Return of the Living Dead Part II (1988)

You can’t keep the dead down for good.

In 1985, writer Dan O’Bannon put an interesting spin on the zombie genre with The Return of the Living Dead. Mixing humour with horror and adding a dash of punk to the film’s style and soundtrack, Return satirized the films of George A. Romero by insinuating that Night of the Living Dead was based on true events. It also proved to be a capable zombie picture in its own right […]

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Revisiting . . . Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future is about change, about fate and destiny and the possibility of a second chance.

Those sentiments may smack of mawkish wish-fulfilment, and Robert Zemeckis’ cultural phenomenon is nothing if not idealistic, but there are ways to promote such romanticisms without descending into the sickly slush of blueprint Hollywood, and in December of 1985 Back to the Future showed us just how creative you can be […]

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No Hold Barred (1987)

Make no mistake about it, No Holds Barred is an abomination of a movie.

In cinematic terms, it is bereft of even the smallest redemptive quality. It is steaming quagmire of puerile stereotypes, incredulously dire acting and a narrative that even an infant would get tired of past the almost ceaseless flatulence-based jokes that attempt to pass for comedy. Woeful leading man? Check. Imbecilic antagonist? Check. Belching waitress, cross-eyed, tobacco chewing hicks, a henchman who shits in his pants and squeals ‘dookie’ like a mentally challenged infant? Check, check and double check […]

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Revisiting . . . National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

Long before The Simpsons made their mark on American culture, Warner Brothers gave us the Griswolds.

Sure, there had been dysfunctional families before, but as a symbol of America’s faltering moral climate Clark and his band of three proved something of a landmark in outlining the reality of the time-honoured cross-country road trip in all of its failed glory. Time may have diluted the movie’s irreverence, and events may border on the caricaturistic at times, but these are very real and relatable characters caught in an all-too-familiar environment of outdated sentiments and eternal disappointment […]

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Revisiting . . . Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon is the pinnacle of the buddy cop picture.

It is also one of the finest action movies ever put to celluloid, and is perhaps the only production to rival Die Hard as the genre’s high point. The two films have many elements in common. Both movies feature black and white partners, both are set during the Christmas period, and both feature heroes who are much more relatable than characters who have appeared in the vast majority of action vehicles. It is this relatability that is key to both movies […]

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Revisiting . . . A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

A Fish Called Wanda may be a largely British production, but it is an American who ultimately steals the show.

This is quite ironic when you consider the competitive nature of the movie’s characters, as a gang of zany caricatures go to great lengths to snatch some comic book swag from under each other’s noses. This is British pomposity vs American showmanship, the inescapably prudish vs the bold and the brash […]

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Maniac Cop 2 (1990)

Jason Lives! may had revitalised the slasher genre with its censor-defying brand of meta humour, but William Lustig’s Maniac Cop 2 elevated it to a whole new level.

Robert Z’ Dar’s Matt Cordell is perhaps the genre’s most underappreciated seek-and-destroy killer, an immovable and irrepressible brute, who in 1988’s Maniac Cop, returned to enact vengeance on those city officials who had wronged him […]

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What if they Made . . . Lethal Weapon 5

Some sequels were just never meant to be, and probably for good reason. Still, it doesn’t stop us from wondering what might have been if producers had taken that extra punt, resuscitating long-dead characters with the aim of squeezing an extra few million, and as a consequence plunging their once-cherished creations deeper into the realms of ignominy […]

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