made sense to bring them to the silver screen in “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.”

Cassandra Peterson plays the Mistress of the Dark, and if you passed Cassandra on the street, you’d never know it was Elvira’s alter-ego, as they’ve caked on so much Goth makeup it wouldn’t surprise me if Marilyn Manson was actually an impish database programmer from Milwaukee. Elvira is fired from her TV show one day when her Texan good ol’ boy boss tries to “manage her assets.” Elvira’s response is to clock him one. Soon after she learns that a long-lost aunt has died and left her an inheritance. Elvira sees dollar signs and hopes she can use the inheritance and make a new start in Vegas as a sleazy showgirl. Not exactly movin’ on up but every girl has got a dream. She heads across the country in her black “vampmobile” to Massachusetts–apparently where all the rich aunts go to die–but is considered a freak by most of the local townsfolk… Well, except every man and teenage boy within the city limits (even the ones flying over in planes are gawking).

The inheritance turns out to be an old run-down mansion that the Munsters would have proudly called their summer vacation home, so Elvira enlists the help of  some peeping-tom teens to help fix it up Bob Villa-style (only with more cleavage), and hopes to sell it to some poor schmuk  with poor eyesight. Elvira’s surviving uncle, Vincent, turns out to be a rookie warlock whose intent is to steal an ancient recipe book that’s been hidden there, so he can rule the world (or in his case, become even more British…either way it’s concentrated evil). How does a recipe book gives you evil powers, anyway?  Can a properly seasoned meatloaf control the fate of humanity? That might explain Betty Crocker’s rise to power.

To pass the time waiting for a buyer, Elvira puts on a b-movie/flash dance show at the local theater that ends with her getting tarred and feathered. She also laces a casserole for the town picnic with an aphrodisiac potion, and makes a dinner that nearly eats her new boyfriend, Flint McThickneck. He’s a big, burly fellow in plaid, straight from the Brawny paper towel ads, and has about the same amount of acting ability. But he does seem able to stumble through his lines well enough while staring at Elvira’s chest, so I give him points for that skill.

The townsfolk decide they’ve had enough of Elvira’s shenanigans at that Point, so they tie her to a stake in the Town Square for a good old community witch roasting–minus the potato salad. Using her super power decoder ring given to her as a baby, Elvira narrowly escapes under the cover of rain to do battle with the evil warlock, Vincent, and to retrieve the recipe book and make some delicious oatmeal cookies…of EVIL!!!!!! EVIL!!!!! Will Elvira’s huge knockers save humanity? Will her French poodle ever live-down the humiliation of having a haircut like Billy Idol? Will the British ever stop sounding pompous? Find out for yourself in “Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.” Retroman says check it out, but watch out for spinning tassels, and always wear eye protection.

Keep an eye out for...

– Exploding gas stations
– Baby Avon callings
– Punk rockin’ poodles and mice, oh my
– Exxon sponsored flash dancing
– Demon spiced stew
– Cooking-obsessed warlocks
– Moral Club picnic orgies
– Casserole Viagra
– Community witch roasts
– Rambo-vira (she’s bringing out the big guns)

“Giddy Up Oom Poppa Omm Poppa Mow Mow, Elvira” – Alabama

rated 8.3 out of 10 for the movie


Check out the trailer for Elvira, Mistress of the Dark


Comments Off on Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood

I wonder if Tina could use her \

I wonder if Tina could use her “mind powers” to get my copy of Microsoft Vista to work?

After he told us a cautionary tale about the dangers of cartooning with “Cellar Dweller”, and before we went off to college with the Ghoulies in “Ghoulies 3”, director and special-effects-magician, John Carl Buechler, gave fans one of the best entries in the Friday the 13th franchise with “Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood.”

When the opening credits begin to appear on the screen, composer Fred Mollin (“Friday the 13th the TV Series” and “Forever Knight”) immediately sets the mood with an unsettling, atmospheric, synth-score that fits this movie like a glove. A nice touch was having Walt Gorney (known for the role of “Crazy Ralph’ from “Friday the 13th Parts 1 & 2”) come back and narrate over the video clip medley from past films that gets us caught-up on everything Jason.

The story begins with a flashback of a young girl named Tina who takes throwing temper tantrums to another level by unleashing a telekinetic beat-down on her abusive father that ends with him being a barnacle buffet at the bottom of Crystal Lake. Maybe Dad should’ve thought twice before using his wife (Mom) as a party piñata. As an adult, Tina is still an emotional wreck, tormented by the horrific visions of seeing her father die, and worst of all, knowing she was responsible for his death. Her psychiatrist, Dr. Crews (Terry Kiser), convinces Tina and her mom to get away for the weekend at a quiet lakeside cabin while Tina’s hospital room is being painted a cheerful shade of lobotomy grey. This mini-vacation sounded like a wonderful idea until I saw the Crystal Lake sign (cue creepy music) and found out the cabin by the lake is the same one where Dad was turned into fish food years earlier.

