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Movies From 1982, I’m Not Sure Why
by Dan Greene
Movies From 1982, I’m Not Sure Why
I got this idea a week or two ago, while watching one of the movies I’m going to talk about today. It’s only when I typed the title that I realized…. 1982 is 24 years ago. Ah, fuck it and who cares, we’re all getting old one day at a time. I’m not about to watch an old movie and become upset at the fact that I was a kid when I first saw it. Besides, I haven’t aged at all since I stopped wearing a watch a few years ago. Try it if you don’t believe me.
1982 was a great year for horror. The only thing missing was David Cronenberg, but that’s okay because he’d just given us Scanners and was working on Videodrome. Remember Scanners, when the dude’s head blew the fuck up? That’s not 1982 so I’ll have to save it for later. But still, good times.
Anyway, 1982. Understand that horror movies (the good ones anyway) are known to sometimes push the cultural envelope, so anything that seems cheesy or dated now may well have been considered aberrant and depraved back in the day. I remember people freaking out at Friday the 13th. Yeah, the first of that tired series was pretty groundbreaking, man. Are we jaded now or were we naïve then? Doesn’t matter if the movie’s good.
This is a great little suspense/thriller type movie. To be specific, it’s what you call a giallo, which is a suspense/thriller, but with certain elements of horror thrown in – mainly the slasher type elements. You’ll find lots of blood, nifty murder scenes and more than a few boobies in the average giallo. If there had been more tits in it, Seven would be a great example of an American version of giallo style.
Tenebre was directed by Dario Argento. I haven’t mentioned him before but believe me, it’s not the last time you’ll hear his name in this column. I mean shit, he worked with George A. Romero on Dawn Of The Dead and released the European version (incidentally, if you love Romero’s Dawn, you need to see Argento’s. It’s different from George’s and it’s worth finding). That’s only one of many good credentials. This guy has made his mark.
It’s the story of an American murder mystery author who travels to Italy to promote his new novel. Someone, a bigger than average fan, is mimicking the murders in the author’s books. The most recent murders parallel those in the as-yet-unpublished work.
You might figure out the end before you get there, but that just means you are a smart and astute viewer. Pat yourself, genius.
Holy shit what a ripoff. Elements stolen from a bunch of other movies, not much in the way of originality, and not a whole lot of gore. Sophomoric. Why the hell do I love this movie so much?
Well the shower scene with all the high school girls doesn’t hurt. This movie was originally shopped as a parody, but the producers shot it as a serious horror. You know that’s got to lead to good results.
Saw this one in the theatre when I was 11 years old. A belated thank you to Mrs. McGrath for being the adult to accompany a group of children into an R rated horror movie. That was the sweetest overnight birthday party ever. Sorry to have stolen so much of your hash and weed over the years, by the way. If it makes you feel any better, we pinched off your ex husband too.
I think most of you know this one. Stephen King and George A. Romero (there he is again, he’s had a good run) put this together – now how good of a pairing is that? Five stories here, all tied together with the interludes that appeal to any kid. Got problems with the folks? Fuck ‘em, get a voodoo doll and stick it to the man. Come on, list off the stories with me … in no particular order…
The Crate – Adrienne Barbeau was mean to Hal Holbrook and got eaten. If a quarter rolls away from you, leave it. If the old box starts to move, get the janitor to open it.
Something To Tide You Over – Ted Danson scares me anyway. Then he dies and you think it’s a happy ending, but it’s not because he’s not dead. Undead Ted. Shit.
They’re Creeping Up On You – Bugs in your mouth. Lots of them. They know what you think of them and this is what they think of you. This piece is all symbolic and shit, making a statement don’t ya know.
The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verrill – Stephen King finds a meteorite that lands on his farm. He touches it and gets moldy and dies by his own fuzzy hand.
FRIDAY THE 13TH – PART 3
This series has had its ups and downs over the years, but it was never meant to appeal to anyone who wanted anything other than a good look at a bad time, so give it a break. They’re pretty damn good when the timing is right… I get sick of people slagging them just because a few of them sucked (really hard. I’m not forgiving the transgressions but I accept them). A lot of people who piss on these movies think that Jason always had the hockey mask. Nope. They think he was the killer in all the movies including the first. Nope. They don’t even know his last name, and that’s pretty offensive.
Number three is most likely my favourite. If you didn’t believe what I said earlier about these movies and their impact, check out Wikipedia’s article for number three. There’s a list of scenes that were cut to avoid an X rating. They sound pretty good too!
Some of the best parts in this movie include more than killings; some scenes are funny or stupid or stereotypical or classic 80’s. My favourite part in the whole damn movie, the part I never miss, is when the biker chick is wandering around in the barn. She stumbles across an old canteen hanging on the side of a stable; she picks it up and looks at it for a second, shakes her head with a “well I’ll be damned” look on her face and slaps the canteen to confirm its existence. Yeah, believe it baby, a real live canteen. She dies soon after that.
Yeah yeah yeah, everyone says, “Oh right, Poltergeist, that Steven Spielberg movie”, but you know who directed that shit? Tobe Fucking Hooper. Tobe Texas Chainsaw Massacre Hooper. One of the things I love most about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the atmosphere. Well, Tobe pulls it off again in Poltergeist, giving us some good laughs and a lot of frights. Pothead parents, evil clowns and dead Indians make for a good ride. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll ruin it for you and tell you that the house was built on an Indian burial ground. I won’t ask where the fuck you’ve been, because apparently you have a movie to watch and don’t need to waste any time on me.
So, five movies from one year for no reason. Well, one reason is to remind you of some movies you haven’t seen in a while, or maybe to let you know about a couple that you haven’t seen at all. Everyone needs an idea this month before they hit the video store. There are lots more good ones from 82 as well, and yes, I’m very aware that I didn’t touch on Evil Dead. No way is that one getting grouped in with any other movies besides Evil Dead 2 and Army Of Darkness.
Thanks for reading and let’s see what I can dig up for you next week.
Dan is a horry buff who appears weekly and likes blood. We don't know why, but we like him on FTTW