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AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: Destroyer (1988) movie review

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by Paxton

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This is it!  The final day of the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest 2015. It’s been a blast. I really hope you guys have had as much fun as I’ve had. I’m sad to see the Halloween season come to a close. But, all good things, am I right? Anyway, without further ado, here is today’s final AWESOME-tober-fest article and it’s the last of this week’s look back at all of my previous years’ AWESOME-tober-fest subjects.

Last year, my theme was Bloody Best of Fangoria.  I went through the vast history of the magazine, showed you articles and pictures and each Friday I reviewed a B-horror movie that appeared in the pages of the magazine.  Those reviews were called Fangoria Movie Fridays.  The last FMF was the awesome Cheerleader Camp starring Lucinda Dickey.  But it was almost a different movie.  As a matter of fact, it was so almost a different movie that I had watched and mostly drafted a completely different movie review but I changed my mind at the last second.  I think it’s time to bring that movie back and give it its due.  That movie was the flick Destroyer from 1988.  It starred Lyle Alzado, Debra Foreman and Anthony Perkins.

Here’s the ad they used to promote the VHS release.  I remember seeing it in an issue of Fangoria.

Destroyer poster

Lyle looks like he’s holding his head weird.  Or is his head just Photoshopped into the poster?  I can’t tell.

Here’s the actual poster for the movie.

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Yeah, this is actually a bit more bonkers and awesome.  Did you notice that they added a LASER SCOPE to the jackhammer?  Why the f**k does he need a laser scope on the jackhammer?!  Crazy.  And weird.  And awesome.

Anyway, this movie poster obviously spoke to me.  Lyle Alzado as a “half dead” serial killer?  Anthony Perkins as a horror movie director? Yes, please.

So, first, is this movie any good.  Ehhh, it’s okay.  It’s not bad for a late 80s slasher flick with a ton of cult pop culture familiar faces in it.  What’s it about, well, Alzado plays a serial killer who is on Death Row.  He is about to be executed when a power surge while he’s in the electric chair makes him “half dead”.  Essentially it makes him a savage, nearly indestructible killing machine.  The jail is abandoned and Lyle is left to roam the empty jail.  Flash forward two years or so and a horror film crew arrives to film their movie in the infamous jail.  They, of course, stir up Lyle who starts killing off members of the crew.  How do you stop an unkillable monster?  I. Don’t. Know.

That’s the basic premise.  Did I mention this movie had familiar faces?  Yep, let’s quickly look at the cast. You’ve already seen sweaty Lyle Alzado up there on the poster as the “lead”. Lyle is known mainly for football but he also appeared in this movie, Ernest Goes to Camp, Zapped…Again! (yes, the sequel to Zapped!) and the sadly short lived wrestling sitcom Learning the Ropes.

The next most notable face would be the aforementioned Anthony Perkins, best known as Norman Bates in the Psycho movies.  Anthony is playing the director of the horror movie-within-the-movie, Death House Dolls.  Honestly, Perkins is pretty much the best thing in the movie.  He’s very entertaining and I loved every scene he’s in.

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Here’s a familiar face, Clayton Rohner.

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I did not expect him to pop up in this movie. This guy is an 80s staple with lead rolls in Just One of the Guys, I, Madman and another little horror film I love called April Fool’s Day.  If you haven’t seen April Fool’s Day, watch it.  It’s pretty great.  But also starring in April Fool’s Day was an actress named Deborah Foreman.  And in a nice little reunion, Deborah is in this movie as well.

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Deborah is adorable.  You’ve seen her in a ton of 80s flicks like Valley Girl, Real Genius, Hot Pursuit and My Chauffeur.  Unfortunately she goes with “Hilary Clinton” hair in this movie which is rather…unfortunate.

I do like both of these guys, so it’s nice to have them here.  Clayton comes off a little better because he’s written to be a funny, irreverant writer so he has some funny lines.

