DOLLS (1987)

A group of people stop by a mansion during a storm and discover two magical toy makers and their haunted collection of dolls.

Directed By: Stuart Gordon
Written By: Ed Naha
Cinematography By: Mac Ahlberg
Editor: Lee Percy

Cast: Ian Patrick Williams, Stephen Lee, Guy Rolfe


This is a sick film. That keeps a creepy tone by showing disgusting graphic violence but keeping a child-like mood and innocence while it is happening. From the score to the colors of the background it is an achievement and scary at the same time. Which is why I openly admire this film.

I remember first hearing about this movie on ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT at 10 years old. They showed an infamous scene, Where a character who is dead with no eyeballs holds up doll’s eyes as they’re own. A true show stopper in the film. It was shown on E.T. as a story about over the top violence in films. Which made me want to see it in the first place. I got my wish 5 years later when I first saw this film at first on television in a censored version and became so fascinated by it I hunted it down to see the full Uncut theatrical version. Watching it I was horrified but happy

It’s a very macabre film but for horror aficionados definitely a must-see.

The film Stars the very likable Stephen Lee. The film is about a little girl and her abominable Father and stepmother who get stranded on a trip and end up staying overnight at a bed & Breakfast until they can get they’re car fixed in the morning, As the night goes on another driver and two punk-rock British hitchhikers end up stranded there too. The elderly couple who run the place have a collection of antique dolls that the little girl adores, But the doll creeps everyone else out as do the elderly couple and as the night goes on, They’re fears come true as not everyone survives the night.

The film was actually filmed after RE-ANIMATOR but before FROM BEYOND and used the same sets but it came out one year after FROM BEYOND because the Doll Special Effects took so long to master that once it was done it was decided to keep it on the shelf for another year. The producers wanted more gore in the film and were actually filmed but the footage was thrown out once all agreed that it really didn’t fit the tone of the film. At one point Stuart Gordon considered making a sequel but unfortunately abandoned that idea as he thought this film spoke well enough for itself. Though he did really like the characters and felt a need to see what they were up to after all these years.

I find it funny that the films Screenwriter wrote not only other horror films such as C.H.U.D. II and TROLL but then went on to write Disney Films Such as HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KID and now writes biblical films. He did at least stay within that fantasy and Fairly tale world.

One of the reasons this film is enjoyable is it feels like a dark fairy tale. It takes a premise you have seen before and injects it with some originality. This is for the most part an unpredictable film. It’s not like similar films that followed in it’s wake such as CHILD’S PLAY and PUPPET MASTER. Both of these are fine films but in a totally different way as those films are more literally one line movie plots Killer toys. Whereas this film takes you into an otherworldly universe.

This is a film that deserves to be part of your film library.

GRADE: B+

SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE 2 (1987)

Cast: Crystal Bernard, Jennifer Rhodes, Atanas Ilitch, Kimberly McArthur, Patrick Lowe, Heidi Kozak, Juliette Cummins 

Courtney Bates, the younger sister of Valerie, and her friends go to their condo for a weekend getaway, but Courtney can’t get rid of the haunting feeling that a supernatural rockabilly driller killer is coming to murder them all.



This is a film I definitely have mixed feelings about. As this is obviously a film that isn’t meant to be taken seriously at all. As most from the title, it reeks of exploitation.

Now while one can see what they are going for and should be a fun ridiculous frolic. It just doesn’t do it for me as it is never strong enough in either of the directions it wants to go to. The one thing it has going for it is that it is unpredictable to a degree.

This movie is crazy and all over the place but it fits into it’s Time period of the 1980s. The filM Plays like a teen romp for most of the time. Except for its random violent scenes that come Across as dreams or daydreams. Then once it gets to the third act it starts with the Actual violence and killings.

The film is a low budget this is a movie that is more fun. As long as you don’t think about it. I fact the more impaired you are or the more people you have around watched it. The more you enjoy it, for its ridiculous nature. A b-movie that desires it’s own cult audience. Sort of like the movie THE ROOM. As this is a film that is best to know what you are getting into before watching.

Though if looking for a harder-edged comedy this is not it. As this almost plays like a spoof or parody of the genre, emphasizing it’s

More ridiculous elements. As it might remind one of a TROMA studios film only with better production values.

The movie seems like an intentional comedy in the horror genre though still tries to be a creditable horror film. As each aspect of the movie seems to explore the theme of being afraid of intimacy, Losing one’s Virginity and sex In General. As most of the film doesn’t have the character to be sexual even as every other character does or talks about it. 

