BABY, IT’S YOU (1983)

Written & Directed By: John Sayles
Based on a Story by: Amy Robinson 
Cinematography: Michael Ballhaus 
Editor: Sonya Polonsky 

Cast: Rosanna Arquette, Vincent Spano, Matthew Modine, Sam McMurray, Tracy Pollan, Frank Vincent, Robert Downey Jr., Caroline Aaron, Fisher Stevens, Joanna Merlin

In a 1966 New Jersey high school, Jill and new student Sheik from the other side of the tracks make their way into a first love romance.  


A romantic epic. That is well-traveled.

a perfect representation of first love as it spans across the early years of your development from your teens to slowly becoming an adult. Though it only covers a few years. It feels like a love story across decades. Though at least It isn’t presented as instant more than organic.

Almost like a kitchen sink drama mixed with a young adult novel. 

This is a film that seems like it’s Going to be slight or more melodramatic but ends up being actually deep and partly devastating.

Neither of the two main characters played by Vincent Spano and Rosanna Arquette. Are perfect. As they both have their strengths, weaknesses, and flaws. Yet you find yourself pulling for them.

Rosanna Arquette’s Character is annoying quite a few times and Vincent Spano gives a performance that has tinges of tragedy. As he seems to have a stubbornness about him that can be seen as confidence yet also expects too much. As you know he’s a dreamer you find yourself rooting for him. 

The film smartly involved petty betrayal and seduction and finding yourself even once they are split then finally resuming their relationship. They still need each other as they are stranded and the only people who seem to understand each other. As we don’t see them when they are sorted only when together or on the verge. So we get to see a kind of greatest-hits version of their lives 

The power shifts between them become fascinating. As we watch as the relationship becomes all about growth and maturity as well as how it comes apart and goes back to childlike immaturity.

It’s one of the few times Matthew Modine has been sued in the right way. He seems to be good at playing yuppie upper-class men. It’s Fun spotting a bunch of character actors in early small roles.

It’s a film that is almost kind of like PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED. Only it’s not from the future looking back and getting another chance to correct past mistakes 

Here the story is told mostly as a doomed love story between two characters where we follow their ups and downs from high school to adulthood and always manage to find their way back to each other. Even when in different romances and away from one another 

It also shows how in this oboe Sorry there is the fantasy and romantic early days to the rough parts and the truly hard parts towards the end and after where reality truly steps in 

Just as the characters’ hopes and dreams for their futures are attempted but also must be checked at certain times by a harsh reality and circumstances they set themselves up for

Coming from writer-director John Sayles you expect more of a humanist point of view and presentation. That isn’t too sensationalistic or aimed at any particular genre. This is also one of his films that stays with you like BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, LONE STAR, and CITY OF HOPE. They are inventive and have a bunch of great ideas.

He is a director I admire as an independent filmmaker who usually has excellent character studies like this one. I admire that he started out writing B-Movie scripts PIRANHA, and ALLIGATOR. Who makes a living primarily by being. A professional rewriter, using that money to help fund his own productions and help other independent filmmakers.

Amazed at how the filmmakers got such a great soundtrack. 

Grade: A-

10 TO MIDNIGHT (1983)

Story & Directed By: J. Lee Thompson 

Written By: William Roberts 

Cinematography: Adam Greenberg 

Editor: Peter Lee-Thompson 

Cast: Charles Bronson, Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, Wilford Brimley, Robert Lyons, Ola Ray, Kelly Preston, Beau Billingslea, Bert Williams 

An LAPD detective and his rookie partner are on the trail of a psychopathic young man who is murdering young women.


I have recently been trying to catch up On Charles Bronson’s films besides his known classics. Glad I started with this one, where one can get an understanding of his appeal and charm. As he kind of Constantly Has a Clint Eastwood kind of stoicism where he must always be tough and gruff but always seems to have a good heart. 

The film has a cool-sounding title that unfortunately means nothing when it comes to the plot of the movie. Though As you watch the film this is a movie more built around a star and his image. 

Unfortunately, the films he was in he was usually better than the material and they weren’t as memorable as other films at the box office or less seen. As his films particularly in the 1980’s feel familiar and just cheaper than his contemporaries. Sort of like if there were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and Bruce Willis at the time. He would be the straight-to-home video version of them as a peer. Sort of like Chuck Norris films at the time. 

This film presents him more in his later years where he is in more in a modern time where things seem more disposable and cheap. 

