Final Exam (1981)

A slasher movie that shows restraint is a rare and commendable thing. Final Exam shows that restraint, it just never really goes anywhere.

Looking back at the 80s slasher boom and the rashly sliced videotape entrails that would follow, you immediately think of Jason Voorhees—an indestructible killing machine who would plunder his way through six instalments before the decade was out thanks to a plethora of cynical gimmicks that kept the franchise relevant, but series stalwarts like Jason were exceptions to the rule […]

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A Rebel’s Lens: John Carpenter’s Escape From New York

Snake Plissken is one of the great American antiheroes.

Everything about Kurt Russel’s most memorable character screams iconic. From his pirate eye-patch and cowboy snarl to his sneering distrust of all things authoritarian. Snake—who would become the inspiration for the first truly cinematic video game in Metal Gear Solid—is an amalgamation of heroic archetypes, a caricature who appeals to our basest fantasies and who approaches his valiance with an outward unwilling that speaks to our cynicism for authority, while also questioning the very definition of heroism in a political context […]

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Lurking on the Periphery: the Anomalous Friday the 13th Part 2

When you think of anomalous franchise entries, Friday the 13th Part 2 is not a movie that immediately springs to mind.

Wes Craven’s New Nightmare and Halloween III: Season of the Witch can both be considered anomalous for obvious reasons, and when it comes to Jason Voorhees specifically, you would probably have to look to body-swapping ‘Hidden’ clone Jason Goes to Hell or the space-bound Jason X. In fact, every instalment but part 2 can be considered anomalous in a superficial sense due to […]

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Darkest Before Dawn: The Best Horror Trailers of the 80’s

Question: What do you miss most about those halcyon home video days?

Cover art is something that stands out – it made that oh so joyous experience of choosing your rental all the more joyous. Choice is the second thing that springs to mind. Sometimes you would arrive home on a Saturday evening and be thoroughly disappointed with a movie that promised so much and delivered so little. But that was part of the fun, particularly when you unearthed the kind of gem that you couldn’t wait to rent again […]

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K.C. Munchkin – Odyssey²/Videopac

“How many Munchies can your Munchkin munch before your Munchkin’s all munched out????”

That is the question posed on the box of the controversial (at the time) Odyssey²/Videopac game, K.C. Munchkin. That question also serves as a succinct synopsis of a game with an interesting history.

Designed & programmed by Ed Averett and released for the Odyssey²/Videopac in 1981, K.C. Munchkin is, in essence, a Pac-Man clone […]

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Absurd (1981)

Joe D’Amato’s Absurd is anything other than its title suggests.

Gaining notoriety as one of the 72 ‘video nasties’ deemed unfit for public consumption, it is a transparent derivative of John Carpenter’s seminal slasher Halloween, leeching off its popularity without quite figuring out what made it so effective in the first place. Far from the agonizingly-paced slice of subtlety it aspires to emulate, the movie is […]

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