So, how’s Lyle?  He’s okay.  I mentioned his character is described as “half dead”, which I assume means he has “crazy eyes”.  Because that’s what he does at every opportunity.  Gives us his “crazy eyes”.

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He does seem to have a lot of fun with that jackhammer, though.

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Easy, Lyle, you can go blind handling that jackhammer so much.  Take a break, buddy.

If you like cheesy 80s “horror” with a dash of comedy, I think you’ll like this.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Cheerleader Camp (1988) movie review

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2014 by Paxton

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Happy Halloween, everyone!

Okay, this is it. The final Fangoria Movie Friday Review and the final post for this year’s AWESOME-tober-fest.  Like I mentioned yesterday, I had serious issues deciding what movie to review today.  There were so many awesome 80s slasher movies to choose from.  But one movie stood out just a little from the rest.  Sort of “the little movie that could”.  So, I went with my gut (and other parts a little further south of my gut) and chose Cheerleader Camp from 1988 starring a metric ton of 80s cult movie stars.

Cheerleader Camp poster

This poster is balls-out amazing. I love it. FYI, the alternate title for this movie was Bloody Pom Poms. And I’m not even kidding.

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So you see why I picked this movie. BECAUSE IT LOOKS F**KING AWESOME.  Plus, there’s like five hot, known 80s actresses all over this movie.  The premise consists of a cheerleading competition that takes place at some remote “camp” (read: isolated cabin) in the middle of the woods.  Suddenly cheerleader campers start showing up dead and everyone wonders just who is the killer.  We get several red herrings that are almost immediately proved to be untrue.  The eventual culprit was a surprise to me up until a few minutes before the big reveal.  But I wasn’t really sitting there trying to figure it out.  We get lots of angsty female teen melodrama and pent up horny boys drama like in a typical Porky’s but less skin.  The ensemble 80s female cast is pretty epic and you get several bikini/underwear scenes with all of them.  This is a fun watch.  I’d watch it again if only for the great visuals and not for the amusing story or dialogue.  All in all, a great 80s sexy horror romp.

Here are some of the visuals because they are GREAT.

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Awesome, colorful title card.

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There’s going to be LOTS of pictures of the chicks in this movie because the vast majority of them are really hot and many of them are awesome 80s cult stars. You will probably recognize the chick in the middle here. That’s Lucinda Dickey. One of my personal favorite 80s actresses most famous for both Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo but she also awesomely starred in the phenomenal Ninja III: The Domination.  The blonde on the left is Lorie Griffin who is most famous for playing, Pamela, Scott Howard’s crush in Teen Wolf.  On the right is Betsy Russell.  This brunette hottie is probably most known for her star turn as Angel in the movie Avenging Angel as well as the 80s sex comedies Tomboy and Private School and most recently playing Jill in the last five Saw movies.  There are two more ladies in the back I’ll get to next in a better screenshot.

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In the middle of this pic is Lorie Griffin again.  She plays a dumb blonde in this movie which is weird compared to her sultry turn as Pamela in Teen Wolf.  On the left is Rebecca Ferratti.  She was Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in June 1986.  She had a small roles in Three Amigos and Beverly Hills Cop II but I know her most from her small but memorable appearance at the very beginning of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.  And, on the right, we have Teri Weigel.  Teri has been in a TON of movie and TV appearances such as Predator 2, Embrace of the Vampire, Return of the Killer Tomatoes and Married With Children.  However, she is also most recently known for being a porn star.  And these are the five ladies that awesomely headline this movie.  But, wait, there’s more!

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Zombie Nightmare (1987) movie review

Posted in Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2014 by Paxton

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Yesterday you saw the ad for the flick, Zombie Nightmare from 1987.  It starred Adam West, Tia Carrere and Jon Mikl-Thor.  I’ve loved the look of that ad since I first saw it in Fangoria so I decided that it was going to be this week’s Fangoria Movie Friday review.

Zombie Nightmare poster

The only thing I’ve ever seen on this movie was yesterday’s home video ad. I remember the image vividly from when I bought the issue. So, since I’m filling in holes in my cult horror movie watching this month, I decided to track down this movie and give it a watch.

