Tag Archives: 1980s

Fresh Eyes: The Lost Boys (1987)

FRESH EYES is a series where Kyle watches highly acclaimed horror films for the first time.

Lost-Boys-posterStarring: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, Dianne West

Directed by Joel Schumacher

Format: DVD

Tagline: “Sleep All Day. Party All Night. Never Grow Old. Never Die. It’s Fun To Be A Vampire.”

“Sam and his older brother Michael are average, everyday teens. But after they move with their mother to peaceful Santa Clara, California, things mysteriously begin to change. Michael’s not himself lately. And Mom’s not going to like what he’s turning into.

The Lost Boys reshapes vampire tradition, deftly mixing heart-pounding terror, rib-tickling laughs, and a body-gyrating rock soundtrack.”

If my memory serves me right, I think my aunt got me this flick as a gift one year. We may have been at a horror convention when the topic came up that I had never seen The Lost Boys. It has sat on the shelf for at least six years. For years, I had some sort of negative relationship to the idea of watching The Lost Boys. Not quite sure where it came from; it might have been my aversion to vampire films, it might have been my aversion to Corey Feldman, it might have been me being told “oh dude, you GOTTA see Lost Boys!” If there is something I hate(d), it’s being told that I HAVE to see something. I have since grown some from that and those negative feelings towards the film have seemingly faded, I’m ready to go in with FRESH EYES.

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Thoughts:

  • Is the name of this amusement park Mullet Mountain?Kiefer
  • Oh man, I forgot that vampires fly.
  • Honestly, I think the last vampire movie I watched was Near Dark like, two years ago.
  • “If you read the TV Guide, you don’t need a TV.” Speak on it, Grandpa.
  • Oh shit, I’ve heard so much about the “I Still Believe” saxophonist. It’s happening right in front of my face and it’s glorious.
  • Dude, the Santa Carla pier is LIT.
  • Lost Boys? Found ’em.
  • David is the dude. His facial hair is on point.
  • I love that this woman is laughing maniacally while reading a “Sad Sack” comic.
  • Alright, Feldman as Edgar Frog is kinda dope.
  • Did kids in the 80s think that this was what California beach life was all about?
  • Michael did NOT learn anything from the DARE program. The peer pressure is TOO REAL.
  • Michael, man, you’ve been a real jerk ever since you hung out with those bikers.
  • I’m all for Edward Hermann’s look. Max LostBoys
  • Damn, this “Cry Little Sister” song is dope.
  • “Kill your brother, you’ll feel better.”
  • Alright, why was Alex Winter the first?
  • Grandpa is the best.
  • I want to live in the Santa Carla Video Store.
  • The Frog Brothers going to church made me laugh out loud.
  • They are straight Home Alone-ing this house, how rad.
  • Oh damn, “Death By Stereo” was dope.
  • I thought Max would be more upset about his familial dilemma. But whatever.
  • How BAD did kids want to be the Frog Brothers in ’87?frogbros
  • This cover of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” during the credits is FIRE.

 

The Verdict:

I once wrote a piece about how being a horror fan of my generation (born in ’91) can be difficult because the prior generation was around during the second “Golden Age” of horror, so they remember and lived through the films that modern horror fans celebrate. The Lost Boys fell into the category where I found it difficult to relate, or want to relate, to the film. It’s an 80s-kid adventure film with vampires and this dreamlike sense of things that I thought I couldn’t relate to. My serious interest in horror came post-9/11. And while I’ve come to enjoy many a horror film from past generations, I didn’t think The Lost Boys was gonna do it for me. But what a well-made, clever and genuinely fun flick. I was afraid the 80s cheese was going to be over the top, but there was a masterful balance between comedy, action and horror. That balance, along with the smart vampire nuances and misdirection, made for a really tight film. For me, there weren’t any eye-rolling moments or scoffs; The Lost Boys felt really fresh and pure. On par with films like Fright Night and Near Dark. Maybe my aversion to vampire flicks is waning. Or maybe I’m just picking some good ones and leaving plenty of space between. As you can see, I didn’t have many “thoughts” while watching because I was so intrigued by the film. But this verdict, man, I get it now. I get why people love this film so much. I can only imagine what it would’ve been like watching it as a kid in ’87, it would’ve blown my mind! It could’ve easily have been my favorite movie at that time. Thanks, Auntie, for getting me this movie. Sorry it took me so long to watch it.

Edge Of Sanity (1989)

MV5BMTA3MDAwNjYzMTNeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU2MDg0NTU5OA@@._V1_Starring: Anthony Perkins, Glynis Barber, Sarah Maur-Thorp

Directed by Gérard Kikoïne

Format: DVD

Tagline: “Double The Terror. Double The Fun.”

“Anthony Perkins, famous for his compelling performances in Psycho and Crimes Of Passion, creates a new face for the tormented Henry Jekyll, the respected physician whose dangerous experiments with cocaine unleash his alter ego, the uncontrollable Jack Hyde.

Under the drug’s powerful influence, Hyde has perverted nightmares of sex and violence that consume his soul. Drawn to London’s prostitute district, Hyde’s rage explodes in a killing spree. Could the Real Jack the Ripper have been someone like fictional Mr. Hyde? Explore the terrifying possibilities that lie on the EDGE OF SANITY.

Somehow I owned two copies of this movie at once. One copy on VHS (which ultimately has better cover art that Scream Factory used for their release), and one copy on DVD that was part of a four-movie pack I bought specifically for 1946’s The Spiral Staircase. I ditched the VHS and kept the DVD. The Jekyll/Hyde story has never been of much interest to me, except for when I heard that David Hasselhoff was in a musical theater version. But even that was just a flash of excitement. I do love me some Anthony Perkins, though, so let’s fire it up.

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Thoughts:

  • Sex in a barn at the turn of the century must have been as popular as sex in a car is now. Like, popular enough but not the ideal place, right?
  • Whoa, crazy little dream sequence kicking things off.
  • Oh I definitely thought this was going to be a modern retelling of the story. Damn.
  • OKAY BUT THEY’RE STILL GONNA BE GRAPHIC ABOUT SOME SHIT.
  • Cue Buckcherry’s “Lit Up” through the whole rest of this movie.
  • “Darling come and see this [I’m feeding cocaine to the monkey we have in the house]!”
  • Cocaine Monkey is my band name.
  • Uh oh, monkey spilled some sort of chemical on the cocaine and I think he’s now basically making crack? Is this all a reflection of the crack epidemic in the United States?
  • Crazy how monkey-produced crack will make you look like you’ve already been on a week-long bender.
  • Johnny is supposed to bring in customers for Flora’s brothel and he chooses meth face Mr. Hyde? Not the clientele you want if you were to judge a book by its cover.
  • Also, straight-up, not even 20 minutes in and we are just FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS. vlcsnap_2015_08_26_23h39m05s108
  • Visually, this feels very Western European. Ken Russell and Peter Greenaway combined.
  • Anthony Perkins massaging a woman’s butt and exclaiming “look at that!” is freakin’ bizarre.
  • I love how, even on crack, Jekyll/Hyde can cleanly slice a woman up.
  • Ah, looks like Kikoïne was quite the porn director at one point. No wonder this feels so free and unreserved.
  • And this was his second to last film, and it looks like he straight up fell off the face of the Earth except for some festival appearances and a book last year. I’m so intrigued by what this director is all about.
  • Perkins is so underrated.
  • Homegirl, he paid in advance, just get outta there! Don’t go chasing crackheads.
  • Okay, I’m uncomfortable.
  • Okay, I’m uncomfortable.
  • Okayyyyy, I’m uncomfortableeeeeee.
  • Hyde looking for love in all the wrong places.
  • Crack is whack.tumblr_oo3o62CQcj1uls1d1o2_1280
  • How come no one at Madam Flora’s is skeptical of Hyde? Oh, because brothels are terrible places and their clientele are often terrible people.
  • WHOA allusion to daddy issues. Allusion? Nah, more like weirdly blatant disclosure.
  • Anthony Perkins facilitating this rapey, crack-fueled threesome in a brothel is insane.
  • Jekyll, now you’re letting the drugs affect your work and your marriage. Someone needs a sponsor.
  • Nothing I hate more than constant lightning. Storms don’t work like that.
  • WOW, this climactic descent into total madness is beautiful and bizarre.
  • Now we know what repressed sexual shame, trauma and drug abuse can do to a person.
  • Poor Mrs. Jekyll, though. Drug and sex addicted multiple personality husband.
  • I really thought Cocaine Monkey was gonna save the day.

The Verdict:

What an unpleasant and unrelenting film. A retelling of Jekyll/Hyde and accounts of Jack the Ripper have room to be expound upon and told in a brutal fashion. But this was just bizarre. The performances were fantastic; Anthony Perkins is probably at his creepiest and Sarah Maur-Thorp was brilliant. It was visually very interesting and even beautiful at points, but the tone of the thing was just icky, honestly. It will forever in my collection, though, because the flipside of the DVD I own is The Spiral Staircase.

Bloody Birthday (1981)

am_93t28317qsnvg9135_1300x1733Starring: Lori Lethin, Julie Brown, Joe Penny

Directed by Ed Hunt

Format: DVD

Tagline: “This is one birthday invitation you can’t refuse!”

Under the spell of a total solar eclipse, three women living in the same small town give birth simultaneously. The three children are angel faced, the best of friends and oh so innocent – but these little kids are the most lethal killers ever!

