Category Archives: 1980s

Virus (1980)

virus-1980-posterMeteor strike, nuclear war, zombie outbreak. All ways our world could end horribly where the dead are the lucky ones (as the various movie posters would undoubtedly exclaim). But there is another apocalypse we should add to the list. To the top of the list that is. Big budget foreign end of the world movie riddled with actors familiar from mainstream domestic film and TV cashing easy paychecks. Continue reading

Night of the Demons (1988)

night-of-the-demons-dvd-coverNight of the Demons is another one of those movies where a bunch of poorly constructed teen characters (they are all “types” as opposed to people – good girl, douche boyfriend, fat slob, scared black guy, girl who flashes panties as part of a shoplifting ring – the usual horror movie tropes) get stalked and murdered by monsters while trapped in a particular location (in this case an old funeral home). Continue reading

C.H.U.D. (1984)

chud-posterC.H.U.D. takes two of the 1980s scariest things, homeless people and toxic waste, and much like a horror Reese’s peanut butter cup attempts to combine the two into one great tasting movie boogeyman.

Not content to coast with what on paper is a great idea (basically that the homeless have cooties), the film also adds in such reliable staples as the crabby cop, nosy reporter, crooked bureaucrat, angry homeless advocate, fashion photographer who doesn’t seem to care about any of it and of course his pregnant girlfriend who is there for the Chuds to harass when they get bored skulking around the sewers. Continue reading

Pumpkinhead (1988)

pumpkinhead-posterWhen will you city folk ever learn? When you done and gone killed Ed Harley’s little boy in a drunken dirt bike accident, you left Pa Harley no choice but to seek out the old witch who lives up on the mountain so that she might conjure up hisself a demon to right this terrible wrong y’all did.

And if you think this is just a regular run of the mill demon summoned from some lame ritual involving satanic douche bags in bathrobes uttering a bunch of Latin mumbo jumbo, well that’s just one more thing you city slickers are ignorant of!

For you see, poor country folks like Ed Harley, who runs the dilapidated food stand by the highway, doesn’t have two pots to piss in so a lot of this demon business is a do it yourself affair. The mountain witch tells Ed that if he’s serious about this supernatural revenge, there’s a price to pay! And the down payment is nothing less than having to dig up the demon’s corpse and bring it back to her! Continue reading

Return of the Kickfighter (1987)

Return of the Kickfighter PosterAt long last an action movie that articulates why its climax is taking place at the old abandoned cement factory outside of town. Too often, it seems like everyone just magically teleports to the docks for a final shootout (lots of shipping containers can get blown up and bad guys can end up dramatically floating in the water) or mindlessly cruises over to a power plant because all the catwalks can provide a lot of suspenseful chasing (and bad guys falling to their deaths) and steam valves can get ruptured, filling the area with smoke (and burn bad guys in the face), but without any logical explanation why the action had to shift from where it was happening to these locales. Continue reading

Wartime (1987)

Wartime VHS CoverFollowing the collapse of the cannibals and barbarian film genres in the early 1980s, director Umberto Lenzi took a brief detour before finishing off the decade with a bounty of no less than six cheap and cheesy horror movies. A detour right into the heart of war-torn Yugoslavia!

Was Umberto documenting the ethnic cleansing that wracked the region following the fall of the Soviet empire? Was he leading a campaign of underemployed Italian exploitation movie directors to provide aid and comfort to displaced refugees by holding charity screenings of Nightmare City and Eaten Alive?

Are you nuts? Who cares about that war? I’m talking about a real war! World War II! The one where a handful of Johnny Yanks could take on the entire German army and carry out impossible suicide missions on an almost weekly basis! Continue reading

Pieces (1982)

Pieces PosterI’m sorry but this film lost me right at the beginning when a scene taking place in a child’s bedroom, supposedly in Boston back in 1942, had a pennant for the New England Patriots hanging on the wall. The Patriots didn’t even exist until 1960 and then they weren’t even called the New England Patriots until 1971!

Spanish director Juan Piquer Simon falls into the same trap as Italians like Fabreizio de Angelis, making embarrassing errors in American sports in a feeble attempt to trick the audience into thinking their foreign film was made by Americans. Nothing ruins an otherwise crappy slasher film for real Americans like a botched football reference. Continue reading

Cellar Dweller (1988)

Cellar Dweller PosterIt’s hard to have much sympathy for budding horror comic book artist Whitney when she enrolls in an art institute which looks like its located in the cabin from The Evil Dead. But then again, maybe I’m being too hard on her because how could she have known that reading the incantations in the ancient book she finds there would help summon a monster? Okay, so maybe it was The Evil Dead house after all!

Surely though, having Lily Munster herself Yvonne DeCarlo as Mrs. Briggs, the bitter director of the art colony, is a total upgrade from Bruce Campbell fighting deadites especially since she’s so much more evil than anything Ash ever faced! Because she craps all over comic books as a legitimate artform! Continue reading

Ten Zan – Ultimate Mission (1988)

Ten Zan PosterLet’s say you’re a closed off society. Due to minimal contacts with the outside world, you end up quite backward in most areas. Your economy sucks. Technological advance is stymied. Millions of your people starve because your agricultural efforts can’t feed the populace. Worst of all, your action movie industry is non-existent!

What’s a totalitarian government desiring to show the rest of the world that it’s a force to be reckoned with in the arena of kick ass movies to do? You assemble the greatest array of talent that ration coupons and promises of a week’s worth of work in beautiful North Korea can buy! Continue reading