An 80s Treasure: The Goonies and the True Price of Freedom

It was the winter of 1984, and Richard Donner was embarking on a very different kind of project.

After shooting to fame with supernatural horror The Omen (1976), the director would quickly land the original Superman movie, proving himself on the grandest scale before forging one of the most successful action movie sagas in the Lethal Weapon series. But before tangling with the likes of Hollywood heartthrob Mel Gibson, Donner would try his hand […]

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Phenomena (1985)

There’s something about Dario Argento’s work that seems to transcend time and place.

Some of this has to do with location and setting, as well as an absence of modern cultural trends, but it is mostly due to the director’s visual style, movies such as Inferno and Suspiria sending us spiralling down a rabbit hole of fantastical terror. Along with Goblin’s nerve-shattering accompaniments, those movies work on a purely visceral level. They startle and excite in equal measures, a series of elaborate murders drenched in the grisly palette of deathly expressionism […]

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Burning Hearts and Iron Curtains: Rocky IV and Cold War Propaganda

The appeal of Rocky Balboa is his status as a flawed everyman.

Back in 1976, director John G. Avildsen gave us the perfect underdog story. Backed up by an Oscar-winning screenplay by Stallone, Rocky was about community and togetherness, shining a sympathetic light on the poor and downtrodden and reminding us that, given the right attitude and determination, anything is possible. […]

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Seeing Red: Swords, Sorcery and Sexism in Red Sonja.

The eighties were awash with fantasy films.

Some were excellent (Conan The Barbarian, The Princess Bride), some were flawed but entertaining, (Krull, Willow), while others were just boring or just downright awful (Hawk The Slayer, Conan The Destroyer). It was a glorious time for swords and sorcery fans, and though the quality may have been wildly variable, as a budding Tolkien fan obsessed with anything with even a passing resemblance to the fantastical that featured weird creatures […]

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