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Posts tagged “1980

Cherry Bomb (2011) – An Homage to 80s Violent Revenge Movies

Well this movie came out of no where – a Netflix suggestion for a friend of mine, it’s a movie that neither of us had heard of before. Well, I’m kind of glad we watched it.

The gist of the story is a stripper in 1984 Texas, Cherry, gets raped and beaten in the “Champagne” room at the club she works at. The perpetraors get away with it through collusion and intimidation. Without legal justice, Cherry, and reluctantly her brother, take matters into their own hands and exact mortal payment for their trangressions.

Yes, this is a tale of revenge. The acting isn’t great and the story is simple, yet I enjoyed this pseudo throw back to the 80s. Plus: it’s always fun watching assholes get what’s coming to them. Also, they are being stocked by a tough, ugly and huge hitman.

If you’re looking for a good movie, well this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a good enough movie that doesn’t make you think too much, then this just might fit the bill. I We found it on Netflix – Check it out if you get a chance.

Here is the trailer:

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Fade to Black (1980) – A Great Slasher Flick… Yeah, See?

Wow… This movie was simply awesome. A slasher/horror flick from 1980, Fade to Black is a real surprise.

Eric Binford (Dennis Christopher), is a movie loving loser, living with his aunt and working at a film distributor. You might say he’s almost a savant when it comes to classic movie knowledge. When he’s not being harassed by his bitchy, wheelchair bound aunt Stella, bullied by co-worker Richie (played by a young, pre-plastic surgery Mickey Rourke) or harassed by his ass-hole, stress-case boss Mr. Berger (Norman Burton), he watches classic movies in his room or attends midnight screenings of classic movies.

Eric makes by chance meets Marilyn O’Connor, an Australian want to be model who looks like… well, Marilyn Munroe. She takes a shine to Eric, and agrees to meet him for a date. Unfortunately, she accidentally stands him up, which shatters Eric’s already tenuous hold on reality. Drowning in pity, Eric goes home and plunges into old movies and depression. His aunt, always the bitch gets to scolding him about his lifestyle and sends his projector crashing to the floor, enraging Eric. Eric, taking a scene directly from the movie Kiss of Death, causes his Aunt and her wheel chair to go careening down a flight a stairs, causing her to die in what appears to others as an accident. Hell, he even attends the funeral dressed as a character from the same film. This sets off a series of murders that Eric perpetrates against people that have wronged him. With each murder, Eric effects a different movie characters, including Dracula, The Mummy, Hopalong Cassidy and Norman Bates (though, as Norman Bates, he doesn’t murder anyone, but the scene is a masterful recreation of the shower scene from Psycho). 

While this is going on, the police are trying to track down Eric. Helping them is criminal psychologist Dr. Jerry Moriarty (played by consummate “That Guy” actor, Tim Thomerson), who’s looking for a pattern for these killing (classic movies, Captain Obvious), and getting no support from the police (aside from a female officer who’s doing him).  Moriartys main road block is Police Captain Gallagher who has no respect for psychology in police work. 

The film culminates with Eric luring Marilyn to a modelling job, which is interrupted when the police arrive. Fleeing with a now drugged Marilyn they are chased to the famous Grauman’s Chinese theatre, where in a replay of the final scene from the James Cagney classic, White Heat, he dies in a hail of bullets while sending out a hail of classic cheezy movie dialogue

That, in a nutshell is Fade to Black. If you enjoy horror movies then you owe it to yourself to watch this film.

Here is the Trailer:




Flash Gordon (1980) – So Bad, It’s Almost Good

I remember being very excited about seeing this movie when I saw the first trailer. I was either 10 or 11 years old at the time when I saw it. I was so excited that I think I may have convinced myself I wasn’t disappointed, because years later I remember looking upon it with derision when thinking about it. I watched it again tonight, not expecting much and I wasn’t disappointed.

This 1980 sci-fi send up of the classic comic strip/radio/movie serial of the same name is a silly thing – very silly. I think that we definitely have to take in to account that Flash Gordon himself, as a character and his adventures were silly – a product of silly times – so I guess a silly movie is what one should expect. Unfortunately, the makers of this film skipped silly and went straight to stupid, completely skipping silly.

The movie starts with Ming the Merciless (portrayed by Max von Sydow) playing with the fate of an insignificant planet – Earth. 

American Football star Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones )is on a small, private air plane where he meets female reporter Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) when the plane finds itself in the middle of a beam from the evil Ming the Merciless. The plane is violently buffeting when Flash goes forward to the pilots cabin to inquire if all is ok – there he finds that the pilots have been sucked out the window and the cabin is empty. Flash takes the yoke and is able to bring the plane down in a controlled crash landing – into a scientists home/lab. That scientist, Doctor Zarkov ( quickly forced Flash and Dale into his rocket ship he just happens to have ready to go to save the Earth from the new, evil forces that are causing the moon to movie out of it’s orbit causing havoc and threatening the Earth. Blindly, the three hurtle towards Ming’s fortress. Soon captured, they are brought before the spectacle that is Ming’s fortress. Once there, Flash starts fighting Ming’s men – he sucks until he manages to get ahold of something vaguely football shaped object, then suddenly he can kick ass. He does  a cheezily good job of taking out  a number of Ming’s guards/minions (with a little discreet help from the leader of the Hawkmen. Eventually Flash is overpowered due to sheer numbers of enemies and is captured again. The three are separated – Dale to be Ming’s new wife, the scientist to have his mind wiped and Flash to be executed for his show of defiance in Ming’s court. During his little act of defiance, Flash managed to capture the eye of Ming’s daughter, the Princess Aura, who manages, with the help of a scientist that is infatuated with her, to fake Flash’s death, having him woken up once away from Ming. She then leaves with Flash and heads to, Arboria, the kingdom of Prince Barin (played by Timothy Dalton). Barin, unhappy about this, as he has eyes for  Princess Aura  – is hell bent on making life crappy for Flash. He soon forces to make Flash take part in some potentially deady rite of passage that involves thrusting one’s hand into holes in a large tree trunk  where one may or may not be stung by some venomous creature that lives within. Flash fakes him out – they fight Flash flees and Barin follows.  They are soon caputred by the Hawkmen – long time rivals of the people of Arboria. 

