ActionComedyFilmReviewsWestern

Straight to Hell (1987, UK)

Straight to Hell (1987) Theatrical Poster

It’s fair to say that Straight to Hell isn’t widely considered to be one of director Alex Cox’s best films. Some people may even consider it to be his worst.

However, whilst its creation, cast, setting and gonzo punk style, make it an undeniable curiosity, it is its adaptation and reclamation of popular genre style, that may make Straight to Hell Cox’s most notably cine-literate film. For the uninitiated: Cox was the punk filmmaker who made it big early on, blew it nearly as quickly, and has steadfastly done his own thing ever since.

“A story of blood, money, guns, coffee, and sexual tension.”

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The Church (1989, Italy) Shameless DVD Review

The Church (1989, Italy) DVD Cover

Also known by the appropriate name Cathedral of Demons, Michele Soavi’s 1989 Italian Gothic horror The Church is widely considered as the official sequel to Lamberto Bava’s Demons 2 (1986).

Indeed The Church was originally conceived as Demons 3, but upon Soavi’s insistence the film stands alone. For those of you who intend to purchase the new release from Shameless Screen Entertainment, The Church has no direct thematic link to either Demons (1985) or Demons 2 (1986).

“In this unholy sanctuary you haven’t got a prayer…”

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Another 6 Essential Japanese VHS Covers

Cannibal Ferox (1981)

During the videotape format war of the late 1970s and early 1980s, JVC’s VHS would compete for market share against Sony’s Betamax. Betamax was, in theory, the superior recording format but VHS would ultimately emerge as the preeminent home video format in 1986. Consumers could not justify the extra cost of a Betamax VCR, which was often more expensive that the VHS equivalent due to the higher quality construction of Betamax recorders.

“Decadence is their fate.”

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Saturn 3 (1980, UK / USA)

Saturn 3 (1980) Theatrical Poster

As you are no doubt aware, having found this particular website, in the late ’70s space was the shit. In the wake of Star Wars, numerous projects were green-lit, ranging from Ridley Scott’s franchise-launching Alien to the bottom-of-the-barrel Disney project The Black Hole. Saturn 3 was American-born, British TV supremo Lord Lew Grade’s attempt to cash in on the public’s new-found love of sci-fi. And, on the surface, its got a lot going for it.

“Trapped between unnatural love and inhuman desire.”

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The Deadly Spawn (1983, USA)

The Deadly Spawn (1983) Theatrical Poster

Made for approximately $25,000.00 and released in 1983 The Deadly Spawn is an exercise in low-budget excess. Conceived by producers Ted Bohus and Tim Hildebrandt this 16mm cult classic emerged, drenched in blood, during the horror video boom of the 1980′s as an effort to pay tribute to the alien sub-genre of 1950′s science fiction.

Special make-up effects artist John Dods worked extensively with his dedicated team to design and create the monster-mechanicals that helped secure The Deadly Spawn cult status.

“They came to Earth to feed on human flesh!”

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FilmHorror

Halloween II (1981, USA)

Halloween II (1982) Theatrical Poster

After the success of John Carpenter’s original independent slasher film Halloween (1978), Rick Rosenthal takes over the reins for the second instalment. Immediately picking up where Halloween’s bone-chilling ending had left off, Halloween II (1981) continues Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) struggle to survive the night, as the seemingly immortal Michael Myers (portrayed in the sequel by Dick Warlock) continues his relentless pursuit.

“The sensational follow-up to the worldwide phenomenon. More terror, even more terrifying.”

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Unforgettable Retro Zombie Video Games

Zombie Nation (1990)

Whereas retro zombie video games were the “Next Big Thing” in their days, this is not the case anymore since more stylistic and graphically-rich games have emerged. As a result, gaming enthusiasts across the globe have been forced to forget blasting through corpses in favor of the most current, action-intense games like like those from the Forza Horizon, Mafia and Gears of War series.

“The zombies are coming!”

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Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01 (1987, Japan)

Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01 (1987) Promotional Poster

Animated by Hideaki Anno, Metal Skin Panic MADOX-01’s plot centers on Koji, an engineering student who accidentally discovers the Madox-01; a heavy mechanised, armoured exoskeleton. This military weapon, successor to the Madox-00, is equipped with a large array of weaponry and was designed to fight against heavy armoured vehicles. Glancing through the conveniently included instruction manual, Koji climbs into the Madox-01 exoskeleton.

“I…I’m not ready yet!”

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ActionFilmMartial Arts

American Ninja (1985, USA)

American Ninja (1985) Theatrical PosterOut of all the bizarre trends the ’80s hoisted upon pop culture, ninjas have to be among the most prolific. Suddenly, any two-bit action flick schlock factory received a license to render their product “mysterious” and “exotic,” just by decking out half their actors in black long johns. Never one to pass on a fad that could net them some extra bucks, the Cannon Group gladly hopped aboard the martial arts bandwagon, putting out a series of cult cheesefests that included 1985’s American Ninja.

“The deadliest art of the Orient is now in the hands of an American.”

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Endgame (1983, Italy)

Endgame (1983) Theatrical PosterLet’s get right to it; is this movie the final installment of The Bronx Warriors trilogy that includes 1990: The Bronx Warriors and Escape from the Bronx, or not? The short answer in my opinion is no, it most definitely is not. It bears no resemblance, nor any connection to the previous films that I could detect; though it is supposedly set in New York, I don’t recall any reference to it in the dialogue.

“For an ENDGAME champion in the year 2025, there’s only one way to live. Dangerously.”

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Japanese Animation: A Worldwide Culture

Devilman: The Birth (1987)Japanese anime has become a global worldwide culture for many reasons. Becoming popular in Japan after the second world war, anime provided an alternative format for storytelling. The common misconception in the west is that animation is primarily aimed towards the children, but this is not the case in Japan.

“For most Japanese consumers of anime, their culture is no longer a purely Japanese one (and indeed it probably hasn’t been for over a century and a half). At least in terms of entertainment, they are as equally interested by Western cultural influences as they are by specifically Japanese ones.”

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5 Forgotten 80s Films You’ll Want to Rediscover

The Mission (1986)The Mission (1986): Other than the all-star cast—Jeremy Irons, Robert De Niro and Liam Neeson—the score of this historical drama by Ennio Morricone alone makes it material for a best of list, and while it’s not the only great reason to watch the film, it’s definitely one of the reasons you’ll come back for more.

“If might is right, then love has no place in the world. It may be so, it may be so. But I don’t have the strength to live in a world like that…”

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