The premise is simple enough.  A guy is run over by a bunch of teens in a sports car and killed.  He is resurrected as a mindless zombie by a voodoo priestess in order to get revenge on all the teens that were in the car.  Bloodshed ensues.

It stars Adam West and Tia Carrere, so this should be 100% a winner.  And I mean that in the most B-movie awesome way.  Now that I’ve watched it, what did I think?  In a nutshell it’s a bit disappointing.  There’s definitely some high moments here and there.  The aesthetic is early Troma, as it seems with all the movies I’ve picked this month.  Not a whole lot of gore, surprisingly, but a metric ton of cheese.  Production values are on par with something like Street Trash but that movie was endlessly more fascinating than this one.  Do I recommend?  Hmmm, not really.  I don’t plan on watching it again, even though it amused me a bit during my viewing.  Another movie this reminded me of was Hard Rock Zombies which I reviewed last year for AWESOME-tober-fest 2013.

Let’s look at some of the more choice moments of this movie.

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And the movie begins, and we see that right away, this movie has the potential to be several different kinds of awesome. Adam West in a schlocky zombie movie? Yes, please? Tia Carrere?! Yes! And maybe she’ll get topless for her kill scene.  Those are the thoughts running through my head when I see the title cards.

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Wait…slick back hair, tight t-shirt, cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve.  Did I put on The Outsiders by mistake?  Is Leif Garret going to show up in a letter sweater?

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Oh, I see. Those greasers are here to endanger that young lady. And the husky, sweat panted dude is going to do something about it.  And that something is participate in the most ridiculously choreographed fight scene I’ve seen since Miami Connection.  Yes, husky sweat pants actually does spin around with the guy on his shoulders.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria Scream Greats #43 – The Lost Boys (1987)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2014 by Paxton

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Here’s Fangoria‘s Scream Greats Poster #43 featuring an image from one of my favorite vampire movies, The Lost Boys. This poster was from Fangoria #68 (1987).  Click to see it BIGGER on Flickr.

Scream Greats #43


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria Scream Great #39 – From Beyond (1987)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2014 by Paxton

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Starting today every post is going to be about the movie I’m going to review on Friday.  And that movie is to be Stuart Gordon’s second Lovecraft adaptation, From Beyond, from 1986.  Fangoria was kind of in love with this movie and featured it on covers and in multiple featured articles during the film’s production.  Not surprising since Gordon’s previous movie, The Re-animator, was a huge surprise horror hit. Plus Gordon was bringing along his two Re-animator stars, Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton, along to star in the new movie.

Here’s Fangoria’s Scream Greats Poster #39 featuring an image from HP Lovecraft’s From Beyond. This poster was from Fangoria #64 (1987).

Scream Greats #23


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria Scream Great #23 – Day of the Dead (1985)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2014 by Paxton

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Last week we saw the very first Fangoria Scream Greats pull out poster which featured the movie The Incredible Melting Man.  Today let’s take a look at our next Fangoria Scream Greats Poster.  It’s #23 featuring an image from George Romero’s Day of the Dead, the second sequel to his classic Night of the Living Dead.

This poster was from Fangoria #48 (1985).

Scream Greats #23


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2014: Fangoria Scream Great #1 – The Incredible Melting Man (1983)

Posted in Fangoria, Genres, horror, magazine, monsters, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2014 by Paxton

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Fangoria was known for it’s pull-out posters. These posters featured screen grabs from popular horror movies. Fangoria labeled the posters Scream Greats. However, these pull-out posters weren’t added to the magazine until around the third year of the magazine’s existence.

Since I showed you the first ever Fangoria cover yesterday, let’s continue that “firsts” theme with the first ever Scream Great pull-out poster. Below is Scream Great #1 from Fangoria #26 way back in 1983. This first poster featured an image from 1977’s The Incredible Melting Man.

Scream Great 23


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.