While the film isn’t a western it feels like one with the anti-hero, a hero of very few words. He is smarter than most around him, but also a man of action more than anything. As he even does the right thing which is understandable in the film Context but horrible in reality. As he breaks the law for the right reasons but really for his own purposes. That has consequences and Places a moral quandary In the middle of the film. It also allows him to better set a trap.

Throughout Charles Bronson comes off as mroe subdued the opposite of Gene Davis who plays the killer as more over the top. Though the film offers good one-liners and good back and forth between characters especially Bronson, Andrew Stevens, and Lisa Eilbacher who plays his daughter. 

The film comes off as sleazy and exploitative. As whenever there is a murder. As the killer is naked to not leave behind any evidence supposedly. His victims usually young women are often killed in the nude. Which makes the killings feel More Cruel and sadistic more like sexual assaults than anything. The film Spells out Early and the film Doesn’t Present it subtlety Either with him even saying that the knife is like a penis and he gets to penetrate them. 

The film does have the feeling of 1980‘s excess with the graphic violence and nudity. Which seems there to please the Audience more than anything. Charles Bronson is so Cool though he can even be forgiven for his more comical running at the end. 

Happy to see that the film is more of a Thriller than an action film. Even if at times it feels more like an episode of a police procedural. Though it sets up Bronson’s tough attitude at the Beginning with a Scene that Is supposed to be comedic. As throughout the film Bronson is shown to be more old school and Seems Stuck in a time where everything is kind of new wave or a victim Of modern-day politics of law and order.

Kind of a little of the death wish Mentality that got him a fan base of more blue-collar guys with that same kind of mentality that modern-day Risks and culture are too soft and tie The hands of law enforcement and Seem To care more about the criminals’ feelings and rights.

The last act becomes more of a massacre that feels like it belongs more in a horror film. 

The film is pretty open and shut but stays entertaining throughout. The film ends up better than expected despite itself. I Hope More of his films are like this. 

Grade: B

CHAINED HEAT (1983)

Directed By: Paul Nicholas
Written By: Paul Nicholas & Vincent Mongol 
Cinematography: Mac Ahlberg 
Editor: Nino Di Marco

Cast: Linda Blair, John Vernon, Sybil Danning, Tamara Dobson, Stella Stevens, Henry Silva, Sharon Hughes, Louisa Moritz, Robert Miano, Nina Talbot 

Young Carol Henderson ends up in prison where she must learn how to survive in an environment plagued by violence, murder, rape, racism, drugs and staff corruption and brutality.


This is so sleazy this can almost be a set-up for a porno film. There is enough sexual innuendo and nudity for it. Luckily the plot and characters take over and make it into an overall b-movie exploitation film. That does go over the top in a couple of places but stays entertaining. 

This is an exploitation classic that is dirty and cheesy. Where few characters are actually good as all are pretty bad some just happen to be worse and some actually have hearts. 

There is action but the film seems more concerned with what it chooses to sell itself on with see and nudity and when there is action it is certainly violent. 

The shocking aspect of these types of films is that it exploits their Female characters’ looks and bodies, but by the end try to come off as a female empowerment tale full of feminism. That feels only there to give the film some likable appeal and give the female prisoner characters something and someone to fight against other than each other eventually. 

I will admit this is another Linda Blair revelation film for me. As I slowly go through her film

Appearances and performances. Showing she is quite an adept actress who is more than a one-hot wonder of sorts from THE EXORCIST. Though for a time period she was at least still getting more leading roles. 

If you are a film fan this is a feast of a kind of character actor and b-movie all-star cast. 

Grade: C+

A BLADE IN THE DARK (1983) LA CASA CON LA SCALA NEL BUTO

Directed & Edited By: Lamberto Bava 
Written By Dardano Sacchetti & Elisa Briganti 
Editor: Gianlorenzo Battaglia 

CAST: Andrea Occhipinti, Anny Papa, Fabiola Toledo, Michele Soavi, Valeria Cavalli

A composer, working in isolation on a score for a horror movie meets two women who used to know his house’s former tenant. When the women disappear, he’s forced to look into the film he’s working on to determine what happened to them, and who’s responsible.


The film is obviously heavily influenced by the movie PSYCHO with a new wave twist.

The film has a good premise. Though could have been worked out a bit better. As it feels like it strives to be artsy yet comes off like a typical slasher in the right hands of a more skilled director. This could have been something worthwhile and noteworthy.

Also the Film seems real into showcasing slitting throats to finish off the female victims

The film does have a good fake-out inventive opening. Which continues throughout the film with plenty of fake scares and mystery suspects and wondering exactly what is going on. It has plenty of set up’s but fails to excite.

