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Jaws 3-D (1983) – Special Edition – Decades of Horror 1980s

“The Third Dimension is TERROR” The tagline for Jaws 3-D works hard to convince its audience that the film is full of chills and thrills. Buried in the Eighties coming-at-you 3-D effects is a butchered story about the Brody boys all grown up and facing a great white shark of their own…at a famous sea park, no less. Dennis Quaid and Bess Armstrong lead the cast while first-time (and only-time) director Joe Alves lobs fish, arms, and shark teeth into the audience’s lap. Seen in 3-D for this episode, Thomas, Doc, and Christopher are joined by Paul Cardullo to relish in the wacky 1983 cinematic fad.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Special Edition – Jaws 3-D (1983)

Jaws 3-D credits the legendary Richard Matheson as its screenwriter. The resulting film, however, does not feel like any other example of Matheson’s work. He has gone on record stating his original script was “bedeviled by script-doctors.”  Along with Quaid and Armstrong, the cast includes Leah Thompson, Simon MacCorkindale, and Louis Gosset Jr. while the film includes two sharks, the classic “Bruce” great white is nowhere to be seen. Yes, despite its flaws, the film is stupid fun in its original 3-D form and was a success in its time holding the record for highest gross for a 3-D film until Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over in 2003

Guest host Paul Cardullo joined Doc Rotten and Christopher G. Moore to catch Jaws 3-D presented in 3D at the FantasticRealm Film Series at The Carolina Theater in Durham, North Carolina while Thomas is confined to the standard “flat” edition. Thomas has yet to forgive Doc for this… In addition to Jaws 3-D, the Grue-Crew discuss the other four 3-D films featured during the series: Starchaser: The Legend of Orin (1985), Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983), Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983), Treasure of the Four Crowns (1983). Doc Rotten also had the opportunity to interview Jim Carl, the director of the film series about 3D films, who reveals what The Carolina has in store for horror fans and Harry Guerro, from Exhumed Films, discusses 3-D films, his collection of cinema history, and some of the most rare 3-D films in existence.

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Remember to vote in our two year anniversary poll about The Top 10 Best 80s Horror Music Videos!

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Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)

 

 

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The Gate (1987) – Episode 133 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Demons aren’t gonna ring the doorbell!” Terry (Louis Tripp) gives his buddy Glen (Stephen Dorff) a lesson in demon etiquette. Yes, the cult favorite gateway horror film The Gate is much beloved by horror fans of the 1980s. So much so that it won our Patreon Decades of Horror Poll for the month of April! Yes, those who at least pay $1 a month got to choose this episode’s topic of The Gate. So grab a shovel and your favorite subliminal death metal albums as we try to squash out some demons before they disrupt our 80s house party!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 133 – The Gate (1987)

The Gate is a relatively simple story. Young Glen and his older sister Al (Christa Denton) have the house to themselves for the weekend while their parents are out. So, while Al is having her friends over for a big party, Glen and his friend Terry are dealing with a mysterious geode they found in the sinkhole in the backyard. That geode manages to scrawl some incantation on a notepad that the kids read, unleashing demons upon their suburban house. Corpses from walls, dads with melting faces and moms-turned-to-dogs ensue from there.

To dissect this horror film for all ages, kids at heart Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani exhume what’s in the hole for The Gate. While all three originally saw this well out of the target demographic, this trio appreciates many things about this gateway horror film. Christopher loves the subtle bits of filmmaking craft. Doc learns to appreciate the believable child performances. Thomas wonders if Stephen Dorff peaked to early. It’s just too metal a podcast to handle. Better drape yourself in a sheet and lip sync to some demonic songs before the little demons bite your leg!

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Remember to vote in our two year anniversary poll about The Top 10 Best 80s Horror Music Videos!

Next Episode

Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Plus, our Jaws 3D (1983) Bonus Episode!

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Beetlejuice (1988) – Episode 132 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“It’s Showtime!” Beetlejuice (Michael Keaton) gets his show on the road. So why not listen as The Grue Crew does the same?! Celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, Beetlejuice was the film that launched Tim Burton’s career. A horror comedy covered in spirals, normalcy satire and gothic pondering that made Burton the most mainstream recognized auteur of the modern era. However, does Beetlejuice make us Shake Senora or does it deserved to be gobbled up by a sandworm? Tune in and find out!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 132 – Beetlejuice (1988)

Beetlejuice is an odd choice for a titular character, given he’s only in about 17 minutes of the final film. Then again, Keaton’s a pop culture creep with a disgusting charm who makes a huge impression for the limited time. Yet, our protagonists are the newly deceased couple of Adam (Alec Baldwin) and Martha Maitland (Geena Davis) who are stuck in their home and can’t stop it from being sold to new owners. Those new owners are The Deetzes, including the goth daughter Lydia (Winona Ryder) who can see them.. The Maitlands need to get these folks out of their eternal resting place, so they utilize the world of the dead’s rules to their advantage and get the titular ghoul to help out. Betrayal, stop motion and Harry Belafonte ensue from there.

Thomas, Doc Rotten, and Christopher G. Moore crack open their copies of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased to decipher Beetlejuice. Doc admits having fallen back in love with this after some Tim Burton overexposure. Christopher G. Moore revels in his love for all things striped and goth. Thomas just loves how the character and world building meld so well. There’s appreciation for everything from the production design to the diverse musical soundtrack to Dick Cavett’s underrated acting ability. Plus they all agree that “…IT KEEPS GETTIN’ FUNNIER, EVERY TIME THEY SEE IT!”

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

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The Gate (1987), Our Patreon Poll Winner!

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Night of the Creeps (1986) – Episode 131 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“What is this? A homicide, or a bad B-movie?” Detective Ray Cameron (Tom Atkins) asks a trick question with an obvious answer. It’s both. Then again, Night of the Creeps isn’t really bad by any stretch. A sci-fi horror comedy for the ages, Night of the Creeps tells a simple story. One of college love, space slugs, and zombies from the grave. Haven’t we gotten enough of those, guys? Well, writer/director Fred Dekker at least manages to inject some B-movie fan charm in the proceedings in ways that anyone can get behind. The good news is Night of the Creeps is here on Decades of Horror 1980s. The bad news is… nothing, actually. Hooray!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 131 – Night of the Creeps (1986)

Night of the Creeps is the story of two college freshman who – in order to impress a fraternity – awaken a long frozen zombie and unleash chaos on a sleepy college town. Only depressed drunken Detective Cameron (Tom Atkins) can save the day while facing against demons of his past. While Night of the Creeps didn’t make a big splash in theaters back in the summer of 1986, it managed to become a cult favorite on video. Not a surprise, given it’s a mash of sci-fi aliens, ax-murdering killers and Tom Atkins dishing out one-liners. A rollicking good time that goes from space to 50s Americana to the nightmarish world of mid-80s college sex romp. It’s got everything and the kitchen sink… Dick Miller! There’s plenty of terror, romance and “thrill me”s to go around.

To dissect all the remaining gory bits of mayhem, Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani are here and hopefully, the space slugs won’t get them first! Marvel as Christopher admits the influence Night of the Creeps had on one of his short films. Shudder as Doc realizes he hasn’t seen the Director’s Cut ending that crept up on him upon this watch. Ponder with Thomas at the possibility of a Tom Atkins detective story comeback movie. Plus, plenty of discussions about Fred Dekker’s love of the genre, distinguishing between Kevin Pollack & David Paymer and making a drinking game out of all the director name tributes. Of course, we don’t condone irresponsible drinking. You’ll be dead within the first 20 minutes. Or at least screaming like banshees! Heh heh… “screaming like banshees.”

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

Beetlejuice (1988)

 

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The Evil Dead (1981) – Episode 130 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You bastards. Why are you torturing me like this? WHY?!” Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) ponders this aloud to the Deadites torturing them. Or maybe this question is more directed toward writer/director Sam Raimi hauling abuse at Bruce. Either way, The Evil Dead is definitely a punishing film, both toward its cast and the audience. Every time someone gets stabbed in the ankle or thrown into a bookshelf, both the actor and the audience feels it. Raimi started his illustrious career with this independent horror flick and it sure did shape where he’d go from here. There’s gore, mayhem and low budget craziness abound. Might as well… JOIN US for it!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 130– The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead is sort of a black sheep in the franchise from a modern perspective. While Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness resemble more of what fans love about the franchise, The Evil Dead is a straight-up horror film with little comedy to be found. Basically, the foundation from which the surreal comedy would spring forth.  That doesn’t mean it’s without merit. By no means. Sam Raimi even this early has so many dynamic camera moves that would later revolutionize blockbusters with Spider-Man. Helps that Bruce Campbell gets the crap beat out of him.