Meanwhile, Zarkov (who managed to foiled Ming’s scientist’s attempt at brainwashing, escapes with Dale, but are soon captured by the Hawkmen and brought before their leader, Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed who portrayed the Emperor Augustus in the great I Claudius mini series). Any way, Flash and Barin are forced to fight to the death, on a weird disc shaped platform that moves and has spikes. Flash gets the best of him, but spares his life gaining his fealty. Ming’s forces find out where they have escaped to and soon recapture the group – the Hawkmen taking off to Arboria instead of helping fight Ming’s forces.

Ming tries to offer Flash control over Earth, as he is impressed by Flash’s defiance. Flash refuses of course, manages to escape and contacts Prince Vultan who has had a change of heart and is ready to join the battle against Ming.

A big, cheezy battle between good and evil soon takes place, and of course all the good people live happily ever after.

This movie, if you are expecting a well made, comic based adventure, can be brutal. Bad acting, bad writing and a low budget does not a good movie make. Still, if you go into it expecting a cheezy spectacle of nonsense, then you might actually enjoy it. I have to say, this time, I liked it. Recommend it? No… warn you away from it? No. If you can put up with the lion’s share of the movies I post about here, you might have some fun. Oh yeah: and the entire sound track is done by the british rock band Queen.

Check out the Trailer:


Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) John Boy – You Should Have Stayed in the Country

I like Roger Corman films. I like Science Fiction films. I liked John Boy and The Waltons. Did I like a Roger Corman Science Fiction Film starring Richard Thomas, who played John Boy in the iconic TV show, the Waltons? Uhhh… It was ok.

Here’s the (very) basic story: 

The Peaceful farming planet of Akir is threatened by bad guy/Tyrant Sador and his army of space thugs/mutants the Malmori who threaten to turn planet Akir into a small sun with the use of the super weapon, the Stellar Converter. Unless the people of Akir accept him as their leader, Sador will use the weapon – and he gives them several days to decide. In that time, Shad (played by Richard Thomas), goes out into space to recruit soldiers to help fight and hopefully defeat Sador. Shad pilots an interestingly designed ship called a Corsair Star Cruiser that has an onboard artificial intelligence named Nell that quickly becomes an important character. Shad goes from being detained in an effort to get him to mate with a scientist’s daughter to helping out a space cowboy delivery man (played by George Peppard), to meeting with a notorious interstellar assassin Gelt (played by Robert Vaughn). He manages to gather a rag-tag group of freedom fighters to help battle Sador.

Simple, dumb and generic – there is still al little charm here. This is one of the movies that used to come on late Friday or Saturday nights when  I was a kid. Interesting then, and enjoyable now mostly for the memories it brings back.

A typical space opera of the early 1980s when every film maker was jumping on the Star Wars band wagon, Battle Beyond the Stars isn’t the worse that I’ve seen, and is definitely better than many of the same period. Would I recommend it? Not necessarily, but I also wouldn’t tell you to avoid it. If you get a chance to see it, see it. 

Here’s the trailer:


Hangar 18 (1980) – I Can’t Believe I Loved This as a Kid

This is a movie about a Space Shuttle crew that launches a satellite that appears to be destroyed when it impacts with a U.F.O. and the government conspiracy to cover it up.

Staring Gary Collins and Robert Vaughn (and quite a few “oh, that guy” actors), this movie revolves around the government attempting to cover up a collision between a satellite and a U.F.O. and the subsequent retrieval of an intact U.F.O. along with it’s occupants, and two Shuttle Astronauts attempting to get to the bottom of what is becoming a cover up that may end up with them blamed with destruction of the satellite in order to hide the fact that the Earth has been visited by Aliens. So, it’s pretty much a race between the Astronauts trying to find evidence of what they themselves witnessed and the governments attempt to hide all such evidence. Then there’s the group at Hangar 18 working on the captured U.F.O. and it’s inhabitants. The Alien

Tepid acting, poor writing and a lame story, yet I still enjoyed this a bit – partly due to the memories it brought back from my childhood – I saw this back when it was released and thought it was awesome (sure is easy to impress a kid!), and part for how serious it tries to be. The eighties were interesting times, but this isn’t a very interesting movie. I watched it on Netflix and if you have Netflix you might want to give it a go, as it won’t cost you anything extra (but your time). It’s also available on Youtube in it’s entirety so there’s another option to watch it.

Here’s a clip from the movie:

Check out the whole movie here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfNh1daJ6ms