Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Horror of the 80s: Part Two

Pssst, 80s, are you there? It’s me – Jinx - again. I was wondering; if you’re not busy, do want to hang out some more? We could play some Pac-Man or we could practice our dance moves to the top 40 I taped off the radio, or we could do each other’s hair and you could make mine look like Tiffany’s. Hell, yeah, Tiffany! Oh, I know, even better, we could wriggle into our Snoopy jammies and watch some movies. Yeah, 80s, lets do that.

C.H.U.D. (1984)

When the homeless population of New York begin disappearing at an alarming rate, a concerned policeman along with a photographer and his girlfriend and the man who runs the homeless shelter begin to investigate. Little do they know exactly what is lurking in the sewers beneath the city.

A few weeks ago I straddled the arm of the couch and spent a considerable amount of time pretending to be Cher in the ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ video. (Everyone's got to have a hobby, mine's pretending to be Cher, ok?) This made me feel like a silly teenager again. Worrying, but true. And this is how C.H.U.D. makes me feel. There’s something delightfully retro about C.H.U.D., and I mean retro even for the 80s, that appeals to me.

The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)

In the employ of a large pharmaceutical company an anthropologist travels to Haiti to investigate rumours of a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people in zombies.

Love me a voodoo yarn. And The Serpent and the Rainbow is one hell of a voodoo yarn. Stylish, colourful and delicious, and Bill Pullman, which for some reason I’m always a little surprised about, the Bill Pullman bit I mean, not the first bit, I don’t know why Bill Pullman surprises me, but he does, I just don’t expect to see him places and then he’s there, or maybe I always get him confused with Bill Paxton, yes, that might be it. But, more to the point, The Serpent and the Rainbow is genuinely creepy and a must see. It also stars the wonderful Cathy Tyson who I believe isn’t appreciated enough as an actor.

The Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

A home alone teenager decides to have a slumber party and not to invite new girl in school, and conveniently girl next door (well, across the street) to join in the fun. Unfortunately for our teenage hotties a multiple murderer with a propensity for power tools has escaped and is at large in the neighbourhood. Naturally he soon finds his way to the party and the scantily clad teenage nymphs soon find themselves in all manner of trouble and the unpopular new girl becomes their only chance of survival.

Written originally as a parody of the slasher genre by feminist author Rita Mae Brown, but ultimately filmed in all seriousness, The Slumber Party Massacre is the gift that keeps on giving. I don’t really need to say any more than; boobies, drills, blood and phallic imagery. It like the horror fan’s Christmas all wrapped up in a big blood stained bow, with a free pizza delivery thrown in. While as a woman maybe I’d have liked it to have been the fully realised feminist parody it could have been, and it does have its moments, as a horror fan I just love it regardless.

Terror Train (1980)

Any 80s horror that has Jamie Lee Curtis in it is going to be awesome, add to the JLC, one David Copperfield, and an array of ridiculous fancy dress costumes and the awesome just keeps getting awesomer.

At a college fraternity New Year's Eve party, Alana Maxwell (JLC) is lightly coerced into participating in a hilarious prank that any rationally human being can see is bloody stupid idea from the outset. Instead of saying that this is bloody stupid and telling the wacky japesters to bugger off, Alana instead climbs onboard the stupid wagon and lures the shy and awkward butt of the prank Kenny Hampson into a darkened room with the promise of sex. Really Kenny should have known that this was going to end badly so partially he really did deserve to find a woman’s corpse in the bed rather than the promised Jamie Lee. Understandably traumatised by this turn of events Kenny winds up in a psychiatric hospital.

Failing to realise how badly this bodes, three years later the same get together and hold a costume party aboard a train and as the partygoers begin to disappear it would appear that Kenny is back for bloody revenge.

Classic slasher fare - but on a train! Terror Train is a tense and claustrophobic thrill ride peppered with promiscuous teenagers, decent deaths, an outfit switching killer and cowboy Ben Johnson. And if that wasn’t enough Terror Train also features the bizarre presence of illusionist and notorious supermodel worrier David Copperfield, starring as a creepy illusionist Copperfield’s acting reminds us that he is an illusionist who worries supermodels.

Heck yeah, high five me, 80s! Woo!! You’re my best friend, 80s, I want to dress you in my love, all over your body…. Sorry there, 80s, that was a bit creepy, wasn’t it? I promise it won’t happen again. 80s? Where you going?.....come back…….


  1. I love Serpent and the Rainbow. Pullman is AWESOME in it, and the story is great.

    Solid old-style Zombie flick.

  2. I've always wanted to watch The Serpent and the Rainbow, and I'm definitely going to have to add Terror Train to my Netflix Queue!

  3. CHUD is my all time favorite cheesy 80's horror movie! Just about every time I go into Manhattan with my husband I remind him not to stand too close to the sewer openings because the Chuds might get him. He of course, looks at me strangely. But he's pretty used to my weird obsession with old horror films.

  4. Good List. I love Terror Train. The final reveal on the killer is actually pretty brilliant.

    The remake of Terror Train is shite, but it inspired a blog post dedicated to male torsodom and gives me an excuse to add a sneaky link to my site....


  5. Slumber Party Massacre it is.

  6. I dont think I've ever seen CHUD, but I loved the hell out of part two when I was a youngin.

  7. lol! I love Slumber Party Massacre!! :D

  8. Now THIS is a blog that I can sink my teeth into! I love your layout and the content is incredible!

    Anyhow...hello! My name is Nathanael Hood from Forgotten Classics of Yesteryear!

    I just want to invite you to my blog's blogathon. It will be taking place in about three weeks. The topic is MONSTER MOVIES FROM THE 50S!!!

    I think that considering your blog's content...you would be a perfect fit!

    I would love it if you would participate! Send me an email at nahood@ursinus.edu.

    Here are a couple of links to more information:



  9. So. Much. Awesome.

    And that's just C.H.U.D. ;)

    Seriously good stuff, ma'am!

  10. Wow, I've actually reviewed many of these movies....
    This post brings back memories.

    You manage to put many of these movies into perspective. CHUD is the only one of them I haven't seen. Thanks for reminding me of it!

  11. I always get Pullman and Paxton confused too. And I'm glad to see Serpent and the Rainbow getting some love.



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