Archive for the 1980’s Category

Your Movie for Saturday, October 16, 2010

Posted in 1980's, Comedy, Indie on October 16, 2010 by Josh Dean

Today’s movie is the 1985 comedy Once Bitten.  A centuries-old vampire must drink the blood of a virgin male in order to survive.  She gets lucky and finds a young virgin played by Jim Carrey.  She bites him and he begins to change but he isn’t aware that he is becoming a vampire.  To complete the transformation and to ensure that she has enough blood, she must bite him on three separate occasions.  Carrey’s girlfriend figures out what is going on and has to figure out a way to stop the vampire from stealing her man for all eternity.

I bet you thought you had seen everything Jim Carrey ever did, didn’t you?  Well he was acting before Ace Ventura and here is the proof.  He would probably want everyone to think he didn’t have a career prior to 1994 but I am here to make sure future generations don’t forget about classics like Once Bitten or Copper Mountain.

Once Bitten has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 10%.  If you aren’t familiar with how Rotten Tomatoes works, that means that the movie is a piece of crap.  I remember they played it on television a lot right around the time Jim Carrey became a star and I liked it.  I was only 10 years old at the time though and I don’t trust the judgment of a kid who liked Power Rangers.  The whole movie isn’t on youtube but here is a clip of problems being solved the way that all problems were solved in 80’s movies, in a dance-off.

Your Movie for Friday, October 15, 2010

Posted in 1980's, Horror, Warner Bros. on October 15, 2010 by Josh Dean

Today’s movie is Twilight Zone: The Movie from 1983.  It consists of four segments directed by four different directors, the most notable being Steven Spielberg.  The first segment is about a racist man who is magically transported back in time to experience racism at the hands of the Nazis and the KKK.  The second segment has Scatman Crothers showing up at a retirement home and teaching everyone that they are only as old as they feel.  The third is about a woman who runs across a boy with unbelievable powers, he can literally make anything happen that he wants.  The final segment has John Lithgow as a passenger on an airplane.  The airplane is being destroyed by a demon but Lithgow is the only one that can see it and everyone else thinks he is crazy.

This movie is most famous for something that happened on set.  During the filming of the racist’s segment, a helicopter crashed and killed actor Vic Morrow and two children.  There was a trial but it was found that no one could be held responsible for the deaths.  You can watch the actual footage of the deaths here on youtube but let me warn you that it is very disturbing.

On a much lighter note, if you are a fan of The Simpsons you will recognize two of these segments.  In their annual “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween episodes they parodied the one about the boy who could do anything he wanted (with Bart as the boy, obviously) and the airplane segment, only in their version it was a bus (with Bart again as the character who sees the demon).  You can watch Twilight Zone: The Movie on youtube but unfortunately there are German subtitles at the bottom.  I think it’s German anyway.

Your Movie for Friday, October 8, 2010

Posted in 1980's, Horror, Universal on October 8, 2010 by Josh Dean

Today’s movie is Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow from 1988.  It stars Bill Pullman (The president in Independence Day.  Not the guy from Twister, Bill Paxton) as an ethnobotanist sent to Haiti to do research on a drug that voodoo priests use.  The locals don’t take too kindly to an American snooping around so they threaten him.  He doesn’t heed their warnings and learns that the drug that he was sent to research is used to turn people into “zombies”.

The Serpent and the Rainbow is actually based on a true story.  The ethnobotanist Wade Davis spent time in Haiti looking into a zombie powder.  He heard of the case of a man named Clairvius Narcisse who had been buried in the 60’s but then showed up years later.  People thought he was an imposter or a mad man but he knew things about Clairvius’s life that no one else could have known.  It turned out that he was given a poison that simulated death and then was dug up hours after he was buried and given a hallucinogenic drug.  He was then taken to a farm and forced to work as a slave.  Davis said that he witnessed the process of “zombification” several times while doing his research.

Wes Craven is one of the most prolific horror directors of the last 40 years.  Along with The Serpent and the Rainbow he has directed such classics as The Last House on the Left, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream.  You can watch this one on youtube.

Your Movie for Saturday, September 25, 2010

Posted in 1980's, Thriller, Universal on September 25, 2010 by Josh Dean

Today’s movie is the 1987 classic Jaws: The Revenge with Michael Caine.  Chief Brody from the first two Jaws movies is dead (Roy Scheider obviously had the sense to pass on this one) so this movie follows his wife, Ellen.  One of the Brody’s sons is killed in the beginning of the movie when a great white rips his arm off then pulls him to his watery grave.  Ellen decides that is one too many shark attacks for her family so she moves away from Amity Island to The Bahamas.  What she didn’t count on was the shark that killed her son and possibly her husband FOLLOWING HER…from New England to Bermuda…yeah.

The premise of the movie is apparently that this great white is out for revenge on the Brody family for killing the original Jaws.  As anyone with even the slightest understanding of how the world works knows, animals are not motivated by revenge.  You could kill an entire litter of kittens right in front of their mother and then five minutes later give the mother a treat and she will sit in your lap and purr.  Let’s let the movie have a pass on that though, let’s accept that in this world animals do seek revenge and follow people thousands of miles to carry it out.  Let’s also give the movie a pass on the shark roaring like a lion.  I’ve never actually been around a great white, for all I know they do roar.   At least we are going to see some kick ass action sequences…right?

This was the fourth installment in the Jaws series and only slightly more ludicrous than the third movie, Jaws 3-D.  In that one a great white breaks into Sea World to try to kill one of the Brody’s sons.  They completely ignored the events of Jaws 3-D in Jaws: The Revenge.  I wish I could completely ignore the events of all of the movies after the original.  You can watch all the Jaws movies on Netflix instant watch but if you want my advice, just watch the original four times.

Your Movie for Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Posted in 1980's, Disney, Fantasy on September 22, 2010 by Josh Dean

Your movie for today is 1985’s Return to Oz, the unofficial sequel to the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz.  This time around Fairuza Balk is Dorothy and she won’t stop talking about the scarecrow and cowardly lion so Auntie Em and Uncle Henry send her away to undergo electro-shock therapy.  Dorothy escapes but falls into a river and when she wakes up, she finds herself back in Oz.  But all is not well in Oz, the Nome King has captured King Scarecrow and Dorothy must save him with the help of some new, extremely bizarre friends.

Balk was much closer to Dorothy’s age in the L. Frank Baum books than Judy Garland was, 10 compared to 16.  You would think starring in the sequel to The Wizard of Oz would be a great launching pad for a career but that wasn’t the case.  Her other most notable role came in the brain dead Adam Sandler comedy The Waterboy.  My guess is her success was limited due to her looks.  While she is pretty, I wouldn’t say she is Hollywood pretty really.  She’s more singer-in-an-alt-rock-band pretty.

Return to Oz was a box office failure and I can see why.  It is just too scary for little kids, the wheelers still give me nightmares and I’m tough as shit.  It has grown to be somewhat of a cult classic now though.  Go watch it on youtube.

Your Movie for Friday, September 10, 2010

Posted in 1980's, Dark Comedy, Indie on September 10, 2010 by Josh Dean

Today’s movie is the 1984 dark comedy The Census Taker aka Census Taker aka Husbands, Wives, Money & Murder.  The cast includes Timothy Bottoms and everyone’s favorite member of the original cast of Saturday Night Live, Garrett Morris (the black guy).  Morris plays a census taker who shows up at the home of a very dysfunctional family and when he pries just a little too much into their lives, they shoot him in the head.  The rest of the movie involves the couple hiding the body from the wife’s sister and her detective husband.

It is never a good sign when a movie can’t seem to settle on a title.  The Census Taker is an accurate enough title but when the movie was released on VHS they changed the name to Husbands, Wives, Money & Murder, I guess to make it seem more exciting.  It didn’t work apparently.  When I rated this movie on IMDB it had 81 votes.  That is by far the lowest number of votes any movie I have rated has ever had.  Poor Garrett Morris.

You can join the incredibly exclusive club of people who have seen The Census Taker by watching it on Netflix instant watch.

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