The Power of Nostalgia: Back to the Future Part II

Nostalgia is a very powerful emotion.

In recent times it has become a billion-dollar industry, but back in 1985 its use was rather less calculated, and when director Robert Zemeckis released Back to the Future that same year, his time-travelling ode to 1950’s culture was still something of a novelty.

Back to the Future Part 2 is a resourceful sequel, promising a futuristic landscape but delivering something altogether different. When Christopher Lloyd’s Dr Emmett Brown uttered his immortal, sequel-setting words during the conclusion of the first picture, we had already booked our ticket […]

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A Sequel in Earnest: Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon 2

There are very few movies that deserved a sequel as much as Richard Donner’s Lethal Weapon; not because it was set up that way, but because of the potential of the movie’s narrative and the ever-burgeoning relationship of its characters.

Although sequels had long been established, it was the 1980’s that saw them grow into an essential component of the marketing beast. The 1970’s had witnessed the dawn of the numbered sequel, but those movies were few and far between, productions such as The French Connection II and The Godfather Part II hardly the products of premeditated money-spinning campaigns […]

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Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes (1989)

What makes a great horror villain?

A good backstory helps, perhaps an incident in a monster’s life that made them a monster, that motivates them to keep on killing year after year, sequel after sequel. Jason Voorhees, for example, was left to drown by negligent camp councillors before magically resurfacing and wreaking bloody vengeance on generations of teens at the infamous Camp Crystal Lake. Other contributing factors are a villain’s appearance (Michael Myers’ iconic mask); an interesting gimmick […]

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Intruder (1989)

By the turn of the 90s, the censorship boards at the BBFC and MPAA had all but slayed the slasher movie.

Back in the early 1980s, the ‘video nasties’ scandal would trigger a moral outrage, a diet of shock politics and tabloid sensationalism striking fear into the population, leading to the once explicit sub-genre’s descent into mediocrity. Many tricks and gimmicks would succeed in stretching its lifespan, and no more so than in the Friday the 13th series, which would rely on 3-D, false promises, impostor killers, Carrie clones, and iconic (if barely seen) locations to keep the lolly rolling in, all of it tied to a new tongue-in-cheek meta approach that would somehow make a protagonist out of the inimitable masked killer […]

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You Only Live Once: How Licence to Kill Dragged Bond into the 21st Century

When it comes to Bond, Timothy Dalton has found himself low down in the pecking order.

As the first actor to fulfil the male fantasies of a generation, Sean Connery will always be regarded as the true original. Roger Moore, whose eyebrow-raising quips were not for everyone, brought a dash a debonair to the character which saw him star in a record-equalling seven instalments […]

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Blind Fury (1989)

Rutger Hauer is a very unique talent.

Not only did he dazzle with his famous ad-libbed monologue as the queerly sympathetic Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, he scared the living crap out of us as the psychotic John Ryder in The Hitcher. A few years later he starred in Blind Fury, the kind of tongue-in-cheek action extravaganza most associated with the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he did a mighty fine job of it too, slipping into the role with the kind of consummate ease […]

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Suburban Monsters: The Double Standards of Joe Dante’s The ‘Burbs

They say familiarity breeds contempt, but in my experience the opposite is true.

In reality people tend to fear the unfamiliar, and the more distant a person is the more they have to hide, at least in the minds of those who have been ignored. This is never truer than when a somewhat reclusive neighbour moves into an established community. Before long, suspicions begin to breed and spread, and every little detail becomes a reason for condemnation […]

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Shocker (1989)

By 1989 horror movies had become rather tepid.

Thanks to the chastening whip of the MPAA and BBFC during the mid-1980s, the genre would descend into cartoonery as a way to reach a broader audience. Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn would lead the way in that respect, and some movies were able to pass explicit gore based on absurdity, while others, such as Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, added depth as a way to counterbalance the meaningless nihilism that would outrage a generation […]

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Splatterhouse – Turbografx-16/PC Engine

Do you want head smashing, gut splashing, grotesque monstrosity pummeling action this Halloween? If the answer is yes (and of course it is), then Splatterhouse is your game of choice.

Splatterhouse is a diabolical, gruesomely violent game for the Turbografx-16/PC Engine based on the Namco beat ’em up arcade title of the same name. There were two direct sequels made for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, but the TG-16/PC Engine has the one and only original […]

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