Predator 2 (1990)

When it comes to Predator, less is definitely more.

In the three decades since the release of the original there have been so many pointless sequels that I now look upon this once cherished character with derision, his movies indifference. Predator 2 is perhaps the best of all those sequels, but it still manages to fail on just about every conceivable level, not least because you find it nigh on impossible not to compare it to the original, to which it is nothing more than a diluted carbon copy…

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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…

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Revisiting…Weird Science (1985)

Weird Science may not be as memorable as Planes, Trains and Automobiles, or as iconic as The Breakfast Club, but it is still one of filmmaker John Hughes’ finest.

Hughes has a knack of appealing to teenagers and seems to understand what makes them tick, a fact that is prevalent in the dialogue he writes, which is both crudely accurate and consistently hilarious…

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Xtro (1982)

Xtro is a grim little sci-fi horror which proves infinitely more interesting than it ever had the right to be.

Produced by New Line Cinema and a pre-Nightmare on Elm Street Robert Shaye, it is a low-budget affair with some relatively inspired special effects that have the propensity to leave you feeling rather queasy. The movie is a British production which has the grainy filter and gauche editing of a terrestrial episodic horror show, and it is devastatingly bleak, without a hint of the self-awareness or reflexive humour usually found in exploitation films of its kind…

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Revisiting…They Live (1988)

John Carpenter enjoyed considerable success throughout the late 70s and 80s, working within low budgets and tight schedules to produce unlikely box office hits that contradict their meagre outlay.

Though he is primarily seen as a director of horror movies, his science fiction releases represent some of his strongest work, harking back to the good ol’ days of the 50s with strong political leanings…

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The Stuff (1985)

We are all guilty of lusting after stuff we don’t need, of craving stuff we must have.

In a consumer society fuelled by big business, we sometimes depend on that stuff to lend us purpose, to blind us from the often thankless realities of our everyday existence. As modern citizens we are slaves to consumer products. We are addicted to fast food, subsisting on a diet of additives and preservatives. We are worshippers of the brand name…

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