Thou Shalt Not Kill: Why The Lost Boys Will Never Grow Old

The mid-80’s was something of a halcyon era for the vampire film.

From Charley Brewster’s neighbour troubles in the Rear Window homage, Fright Night, to Katherine Bigelow’s western-tinged and toothless – in a good way – Near Dark. A number of less-revered, though no less entertaining, films also secured releases, including My Best Friend is a Vampire, starring Robert Sean Leonard (remember him?) and Once Bitten, a film Jim Carrey still dines out on.

Probably […]

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Money Train (1995)

Back in 1992, Ron Shelton’s low-key comedy-drama White Men Can’t Jump gave us more than just basketball.

The story of two racially opposed hustlers who would form an unlikely bond both on and off the courts, the movie proved a surprise hit thanks to a heartwarming screenplay and the magical onscreen chemistry of its lead players. The film was even a favourite of legendary director Stanley Kubrick, who was probably in need of a little cheer from time to time […]

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Blind Fury (1989)

Rutger Hauer is a very unique talent.

Not only did he dazzle with his famous ad-libbed monologue as the queerly sympathetic Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, he scared the living crap out of us as the psychotic John Ryder in The Hitcher. A few years later he starred in Blind Fury, the kind of tongue-in-cheek action extravaganza most associated with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he did a mighty fine job of it too, slipping into the role with the kind of consummate ease […]

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Suburban Monsters: The Double Standards of Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in my experience the opposite is true.

In reality people tend to fear the unfamiliar, and the more distant a person is the more they have to hide, at least in the minds of those who have been ignored. This is never truer than when a somewhat reclusive neighbour moves into an established community. Before long, suspicions begin to breed and spread, and every little detail becomes a reason for condemnation […]

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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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Any Time, Any Place: The Ageless Appeal of Back to the Future

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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Riding with the Griswolds: National Lampoon’s Vacation

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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