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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Tease the Dragon – The Big Boss

What was it about Bruce Lee that made him the eternal icon of action cinema?

He wasn’t the first star of the kung fu wave. Shaw Brothers Studio had been steadily churning out heroic martial arts fantasy flicks years before Lee got into the game, and cheaply dubbed versions were already showing up in American grindhouse theaters. He certainly was one of the most talented and innovative martial artists in history, but that alone doesn’t explain it, either.  I break it down to something simpler: Bruce Lee was the coolest son of a bitch ever to walk the Earth. He was so cool that both Steve McQueen and James Coburn were […]

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Money Train (1995)

Back in 1992, Ron Shelton’s low-key comedy-drama White Men Can’t Jump gave us more than just basketball.

The story of two racially opposed hustlers who would form an unlikely bond both on and off the courts, the movie proved a surprise hit thanks to a heartwarming screenplay and the magical onscreen chemistry of its lead players. The film was even a favourite of legendary director Stanley Kubrick, who was probably in need of a little cheer from time to time […]

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Kung-Fu Cannibals aka Raw Force (1982)

Kung-Fu Cannibals is as barmy as its title suggests.

In a nutshell, it is a movie about a group of maniacal monks who kidnap and barbecue big-breasted women, believing that female flesh gives them the power to raise the dead. If this movie sounds somewhat misogynistic, that’s because it is. If we’re not in a whorehouse we’re in a strip joint, and with characters credited with such unabashed names as Drunken Sexpot and Girl in Toilet, feminists need not apply […]

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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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Godzilla (1985)

In 1954, Toho Studios released Gojira.

Directed by Ishiro Honda, the film explores the dangers of nuclear weaponry through the unstoppable force that is Godzilla: a giant, prehistoric creature who rampaged across Tokyo before succumbing to a device as dangerous to humanity as he is. Two years later, the movie was released in America, re-edited and re-titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters, where it also proved a success. Godzilla was popular in America […]

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Chopping Mall (1986)

Long before Amazon and Facebook turned us all into hermits, shopping malls were our cultural epicentre.

Each weekend teenagers would flock in their legions, hanging out at their favourite arcades or fast food restaurants and marvelling at the colourful array of consumer products that were not yet accessible at the click of a touchpad. Inevitably, these monuments to consumerism became schoolyards away from home, and in an era when Reagan proclaimed that ‘all great change in America begins at the dinner table,’ ghetto blasters and bubblegum could only lead to all out rebellion, right? […]

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