A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors
“Welcome to prime time, bitch!”
Six years after the first Elm Street, Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) makes a replica of Nancy’s house on Elm Street using papier-mÃ¢chÃ©, popsicle sticks, and Elmer’s Glue. She begins to have dreams of a little girl on a tricycle, peddling around in the front yard. “This is where he takes us,” she says as she leads Kristen inside.
Kristen “˜wakes’ from her nightmare and goes to the bathroom, only to discover she’s still asleep and encounters Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund), who slashes her wrists with his finger-knives. When Kristen wakes up, she is holding a razor blade to her wrist. Her mother mistakes the incident as a suicide attempt and sends Kristen away to Westin Hills, a psychiatric hospital.
There she meets other kids with sleep disorders: Joey, a mute; Taryn, an ex-drug addict; Kincaid, a tough black kid with attitude problems; Phillip, a talented sculptor; Jennifer, a wannabe actress, and Will, who is confined to a wheelchair due to an earlier suicide attempt.
The best of the Elm Street series, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is a surreal fantasy-horror film with a great premise, impressive special effects, and a sense of bleak fatalism that sets Dream Warriors apart from its more comical, outlandish successors. Director Chuck Russell injects this Elm Street sequel with an unexpected undercurrent of sadness that emphasizes the the tragedy and hopelessness in the Elm Street kids’ lives.
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Return of the Living Dead
“You think this is a fuckin’ costume? This is a way of life!”
At the Uneeda medical supply warehouse in Louisville, Kentucky, a foreman named Frank (James Karen) tries to freak out the company’s newest employee, Freddy (Thom Mathews), by showing him a confiscated military drum in the basement of the building. The drum contains the remains of an army experiment gone wrong that actually inspired George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.
Frank accidentally unleashes the toxic gas inside the barrel, which has the ability to reanimate dead tissue. Soon, Louisville, Kentucky is overtaken by brain-eating zombies – leaving only a ragtag gang of punks and other ’80s stereotypes to fight the undead horde.
Ask me what my all-time favorite zombie movie is and I’ll tell you it’s Dan O’Bannon‘s Return of the Living Dead – a “splatstick” horror comedy with outlandish characters, completely random full frontal female nudity, and dizzyingly eccentric dialogue.
While most people might write off O’Bannon’s film as nothing more than a low-budget “˜so bad it’s good’ horror flick, Return of the Living Dead is known for introducing the now-standard concept of zombies eating brains, as opposed to just eating human flesh, like previous zombie films such as Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead.
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Halloween III: Season of the Witch
“Eight more days ’til Halloween! Silver Shamrock!”
Written and directed by Tommy Lee Wallace (Stephen King’s It), Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the only installment of the Halloween series to abandon the Michael Myers storyline.
A crazed toy salesman is brought to the hospital babbling and clutching this year’s most popular Halloween costume, an eerie pumpkin mask, thrusting Dr. Daniel Callis (Tom Atkins) into a bizarre Halloween nightmare.
Working with the salesman’s daughter, Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), Daniel traces the mask to the Silver Shamrock Novelties company and its founder, Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy). Ellie and Daniel uncover Cochran’s shocking Halloween plan and must stop him before trick-or-treaters across the country are killed instantly by an ancient brain-melting pulse transmitted from Silver Shamrock headquarters.
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“Best in Texas!”
Bookended by fictional trailers for upcoming attractions, local advertisements, and in-theater announcements, Robert Rodriguez‘s Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino‘s Death Proof make for a one of a kind cinematic experience in Grindhouse.
Grindhouse is the twelve-toed stripper of cinema. It’s fetish filmmaking – a celebration of cult movies and exploitation genres like kung fu, giallo, sexploitation, car-chase flicks, blaxploitation, and spaghetti westerns. With Planet Terror, you can clearly see the influences of filmmakers like George A. Romero and Roger Corman, with a soundtrack composed by Rodriguez that feels straight out of an ’80s John Carpenter film.
Tarantino’s Death Proof is a combination of slasher flick and car-chase extravaganza: a psychosexual killer in a souped-up Chevy, stalking and dismantling pretty girls. A tribute to the daredevil stunt drivers of the ’70s, as seen in movies like Peter Fonda’s Dirty Mary Crazy Larry and Barry Newman’s Vanishing Point, Death Proof shifts focus midway from an atmospheric slasher film to a balls-out car-chase movie filled with stunts and stomach-churning pursuits.
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The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Narrated by The Criminologist (Charles Gray), The Rocky Horror Picture Show tells the story of newly-engaged couple Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon), who find themselves lost in the woods with a flat tire on a dark and dreary night. Searching for a phone to call for help, the terminally heterosexual couple find a secluded castle where they discover a group of bizarre and sketchy folks attending an Annual Transylvanian Convention.
Brad and Janet watch as the Transylvanians dance and sing along to the film’s signature song, “Time Warp.” Brade and Janet are soon swept into the world of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry), a transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania and his loyal servants Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien), Magenta (Patricia Quinn), and the tap-dancing Columbia (Nell Campbell).
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the definition of “˜cult classic.’ It’s the best “˜so bad, it’s good!’ movie out there. The film has the longest-running theatrical release in film history (37 years and counting). Rocky Horror has a huge international cult following and is one of the most well known and financially successful midnight movies of all time.
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