Videodrome (1983)

Director: David Cronenberg

Writer: David Cronenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: James Woods, Sonja Smits, Debbie Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley

 

Plot: A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Game Changing Movie

 

Story: Videodrome starts as we get to see cable TV President Max Renn (Woods) as he is looking for the next show for his network which will continue to push the boundaries for his audience. When Max learns from one of his technicians Harlan (Dvorsky) about an extreme torture show known as Videodrome.

Becoming obsessed with Videodrome he shows his new flame, radio presenter Nicki Brand (Harry) who wants to become a contestant on the show but just what is the marketing for this show, is it real or is it well staged?

Diving into the truth of Videodrome we see how Max starts to question his own reality when he starts hallucinating which leads him to find the truth through Bianca O’Blivion (Smits) in what is one of the most shocking outcomes you could imagine.  

 

Thoughts on Videodrome

 

Characters/PerformanceMax Renn is the typical president of a television network, he is always looking for the next show which could give his network the spike they require. He quickly becomes obsessed with learning the truth about Videodrome only to be sucked into the world it has created. Bianca is one of the potential people behind Videodrome while Nicki is a love interest that wants to be on Videodrome.

Performance wise, James Woods was brilliant in this leading role easily become the star of the show with the rest of the cast all doing good jobs throughout.

StoryThe story is one that is well before its time, when you look back now and see how people wanted to find the next level of television shows like we do now this offers up a look at just how far things could go. This story does have plenty of mystery about where everything could end up going and does have moments that make you react as simple as what the hell is going on but they are all worth it when it comes to the final outcome.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in this film is filled around the gore effects going on and Max questioning just what is going on. The sci-fi world created shows us an extreme level of where television shows could go.

SettingsThe settings are not the most impactful but do all work for where the story goes.

Special EffectsThis is a practical effects exhibition showing us just what you can do if you know how to use them.

Final ThoughtsThis will always be a true classic on how to push the special effects limits, we get pushed as far as we can with them that are truly amazing for the time.

 

Overall: The violent classic we all know off.

Rating

 

 

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The Outsiders (1983)

outsidersDirector: Francis Ford Coppola

Writer: Kathleen Rowell (Screenplay) S.E. Hinton (Novel)

Starring: C Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lower, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise

 

Plot: The rivalry between two gangs, the poor greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Coming of Age Film

 

Story: The Outsiders starts as we meet the Greasers Ponyboy (Howell), his brothers Darrel (Swayze) and Sodapop (Lowe), as well as Dallas (Dillon) recently out of jail, the loose cannon of the gang, Johnny (Macchio), Two-bit (Estevez), Steve (Cruise) and Tim (Withrow) this teenage gang get chased around town.

The Greasers are the poor gang in town and have a rivalry against the Socs the rich gang, when Ponyboy and Johnny find themselves getting into trouble which leads them to turn to Dallas for the way to make this disappear. This leads to Ponyboy and Johnny going into hiding while the police, Greasers and Socs search for the boys responsible for murder.

 

Thoughts on The Outsiders

 

Characters/PerformancePonyboy is the youngest of three brothers within this gang, his future looks set to be within the gang not getting a chance to have a future away from this dead-end life his elder brothers have had to give up to raise him after their parents death. Johnny is the best friend within the gang of ponyboy, he has the similar problems in life but his is about not being loved by his parent’s. Dallas is the wild one of the film with the Curtis brothers Darrel and Sodapop both working very well to be the guardians of Ponyboy.

The performances here are all great with Howell, Dillon and Macchio getting the most screen time all giving showing they were big child actors but if you look deeper Swayze, Lowe, Estevez, Cruise and Lane all show they were going to be big name stars in the future.stars

StoryThe story follows one group of poor teenagers struggling in small town America, getting themselves in trouble and with no clear out of the cycle they have become a unit against the rest of the world. The story of their unity shines through the story and you could follow everything the youngster members of the gang can go through. This could easily be looked at as one of the more underrated coming of age movies from the 80s.

CrimeThe crime side of this story comes from the accidental murder of one side of the gangs and how what starts off with a bit of hate escalates into a full-blown battle between them.

SettingsSmall town America makes for great setting for this film as it shows just how these guys could easily be in any town when it comes to the difference they both have.genre

Final ThoughtsComing of age, young adult whichever you want to call them are all popular, but this one of the most underrated ones I have seen.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the coming of age fans out there.