The dastardly doctor uses this trip to conduct his lab-rat-like experiments away from the prying eyes of the mental institution. During an intense cram session for the upcoming TAT (Telekinetic Ability Test) there is a mishap involving some matches, and Tina rushes out of the house like she started a fire. While standing on the dock her mind starts to fill with warm memories of dear ol’ Dad, such as his drunken swagger, glassy-eyed stare, and the late-night heave-fests in the bathroom. Her unexpected stroll down Daddy Lane causes a psychic episode, and she casts out a telepathic fishing line in hopes of reuniting with him, but instead hooks big trouble, catching the undead Mr. Voorhees. He was apparently going for a personal best underwater effort, after having broken the world record with a time of several years, making endurance artist, David Blaine’s, time of 17 minutes seem like mere child’s play.

Jason emerges back on land, pissed-off at his failed record attempt and wastes no time getting to work using a variety of home and garden tools against his prey in such a way that would earn him a Home Depot endorsement. This installment contains your usual mix of under-cooked, walking horror cliches. Eddie, a sci-fi writer nerd with a PhD in rejection, couldn’t get laid if he was holding a million dollars in a locked room full of horny hookers. Melissa will remind you of the snobby diva from high school who was voted “Most Likely to Steal Your Boyfriend.” Nick is the resident nice guy from a broken home who is trying to get his life back on track. When he isn’t attending night school, or kicking himself over botched “ice-breakers” involving the opposite sex, he likes to show his sensitive side by doing women’s laundry. Maddy the “nottie” friend of “hottie” Robin is so homely-looking that Medusa would give her beauty tips. David, Head Conductor of the Pothead Express, earns some extra cash on the weekends performing his beer shotgunning extravaganza at college frat parties. Dr. Crews wears “sleazy” like a well-tailored suit, and only wants to profit from Tina’s pain and misfortune. The rest of the cast isn’t worth mentioning, since they only show up on screen long enough to talk about how cold it is, something about wallet sizes, and needing firewood…until Jason arrives, doing his best impression of a Cusinart food processor.

From the brutal kill sequences to the inspired makeup design, this film is all about seeing the masked maniac in action. Buechler shows a fan’s eye for detail, including all of the battle damage, such as the propeller carnage, gunshot to the head, machete slash, axe wound, and missing eye that the Crystal Lake dweller has sustained from previous movie installments, to create the ultimate Jason in all of his gruesome glory. Kane Hodder’s first appearance as Jason (a role he’d reprise in four consecutive movies) is the best portrayal of the character since Ted White became the lakeside slasher in “Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter.” Proving that he isn’t just another crash test dummy behind a mask, Hodder expresses an array of believable emotions through a latex suit (which isn’t an easy task) without saying a word of dialogue–unless you count groaning. By using a combination of heavy breathing and subtle movements, he carves out a new version of the character that is all his own.

I would definitely recommend this sequel, even in its neutered state (courtesy of the fascist MPAA), as it still has several creative death scenes, some brief, but quality T-n-A, and just enough of the red stuff to keep fans happy, along with a few surprises like solid acting by the lead actors, a telekinetic subplot, and supernatural Jason twist to give this standard slasher formula some new blood.

Keep an eye out for…

– Tree roots gone wild
– Deadly use of a party horn
– Jason’s gross-out face reveal
– Boobtastic melon display that would make a seasoned farmer blush
– Flower pot headbutt
– Wham-bam sleeping bag death slam
– Extreme-makeover
– Self destructing pearl necklace
– Deluxe penis enlarger
– Debut of the Voorhees Death Vise
– Explosive finale
– Super-sleepic love van
– The Battle of the Gargantuan Throngar
– Exclusive Star Mummy preview
– Carol Anne from Poltergeist hairstyle
– Scare Corpse lawn decorations

Rated 9.2 out of 10 for the movie

Watch the trailer for Friday the 13th Part 7: The New Blood.


Comments Off on Re-animator


“These late night cosmic bowling parties have gotten way out of hand. Frank’s use of a severed head for league play was proof of that even if it did improve his score average.”

