Mania (1986)

Score: 5.5/10

Length: 87

Rating: PG-13

Language: English

Categories:

Also known as: Mania: The Intruder, Mania: Episodes in Terror

This is a Canadian anthology horror film that appears to be little-known. I decided to give it an overall rating, as there’s not going to be much fluctuation in the individual short’s scores. They were all pretty original and entertaining, though it felt like I was reading a murder mystery short story novel written in the late eighties. I mean, this movie is from the eighties, yes, but it didn’t really feel like a horror and there was a slight cheese to it. Someone in the comment section of the film mentioned the peculiar Canadian accents. So I listened really hard for them but I just couldn’t hear it. Maybe you can? There is a very Canadian forced apology, but that’s aboot it. Get your maple beers and your Coffee Crisps ready to enjoy with some thoughtful, yet mediocre short films! (Yes, it’s on YouTube.)

See No Evil

After a hooker leaves his house, a man sees her stabbed on the street. The murderer stalks him and frames him, wrapping him up in a sticky situation.

The Intruder

A neighbourhood is victim to a string of robberies, so a couple looks to get a watchdog. Guy is clearly afraid of dogs, but nonetheless, they get the biggest one there and it drives him nuts. In the end, the lesson is… you need dogs.

Have a Nice Day

A mysterious man kidnaps a woman’s daughter and manipulates the mother over the phone. And then suddenly, he shows up on her couch. She’s been fooled!

The Good Samaritan

After leaving a pub, a Scottish man picks a fight with some young punks on the street and is pulled away by his friend. When they get off the train, the friend saves a woman in the subway who’s being attacked. The woman and the friend run for a really long time and end up at his house. The tables turn, and the ending is pretty guessable.

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The Initiation (1984)

Score: 6/10

Length: 97

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, psychological, recommended

I’d never heard of this movie, but YouTube recommended it for me, and I was pleasantly surprised. I figured it’d be a typical sorority slasher, which it was, though definitely not typical. It was fairly well thought-out, and had a big twist that I wasn’t expecting. When you look back on the clues, it’s easy to guess, and although it may not it be overly original, I just wasn’t planning on a twist of any sorts, so it was exciting! I watched this movie over a few days, as it isn’t exactly thrilling, and I mean, it’s hot out. It’s summer. It’s hard to watch non-beachy horrors right now. But this one is set in a mall! And that’s always fun.

It’s about a sorority initiation gone wrong, where the girls are set to steal the guard’s clothing, and instead, everyone dies. Our main gal has been having nightmares and trying to get therapy. Her dreams might be reality, and she’s in store for a few revealing surprises. There are loads of characters you don’t care about, but their acting is decent and never distracting. There are, of course, needless boob scenes, as this is horror in the eighties, but overall, there isn’t much to turn my nose up at. It was fairly enjoyable, but I could have done with with a fleshier character story build.

Chopping Mall (1986)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 77

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, horror comedy, murderer, robots

Alternate Title: Killbots (Original)

A shopping mall is a fantastic location for a movie. Especially a horror movie. There aren’t many malls I’ve visited recently, and each year, they become more nostalgic, a thing of the past. We could stand to have more masked killers and monsters slashing at Starbucks and murdering at the M.A.C. booth. Underground parking lots, store stalkers, and creepy cashiers are all potential fun ingredients in a horror movie recipe and there should be more!

Robots are introduced to a crowd of sceptical employees as the latest in security technology. There are a few scenes with people doing typical mall things, and then the low-budget R2D2s are suddenly somehow affected by a freak lightning storm. Seconds later, teens are locked inside the mall after having a party in a store (is this something that happened in the eighties??) and they’re being attacked by the malfunctioning security bots. Most of the movie is watching young adults run, dart, and hide from the lasers, and it gets a little tedious after awhile as there’s no added quirk or humor. Not evenk gore to jazz it up. The teens get creative trying to put an end to the killbots, and it’s fast paced enough. An easy watch for a cheesy movie marathon.

I hear there might be a remake of this movie coming, but with mannequins instead of robots. Perhaps then it is equally a remake of Mannequin?

Children of the Corn (1984)

Score: 3.5/10

Length: 92

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, Stephen Kingy, religious

First of all, did you know there are EIGHT of these films?! I haven’t seen them all, but I bet not one of them is good. I’m excited to watch movie six which is referred to as number 666 where John Franklin aka Isaac, is back as… an older adult. The original film is about a religious cult of children, led by a large-mouthed redhead and a strange little man-child (who was twenty-three in this movie playing a pre-teen), who kill adults. I mean, children are kind of scary. Look how many movies feature ghost-children. And religious cults are pretty awful as well. So there is truly potential outside of the funny food title. But, unfortunately, there’s the ending that crumbles like a stale cookie with awful green sparkly CGI and actual fire animation, repetitive angry troll-yelling, and a horribly corny script. Not to say that the rest of the movie was fantastic or anything, but it’s certainly memorable, and although not the most popular, it is a treasured horror classic.¬† Great to eat with some corn on the cob, popcorn, kettle corn, caramel corn, corn chowder or even candy corn if you must.

