For fans of eighties cinema, Mill Creek Entertainment offers up a collection of eight noteworthy eighties movies on DVD for the more cost conscious collector. Among the eight films in the collection is 1990’s “Flatliners.” The David Cronenberg supernatural drama about a group of medical students exploring the effects of near death experiences stars Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, and Julia Roberts, respectively. James Woods and Robert Downey Jr. co-star in the 1989 drama “True Believer,” about an embittered lawyer who re-opens an old murder case with a young lawyer, unraveling a web of corruption, and conspiracies.
There’s a lot to be said for how movies can change dramatically when the color is taken away. Most famously Frank Darabont unleashed a black and white version of “The Mist” which many fans insist amped up the film’s inherent terror, and folks have also testified that “Dawn of the Dead” is much scarier in black and white like its big brother “Night of the Living Dead.” To date there are four editions of “Mad Max: Fury Road” in what is a now ever expanding series of movies and merchandise for the George Miller apocalyptic franchise. Not that I’m complaining minde you, but the studios know where the money is, and people still love “Fury Road.”
For the respective Tim Burton enthusiast comes “Tim Burton: The Iconic Filmmaker and His Work,” a comprehensive biography and study of the master’s work by author Ian Nathan. Courtesy of Aurum Press, the book is a hardcover encyclopedia of everything Tim Burton, chronicling pretty much every film he’s ever made, from his short films in school, to his work in animation, right down to major projects like “Batman Returns” and “Dark Shadows.” Fans of Burton will be pleased to read about the interesting life Burton has led, and how he was often drawn to the Gothic and ideas about the outcasts in “normal” society.
While “Creepshow 2” has always been taken as one of pair of horror movies that pay tribute to the golden age of EC Comics, over the years the horror community has learned to appreciate “Creepshow 2” as its own entity. Surely, its cut from the same cloth as the original classic, but it also carves out its own identity and doesn’t repeat the same beats as the original film. The Michael Gornick directed sequel is a darker, grittier, and more vicious follow up to what was kind of a raucous and darkly comic celebration, and it works. As a nostalgic memento, and as a sequel carved by Stephen King and George Romero, “Creepshow 2” is a classic in its own right.
It’s about time the world has caught up with “Black Christmas” and (thanks to Shout!) given it the proper treatment it’s always deserved. What is arguably one of the first slasher films ever made was always out of print and hard to find while “Halloween” was granted various editions of VHS, and DVD. While “Halloween” is a masterpiece, “Black Christmas” is far more superior. It works as a slasher film, a mystery, a dark comedy, and is genuinely spine tingling in a movie draped in Christmas ephemera. It’s surprising since the tone for “Black Christmas” is almost the same tone from his other Christmas classic “A Christmas Story.” Yet director Bob Clark really never misses a beat, offering up a very scary tale about an inexplicable maniac wreaking havoc on a small neighborhood during the holidays.
Between Joseph Ruben’s “Dreamscape” and Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” arriving at just about the same time, 1984 had a keen insight in to dreams and transforming it in to compelling entertainment. Whereas the latter film is a dark horror masterpiece, “Dreamscape” is its own kind of cinematic offering. It’s an entertaining and often intelligent look in to dreams that opts more for dark fantasy with a hint of adventure. It also sparks allusions, however coincidental, Craven’s film featuring dream demons and a villain who in one instance conjures up blades from his fingers to attack hero Alex Gardner. Despite the coincidence, it’s fun to imagine these films are kind of working within the same universe.
“Metalstorm” is another one of the Not Brand X movies from the eighties where fans of “Mad Max” were treated to a long list of movies that desperately emulated its formula and aesthetic. If you survey most of the late seventies and eighties, you could probably build a whole sub-genre of post-apocalyptic movies that emulate “Mad Max” and “Escape from New York.” There’s a whole library from various studios who aimed to capture the same success and pop culture momentum as the aforementioned. “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn” is by no means a bad movie. It is a hokey but fun movie, though. It has all the hallmarks with films of this ilk including a desert wasteland, a hot rod driving “road warrior,” and his blonde babe.
It’s that time of year again, and as always we have a mile long list of movies and pop culture items that we want to add to our collection. Since you’re anxious to know what we have on our wish list this year (come on, admit it), we thought we’d post a snippet of movie items that we’d love to have on our shelves to entertain us in to 2017.
While we do indeed review movies for certain companies, the views expressed in this list are 100% our own. However, if you want to give us a holiday reward, don’t hesitate to buy your favorite titles through these links, allowing us a royalty to help pay for the site and whatnot.
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