Revisiting . . . Hellraiser (1987)

One of the most striking elements of Hellraiser is that the Cenobites are almost secondary characters.

When it comes to modern horror’s most iconic figures, Pinhead is up there with the likes of Fred Krueger and Michael Myers, and although a series of diminishing sequels expanded on the Cenobite legacy, it is that first movie which fans will invariably reference, in spite of the black-eyed antagonist’s relatively sparse screen time . . .

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Fatal Attraction or A Weekend in Hell

Caught up in the hype and anticipation of Adrian Lyne’s post 9 ½ Weeks effort, I went to see Fatal Attraction. I remember thoroughly enjoying myself. It was a great diversion for 2 hours.

Segue to 30 years later and I am channel surfing. What appears on my television set? Yep, you guessed it. So, I settled in to see if this film has stood the test of time. Unfortunately, it has not. What kept me on the edge of my seat in an LA theater three decades ago, made me laugh hysterically today . . .

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Revisiting . . . The Dream Warriors (1987)

In hindsight, the third instalment of the ‘Elm Street’ series did as much good as it did bad.

First of all, it took a movie of great craft and imagination to salvage a franchise left moribund by 1985’s Freddy’s Revenge, a movie that was as brave in its intentions as it was stupid in its execution. You could write a volume on the deficiencies of that first sequel. For one thing, it was robbed of Charles Bernstein’s Krueger-defining score, a scathing lullaby which encapsulates the offbeat nature of nightmares in a way that was crucial to the series . . .

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Revisiting . . . Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

There is a memorable scene in The Sopranos in which Tony vents his frustrations about ‘The Happy Wanderer’.

Tony hates those people, the kind who refuse to see the world in a cynical light and instead walk around whistling with a clear conscience and a stupid smile on their face. John Candy’s irrepressible Del Griffith – the unlikely hero of John Hughes’ greatest movie – is the personification of ‘The Happy Wanderer’, a man who accepts the negativity of modern day America with impervious good cheer. Del is kind, helpful and sincere. With him, what you see is what you get . . .

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Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch (1985)

Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf is as ridiculous as it sounds, but not half as bad as people tend to make out.

Okay, it is wholly ridiculous: a heady blend of MTV pop music videos, New Wave eroticism and classic Hammer Horror, but unlike hundreds of other efforts floating around in the ‘bad movie’ afterlife, you’ll be hard pressed to call it boring. In fact, it is positively spellbinding in its presentation, a movie with eschews logicality in favour of a visceral experience of shallow exhibitionism…

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The Curse (1987)

It never quite happened for Will Wheaton, did it?

After shooting to fame in the early 80s with cult movies The Last Starfighter (1984) and Stand by Me (1985), the sky certainly seemed to be the limit for the gangly little cherub who will forever be known as Gordy Lachance, but in spite of a decent run as Wesley Crusher in cult series Star Trek: The Next Generation, his career would prove spotty at best…

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Revisiting . . . Withnail and I (1987)

Withnail and I is not only one of the finest British comedies ever put to celluloid, it is one of the most hilarious and poignant of the entire genre…

It is the story of a scathing drunkard and his unfortunate sidekick; two out of work actors living in a squalid Georgian flat in Camden Town, London. The movie is set at the tail end of ‘the greatest decade in the history of mankind’ and as spaced-out drug dealer and uninvited frequenter Danny so aptly points out, ‘there’s gonna be a lot of refugees’. . .

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American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (1987)

The American Ninja franchise is a true product of the VHS era.

Much like the No Retreat No Surrender series, they are movies of low production value which only seem to decrease in quality, but there is something about them that keeps us coming back for more. Production company The Cannon Group would exploit America’s fascination with martial arts to devastating financial effect. This had very little to do with the quality of action on show or the actors involved, owing much to the nationalistic stance of the latter stages of the Cold War as an inherently fascist cinema exploded in a barrage of invincible protagonists and patriotic exposition…

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