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

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

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Director: Richard Marquand

Writer: Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas (Screenplay) George Lucas (Story)

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Frank Oz, Alec Guinness

Plot: After rescuing Han Solo from the palace of Jabba the Hutt, the rebels attempt to destroy the second Death Star, while Luke struggles to make Vader return from the dark side of the Force.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fitting Conclusion to Epic Saga

Story: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi starts by informing us that Luke (Hamill) is trying to rescue Han Solo (Ford) from Jabba the Hutt while Darth Vadar is overseeing the construction of the new Death Star with the evil Emperor coming to end the rebel forces. Luke sends C3PO and R2-D2 to negotiate the release of Solo by offering the two droids as a bargaining chip.

When Princess Leia (Fisher) arranges to rescues Han Solo it is up to Luke to break everyone free but Jabba has plans for all of our heroes as he plans to kill them for trying to escape him. Let’s face it they were never going to kill any of our heroes here so it is time for an epic escape from Jabba.

Once free Luke finishes his training learning the complete truth about the dark side of the force before rejoining on the final mission to destroy the empire once and for all. Things aren’t going to be that easy for our heroes because Vadar sees this as a chance to finish off his son and bring him to the dark side.

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is how you should end all trilogies, we have the good guys having to defeat the victorious villains from the previous instalment. Many people dislike or find this the worst of the trilogy but I am willingly to say this is my favourite. I like the class between the Vadar and Luke because it could have gone in many different directions but the end works perfectly showing that you can always fight your dark side. We do get the typical idea that the underdogs win in a battle they shouldn’t but we needed the good guys to win this time around. This really is how trilogies should all end. (9/10)

Actor Review

Mark Hamill: Luke Skywalker rescues Han Solo fro his prison before completing his training to become the Jedi knight. Once the training is complete he goes on the mission to defeat his father and the empire. Mark gives his best performance of he saga here. (9/10)luke

Harrison Ford: Han Solo starts trapped in his prison before being rescued and taking the role as the lead in the mission to take down the enemy shields that will make the final onslaught possible. Harrison suffers from lack of screen time and doesn’t live up to the hype we once saw from his character. (7/10)solo

Carrie Fisher: Princess Leia Organa is the first person to try and rescue Han but only ends up becoming a prisoner herself before getting free and going on the mission to lower the shields. Carrie does a good job but you can’t help but wonder how she always gets captured. (7/10)leia

David Prowse/ James Earl Jones: Darth Vader wants to bring his son into the force but on his dark side, but if he doesn’t he is happy to kill him to stop the rebels taking over the empire. The final side of the Vadar chapter works very well showing how he became the dark side but how he could change. (8/10)vadar

Anthony Daniels/Kenny Baker: C-3PO & R2 D2 both come in useful as the mission continues, C3PO gets treated like a god by the ewoks while R2-D2 is as feisty as every. The pair give good performance as the lovable droids. (7/10)droids

Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca continues to be loyal to Han Solo willing to go on any mission with his long time friend. Peter continued to make Chewbacca a lovable character. (7/10)

Support Cast: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi has a large supporting cast than previously as we see the character our heroes have met before they turned up in the saga.

Director Review: Richard MarquandRichard gives us a fitting conclusion to the franchise that redefined the sci-fi genre. (9/10)

Action: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi has plenty of action involved from the rescue scene, to the final battle. (9/10)

Adventure: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi takes our heroes on the final chapter of their epic adventure. (9/10)

Fantasy: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi puts us into the world where our characters meet a string of different characters along their adventure. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi takes all the action into an intergalactic war. (9/10)

Settings: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi creates another group of original settings for our characters to enter as well as revisiting previous ones. (9/10)
Special Effects: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi has great special effects throughout until the very disappoint change in the recent version to change Anakin. (7/10)

Suggestion: Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a must watch especially if you have seen the original parts of the franchise. (Must Watch)

Best Part: Vadar v Luke

Worst Part: Including new Anakin.

Action Scene Of The Film: final battle.

Funniest Scene: Ewoks.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Final part of original saga before the prequel saga and upcoming sequels.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 4 Oscars.

Box Office: $309 Million

Budget: $32.5 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

Tagline: Return To A Galaxy… Far, Far Away

Overall: Brilliant finish to the greatest saga every put to film.

Rating 

95

Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery Monthly Movie Club – Escape from the Bronx (1983)

I would like to start out by saying this is the second of two reviews from the latest showing from Dr Death’s Cinema Surgery Monthly Movie Club and I would suggest fans to check out the site and come and join the club.

 logo

Director: Enzo G Castellari

Writer: Tito Capri, