Popcorn (1991): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

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.

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Treaters (2017)

From Treehouse Digital and director Peter Stanley-Ward, “Treaters” is a short film that I would love to become the basis for a horror anthology somewhere down the road. “Treaters” is a surefire Halloween treat that works with a sense of whimsy but also has an admirably demented sense of humor that I was sucked in to from minute one. One thing that’s always menacing about Halloween are trick or treaters, because you just never really know who, or what, are wearing those dreaded masks and whatnot.

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Hellbent (2006)

I give director and writer Paul Etheredge-Ouzts a lot of credit for creating a traditional slasher film with a lot of the conventions turned around for an all gay cast. Every single character in the movie is gay, right down to the psychotic masked killer. Ironically, “Hellbent” does fall in to the traps of conventional slasher films, with people willingly walking in to danger, and a slasher whose origins is completely unexplained. I was disappointed in the latter, as I was expecting a big twist, or at least a link to protagonist Eddie’s past as an aspiring police officer.

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The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

The adaptation of John Updike’s “Witches of Eastwick” is an engaging albeit soapy supernatural thriller that uses the idea of witches and Satan as a seductive male coming to something of a sexual war with a trio of witches with immense power. Over the course of “The Witches of Eastwick” he presents an enticing personality that’s despicable but manages to allure the trio of powerful women. The trio submits every essence of inner and outer power to him the more they find themselves falling for him, and obsessing over his sexual charisma. The way I tended to interpret “The Witches of Eastwick” is as a supernatural battle of wills between the sexes, and director George Miller manifests it through a brilliant cast.

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Black Cats and Broomsticks (1955)

“Each year a hundred Americans die because they go to a wizard instead of a doctor.” Ah yes, the great Wizard epidemic of 1955, I read about that in the text books. Americans had wizards and sorcerers, where as today we have Goop. Oddly enough, this short subject PSA for Americans fearing witches and Satanism confuses pseudo-science and superstition with actual witchcraft. A lot of Americans were under the idea that sacrificing animals to Satan was just the same as crossing your fingers for a dose of good luck. Those wacky Americans!

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You Have to See This! The Midnight Hour (1985)

Only in 1985 could a movie like “The Midnight Hour” have been created. This is the decade of Michael Jackson and music videos. This is the decade of MTV. This is the decade where one of the goofiest Halloween movies ever made has a musical number that breaks the fourth wall because… well, Michael Jackson, and Madonna! Duh. Seriously, it’s a shame that “The Midnight Hour” has been so hard to find and out of print for such a long time, because it’s such a ridiculous eighties gem that I figured people would be watching it during Halloween parties and laughing their asses off.

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Leatherface (2017)

This is the story of Leatherface. Again. No, “The Beginning” was not his origin, “Leatherface” is. I’m not sure what “The Beginning” was supposed to be. “Leatherface” is the official prequel to the iconic movie maniac, they promise. And once again, like “The Beginning,” 2017’s “Leatherface” is really just a tired, nasty, unpleasant road film following a group of psychopaths. Leatherface’s actual origin is reserved for the final ten minutes where he just reverts to Leatherface mode because—um—it’s familiar! Familiar is good, right? Once again, no one seems to be interested in actually dissecting the madness of Leatherface, or why and how his persona of wearing human skin and carrying a chainsaw relates to him. In the original Tobe Hooper masterpiece,

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Jeepers Creepers 3 (2017)

The definition of disappointing is the big lead in to who or what the Creeper is. The writing makes a big deal about how you’re able to read its origins by touching a severed part of it, even staging a scene where a group of people channel its origins. There’s a close up of its magical spears and emphases on its car which is built like a virtual indestructible tank, and in the finale Creeper wails in anger as crows fly around, reacting to a sign that reads “We know what you are.” Guess what? We’re never told what the Creeper is. There isn’t even a hint of an explanation. The writing tries to cop out by metaphorically explaining that the creeper is a monster that changes and destroys lives. Damn it, to hell with stupid clichés and tell me what the hell the Creeper is!

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