Ratingrating

 

 

Harvey Keitel Weekend – Corrupt (1983)

corruptDirector: Roberto Faenza

Writer: Ennio De Concini, Roberto Faenza, Hugh Fleetwood (Screenplay) Hugh Fleetwood (Novel)

Starring: Harvey Keitel, John Lydon, Nicole Garcia, Leonard Mann, Sylvia Sidney

 

Plot: A pair of corrupt cops spend their illegal cash on an uptown New York City flat.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Thriller

 

Story: Corrupt starts as we follow two corrupt police officer’s LT Fred O’Connor (Keitel) and his partner Bob (Mann) who use their secret money to stay in a uptown New York flat, but with a cop killer targeting the narcotics division that does these potential victims or suspects in this crime case. Leo Smith (Lydon) has been searching for the corrupt officers within the force looking to hand out his own form of justice.

When Leo tracks down Fred, he finds himself being kept prisoner and claiming to be the killer, but not everything is adding up the way Fred believes it is, leading him to investigate Leo’s past while Leo must wait his fate but with him trapped in the flat is the cop killer off the streets?

 

Thoughts on Corrupt

 

Characters/PerformanceFred is what you would call your typical officers that takes advantage of the situations to look out for himself while remaining a good detective, he gets confused with the Leo character’s story and motives. Leo is a very interesting character because one minute he claims to be the cop killer the next he doesn’t but he gets a control over Fred unlike anyone else has.

Keitel and Lydon both give good performances here both embracing their characters well making sure we are not complete sure of eithers actions.stars

StoryThe story here is following corrupt cops who are searching for a potential cop killer, but where this film goes in a different direction the two parties find themselves having to cover for each other. There are elements of what we have come to know from Insomnia but otherwise the slow nature of this film gets hard to keep up on as everything unfolds.

Crime/ThrillerWe have a crime side of this story with two different styles of criminals one with the law on their side the other without, we are left to wonder what the motives behind everything are but we don’t get sucked in the way we should.

SettingsThis film is set in New York City but doesn’t seem to want to use the iconic settings in any of the backdrops of the film.

Special EffectsWe have limited special effects going on here but the ones we do get all work very well.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is easily a thriller I doubt many people will have heard of let alone seen, I can understand why and I do feel the Keitel fans out there should give it a go.

 

Overall: Slow burner but easy to watch thriller.

Ratingrating

 

 

Halloween Kingathon – The Dead Zone (1983)

Banner-1logoDirector: David Cronenberg

Writer: Jeffrey Boam (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Chritopher Walken, Brooke Adams, Tom Skerritt Herbert Lom, Anthony Zerbe, Colleen Dewhurst, Martin Sheen

Plot: A man awakens from a coma to discover he has a psychic detective ability.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: He Sees Your Future

Story: The Dead Zone starts with teacher Johnny Smith (Walken) quoting The Raven by Poe before suggesting Sleepy Hollow (yeah remember he was the headless horse man years later). While travelling in the rain he has an accident ending up in hospital, but once he awakes he learns he has been in a coma for five years, but he also discovers he has the ability to read the future by touching someone.

The powers John has gained start to make him have a celebrity feel around town with some people seeing it as a gift others a curse and John he doesn’t know what to think at first, until more people start coming to him for help including Sheriff Bannerman (Skerritt) who needs his help to solve a killer on the lose.

As his power grow, so does his reputation to be able to help people with their problems but soon he starts to struggle with all this consequences of what is happening in the world around him and cocky presidential candidate Greg Stillson (Sheen) starts using questionable methods.

The Dead Zone ends up following two stories with one character, we learn how he struggles with powers no one person has ever had before trying to escape the situation. Everything plays out very nicely and we truly do believe what is happening to the man, but if you could use the powers what would you do to change people’s fate? That is the question this film really leaves you to wonder about. This is a dark story without being truly scary and is well worth a watch. (8/10)

Actor Review

Christopher Walken: Johnny Smith is the school teacher who ends up in a coma for five years, he ends up gaining the gift of foresight which he uses to prevent death being it against criminals or accidents. Christopher does a great job in the leading role of this film. (8/10)john

Brooke Adams: Sarah Bracknell is the former fiancé of John who moved on with her life after his accident, she comes back into his life but due to her being married it can never be the same as before. Brooke does a good job in this role. (7/10)

Tom Skerritt: Sheriff Bannerman is the man who turns to John to help solve a case with a maniac going around killing young women. Tom does a good job with the little time he has on camera. (7/10)

Martin Sheen: Greg Stillson is running for office but he does things his own way, the dirty way at that, trying his hardest to anything t make sure he gets there. I think it would be fair to say that Martin steals the film with his glorious display as the presidential candidate. (9/10)

Support Cast: The Dead Zone has a supporting cast that doesn’t really know what to expect from the powers that our leading character has gained.

