The Gate (1987)

Back in the late 1980’s, the ‘kids in peril’ concept was the template for theatrical success.

Steven Spielberg would set the ball rolling with E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial, a movie whose impact would send a thematic tremor throughout the entire industry. E.T. saw a group of kids take matters into their own hands, championing the importance of family and togetherness as the best recourse for overcoming an oppressive evil. Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist would follow a year later, a film that possessed more than a dash of Spielberg’s DNA, while Joe Dante’s Gremlins and […]

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Masters of the Universe: Star Wars and the Fall of Grayskull

During their B-movie pomp, Cannon Films were a modest distribution company who far exceeded expectations.

Originally formed by Dennis Friedland and Chris Dewey as a soft porn production company, the struggling duo were forced to sell to Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, an Israeli duo who would tap into the B-movie boom of the early 1980’s. Golan-Globus would achieve immediate success exploring the popular slasher and action genres, creating stars such as Michael Dudikoff (Avenging Force), and eventually attracting some of the industry’s top names thanks to a prolific output of low-budget movies that would turn a tidy profit […]

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Slumber Party Massacre II (1987)

Back in 1987, Fred Krueger took his first steps in becoming the horror genre’s first bona fide rock star.

With Wes Craven back on board to beef up the characterisation, Chuck Russel’s The Dream Warriors salvaged a waning franchise following the debacle of Freddy’s Revenge, catapulting Krueger to commercial superstardom. Still the scourge of nightmares, the character would shed his darker dispositions to become the ethereal circus master of a marketing campaign that exceeded all expectation, resulting in the kind of unlikely merchandising never before achieved […]

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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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Into the Jungle: The Story of John McTiernan’s Predator

Back in his action heyday, director John McTiernan was something of an artiste.

For many, he is probably most remembered for genre high point Die Hard, but a year earlier he gave us another action vehicle with a crowd-pleasing twist. A genre crossover which lured us into the safety of Hollywood’s most dependable biceps, Predator would plunge us into a jungle of stifling uncertainty, adopting the form of a stalk-and-slash horror and keeping us very much in the dark […]

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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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System Spotlight – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

I am not going to bore anyone with previously well documented historical details, facts, stats and the like for Nintendo’s first home gaming console, the Nintendo Entertainment System.

There are hundred of blogs, webpages, YouTube channels and even hardcover books devoted to this iconic console. Everyone already understands the NES’s impact on video gaming, the reviving of the home video game market and the plethora of iconic games that have stood the test of time 30 years or more after their release […]

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Never Too Old For This Shit: The Enduring Charm of Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon is the pinnacle of the buddy cop picture.

It is also one of the finest action movies ever put to celluloid, and is perhaps the only production to rival Die Hard as the genre’s high point. The two films have many elements in common. Both movies feature black and white partners, both are set during the Christmas period, and both feature heroes who are much more relatable than characters who have appeared in the vast majority of action vehicles. It is this relatability that is key to both movies […]

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Retro Gaming Archives – Fall 1987

The year was 1987. I was a young boy obsessed with video games, horror films and MTV. Arcades were still extremely popular hangouts for me and my friends. The Nintendo Entertainment System was all the rage in my town, and I was on the verge of getting my own that December. The Sega Master System was also in stores in 1987, but definitely playing catch-up due to the NES’s head start and exclusive titles […]

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This Month in . . .1987 (November)

The Cannon Group releases its fourth instalment of the Charles Bronson-led Death Wish series. Titled Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, the movie would lose original trilogy director Michael Winner along with a chunk of its usual budget, resulting in a much more limited release. Winner would refuse to return for the sequel after clashing with Bronson during the filming of Death Wish 3. Cannon had also begun belt-tightening thanks to […]

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