Sleepaway Camp (1983)

There have been many unexpected twists in the slasher canon; in fact, a shock finale is pretty much a prerequisite for a sub-genre that relies so heavily on jump scares and gross-out shock factor.

Also known as Nightmare Vacation, Sleepaway Camp is a very different animal—different in the sense that it not only relies on its twist, it lives and dies by it. It is because of that twist—one of the most shocking and unexpected in all of cinema—that the movie would go on to spawn several increasingly shitty sequels, achieving the kind of cult status that most low-budget schlock can only dream of. So monumental was the movie’s shock reveal that […]

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Blood Rage (1987)

Blood Rage is a goofy little number which peddles horror the way Head and Shoulders peddles shampoo. 

Originally titled Shadow at Nightmare Woods, the movie’s 1983 theatrical release coincided with the censorship crusade of the early 1980s, and was therefore stripped of its gruesome embellishments until Prism Entertainment rescued it from the MPAA’s pitiless expurgation. By 1987—the year of its largely uncut home video release—the slasher genre had undergone the kind of metamorphosis that turned a cynical vacuum of vivisection into a sparkling wink of self-knowing […]

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Stand and Deliver: The Rise of The Warriors

No movie oozes cult appeal quite like The Warriors.

Walter Hill’s roguish ballet is as detached from reality as it is packed with legitimacy—quite the achievement for a screenplay of such stark simplicity. Unlike most other gang-orientated pictures, it doesn’t condemn or even sympathise. Its cast of thugs are not the subject of morality plays. They are not analysed or judged for their actions, and there is no Bronson-esque retribution or attempt to provide solutions for this overblown representation of violent youth. Instead, they are accepted as […]

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Waltz with the Devil: Goodfellas and Crime’s Whirlwind Romance

More than a quarter of a century after its release, it’s easy to underestimate the level of impact that Goodfellas had on cinema.

There had been seminal gangster movies before, but Martin Scorsese’s flamboyant lens would change the way filmmakers approached the genre, which had always been eager to stress the pitfalls above all else. Without Goodfellas there would be no Jules and Vincent, porn star Dirk Diggler would perhaps never have made it to the silver screen in any way palatable, and The Sopranos would have struggled to make it past the pitch that would ultimately change television forever […]

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Rawhead Rex (1986)

When you see the name Clive Barker, you’re pretty much guaranteed a stamp of quality.

A prolific author and scribe of unique and terrifying short fiction, he would also write and direct the original Hellraiser movie, with a screenplay that was adapted from his story The Hellbound Heart. Dark, unique and seeped in the fantastical, Hellraiser would give us one of the most iconic horror villains of the decade, a pin-headed sadist with proclamations of making pleasure and pain indivisible […]

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Vamp (1986)

Back in the mid-1980s the whole world turned neon.

Music videos, nightclubs, catwalks: they all glowed with it, and for a short period it not only screamed high-tech, it was also the adopted look of the avant-garde, with new wave pop bands bathing on sun-kissed islands over neon cocktails. Let’s just hope they didn’t get stomach poisoning.

In the movies, those garish swathes of pink and green were perhaps more prevalent than anywhere else. For most of the decade those stylish James Bond opening sequences would turn to neon as […]

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