Director Review: David Cronenberg Cronenberg does what you expect from one of the best directors of the films that really tested you during the 80′. (8/10)

Horror: The Dead Zone has certain horror moment with that scissor scene being the most talked about. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: The Dead Zone enters into this world by taking our character into looking into the future and trying to prevent it. (9/10)

Thriller: The Dead Zone keeps you guessing to what the John will find out next and how he will stop it from happening. (8/10)

Settings: The Dead Zone doesn’t rely on the settings being a major part of this film but uses them for the special shots. (8/10)
Special Effects: The Dead Zone uses great special effects with that scissor scene being the true highlight. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Dead Zone is one for all the horror fans to watch before seeing the television show spin on the story. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: The vision of Greg’s future.

Worst Part: Would have been nice to have more to the first story investigation.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a TV spin off.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: In his mind, he has the power to see the future. In his hands, he has the power to change it.

Overall: Great horror brilliantly film one to remember.

Rating80

Halloween Kingathon – Cujo (1983)

Banner-3logoDirector: Lewis Teague

Writer: Don Carlos Dunaway, Lauren Currir (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Christopher Stone, Ed Lauter

Plot: A friendly St. Bernard named “Cujo” contracts rabies and conducts a reign of terror on a small American town.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Ravenously Dark Horror

Story: Cujo starts with the friendly St Bernard Cujo chasing rabbits where he bites off more than he can chew after getting his head inside a den filled with bats, where he ends up getting bitten by fore mentioned bats. We go onto meet our main family the Trenton’s mother Donna (Wallace), father Vic (Kelly) and young son Tad (Pintauro).

When the Trenton’s have car trouble they turn to Joe Camber (Lauter) the local go to car mechnic and owner of Cujo, but as the bite becomes infected Cujo slowly starts to fall victim of the rabies he has been infected with. When Donna and Tad go to have the car looked at again they find themselves trapped by Cujo who has become a ravenous because of the rabies.

Cujo brings us such a simple idea behind a horror that could easily be real, what happens to Cujo could happen to any animal and when man’s best friend turns nasty it becomes hard to escape their strength. The trapped trying to survive a horror is such a tried and tested horror idea this films ends up using it excellently. (8/10)

Actor Review

Dee Wallace: Donna Trenton is the mother of Tad as well us the cheating wife of Vic, she needs to get her car fixed while looking after Tad but when they reach the mechanic’s house they find themselves in a battle against a now ravenous Cujo. Dee is great in this leading role trying to protect her child. (8/10)family

Danny Pintauro: Tad Trenton is the young son of the Trenton family who believe in monsters however many times Vic tries to convince him there are no such things. When he visits the mechanic’s house he gets an encounter with a real life monster in the ravenous Cujo. Danny does a good job looking scared not just for the film but most likely for years to come. (7/10)

Support Cast: Cujo has a supporting cast that is mostly local residents and a few victims for Cujo.

Director Review: Lewis Teague Lewis brings us a genuine horror film that truly scares the audience. (7/10)

Horror: Cujo puts the characters into a position where the horror will continue throughout their situation. (9/10)

Thriller: Cujo keeps you guessing to whether they will survive the problem. (8/10)

Settings: Cujo starts mostly in a small town but when Cujo traps Donna and Tad it keeps the idea of isolation together. (9/10)

Suggestion: Cujo is one for all the horror fans to have seen at least once. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Cujo is terrifying.cujo

Worst Part: Not really one.

Scariest Scene: Cujo first attack on Donna and Tad.

Believability: Rabies will do this to animals so it would be fair to say it could happen. (6/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $21 Million

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Now there’s a new name for terror.

Trivia: Stephen King has stated that he feels Dee Wallace gives the best performance in this film of any film or TV adaptation of his books, including Kathy Bates‘s Oscar-winning turn in Misery (1990).

Overall: Scary, frightening man’s best friend gone evil that will scary you for days.

Rating80