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SPOOKIES (1986) – Episode 257 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“We almost got our tuchus plunged!” Almost? Shoot, that would’ve made a perfect scene to go with the farting Muck Men. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they discuss Spookies (1986)! Wait. Why haven’t we seen this before?

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 257 – Spookies (1986)

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(It was going to be) A group of teens go to an abandoned house to party and do battle with spirits and creatures they accidentally release from a strange Ouija board. (Instead, it became) A wicked sorcerer tries to sacrifice a group of people inside his house to use their vitality to keep his wife alive.

If Spookies feels like two different movies, it’s because it’s one of those nightmare productions where the “making of” story might be more interesting than the movie itself. Yes, too many cooks spoil the broth and Spookies is solid evidence that too many filmmakers ruin the movie. With production being shanghaied near the beginning of post-production work and half the film reshot, Grue Believers will never know if the original crew’s vision would’ve made a better movie. Throw in some top makeup and effects people early in their careers and the Grue Crew have plenty to fuel their talkabout of this fun, mess of a movie.

At the time of this writing, Spookies is available to stream from Tubi, Shudder, ScreamBox, and AMC+, and on physical media in Blu-ray format in a 2-disc set from Vinegar Syndrome.

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film chosen by Jeff, will be Just Before Dawn (1981), an underappreciated slasher from co-writer/director Jeff Lieberman (Squirm, 1976; Blue SunshineI, 1977) and starring George Kennedy, Chris Lemmon, Deborah Benson, Greg Henry, and Mike Kellin. 

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.