Thirty-four years old and I still hate going to the doctor’s office. First there’s the endless wait in the “waiting room”, but then they call you back to a smaller room that’s yet another waiting room…like it’s some sort of bad horror movie “Waiting Room 2.The Day the Doctor Never Came.” Sure, they say he’ll be in momentarily, but doctor time is on the canine time scale where minutes equal hours. “Soon” actually means “whenever he gets back from lunch.” There are only so many times I can read through the fascinating articles in Golf Digest and Home Pottery Magazine before I resort to the ever-popular games of “Ceiling Tile Counting” or seeing how long I can sleep while sitting up. So finally the doctor magically teleports in and runs through a series of questions the nurse had asked just hours before. “Do you have body aches?” “Yes.”  “Do you have a stuffy head?” “Yes.  Congrats, doc–you’ve just diagnosed that I am not feeling well. Then the prescription is for some over-the-counter medicine that he scribbles on a scrap of paper in cryptic ancient Celtic symbols, along with the advice of, “Get some rest and drink plenty of fluids.” I get charged $30 for the doctor’s visit; my insurance gets charged $3,000; and I go home and crawl back into bed. I should have gone to medical school instead of learning how to paint baskets of fruit.

Doctor Carl Hill in the cult classic “Re-animator” doesn’t really help me with my fear of doctors. He’s the “head” neurosurgeon at the Miskatonic Medical School, where he enjoys peeling cadavers’ heads like oranges in his neurosurgery class, and practices suggestive hypnosis at his dinner parties in the evenings. Our hero Dan Cain, played by Bruce Abbott, is a student there, along with his girlfriend, Megan (Barbara Crampton), and are having some nookie while playing hooky off school grounds. All is happy until Herbert West suddenly appears from a stint in Sweden and insists of being Dan’s new roommate but apparently didn’t read the fine print of no deposit returns in case of blood stains in the apartment lease. West wants to use the basement to perform his continuing studies on re-animating dead flesh, create the ultimate glo-stick, and defy God’s will–typical medical school stuff. Instead of picking the obvious test subjects of a Larry King or John McCain, he uses a dead pet cat, causing the feline to turn into a raging, vicious hell-beast that tries to rip them apart. In other words, your average cat.

Learning from his continuing failures, Herbert is ready to test his re-animation serum on some real stiffs in the morgue. Could this be the ultimate energy drink? He and Dr. Hill sneak in past another dimwitted, made-for-film security guard and inject the serum into a recent accident victim, resulting in a spastic reaction similar to the cat. Then the Dean of the school stumbles in on them, so they shoot him up with some of dead juice, too. Is there a help group for people like this?  Perhaps some sort of DRA (Dead Revivers Anonymous)?

Doc Hill arrives at Herbert’s basement un-announced and plans to take the secrets of the serum and claim it as his own invention. Herbert hits him upside the head with a shovel, and proceeds to remove the doc’s head from his body and re-animate it. Now, that’s how you solve a copyright (an intellectual property?) dispute! But the headless doc outsmarts Herbert, kidnaps Megan, and sneaks into the morgue to perform some group lobotomies. Being decapitated really improves one’s productivity.

Dan and Herbert soon confront the doctor, who is trying to get busy with Megan on an examination table (Can we say, “Sexual harassment lawsuit?”), and then they have to take on a legion of walking dead, exploding chests, and frisky intestine tentacles. Actually med school doesn’t sound very appealing now.

This film is on my Amazon’s Listmania as one of the essential must see cult/b-movies from the 1980’s. It redefines the genre of zombie/mad scientist/dark gore comedies. Well It’s actually the only one in that genre, but it does redefine it. Stuart Gordon directed this classic based loosely on a H.P. Lovercraft short story, as well as another great film, “The Beyond.” Though it did spawn several lackluster sequels, this one is definitely the crown jewel. Also we need to give an honorable mention for Jeffery Combs for creating one of the best horror movie characters in cinematic history, Herbert West. He makes over-acting a work of art. He’s in the same league as Bruce Campbell as Ash for his pure awesome-ness. So check it out, but don’t let your doctor give you that shot of the glowing green stuff,even if he says it’s just to clear your sinuses.

Keep an eye out for…

– Jiffy-Pop eyeballs
– head peeling
– zombie cats
– finger snacks
– labatonomy parties
– skater rink glo-stick overdose
– intestine wranglin’
– padded rooms with a view
– zombie boobies
– horny disembodied heads (is that even possible?)
– the ultimate tribute to the band Talking Heads

rated 9.4 out of 10 for the movie

Check out the trailer for Re-animator


Comments Off on Frankenhooker

“When New York hookers have a slow week, they’ll often perform as street mimes for some extra cash.”

