Retro Movie Review: The ‘Burbs (1989)

by  on Jul.11, 2014, under Retro Horror Movies, reviews

the-burbs-posterIn the 80’s Tom Hanks was still coming up in his career and he did a lot of movies, some were great, and some were not so much.  Its easy to point to films like “Big” or “splash” as his big break out roles that are still considered classics today.  But for me the movie that was my favorite as a kid and still finds its way into my summer viewing schedule each year is “The ‘Burbs”.

Having recently moved into a suburb near Columbus OH the movie suddenly has more meaning than it did before.  Screenwriter Dana Olsen wrote the film based on his own childhood where there was always that one house that seemed really creepy or that one neighbor that never came out of their house.  Olsen states it best with “…As a kid, it was fascinating to think that Mr. Flanagan down the street could turn out to be Jack the Ripper. And where there’s fear, there’s comedy. So I approached The ‘Burbs as Ozzie and Harriet Meet Charles Manson.”

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WNUF Halloween Special – VHS Review

by  on Jan.12, 2014, under Movie Review, Retro Horror Movies, Retro TV, VHS

wnuf_tapeIf you were a child in the 1980’s or up through the mid 90’s then you are familiar with the era of TV specials.  Back then most folks didn’t have more than a handful of channels on their TV and the choices of what to watch were very limited.  The “Movie of the week” where a major hollywood movie finally premiered on a network TV station, was a big deal.  I remember watching many Big movies for the first time “edited for Television” on one of the three or four networks.  During the holidays we got TV specials, like Halloween cartoons or some type of documentary about ghosts.  They were usually pretty cheesy and rarely delivered any kind of real scare but they were all we had and we liked it!

Which brings us to the VHS Only release of the WNUF Halloween Special.  It’s a “found footage” film by a collective of filmmakers. The tape is presented as a Halloween special from 1987 that aired on a small town news broadcast on October 31st.  The first 30 minutes is the 11 O’clock nightly news with the two anchors dressed in costumes and reporting on Halloween related stories including a dentist that was paying a 1$ for every pound of candy a child brought in the day after trick or treating in an attempt to get kids not to eat too much.  All during the news broadcast we’re told “Stay Tuned” for a Halloween special that would air immediately after. (more…)

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Retro Movie Review: Vamp (1986)

by  on Mar.21, 2013, under horror movies, Retro Horror Movies, reviews, vampires

vampVampire movies are a young persons game. Lonely emo vampires searching for meaning to their existence perfectly fits into the emotions of lonely teenagers. So I’m not really a fan of modern vampire movies because they’re just not something that I can relate to on any level anymore. But I still like revisiting some of the vampire flicks I grew up with and recently I picked up the blu-ray edition of “Vamp”, a film I remember liking as a 10 year old boy but does it still hold up?

Vamp is basically the “After Hours” with vampires. If you have seen After Hours, which is great, then you can see how that might work. Kevin and AJ are tasked with finding a stripper for their fraternity. Since Neither have a car they bring Asian stereotype #1003 Duncan (Gedde Watanabe) playing a horny nerdy loser who doesn’t have any friends. The three of them head to a seedy side of the city to find the sleaziest of stripper clubs.

They eventually end up at a club that only opens “After Dark”. AJ heads in alone first to try to chat up a stripper to take back to the fraternity. Duncan can’t stand waiting and says quite possibly the best line of the whole movie. Kevin gives in and heads inside with Duncan where they get to see a truly bizarre bit of “performance art”? If you don’t know who Grace Jones is then you didn’t grow up in the 80’s. She was a very tall Jamaican woman with very strong features that make her both very unusual and beautiful at the same time. (more…)

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Retro VHS Review: Fright Night Part 2

by  on Feb.12, 2013, under horror movies, Retro Horror Movies, reviews, VHS

1287554498-mOddly enough there are still a lot of movies that haven’t made it to DVD or blu-ray or were ported to DVD for a short period and are almost impossible to find today. Fright Night Part 2 is one of those movies that had never been given a proper release. If you do find a DVD you can expect to pay upwards of $100 just to get it. My desire to own the movie wasn’t that high so I went the cheap route and purchased an old VHS rental of the film.

