Darkman (1990)

As comic book adaptations go, Sam Raimi’s Darkman released in 1990, on the back of an inspired marketing campaign that queried the origin of the character by posing the question ‘Who Is Darkman?’ was one of the most interesting of the era. This was despite the fact it was scripted from an original story idea by The Evil Dead helmer as opposed to an actual comic book from the period it pays homage to.

Drawing on the Universal horror movies of the 1930s, in particular the celebrated oeuvre of James Whale, as well as The Shadow, The Phantom of the Opera and a veritable glut of monster and comic book staples, the film would […]

Read Article →

Dead Heat (1988)

As genre crossovers go, Dead Heat is about as bold and as ridiculous as they come.

By the late 1980s, buddy cop movies were ten to the penny, and for the most part you knew exactly what to expect. Of course, this was a large part of their charm. Movie’s such as the Shane Black penned Lethal Weapon would take the sub-genre to new and still unchallenged heights, a formula that was aped to varying degrees […]

Read Article →

Great Expectations: Daniel LaRusso and the Demise of the Underdog

Sequels can be a very tricky prospect indeed.

This is particularly true for movies that are planned as standalone features, only to be thrust back into the spotlight care of popular demand. Back before the marketing process was so regimented and ruthless, not everything was looked upon as a potential money-spinning franchise. I mean, Hollywood was still Hollywood, and if something had legs producers would run it into the ground with so many unnecessary sequels you […]

Read Article →

Reality, Identity and Satire in Paul Verhoeven’s Total Recall

Prior to joining forces with Joe Eszterhas to develop subversive, erotic thriller Basic Instinct in the early 90s, Paul Verhoeven would follow up his dystopian masterclass Robocop with a similarly subversive sci-fi extravaganza.

In theory, Total Recall would be a big budget sci-fi action vehicle starring former Pumping Iron alumni and future Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger. In practice, however, Verhoeven would once again manage to create a blockbuster […]

Read Article →