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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Kung-Fu Cannibals aka Raw Force (1982)

Kung-Fu Cannibals is as barmy as its title suggests.

In a nutshell, it is a movie about a group of maniacal monks who kidnap and barbecue big-breasted women, believing that female flesh gives them the power to raise the dead. If this movie sounds somewhat misogynistic, that’s because it is. If we’re not in a whorehouse we’re in a strip joint, and with characters credited with such unabashed names as Drunken Sexpot and Girl in Toilet, feminists need not apply […]

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Leave Those Kids Alone: When Cannon Met Death Wish

By 1982, British director Michael Winner was in desperate need of a hit.

Eight years prior he had immortalised western stalwart Charles Bronson by taking his John Wayne act to the streets of New York City. Although the original Death Wish tackled the growing problem of street crime in America, it was denounced by critics due to a vigilante theme that relished in the very violence it was supposed to be condemning […]

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BurgerTime – Colecovision, Intellivision, Arcade

Data East’s BurgerTime was one of my go-to arcade games as a kid.

I dug the concept of controlling the frantic and portly chef Peter Pepper, moving up, down and left and right across the stages, or dropping ingredients (buns, lettuce, tomatoes, burgers, etc.) down from above by walking over them to make hamburgers at the bottom of the screen […]

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It Came From Nowhere: The Mysterious Allure of Season of the Witch

For the most part, Halloween III: Season of the Witch plays out like an episodic horror series, and often to its credit, but before we get to that, let us take a look at how this franchise anomaly came to pass.

It was no courageous act for producers to take the series in another direction in an era when a trilogy of movies was rarely planned from the outset. Myers had put in a decent effort in Halloween II the year prior […]

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Conflict and Flames: Remembering Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner

Blade Runner may lack the relentless action or celestial extravagance of cinema’s best-loved sci-fi hits, but what it has in abundance is beauty.

There are many versions of the director’s 1982 classic, but for me, the aptly titled ‘Final Cut’ is the most definitive, offering a much bleaker and authentic vision, and from the very first rumblings of Vangelis’s awe-inducing Main Titles […]

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Pieces (1982)

B-movie slashers – once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right?

If you’re judging them in terms of originality, then yes, they are all very much the same – particularly those from the early part of the 1980s before censorship hysteria shackled the industry. In regards to technique, they are invariably cheap rip-offs of John Carpenter’s genre-defining Halloween […]

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Xtro (1982)

Xtro is a grim little sci-fi horror which proves infinitely more interesting than it ever had the right to be.

Produced by New Line Cinema and a pre-Nightmare on Elm Street Robert Shaye, it is a low-budget affair with some relatively inspired special effects that have the propensity to leave you feeling rather queasy. The movie is a British production which has the grainy filter and gauche editing of a terrestrial episodic horror show […]

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