Just before a giant party to celebrate their mutual tenth birthdays, a series of gruesome murders begins. Like precision killing machines, the mini murderers can’t be stopped. Blood and death fuel their existence.”

You know, this blog started seven years ago. It was a place for me to go through my movie collection, whether to purge or to praise, and have fun while watching these movies. In the past three years, I got married, I moved to California, I subscribed to Netflix and Hulu, and the way I watched movies completely changed. But the collector in me never really stopped collecting. The modes changed, my budget certainly changed, but I never stopped plucking gems at the local thrift store or rental place. I’m at a point in my life now where the way I watch movies is changing yet again, and I want to dive in to my old physical media collection and discover/rediscover these flicks I picked up long ago.

Bloody Birthday was a recent acquisition during a trip to Las Vegas where we were conducting interviews for Survival of the Film Freaks. I didn’t realize that I was familiar with the alternate birthday cake artwork until after I purchased the above DVD, did some more research, and discovered they were the same movie. Aside from being familiar with the cover, I knew nothing about the film, but I assumed it was just another slasher.

Thoughts:

  • Eclipse births. Gotta be something wrong there.
  • Look, maybe it’s a generational thing, but cemetery hookups were never in my or my peers vocabulary.
  • Punk ass kids asking for no homework on their birthday, c’mon. bloodybirthday2
  • Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy) has got such a look, actually super creepy because she looks like a little cherub.
  • But then you find out she’s pimping out her sister Beverly’s habitual (un)dressing routine and you’re like…you’re 10 years old.
  • Astrology is gonna be a huge factor in this one, huh?
  • Little blonde Steven, however, already looks like a bully and is definitely gonna mess some people up.
  • And then freaking four-eyes Curtis over here, THIS kid’s got some issues.
  • Yeah, Steven is a cop killer.
  • At least there’s one kid in this town with a good head on his shoulders. Thanks, Timmy! But now you’ve got a target on your back.
  • Curtis, that’s a really real looking fake gun, dude. Don’t tote that around the junkyard.
  • When I was a kid, I was absolutely petrified of getting locked in a refrigerator in a junkyard. Timmy is living my nightmare, while Curtis is just living his best self.
  • Timmy now you’re exposing Debbie’s pimp kingdom, you are DIGGING YOURSELF A HOLE BUDDYBOY.
  • Debbie’s got a scrapbook of victims/potential victims. This is the first recorded “Burn Book.”
  • I’m just realizing Debbie set her own sheriff Dad up to die. Cold.
  • Oh Curtis has got the sheriff’s gun. Oh he shot the gun. Oh this is a bold choice.
  • “Have you ever played doctor?” Debbie, you are 10. I know you’re cold and you were born during an eclipse and you’re killing people. But that’s a lot.
  • How these two ten-year olds are chasing Joyce through a junkyard with a car is beyond me but damn, it’s entertaining.
  • Curtis ’bout to paint the town RED with that glock. 718_bloody-birthday-thumb-610xauto-1772
  • So it’s the moon and the sun’s fault for blocking Saturn on the day of their birth. And “Saturn controls emotions and how you treat people.”
  • Is there no Lover’s Lane for these kids to park their van? We’re just gonna do it on a residential street? And then no one is gonna hear Curtis fire the gun?
  • Remember how their teacher, Debbie’s father and a handful of kids died in the past couple days and this birthday party still has fifty people there? The show must go on, I guess.
  • Mighty Mouse party!
  • All of these kids are killer kids, but Curtis is the worst by far. Debbie is the brains, Steven is the muscle, but Curtis is a god damn assassin.
  • Oh my god, Curtis, ANT POISON in icing?
  • Curtis knows, no one can resist frosting.
  • #TeamJoyce. #WhereIsSaturn?
  • Joyce’s boyfriend is a stupid idiot who can’t just sneak into houses DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THIS TOWN?
  • Ohhhhhhh Beverly, you wild child, you’re not gonna like what you find in Debbie’s room.
  • CURTIS IS THE FALL GUY. DEBBIE IS A GENIUS.
  • What I wouldn’t give to dial a rotary telephone just one more time.
  • Debbie is finally gonna do some dirty work…
  • What’s the end game for this little terrors?
  • Debbie, you’ve caused your mom to be 5150’d. You are sinister.
  • I’m realizing more and more how freaking crazy it is that these kids are just getting away with this stuff because no one believes they’d do it! That thought alone kinda freaks me out.
  • Joyce, you don’t want to babysit Debbie. And you know that.
  • Debbie, you sly dog.

The Verdict:

What a mean-spirited flick. I dug the ambiguity of their reasons behind the killings, and those kids actually freaked me out a little bit. Their ability to turn from killers into normal, innocent kids was uncanny and unnerving. The film doesn’t have a lot going on in/for it, but the last few segments of killing and uncovering more information about the murders is great. The DVD transfer that I have was garbage, but this trailer really gives a good visual.