To talk all things The Evil Dead, Christopher G. Moore, Doc Rotten and Thomas Mariani are joined by Adam Thomas. Thomas discusses the evolution of the franchise. Christopher elaborates on how big an influence Sam Raimi had on his young filmmaker mind. Doc talks about how much it created the cabin in the woods genre. Adam winces while describing how brutal Campbell’s painful moments are. Listen to find out all the details!

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

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Night of the Creeps (1986)

 

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From Beyond (1986) – Episode 129 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“It ate him… bit off his head… like a gingerbread man!” Dr. Crawford Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs) is mystified by the powers of creatures coming from The Resonator in From Beyond. The second HP Lovecraft adaptation from writer/director Stuart Gordon didn’t blow up cult audiences nearly as much as Re-Animator upon its initial release. Yet, this feature adaptation is far closer to Lovecraft than most other versions of his stories out there. It’s a bizarre, disorienting and – above all – goopy take on the legendary sci-fi/horror author. One that’s clamoring for a dissection right here on Decades of Horror 1980s!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 129 – From Beyond (1986)

From Beyond did not ignite much attention when originally released. Shocker that a sci-fi horror story of BDSM, goopy mutation and body unraveling wasn’t a mainstream hit. Yet, one can’t help but be charmed now by Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) trying to find out about this gap between humanity & alternative dimension aliens. Dr. Edward Pretorius (Ted Sorel) comes into our realm to show her. Thought the good doctor may not want the type of experimentation Dr. Pretorious is showing off. Hopefully, the pineal glands stay inside foreheads this time.

Here to describe all the bizarre horror of From Beyond is Doc Rotten, Thomas Mariani, and Christopher G. Moore. Thomas starts off by giving the apt adjective of “goopy.” Doc has so much appreciation for the way Jeffrey Combs runs downstairs. Christopher takes a pause to mention how Lovecraftian this film is in comparison to Re-Animator and several other adaptations that followed. Unfortunately, Cthulhu doesn’t show up to emphasize all this horror. Instead, there’s plenty of goop to talk about! Just… make sure it doesn’t get on your shoes.

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

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The Evil Dead (1981)

 

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Ninja III: The Domination (1984) – Episode 128 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“You fool! You can not stop me! I am the ninja! No one, nothing can stop me!” Christie (Lucinda Dickey) is possessed by a killer ninja spirit and is out for blood. But how will this affect her career as a telephone poll worker and part-time aerobics instructor? Ugh, it makes you just wanna doing jumping jacks with weights, amirite? As one can clearly see, Ninja III: The Domination is a pretty silly movie. A blend of Flashdance, The Exorcist and every ninja movie out there. Then again, what else would you expect from Cannon?

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 128 – Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

After an elaborate fight sequence at a golf course, Ninja III: The Domination continues the train of insanity tenfold by having the killing machine Black Ninja (David Chung) die after a police shootout and struggle with Christie. Christie is haunted by bizarre dreams and swords on strings, which hurts her budding relationship with cop/creepy hairy stalker Billy (Jordan Bennet). Now under the possessive influence of the Black Ninja’s spirit, Christie proceeds to murder each of the officers who participated in the shootout, baffling the cop who is literally sleeping with her on a nightly basis. The only person with any kind of effectiveness is the mysterious Yamada (Sho Kosugi), who arrives from Japan to get his vengeance on The Black Ninja who killed his master and left him with one eye. Ninjitsu and 80s hair ensue from here.

To break down all the insanity of Ninja III: The Domination, Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani look into this genre mashup to find a method to the madness. There’s much love for the silly manic energy that made Cannon such a unique film production company. All the bad ADR, excessive use of explosions and physics-defying martial arts are dissected here. Doc Rotten is delighted that genre favorite James Hong has a cameo. Christopher makes a strong argument for this being the most 80s film ever covered on the show. Thomas brings to light the serious struggle Ninja III: The Domination highlights of PTSF (Post Traumatic Stock Footage) Syndrome. All of this and more can be shoved into your eardrums like a shuriken to the face.