Back in Junior High science class we were forced to partake of the barbaric ritual of frog dissection. You’d think as a horror/sci-fi fan that I would be giddy in anticipating at slicing open a frog like some sort of evil mad scientist. But honestly real gore is well gross…I don’t like it…I don’t want to see it and I especially don’t want to touch it. The site of my own blood makes me queasy, changing my daughters diapers is it’s own horror show (by the way never feed your kids pork and beans and fresh fruit before bedtime.) So the thought of pulling out those little gooey frogs lungs in science class still makes me …oh…..ugh….wait… spinning….

When watching a horror movie I know the gore is fake, the situations are fake and I’m in no immediate physical danger of loosing a limb or having my soul swallowed… well at least during the work week. If I ever happen to be stuck at a summer camp with a history of teenage mutilations rest assured then I’ll be calling for a cab to take me home immediately. If I’m ever faced with the situation of battling demon elves that I inadvertently let loose while reading from the scrolls of an ancient book..well then that’s just my own darn fault for majoring in ancient Latin. But real life gore, like removing the innards from a helpless tree frog ,is not my idea of entertainment nor is it educational. Given the opportunity, I might try to hook it up to a car battery and jump start that little Kermit back to life. Sure It’ll probably shoot him across the room in an amphibian ball of flames smelling like french fries but at least I tried to bring the little green guy back to life. I am nothing if but pro-frog.

Jeffery Franken faces a similar dilemma in the cult classic Frankenhooker. Jeffrey is a mild manner Jersey electrician who has just lost his fiancee, Elizabeth, in a horrific lawnmower accident. Blondes should not operate heavy machinery while thinking or standing in front of them. Jeffrey somehow sneaks away his fiancee’s head in a bowling bag I’d presume and preserves her in the spacesaver fridge out in the garage right next to to the frozen fish fillets. He also happens to dabble in electro-genetics so he devices a plan to bring Elizabeth back from that great lawn clipping pile in the sky. Through the process of drilling his own head with a craftsman power tool he devices the brilliant plan to develop a batch of jiffy-pop explosive-crack cocaine to use on a group of hookers. It just goes to show people get inspired in all sorts of different ways. So It’s a 4th of July fireworks display of exploding hookers parts giving Jeff an all you can carry buffet of left ho-vers to use for his Elizabeth 2: Electric Boogalo. Through a lightening storm Elizabeth is resurrected as a brand new woman in high heeled Franken boots, purple eye shadow and a pointed bra but instead of being the dimwitted blonde, she’s a crazed hooker monster (a mooker?) out to make some extra cash. The only problem is she keeps scaring away customers and the few that she does bag surprisingly explode from all her pent up sexual static-electricity. All Jeffrey wants to do is settle down and make little Franken babies with her so he goes off to try to rescue her from her new career. I can’t believe I never saw this movie as a teenager It’s truly a fine example of 80’s horror/comedy. There’s also a great twist ending with revengeful spare hooker parts and a pimp named Zorro… you had to know a pimp was going to be involved somehow but he’s not a fencing masked vigilante. So head on down to the video store, put your money on the table and proudly ask if they have Frankenhooker in stock. Some Assembly may be required.

Keep an eye out for…

– combustible crack ho’s
– girlfriend lawn mulching
– head drilling
– explosive hamsters
– extreme sexual static friction
– whiplash decapitations
– bucket of legs and breasts (and it ain’t chicken)
– body building pimps named Zorro
– revengeful spare hooker parts

“Wanna Date? got any money?”
Hey aren’t those the first and last questions you should ask on a date?

rated 9.1 out of 10 for the movie

Frankenhooker T-shirts available from Fright Rags

At Fright Rags you can get this high quality horror shirts you can’t find anywhere else. Fright Rags has the best selection of horror shirts based on your favorite cult classics, creature features, and slasher flicks! Check out the Frankenhooker T-shirts

Check out the trailer for Frankenhooker


Comments Off on C.H.U.D.


“Little Johnny didn’t sleep well that night. It may have been due to his new Hasbro’s Demon from Hell night-light.

When I was a young kid my biggest fears were 1. Having my parents continue to dress me in country western shirts and friction inducing corduroy pants for school and 2. That creatures living in the sewer would come up through the toilet and drag me down to their netherworld. Both of which give me bad flashbacks and why to this day I have yet to use a public bathroom in a rodeo bar. My older cousins would also say those giant green porta-potties were simply a means to transport the toilet creatures from one part of the country to another only furthering my phobias. Sure maybe it was a hoax on a gullible fashion-challenged kid or perhaps it was a part of a larger undercover government conspiracy to thin crowds at county fairs and racing events. The truth may never be known.