The protagonist stays very calm despite his suspicions. The film could have been played up his paranoia stronger to have it be contagious for the audience.

The film has so many pauses and dead moments in between the action. And when the action does happen it feels more schlocky than anything.

The killer’s voice is so creepy and unnerving messes with your thoughts and fears to be much worse than the actual eventual reality

For a movie about a horror movie composer. The main score of this movie is monotonous.

Grade: C

PRIVATE SCHOOL (1983)

Directed By: Noel Black 
Written By: David Greenburg & Suzanne O’Malley 
Cinematography By: Walter Lassally 
Editor: Fred Chulack 

Cast: Phoebe Cates, Matthew Modine, Betsy Russell, Kathleen Wilhoite, Michael Zorek, Fran Ryan, Ray Walston, Sylvia Kristel, Frances Bay 

Christine, a student at an exclusive all-girls private school, is in love with Jim, who attends an academy for boys nearby. Christine’s arch rival Jordan also has her eye on Jim, and she is willing to do whatever she can to steal him away. Jim’s uber-slob buddy Bubba is going with Betsy, Christine’s cynical friend, though he would probably be unfaithful if any other woman were willing to get near him. Bubba and his pals sneak into the girls’ school dressed in drag in hopes of reaching the Promised Land (better known as the women’s shower room), while Christine and Jim run away together for the weekend, though their escapade isn’t as romantic as they had hoped.


While I can celebrate this film as a milestone as a teen sex comedy I watched often when I was growing up. It will always hit a certain special chord with me. Though I can also say it’s not really a good film. It’s one that has stayed in my memories over the years for many reasons.

One of them being Phoebe Cates in one of her few I fortunately memorable starring roles and also for introducing Betsy Russell an actress I remember from many 80’s movie and who I had a huge crush on at the time (she was most recently in the SAW movies. Still looking beautiful) I believe why she made such an impact on me was at the time. She not only was an actress I had a crush on, but also the first crush I ever saw topless on screen. Which was as good as nice for me at the time.

You also must keep in mind d to me at that age not only was this erotic and exotic material. It was practically porn so it was sacred and felt like it was contraband almost illegal material or at least material I wasn’t supposed to have access to. Which brought an extra joy to watching it

This film was often compared with FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH. When I was young even though that film depicted teen sex with a little more authority and realistic elements in a truthful but humorous way. That seemed to show a heart and decency. Plus it was a good movie. The only reason I can think of the comparison is because both feature Phoebe Cates only here in more a starring role,

I can’t say this is a good movie. As the central plot is simple and dumb but identifiable. The film is more episodic in nature and has to deal with life at an all boys and all girls academy in close vicinity. There is a popular couple who haven’t done it yet, but are planning to once all the obstacles get out of their way. There is a rich girl who wants the popular guy and tempts him often. There is also the overweight hot tea best friend who somehow has a cool girlfriend but is always not only horny it the genius who has all these plans that will go wrong.

The only true noteworthy aspect about this movie is that it lives up to it’s promise when it comes to gratuitous nudity, that Fast times promised and gave more of a snippet of. Here there is nudity a plenty usually provided by miss Betsy Russell a veteran of T & A 80’s movies such as TOMBOY.

Even though theoretically she is the villain. She is always shot lovingly and iconically like a bombshell. She totally steals the movie abs is ken fo the more memorable characters and elements. Even as phoebe cates is mroe representative of love, romance abd a certain innocence. Russell’s character is the movies sex appeal, the vixen truly the bombshell and represents lust. Where even though most male characters drool over her. She spends most of the movie trying to entice Matthew modine away from his girlfriend.

I really wonder were these the only films around and offered for young actors or did they figure they would work their way up the Hollywood ladder by getting their foot on the door with these movies or since it was their first movies did they take it and the material seriously? Did anyone become method like Sean Penn and his character in fast times?

I would advise only Watching this for the nostalgic value and vintage 80’s style and nudity. Other then that it doesn’t have too much to offer. Unless you love lowbrow humor and stupid jokes and bad cross dressing.

Sometimes you have to sit and wonder what was wrong with you that you might have thought these movies were great as kids. I think it was the nudity that made me think that this was a masterpiece in my youth. I have the same weakness now, only in life. As nudity make me one weak.

Debut movie as a choreographer of Paula Abdul who choreographed the women’s aerobic workout. And appears as a cheerleader.

Actress Phoebe Cates not only was the top-billed actor but was a performer for the film’s soundtrack singing two songs “How Do I Let You Know” and “Just One Touch” the latter in a duet with Bill Wray. That just helps give the film that 1980’s cinematic cultural sheen.

My uncle as always Introduced this movie to me. Where it was on cable constantly. He had a crush on Phoebe Cates at the time. Especially in the censored version that played on USA cable channels all the time before they had any original programming really.

This was a film that was necessary in my youth. As it was a film I was probably way too young to watch at the time. Yet it was costantly on cable on HBO in the more R Rated nature it was meant to be shown, but then on USA and Wood channel 11 in New York in the more censored form. Either way it has always had a hint of danger for me. As it was always a film that seemed forbidden.

Watching it later in life it hardly comes anywhere near the danger that I felt, but it will always stand as a film that was one of my introductions into more T & A material and definitely a movie that was more gold standard maturing knot puberty.

GRADE: B-

THE DAY AFTER (1983)

the_day_after_still_photofest_h_2016

 

Directed By: Nicholas Meyer
Written By: Edward Hume
Cinematography By: Gayne Rescher<
Editor: William Paul Dornisch & Robert Florio

Cast: Steve Guttenberg, JoBeth Williams, Jason Robards, William Allen Young, Arliss Howard, John Lithgow, Amy Madigan

The frightening story of the weeks leading up to and following a nuclear strike on the United States. The bulk of the activity centers around the town of Lawrence, Kansas.
Continue reading “THE DAY AFTER (1983)”

HANDGUN (AKA DEEP IN THE HEART) (1983)


Written & Directed By: Tony Garnett
Cinematography: Charles Stewart
Editor: William Shafter

Cast: Karen Young, Clayton Davis, Suzie Humphreys, Helena Humann

Shortly after moving to Dallas, a young woman is raped at gunpoint. Her intense anger drives her to seek revenge, and she becomes a hunter on a vengeance mission.


The movie is obvious yet simple definitely dated as of the attitude of the male lead and the characters, in general, might have been average for those times but comes off piggish, misogynistic, scary, and rather despicable.

Half of the enjoyment of the film is waiting and watching for him to get his comeuppance. The film Is made in Texas and has a more conservative attitude as most of the characters do The lead actress in this film Karen Young is one of these actresses you constantly see in things and are usually good but never quite become the star. This is the first time I have ever really seen her in a starring role.

Her character after being raped by a guy she is dating and not being able to find justice. We watch as she prepares to get revenge learning how to shoot and learning survival Info and technique. As well as taking an interest in knives.

The films differentiate in that while Learning this she keeps running into her rapist. Lawyer and gun advocate who belongs to the same gun club. So they keep running into one another and he notices a Definite change in her. As she seems to be warning him it seems she becomes more and more intimidating to him And it is obvious she is wounded yet on the hunt. 

The lead male played by Clayton Davis is believable yet amateurish. He comes off naturally as a mean spirited character. Who never comes off as charming as even the movie tries to hint at him being. Not only a good old boy but sex-obsessed as he leers at teenage cheerleaders and ice skaters but also spends his nights drinking with colleagues at bars ogling scantily clad busty girls fighting one another. (Somehow this is supposed to be above Mudwrestling? maybe cleaner?) 

He also shows himself to always be in control and knowing what he s doing. as even when raping her earning what could happen with the gun he has pointed at her and what will happen as he will explain her shooting as an accident. How it will be covered up and thrown out of court. If she doesn’t give in. As he seems dead set on bedding her from the beginning and gets more forceful the more she resists him. We see his frustrations and machinations. Especially as he believes he is right and this way is better for her. As her rejection of him sexually is obviously her having sexual problems and hang-ups. He seems like an obvious date rapist especially by modern-day standards. Before the Term and type were more common.

If it were made today he would come off as a stereotype. The film Shows every aspect of the Rape except for the act and shows his behavior as obviously premeditated. 

The film is pretty simple it seems a bit bold for the time period it was made during. It’s better Than expected. So direct it feels more like it was made for tv issue of the week. Rather than cinema, but it works with no inspired touches.

Being that it takes place in Texas most of the attitudes of the characters do come off racist/conservative old school. This allows the crime to happen but also allows for her revenge so easily.

The film doesn’t ask any moral questions. It pretty much has you rooting for her from the beginning. Never questioning her actions or decisions. 

The film is entertaining with not much finesse but a story that keeps you interested. The ending is not what you expect and comes off as rather light. This is a revenge tale, not a vigilante one. As she has her eyes all set on him And no one else nor becoming a crusader.

The film shows men aren’t All evil but seem to be bullheaded throughout. This makes a good double featured with them sally field vigilante movie EYE FOR AN EYE. 

Grade: B-