Fright Night Part 2 is one of those movies that I haven’t watched since it was originally released back in 88′. I was 11 years old and I thought it was pretty good at the time but then again I was 11 years old. So I was kind of excited to dust off the ol’ VCR and put in the flick! If you’ve seen the original Fright Night then you’d be excused to say that Part 2 is almost a remake of the first. It begins with Charlie Brewster, now a college student who has undergone years of therapy to expunge the delusion that he killed a vampire. Now he believes that it was a serial killer and his mind just made up that he was a vampire as a coping mechanism. Ok, so Charlie is now dating a much more attractive psych student named Alex, who can speed read. Peter Vincent (Roddy Mcdowell) is still hosting Fright Night on TV and Charlie still stays in touch with him though he hasn’t told Peter he no longer believes in Vampires. (more…)

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Retro Movie Review: Ravenous (1999)

by  on Jan.05, 2013, under Movie Review, Retro Horror Movies

Ravenous was released way back in March of 1999 where no one saw it. Back in 99′ I was still in college and was working part time at a video store (remember those?). I’m not sure what inspired me to pick it up at work and watch it but I did and ever since its been a movie I tend to revisit every year or two.

The film takes place during the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and is about a man named Boyd (Guy Pierce), a lowly coward who plays dead in the heat of a battle, gets his body dumped in a pile of corpses behind enemy lines and then takes out the commanders in the Mexican army. His CO General Slauson gives him a commendation but learns the reality of what Boyd did and decides he wants him as far away from his company as possible banishing him to Fort Spencer in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.

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Arcade – a short horror film

by  on Dec.05, 2012, under Canon 5D Mark III, HDSLR Filmmaking, horror movies, Retro Horror Movies, Slasher Movies, video

Arcade is are latest horror short filmed in conjunction with Beyond the Grave Productions under our combined “Beyond Rogue Films”. We shot this starting last spring in an all night film shoot at Bonkers PLayland AKA Saint Lucifer’s Haunted Asylum, in Flint Michigan. Its an amazing location because its an arcade that looks like its right out of the 1980’s! We found a great leading lady that fit the look we wanted perfectly and our friend Jon Shroyer came out to do some amazing blood effects! We set out to make something of a tribute to Italian Giallo films of the 1970’s and 80’s. These films were made by the greats such as Argento, Bava, and Fulci. They were often weird gory films with total breaks in logic and comprehension but they almost always featured a leather gloved killer. So check out this fun little horror short and tell us what you think!

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Retro Movie Review: Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

by  on Aug.19, 2012, under horror movies, Movie Review, nightmare on elm street, Retro Horror Movies

Today August 19th 2012 is the 14th anniversary of Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. The film is often cited as one of the weaker films of the series and by many Freddy fans its outright hated but today I’m going to sing its praises!

While Nightmare 3 certainly introduced Freddy as a wise cracking ghoul, it was Nightmare 4 that truly embraced that role and ran with it. For me Nightmare 4 has a very special place in my heart. One Hot and muggy afternoon in August of 88′ I went to my local theater with my best friend and watched Nightmare 4 with glee! I was only 11 at the time and it was the first horror film I was allowed to go see in theaters. (more…)

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Movie Review: House of the Devil

by  on Apr.26, 2012, under horror movies, Retro Horror Movies

Ah the 1980’s! The era of big hair, happy non-threatening metal bands, tight jeans, and satanic panic! Back in the 1980’s I can still remember the panic over anything that seemed satanic. whether it be music, movies, or people the parents were all over it like white on rice. Even in my home town we had the usual rumors that every small town no doubt had about satanic cults that met under bridges, in cemeteries, or in the darkness of the woods. Looking back on it now 20 years later it seems really surreal that we actually worried about that kind of thing. The Satanic panic fizzled out in the 90’s and is pretty much dead today. For all the rumors and speculation there was little to no proof that such practices in worship of the devil ever occurred anywhere. Nor that anyone was ever hurt or killed because of it. Its in this world that Ti West (The Roost, Trigger Man) has set his latest film, House of the Devil. A film that captures the look and feel of every satanic panic film from the period so well that you’d be excused if you thought it was a long lost gem from the 80’s! (more…)

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