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Savage Streets (1984)
80s sleaze at its best
This one pretty much has it all. It wears 1980s on its forehead. Linda Blair gets star billing in a role that was a far departure from her usual victim parts. Age 24 when this was filmed, she really seems to revel in this new role. Linnea Quigley gives one of the best performances of her career as a deaf-mute. One year older than Blair, the implication is that she is Blair's younger sister.
Linda (wisely) avoids nudity during the shower scene. She did that the year before in CHAINED HEAT. But she does have an artsy candlelit bathtub scene where she is nude displaying her ample assets.
Also, you know this is an eighties film when the shower scene features an abundance of pubic hair. You wouldn't see that today.
SAVAGE STREETS has nudity, violence, rape, murder, revenge, 80s music, and good locations.
But is also has something else....
Homo hijinks. There's a guy gang called the Scars. They kiss on the lips. One guy sucks another thumb. One wears more makeup than Boy George. And they are CONSTANTLY touching one another. WTF? Did I miss something in the 80s? Oh, yeah...and they have to assert their masculinity through rape. Right.
Sal Landi, as one of the gang members, gives an outstanding performance. Blair is in top form. Check it out!
This film has everything
Great 80s grade B cast! Mary Woronov as the head doctor of a psychiatric hospital. Seen-better-days Marjoe Gortner as one of her associates. Ray Sharkey as a sleaze bag. Forty-three year old Edy Williams in a very good performance! Terry Moore in a very good cameo. Dyanne Thorne in a wasted bit part. Robert Z'Dar in his first film role! Judy Landers as a capable lead. Plenty of nudity. Plenty of beaver (back in the day when it was common). 80s sleaze at its best. Would have made a great double bill with Linda Blair's RED HEAT. In fact, I think they did play together on 42nd Street. They were released only a month apart. FUN FACT: When HELLHOLE was originally announced in Variety, Linda Blair was cast as Susan and Britt Ekland as Fletcher. I believe the producers made the right choice with Landers and Woronov respectively.
Doesn't hold up
I saw this on one of the Turner channels in the early 1990s and had good memories of it. I saw it for the second time tonight, and I have no clue what I saw in it. It doesn't hold up well at all. Maybe this was entertainment in the late 80s. Today, it plays as dull as dishwater.
better than Fulci's Zombi
This film is cheap. No "stars" like Tisa Farrow. Ok, it's not as cheap as Oasis of the Zombies or Zombie Lake. But it's cheap. It's considered a "bad" movie. Yet, it's non-stop action. And, in it's own twisted way, entertaining. Fulci's Zombi is a snooze-fest in comparison. Barely anything happens in Zombi for the first hour, except for the zombie on the boat in the beginning, and the zombie underwater. But NIGHT OF THE ZOMBIES (the title I first saw it under in a 42nd Street dive called The Roxy) delivers the goods from start to finish. Yeah, it's too long and padded with stock footage. The camera angles are bad. But if you want gore and zombies, this is the film.
Dial 'M' for Murder (1981)
Rarely screened, well worth viewing
This TV version is captivating. The performances, particularly by Angie Dickinson and Christopher Plummer, are amazing. Angie made this film fresh off the success of DRESSED TO KILL, and she is strikingly beautiful. This is rare chance where a remake is well-worth tracking down and watching.
Curious product of the 80s. Worth seeing.
Only in the 80s could you find George Segal and Shelly Hack disco dancing. The film is a fictionalized account of the factual search for the so-called "Goodbar" killer (so-called by Judith Rossner, despite the disclaimer). Jean De Baer plays Segal's wife, jealous of his relationship with their daughter. Barton Heyman is particularly strong in a supporting role.
Hello, Dolly! (1969)
A film that grows better with age
A lavish and thoroughly enjoyable film. One of the last great Hollywood movie musicals. Barbra Streisand gives 110% in her performance of Dolly Levi. Great cast, splendid production, brilliantly staged. A must-see. You'll forget why Hollywood cast a 26 year old woman as an old broad.
Don's Plum (2001)
An amazing work
This is an incredible film. It's a work of art, albeit one that was created in the editing room. Allegedly shot in one night as a short improvisation, additional footage was shot the following year to pad it out into a feature. Leonardo DiCaprio give an amazing performance. There is not a false note in any of his dialogue. Considering it was largely improvised, that's a major artistic accomplishment. Had the film been released around the time it was made, Scott Bloom would be the breakout star. The 23-year-old actor is mesmerizing. Beautifully shot on black and white film with fluid camera work, this is an important film that deserves an audience.
