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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Night Of The Creeps (1986)

How my childhood would have fared without Fred Dekker-penned genre classics such as Night of The Creeps is anyone’s guess, but one thing is certain: it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as colourful.

Night of The Creeps starts in a spaceship and detours to 1950’s America where an axe-wielding killer is terrorising rock ‘n’ roll kids. Subsequently, the viewer is hurtled, via an alien parasite and monochrome axe murder, to the bad pop eighties of a college campus full of frat packers, where shortly after a pledge prank gone awry weird stuff begins to happen and folks begin to die […]

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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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Say Never Again: The Untold Story of Dalton’s Third Bond Outing

Timothy Dalton’s reign as James Bond was cruelly brief, but it was also extremely important for the series as a whole.

When Dalton was finally announced as the fourth James Bond (if you count David Niven’s camp entry in the original Casino Royale), fans were more than a little dubious about the Welshman’s credentials for the role, but this was 007, and historically that has always been the case […]

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Guess Who’s Back: The Greatest Horror Movie Franchise Trailers

What do you miss most about the good old days of home video?

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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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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Thou Shalt Not Kill: Why The Lost Boys Will Never Grow Old

The mid-80’s was something of a halcyon era for the vampire film.

From Charley Brewster’s neighbour troubles in the Rear Window homage, Fright Night, to Katherine Bigelow’s western-tinged and toothless – in a good way – Near Dark. A number of less-revered, though no less entertaining, films also secured releases, including My Best Friend is a Vampire, starring Robert Sean Leonard (remember him?) and Once Bitten, a film Jim Carrey still dines out on.

Probably […]

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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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Approaching Adolescence: Or How Paperboy Spoke to my 12-Year-Old Self

Spring of 1985 was a dark time for video games.

The Nintendo Entertainment System was still 6 months from seeing the light of day in the United States. Atari mania and Pac-Man fever felt like ages ago thanks to the shift away from home console gaming towards computer gaming. But arcades were still active as THE place to play games that could still wow and astonish gamers hungry for the next big thing […]

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