In the movie C.H.U.D., the director apparently suffered some of the same childhood dramas as myself and used filmmaking for his therapy. C.H.U.D supposedly stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers. Run for your lives! It’s an acronym movie title… oh the horrors! but wait it turns out that it actually stands for Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal which is the name of a secret government policy to dump toxic waste under the city streets of New York. Would New Yorkers even notice the difference…probably not, that is until a cute little dogs get mutilated and a photographer starts screening his calls…thats when the cops are called into action. Christopher Curry plays Captain Bosch…a good cop with a disturbing mustache who is trying to find out the cause of the sudden disappearance of his wife and dozens of homeless people in the city. He meets A.J. played by City Slicker Daniel Stern, a centaurian looking fellow who runs a soup kitchen and is occasionally out-acted by his enormous hair or stained shirts. A.J. (when will the acronyms end!) is convinced that his homeless friends are being snatched up by someone or something in the sewers like a demonic Leona Helmsley looking for a few new hotel servants. The captain isn’t convinced though until they discover a giant moon boot and a clock radio that also acts as a geiger counter…shoot I have those things in my basement and I don’t have a CHUD problem….yet. The clock radio lights up like a Christmas tree indicating something is moving towards them and then the something starts growling. They express mild concern in the possibility of a horrible mutant creature about to munch on their innards and casually head back to the surface to attend a board meeting, successfully diffusing what could have been a actual tense situation.

Meanwhile in what seems like a completely different movie, George Cooper played by John “made for t.v. movie” Heard is taking photos of his pipe-cleaner shapely girlfriend, Lauren, who complain about pimples on her butt and wants to have lots of babies. George is also trying to hunt down one of his other star photo models, a homeless bag lady whom he has to bail out of jail. She brings him down below the city streets for a tunnel of garbage tour and to show him a chewed up leg which resembles someone’s unfinished BBQ ribs dinner platter.

A plot finally tries to rear it’s ugly head but thankfully is squashed via long scenes of useless dialog and dull boardroom scenes that play right out of a community theater production. Where is the cannibalism!? Government and city officials deny the existence of the C.H.U.D.S. then Daniel Stern has a temper tantrum and throws a book silently across the desk and suddenly they starting telling the truth. Guantanamo Bay should take notice on these interrogation techniques.

The officials decide to destroy the mutants by attempting to gas the tunnels and seal off the manholes. Meanwhile the captain simultaneously decides to send in a squad of police officer armed with standard issued flame throwers apparently forgetting the devastating results of what happens when you light a fart only on a much bigger scale.

A.J. and George end up trapped underground as a few escaping mutants attack John Goodman dressed as a copy at a local Diner. The John Goodman sized-snack doesn’t seem to ruin their appetites and they continue their night of rampage. Luaren is also attacked by a C.H.U.D. in her apartment but her class on samurai sword fighting self-defense at the YMCA finally pays off. She then steals a police car with keys still in the ignition and hightails it to the diner to find out where her boyfriend is. The scapegoat government official will do anything to make sure the public doesn’t know about the mutants and attempts to kill all the witnesses including A.J. and George still trapped below the city streets. Always better to kill every innocent bystander then letting them know you were illegally dumping toxic waste.

C.H.U.D is pure 80’s horror cheese. The gory effects are great and the over the top acting made this an enjoyable afternoon movie between info-mercials about carpet cleansers and botox creams. So I say CHUD it out….and always be sure to check the toilet seat before sitting.

Keep an eye out for….

– professional phone screening
– elf-like neighbors
– canine lynch mobs
– standard police issued flame throwers
– mutant neck extenders
– extreme shirt staining
– epileptics with rambo knives
– boardroom theater shows
– coin eaters…keep the change
– lost moon boots
– ground chuck-o-legs
– clock radio’s with optional geiger counters
– aggressive pay phone collectors
– shower clogs
– highbeam eye-lights
– gratuitous use of the term “manhole”
– explosive bread delivery trucks

Name that CHUD

a. Chihuahua Hound Undersized Dogs
b. Communist Hungarian Urban Development
d. Contortionist Hiding Under Desks
e. Contaminated Husband’s Underwear Discovery
f. all of the above

rated 7.6 out of 10 for the movie

CHUD C.H.U.D T-shirts available from Fright Rags

At Fright Rags you can get this high quality horror shirt you can’t find anywhere else. Fright Rags has the best selection of horror shirts based on your favorite cult classics, creature features, and slasher flicks! Check out the C.H.U.D. T-shirt

Watch the trailer for “C.H.U.D.”

About the Highway

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