Deadly Weapon (1989)
It's all about Rodney Eastman
The first twenty minutes of this film are rock-solid. It's delves into bullying, abuse, isolation, family drama, alcoholism, and so much more. Then, the tone of the film changes. It becomes less serious and puts the hero into some almost laughable circumstances, but Rodney Eastman, to his credit, plays it serious throughout. He's an amazing talent and this film is all about him. It's worth watching mainly for his performance.
Maniac Cop (1988)
Creep and effective eighties horror
Sheree North should have won an award for her work in this film. She was part of a great cast.
Yeah, it's just what you think it is.
Where do I begin? First of all, there is an attractive and capable female lead (Greta Volkova) and her hunky friend Coop (Titus Himmelberger). Then there's a third wheel named Skip who seems out of place. Oh, and our "hero" is named Duke. And then there's a shark. Not just any shark. But "Sharkenstein," which is exactly what you think it is. Frankenstein's brain transplanted into a shark. Clever, huh? Sharkenstein features lots of stock footage, tons of aerial footage of beaches, aimless shots of a lifeguard with his back to the camera, lots of white men with hairy forearms, and a posse with guns running through trees sporting fall foliage. Only director Mark Polonia would call this a movie. And he appears uncredited as the mute driver of a boat (did he have to pay himself less for not speaking?). His character's name, Hoskins, is mentioned more times than any of the four principals. Oh, and our director/editor must have run short of Wild Eye Releasing's requisite 70 minute running time, because there is a completely random scene of a long-in-the-tooth "model" getting photographed. The scene is completely unrelated to the rest of the "movie." It appears to be inserted to pad out the running time. The mercifully short running time.
Okay... curiously bad
This is the type of film Charles Band made before he decided what kinds of films he wanted to make. Although in the capable hands of John "Bud" Cardos, the film doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It has a kitchen sink variety of special effects and monsters. It stars Dorothy Malone, who alternates between smiling a lot and looking confused. Shoe-faced Chris Mitchum has a small part. Very odd film.
How did I miss this one?
LORDS OF THE DEEP is wildly entertaining. Bradford Dillman, whose part was probably shot in a couple of days, practically sleepwalks through his performance. He looks tired. Roger Corman makes an uncredited cameo in a nod to the Meg Foster role in LEVIATHAN. Priscilla Barnes... poor Miss Barnes. If her IMDB age is correct, she would have only been about 35 at the time this was filmed. She looks much older. This low budget film is fun. How I wish I had seen it in theaters.
So much better than expected
I tuned into this not knowing what I was about to watch. Mac and Me is cute. I don't use that word to described movies. But Mac and Me is a cute film! I found myself entertained from start to finish. It's unfortunate the film was so heavily criticized for its E.T. similarities. It really is a good picture, and such a product of the Eighties.
The Terminator (1984)
A classic! Holds up well over time.
Expertly paced, well-acted, and a true classic. An eighties sci-fi film that is as enjoyable today as when it was first released. Watching it today, Michael Biehn gives the strongest performance. He's passionate, sincere, and at all times believable. Linda Hamilton does a great job as Sarah Connor. It's hard to imagine anyone else in this role. See it. And see it again.
this film isn't even remotely dated
Watching this film, some 43 years after its initial release, is a revelation. It's well made, superbly photographed, and features a stellar, phenomenal cast. Piper Laurie, lured out of retirement after 15 years, is amazing as Margaret White. She looks too young to be Carrie's mother (the producers originally wanted Joan Fontaine, a good dozen or more years older than Laurie). But Laurie's performance is outstanding. She has so many memorable lines, some that I still quote to this day. "Pimples are the Lord's way of chastising you." Sissy Spacek puts 110% into her portrayal of Carrie. William Katt is a shining star who, amazingly, never got another role he could sparkle in like this one. Amy Irving play the level-headed part, understated for maximum sympathy. P.J. Soles is delightful, and it's clear why Carpenter was thrilled to get her for Halloween (she was a bigger name than Jamie Lee Curtis at the time). Nancy Allen is unforgettable as Chris. Sydney Lassick and Pricilla Pointer both put in good work in their parts. And John Travolta, in a part only slightly larger than in The Devil's Rain, gets second billing...lol. Check it out!
