Rawhead Rex (1986)

When you see the name Clive Barker, you’re pretty much guaranteed a stamp of quality.

A prolific author and scribe of unique and terrifying short fiction, he would also write and direct the original Hellraiser movie, with a screenplay that was adapted from his story The Hellbound Heart. Dark, unique and seeped in the fantastical, Hellraiser would give us one of the most iconic horror villains of the decade, a pin-headed sadist with proclamations of making pleasure and pain indivisible […]

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Vamp (1986)

Back in the mid-1980s the whole world turned neon.

Music videos, nightclubs, catwalks: they all glowed with it, and for a short period it not only screamed high-tech, it was also the adopted look of the avant-garde, with new wave pop bands bathing on sun-kissed islands over neon cocktails. Let’s just hope they didn’t get stomach poisoning.

In the movies, those garish swathes of pink and green were perhaps more prevalent than anywhere else. For most of the decade those stylish James Bond opening sequences would turn to neon as […]

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House (1986)

For many kids of the 1980s House was a very memorable movie indeed.

To begin with it had one of the most eye-catching VHS covers of the entire decade, and for those who remember the original theatrical trailer, the movie screamed ‘rent me!’ to any practical effects junkie scouring the horror section for their next visual fix. I remember the cover and the trailer, but I didn’t see House until just recently, and as an adult I was somewhat underwhelmed.

Still, the movie went on to spawn three sequels, and for all you appreciators baying for my blood, please hear me out […]

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Shaving the Bone: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Back in 1986, rookie director John McNaughton was approached by a Chicago home video executive eager to cash in on the low-budget slasher craze, expecting a money-spinning slice of exploitation for his $110,000 outlay.

What he got instead was a painfully authentic docudrama chronicling the everyday exploits of a deadpan serial killer, a movie that was immediately banned by the MPAA and BBFC for its explicit nature. It wasn’t until 1990 that Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer was given a full release, thanks in large part to […]

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Deadly Friend: Krueger and the Near-Demise of Wes Craven

Wes Craven was never one to rest on his laurels.

A creative force who twice redefined the slasher genre, he would make his name as a horror movie director thanks to a series of low-budget films that would win him a generation of loyal fans. After making waves with grungy efforts The Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes, he would finally burst onto the mainstream with 1984’s A Nightmare On Elm Street, his most famous character Fred Krueger spawning the kind of franchise that turned faltering production company New Line Cinema into a surging goldmine […]

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For the Love of the Con: Fast Eddie and The Color of Money

For the most part, The Color of Money doesn’t feel like a Scorsese film.

That may sound like negative criticism, but I actually like this movie a great deal. Instead, what I mean is that this seems like an anomalous entry in the director’s rich and varied canon. His thumbprint is visible, but it doesn’t seem to carry his DNA. For one thing, it is a relatively conventional movie when the vast majority of his career has been anything but. These are characters that you invest in, that you remember fondly, but they don’t have the intensity or pzazz of those featured in his other marquee titles […]

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