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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The House by the Cemetery (1981)

As a director, Lucio Fulci will always be synonymous with one word: gore.

So convincing was he in the blood department that he was once hauled into court on suspicion of animal cruelty due to some disturbingly convincing mutilation effects, while three of the 72 movies banned as ‘video nasties’ by the British Board of Film Classification belonged to him. In 1985, subsequent slasher The New York Ripper […]

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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 […]

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Pieces (1982)

B-movie slashers – once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right?

If you’re judging them in terms of originality, then yes, they are all very much the same – particularly those from the early part of the 1980s before censorship hysteria shackled the industry. In regards to technique, they are invariably cheap rip-offs of John Carpenter’s genre-defining Halloween […]

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Class of 1999 (1990)

By the mid 1980’s gang violence had become a serious problem for American society.

With the emergence of crack cocaine, a relatively cheap and highly addictive drug, street gangs were able to turn a tidy profit and become real players in the world of organised crime. By 1980, rival gangs the Crips and the Bloods had grown to have an estimated 15,000 members, the bulk of them kids aged between 14 and 24 […]

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Trancers (1984)

In the same year rookie director James Cameron took the box office by storm with his iconic character The Terminator, another sci-fi legend was born.

The brainchild of direct-to-video maestro Charles Band, Trancers didn’t do well at the box office, or even make it there for that matter, but in spite of its financial shortcomings it is truly one of the great B-movies, and not because it fails so spectacularly […]

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