I chose to review this movie as it has something to do with one of my Halloween costumes. ūüėČ

Inferno (1980)

Score: 5/10

Length: 207

Rating: R

Language: Italian, English

Categories: 80s, supernatural, witch, murderer, gore, haunted house

I haven’t been to Italy yet, but it must be really windy, because this movie’s wind game is STRONG. Seriously, I felt like gasping due to so much air. Lots of horrible screechy noises as per usual Dario, and some cruel cat abuse, with a side of a man getting eaten by rats. ¬†My biggest issue with Dario films tends to be that the scenes are a little too far drawn out, and this one has multiple instances. The acting also isn’t great, but the film is artsy, and a good transition from Suspiria to Mother of Tears. I really liked the underwater scenes in the beginning of the film, they’re quite memorable. The house has the same wall colours and unsettling interior decor as Suspiria that I love.¬† And I mean, this is a gory movie about witches, so I can’t dislike it too much. It’s simply about a girl who finds a book about the mothers and believes her house is inhabited by a witch. The more you know, the more you die. These films seem to decay more with each addition, with Suspiria¬†as the best and Mother of Tears the worst. This middle movie is definitely 50/50 on the good and the bad, but worth a watch, especially if you’re into Dario.

April Fool’s Day (1986)

Score: 6/10

Length: 89

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, slasher, cabin, recommended

Exactly what you think it’d be, but not mundane or generic at all. This movie is about a group of rich, young adults who spend a weekend at their friend, Muffy’s mansion on April 1. There’s a killer on the loose, and through the twists and turns it’s¬†laced an elaborate prank. A¬†surprisingly good movie, nothing too cheesy, such as the acting or¬†special effects. Lots of deaths and drama, with a small sprinkle of tension. There were the typical character types, but everyone was interesting and likable in their own way, especially the final two. It’s a simple movie and I think it works because the quality of each aspect is clear. The biggest issue with a movie like this (about April Fool’s Day), is that we know all the secrets of the film before we even begin, just based off the title. I’d love to see a modern remake with a different, more mysterious title. I wasn’t upset in any way by the ending, I felt it was light and fun and I was okay with that.

 

photo: http://crypticrock.com/

Hospital Massacre (1981)

Score: 3/10

Length: 89

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, murderer, slasher, psychological, holiday, asylum

Other Titles: X-Ray

It’s not a dead giveaway from the title, but¬†I’m excited to bring you a¬†Valentine’s Day movie! All of the other ones are easy to find as they all have the word ‘Valentine’ in the title. This has the usual plot- a girl rejects a boy’s valentine, so as an adult, he returns to kill her. People seem to be very intense when it comes to rejection. Barbi Benton is intriguing and easy on the eyes, but she’s definitely not a scream queen. At times she sounds like yowling alley cats, and not the ones from Cats: The Musical. And although I liked the tension of not really understanding what’s going on, I never did find out what really was going on besides the obvious killer dressed as a doctor. I mean, was it the norm in the eighties to be naked in order to have your heartbeat checked? It also repulsed me thinking that it was okay to smoke in a hospital and to fumigate a floor while all the other floors in the building were occupied. And in order to get your test results, did you really have to roam all over the building looking for your doctor? It’s a pretty mindless slasher, but I liked a few things- the film was shot in an abandoned hospital, and Susan Jeremy’s hair looked like it had really gone through the experience of insanely running around the building all night. I appreciate the little things. There are a lot of unanswered questions, but you just have to take it at surface level.

 

photo credit: http://klubkrik.ru/

Film Face-off: New Year’s Evil (1980) vs Terror Train (1980)

There are a few New Year’s Eve- themed horrors out there, but none of them look astounding. Here are the best two in a face-off against each other! Both have creepy masks, both are from the eighties, and both¬†available to watch for free on YouTube!

New_Years_Evil

New Year’s Evil (1980)

Score: 3.5/10

Length: 90

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, holiday, murderer

You know I love a good theme, so bring on 2016, the champagne, and this movie (which I shockingly have never seen before). ¬†This¬†one starts off strong with some intense eighties blush. It’s about a dance and music show host who gets a call while working New Year’s Eve from a stranger with a comically stupid voice. (Yes he’s talking into a voice-changing device, but it’s ridiculous nonetheless). He does’t have a vote for best song, but he does have¬†New Year’s resolution to commit murder- and it’s going to be someone the host knows. What ends up happening, is that the stranger kills someone she knows each hour, with the intent on killing the host on New Year’s Day. There isn’t much of a story behind the killer (as in most slashers, unfortunately) and the ending, though realistic, is not memorable. The only thing I’m really left thinking about is all of the bad eighties rock music I just had to sit through.

 

terror-train-groucho-killer

Terror Train (1980)

Score: 5/10

Length: 97

Rating: R

Language: English

Categories: 80s, holiday, murderer

The title doesn’t elude to any holiday high jinks, but this film is about a bunch of aspiring doctors and their college friends who are trapped on a train with a killer during a New Year’s Eve costume party. I quite enjoyed the idea of being stuck¬†in a small space with no where to go and the story was creative while still being feasible. The “awkward sexual encounter that turns you into a serial killer” thing is really old, but this was also made in the eighties while I was busy not existing for six years after this film was released. The Groucho mask was creepy, the acting is fairly well-done, and you can’t go wrong with Jaime Lee Curtis as¬†the heroine (in yet another JLC slasher), and David Copperfield playing the¬†magician. I appreciated that the killer changed into the costumes of the victims (kept things interesting) and there were a few twists throughout to throw you off. Overall, it’s not too bad! A lot more entertaining and original than I thought it was going to be. Definitely the winner of this battle!

 

photo credits: http://basementrejects.com, http://dorkshelf.com, http://crypticrock.com