The Lost Boys (1987)

Rating 15

Length 1Hr 37

Release 31.7.1987 (US release)

About Teenage brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to a small town in northern California. While the younger Sam meets a pair of kindred spirits in geeky comic-book nerds Edward (Corey Feldman) and Alan (Jamison Newlander), the angst-ridden Michael soon falls for Star (Jami Gertz) — who turns out to be in thrall to David (Kiefer Sutherland), leader of a local gang of vampires. Sam and his new friends must save Michael and Star from the undead.


Treat

  • Ed Herrmann is always a joy to see in anything he did. Because of his performance, and his previous roles, I am surprised every time by the reveal. Especially when you play him against Sutherland, who is always good at playing the alpha. This time, because I didn’t remember the dinner sequence, I was convinced it was going to end up being the grandpa as the head vamp.
  • The music to this film is like the 80s equivalent of the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Cry Little Sister, People are Strange and Good Times are iconic to this film.
  • There’s some excellent flying POV shots at the beginning of the film which keep the mystery of who the vampires are. At least that’s I think that was the purpose. It’s hard to tell going into it already knowing the plot.
  • I love the fact that we are presented with a brotherly relationship that is quite harmonious. At least at the start. It allows that change in character for Michael to have more of an impact.
  • The comedy is pitched perfectly to balance out the darkness within the plot. It could have quite easily be taken too far and camp up the film, but as it stands, it enables the film to be more Goonies after puberty hits than a bloated emo fest.

Trick

  • What the hell was with Corey Feldman’s ‘I am Batman’ voice. It really was stupid and quite possibly made this one of very few roles of his I absolutely hated.
  • Why the hell does Corey Haim have a poster of Rob Lowe in his bedroom? I mean if it was something I believed the character would do, fine. But I so didn’t believe it.
  • How many times did the name ‘Michael’ have to be said? Jesus, that bugged the fuck out of me.

Final Thoughts

Yet another film that scared me as a kid but I love now. The only let down is Feldman’s performance.

The Monster Squad (1987)

Rating: 15

Length: 1Hr 19

Release: 14.8.1987 (no UK release)

About: Five youngsters find themselves up against the combined might of Dracula, the Mummy, the Gill Man and Frankenstein’s Monster who arrive in town in search of a magic amulet.


Treat

  • It’s a great way to homage the Universal monster movies of the 40s and get them all into the one movie.
  • The film has a decent cast of kids and adults. They’re used well and have moments to stand out.
  • While on the short side, time wise, it matches up to the similar lengths of the monster movies it’s emulating.
  • Having young Phoebe be the one to do the spell that frees the town was brilliant. Not sure how I feel about it being the result of the original reader not being a virgin. Perhaps it was an original idea at the time, but it feels tropey by today’s standards. Also, when it comes to Phoebe, I love the friendship she has with Frankenstein’s monster.
  • Gillman’s face is incredible. It seems to rectify all the issues I had with the original design.

Trick

  • It’s another film that almost forgets who they want their audience to be. I always find it odd when a film centres around young teens that can’t go see the film themselves.
  • It’s lacking something. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but not having it makes the film feel longer than it is and a bit like The Goonies’ cousin no one likes to talk about.

Final Thoughts

It checks all the boxes for a decent film, but it falls flat on the overall feel of the film.

Predator (1987)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 47

Release: 1.1.1988

About: Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a soldier of fortune, is hired by the U.S. government to secretly rescue a group of politicians trapped in Guatemala. But when Dutch and his team, which includes weapons expert Blain (Jesse Ventura) and CIA agent George (Carl Weathers), land in Central America, something is gravely wrong. After finding a string of dead bodies, the crew discovers they are being hunted by a brutal creature with superhuman strength and the ability to disappear into its surroundings.

Treat

  • The Predator is visually out of this world. Sorry for the bad pun, but it’s on a level with the xenomorph in terms of something that could prompt a nightmare. It’s hidden well which adds to the fear factor.
  • You have a group of commandos who are hench and seen action. And they’re scared enough to say they’re scared. Yup, that’s enough to have my heart racing.
  • Outside of the opening shot in space, you could have walked into this movie thinking it was a war film. In fact, I think that would have been scarier because you’d truly be one of the mission team. It does add to the fear because you sense what’s coming.
  • I think the scariest part of the film is that Arnie doesn’t defeat him. Not really. Predator kills himself and that is one of the scariest parts of war.

Trick

  • The biggest issue I have with the film is it’s final act. I’m watching a group of commandos, the best of the best, all bite the dust because of this creature from outer space. Yet, Arnie, the one who doesn’t get a single shot off at it prior to the one hour mark is able to defeat it single handily?! That makes the Predator an absolute pussy and Arnie too ‘invincible’.
  • Adding to the above point, I don’t buy Billy’s demise and for me, he’s the character who had shown the best skill and tactics to pull off what Arnie did. Bring him into the final showdown and help Arnie do his Kevin McCallister shit to the jungle and then have him killed. It gives a little more of a sense that this Predator is a fucking killing machine and stops you losing 5 of the team within about 45 seconds of each other.
  • Oh, and Predator once the helmets been removed?! Did he just have a manicure that he was waiting to dry?! What was with the pussy assed slaps. He could have removed Arnie’s innards with on blink and everyone knows it. That was the perfect opportunity to kill Billy (or your chosen commando).
  • I find the score by Adam Silvestri too distracting. It’s overly similar to his Back to the Future score and, for me, it didn’t fit the film.
  • I genuinely don’t know how I feel about the introduction of the female Guerrilla operative just before the halfway mark. While her actions set in motion a lot of the plot for the second half and there’s the argument that her being female is what stops them killing her, I’m not sure that it’s still not lip service casting or if I’m seeing snowflakes.

Final Thoughts

Not the masterpiece I remember it being, but then again I’d misremembered it as being set in Vietnam, so perhaps I shouldn’t hold the film to account.

A bloody, gory, war movie with an extra terrestrial playmate.

Howling iii: The Marsupials (1987)

Rating: 18

Length: 1Hr 34

Release: 13.11.1987 (US)

About: An Australian scientist (Barry Otto) finds marsupial werewolves, one of whom (Imogen Annesley) finds work in a horror movie.


Treat

  • It had a skeleton werewolf attack, even if it was brief. I felt it was something new to the sub genre while reminiscent of some of the Greek Myth films.

Trick

  • Everything else. The acting was painfully bad, which just showed you quite how bad everything else was.
  • The plot made no sense and part of that was brought to light by strange scenes, shitty transitions and absolutely no concept about how humans work and behave, let alone mythical beasts.
  • The story is absurd and that’s without considering the fact that the main female werewolf has a hairy pouch in which her ugly assed were-baby grows. The “birth” scene is just fucked up.

  • The script would have made better toilet paper. The number of times “we need to get out of here” is uttered, for the same people too build a camp Fire in the exact same place they need to get away from is head scratching.
  • The music is odd synth-like 80s noise that is just as nauseating as the bad camera work and random POV shots. Literally random. They start as Werewolf POV, then for no reason we’ re seeing through the eyes of passer-by number two.
  • I did a unit on third cinema in uni which is best compared to guerrilla film making. Footage would be filmed on different quality of celluloid, simply because that’s what was available. I’ve seen better quality filming in Third Cinema. Actually, I’ve seen better YouTube videos produced.

Final Thoughts

Bad film. Bad, bad, film.