One of the highly anticipated releases of 2017, Synapse Films unleashed the new print of the rare horror comedy “Popcorn” for fans with a limited edition release. Months later, they allow fans another chance with a regular Blu-Ray and DVD editions of “Popcorn” with the same deluxe special features and treatment but none of the collector flavor. “Popcorn” is one of those horror comedies that deserve to be consumed by horror movie fans of all kinds, as it’s one of the cleverer meta-horror movies that satirized indie horror, while also delivering its own interesting slasher tale.
“Popcorn” is one of the many precursors of “Scream” that peppered video stores everywhere in the early nineties, and it still packs that fun schlock and camp that make it so much fun. Mark Herrier’s horror tale is primarily about its characters that then takes a dive in to the novel and unique horror devices that feels almost like a William Castle homage right to the very end. In it a bunch of film students get together to raise money and some credibility for their department. They decide to stage an all night horror movie marathon at a local theater that’s scheduled to be demolished, and soon enough they get together to save their beloved program.
All the while as the theater is set up to deliver some classic movie gimmicks, and there is a mysterious figure lurking in the rafters who begins to use the place as a means of inflicting terror on these hapless individuals. Despite the inherently dark tone, “Popcorn” presents a very fun sense of energy that feels smack dab in the middle of “Matinee” and “Halloween.” Herrier’s slasher mystery is soaked in film ephemera, even creating a trio of mock horror schlock movies that you will wish were real by the climax. Herrier never shies away from the gore and grue, ans also creates a very horrendous slasher who isn’t just insane, but wildly inventive, and views his victims as potential roles, more than people he viciously murders.
“Popcorn” is a bonafide party movie of the video era and a genuinely fun and eerie slasher film with a premise that intentionally borders on gimmick.
Extras for the new release include reversible cover art, a stills gallery for the film, a series of trailers including the original trailer, the TV trailer, and some TV spots. There’s an interview with actor Bruce Glover titled “Electric Memories” at six minutes, which discuss how Glover was cast, shooting in Jamaica, and how his role was larger but cut down during editing. There’s the documentary entitled “Midnight Madness: The Making of Popcorn,” clocking in at almost an hour in length, which feature comments from the cast, and composer, the origins of the film, casting, preproduction difficulties and why the original director was replaced. Finally, there’s a great audio commentary with director Mark Herrier, actors Jill Schoelen, Malcolm Danare, and special makeup effects artist Mat Falls.