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

From Beyond (1986)

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Terror Train (1980) – Episode 127 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Did you say ‘all aboard’? That’s ridiculous! They can’t be bored. I haven’t even started.” Ed (Howard Busgang) does his best Groucho impression to annoy the train staff… and everyone else. Ed is just one of many slasher archetypes that populate the Terror Train on New Year’s Eve. Every college kid is wearing a different costume. The perfect claustrophobic area for a killer to hide. Can our heroine Alana (Jamie Lee Curtis) survive the night and get to the next stop? Take a listen to find out!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 127 – Terror Train (1980)

Terror Train was one of the early examples of the post-Halloween slasher boom of the 80s. Everyone was trying to take their crack at a contained low budget slasher. So, Canada figured “Why not have one take place on a train, eh?” Terror Train also manages to subvert a few things that others in the genre would stick to, mainly by not restricting the slasher to one costume. Our villain jumps from one outfit to the next in order to avoid detection. It’s a real case of misdirection with our killer…one that mirrors the magic on display throughout.

Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore, and Thomas Mariani are here to dissect all the magic of Terror Train. Or perhaps, lack thereof. There are a few moments of surprise here. Mainly with how many familiar faces of the 80s pop up. Keep your eyes peeled for The Wild Bunch‘s Ben Johnson, model Vanity, and Ellis from Die Hard himself Hart Bochner. And of course, magician David Copperfield. Then again, Terror Train stops dead many times to give him a spotlight, so he’s hard to miss. The trio also discusses the direction, the kills and of course its place in the decade. Some are fans, others aren’t. You’ll just have to listen to find out who is who. The answers may shock you.

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

Ninja III: The Domination (1984)

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The Blob (1988) – Episode 126 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“I’ll be good I swear… I’ll never see a movie ever again.” Eddie Beckner (Douglas Emerson) tries to wrap his young mind around the horror that is The Blob. Thirty years after the iconic Steve McQueen vehicle became one of the definitive 1950s drive-in classics of the sci-fi/horror genre, director/writer Chuck Russell – along with his Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors co-writer Frank Darabont – took a stab at remaking it. While not a revered at the time, the remake of The Blob has gained some minor recognition as one of the better horror remakes out there. But does this digest well with the Decades of Horror 1980s crew or are they going to put that reputation on ice? Find out as they walk through a winter wonderland free of snow.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 126 – The Blob (1988)

The Blob decided to up the ante on one major aspect of the original film. 30 years after taboos on violence were a bit more lenient, Chuck Russell decided to show off as much gore and horror as possible with the concept. Right from when Paul (Donovan Leitch Jr) is consumed, The Blob shows that it is not afraid to kill at any moment. And brutally so. Perhaps this is why it failed as much as it did upon initial release.

Yet, there’s plenty to appreciate now as each of the hosts – Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore, and Thomas Mariani – take their own look back. Thomas marvels at the evolution of the look of the titular Blob from a jelly mold in the original to cancerous tumor here. Doc Rotten is surprised by just how many popular character actors show up. Christopher G. Moore notices all the nuances of set-up and pay-off written in by Frank Darabont. To hear even more details, take a listen! Plus, you’ll find out what a “bubblegum tongue” is. Or not. We’re still not sure, to be honest.

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

Terror Train (1980)

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The Shining (1980) – Episode 125 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Great party, isn’t it?” The ghosts are all calling this party a big success. Congrats to Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) for pulling it off. Especially with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) constantly nagging him about “please don’t kill us.” Pfft. Family, am I right? The Shining is a pretty big example of Stephen King adaptations, one commonly derided for not being too close to the book. Did Stanley Kubrick’s lack of faithfulness stop it from being covered on the show? You’re damn right it didn’t!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 125 – The Shining (1980)

Based on the massive bestseller by Stephen King, The Shining isn’t too faithful to its source material. While the book heavily relies on knowing the madness behind Jack Torrance, Stanley Kubrick’s film is more external. It shows the madness for what it is. Presenting the irrational haunts in a rational fashion. This dichotomy is what creates the conflicts of the Torrance family as they fall apart. The Shining isn’t subtle, but the scares are just as big as Nicholson’s wails of “DANNY!” Plus, Kubrick helped revolutionized the Steadicam, creating smooth movements that revolutionized what cinema could be.

To celebrate all of this, Thomas, Doc Rotten, and Christopher G. Moore attend the Overlook Hotel’s July 4th Ball in the middle of winter. Now, some people on this crew admit they weren’t huge fans of Kubrick’s vision initially. Yet, it seems like there are a few converts to The Shining here. There’s praise all around for Kubrick’s direction, Nicholson’s performance, and the terrifying ghosts. However, there are also some crucial questions being asked. Could Chevy Chase have made a good Jack Torrance? Does Jack have “The Shine” like Danny? Wasn’t Scatman Crothers also Hong Kong Phooey? All these and more are answered, folks!

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

Next Episode

The Blob (1988)