Logan's Run (1976)
I saw this film when it opened theatrically. I was about 10 years old. It was a couple of months before the Charlie's Angels pilot aired. During Logan's Run, when Farrah Fawcett (then -Majors) appeared on the screen for the first time, there was electricity in the theater. Audience members murmured (that was in the days when people didn't talk during movies). Even at a young age, I remember what a sensation Farrah caused on the screen. Seeing the film for a second time after so many decades, it doesn't pack the same punch. Michael York and Jenny Agutter are good. The MGM sets appear cheap, despite the 9 million budget (a lot of money for MGM at the time. Westworld, made just 3 years earlier, was only a bit more than 1 million). Some of the plot twists seem contrived, and the pacing is a little slow at times, but York and Agutter make it well-worth watching. Peter Ustinov seems to be having fun with his part.
80s horror doesn't disappoint
Well-shot, atmospheric chiller. Bobbie Bresee, in her first horror film, doffs her blouse at every available opportunity. Marjoe Gortner (FOOD OF THE GODS) is very effective as Bresee's hubby. The late John Buechleur does an outstanding job on makeup effects. His female demon has to be seen to be believed.
Night Train to Terror (1985)
A guilty pleasure worth seeing
My rating is very high because I had the distinction of seeing NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR during it's theatrical release in 1985. The film can't be compared to any other because it's so unique. It's not, as many other reviewers have stated, just a hack-job of old films chopped up. A surprising amount of care went into creating special effects for the second and third stories that didn't appear in the original versions. Also, most surprisingly, new gore footage was shot for the first story, something I never knew until I heard the DVD commentary. If you're a collector, this is a must. For the casual viewer, see it once. And just try to get that song out of your head....
Twenty Questions (2017)
Strangely engaging social document
This film likely wouldn't have gotten any attention if released at the time it was made (1987). Today, it's a fascinating commentary of time gone by. The personalities, the clothes, the hair, the attitudes, the social norms at the time all make for a worthy look. Gorman ("I don't remember") Bechard's film can be found as a DVD extra on the fascinating, priceless DISCONNECTED disc.
The Dark Side to Love (1984)
Curious regional feature
I saw this under the title GRETTA as a DVD extra on the NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR disc. The feature-length GRETTA has a very different tone to it than the segment in NIGHT TRAIN. Meredeth Haze (in her only film credit) gives an incredible performance as Gretta. She's mesmerizing. It's easy to see why Glenn, played by Rick Barnes, is so taken by her. Barnes is a good actor, but 15 years too old for a part where he is referred to as a college boy. Worth seeing.
This is one of those films that needs to be seen. It's a moody, intense character study a bout a young woman being tormented by bizarre phone calls. It's an example of 1980s regional filmmaking (in this case, Waterbury, CT), with two strong leads in the cast. Frances Raines (THE MUTILATOR) enjoyed a very brief career (7 films in 5 years) and this is her shining star. The film spends a lot of time on her emotional journey. Mark Walker give an outstanding performance as Franklin. Gorman ("I don't remember") Bechard's first feature and best film.
Night of the Dark Full Moon (1972)
But please, only watch the film if the title card reads DEATHOUSE. Those are the best prints. Everything else is garbage. The Paragon Video print is by far the worst. If you want to see a creepy, atmospheric, somewhat ambitious horror film that pre-dates BLACK CHRISTMAS by two years and HALLOWEEN by six years, this is it! Great cast: Mary Woronov, John Carradine, and more.
Born Innocent (1974)
Linda's best work
Heartbreaking and tragic, this is probably Linda Blair's finest performances as an actress. Seeing she was only 14, this may not sound like a complement. It might be better said it's her best adolescent role, certainly better than The Exorcist. I never get tired of watching Linda's work in this film. I believe this was her first publicly seen performance after The Exorcist (it was broadcast one month before the release of Airport 1975). Well worth seeing.
well-made, just not scary
Well executed (no pun) film that is not even remotely scary. A very long-in-the-tooth Jamie Lee Curtis (playing and old grannie) goes through the motions that she's had forty years to perfect. There are nods to the first three films. A cough-and-you'll-miss-it voice part by PJ Soles. Well-written, well-made, just doesn't provide any scares.