The film more forces the point as every time she comes close to being intimate even in dreams they result in death. Finally, when in life she does seem ready for sex it’s Like she wills the Killer inadvertently out of her dreams and into physical form.  A rock n roll singer With a guitar that has a huge drill at the end (which he uses to penetrate his victims both female and male) and the killer who looks like a younger rockabilly character with a resemblance to Andrew Dice Clay. Who also performs a song during the film. 

Though he is in second place as the girls have a rock group themselves and perform two songs. (These music montages help kill the running time) Which only makes more of a case that the killer might be a second personality or a manifestation of her fear and defense against sex. Or did she will him into being. As the final girl might not only be the reason but inadvertent killer herself.

Her violent fantasies help the film have a horror or at least violence to keep the audience interested and hyped in the first two acts.

The film talks about sex and shows some Scenes of nudity and we hear sex but never see it. That is about how far it goes into exploitation other than the over the top fantasies and behavior the violence is more gratuitous.

Each member of the all-girl band has a personality type, but they feel interchangeable. Though the film has a strong female perspective as the leads and most of the characters throughout. 

The film seems to combine a bunch of popular horror cliches of the time. The dreams with a Killer element is from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. The killer’s art in the third act from many a slasher film. 

nothing is ever really explained even the ending is never quite clear as to what is actually real and happening. For instance, we are told she is the little sister of the survivor of the first film. How come no one acknowledges her survival from the first film. No one thinks that maybe her little sister is traumatized after his sister survived such a huge tragedy. Did her sister really die as she seems to do In her daydreams, but by the killer? Is her willing of the killer really her in a different personality and showing that mental illness runs in the family? What was with that melted face with a huge zig that explodes. As that has nothing to do with the killer. That seemed more a lost scene from SOCIETY. What does the ending mean which is the true ending? Does he exist? Is this a manifestation. The film doesn’t want to answer that question leaving room for sequels. Though also uses cinematic dream logic for a film whose audience doesn’t seem to want that. Though which only makes the film more of a cult oddity.

Grade: C-

THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987)

untouchables

Directed By: Brian DePalma
Written By: David Mamet
Suggested By A Book By: Elliot Ness & Oscar Fraley
Cinematography: Stephen H Burum
Editor: Jerry Greenberg & Bill Pankow 

Cast: Kevin Costner, Robert DeNiro, Sean Connery, Andy Garcia, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Bradford, Billy Drago, Patricia Clarkson, Don Harvey, Jack Kehoe, Del Close 

During the era of Prohibition in the United States, Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone and, because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him. Continue reading “THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987)”

PSYCHOS IN LOVE (1987)

pil

Edited, Cinematography & Directed By: Gorman Bechard
Written By: Gorman Bechard & Carmine Capobianco

CAST: Carmine Capobianco, Debi Thibeault, Frank Stewart

A strip-joint owner and a manicurist find that they have many things in common, the foremost being that they are psychotic serial killers. They fall in love and are happy being the family that slays together, until one day they come up against a plumber who also happens to be a cannibal.

Continue reading “PSYCHOS IN LOVE (1987)”

OVERBOARD (1987)

Overboard+1

Directed By: Garry Marshall
Written By: Leslie Dixon
Cinematography: John A. Alonzo
Editor: Sonny Baskin & Dov Hoeing 


Cast: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Roddy McDowell, Edward Herrman, Katherine Helmond, Jared Rushton, Ray Combs, Hector Elizondo, Sven-ole Thorsen,
Michael G. Hagerty


Dr Joanna hires country carpenter Dean to build a closet on her yacht. When the two don’t see eye-to-eye, Dean is left unpaid while Joannard sets sail. The following day, Joanna is fished out of the sea, after falling overboard, suffering from amnesia. Dean sees a neat way to regain the money she owes him… he tells her she’s his wife; that way Dean gets a free housekeeper and mother for his four kids.

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LIGHT OF DAY (1987)

Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett

 

Written & Directed By: Paul Schrader
Cinematography: John Bailey
Editor: Jaqueline Cambas & Jill Savitt
Music By: Thomas Newman 


Cast: Michael J. Fox, Joan Jett, Gena Rowlands, Michael McKean, Cherry Jones, Jason Miller, Tom Irwin, Michael Rooker, Del Close, Alan Poul, Trent Reznor 


A pair of siblings must choose whether to pursue their dream of touring with their rock band or support their family and stay in Cleveland, Ohio. This is a movie i sought for years l. As I remember the trailers and advertisements and posters yet never saw it. Which is surprising as I was a huge Michael J. fox fan but also a Joan Jett fan. Then once finally watching it realizing Gena Rowlands and Michael Mckean we’re in it I am kicking myself

Continue reading “LIGHT OF DAY (1987)”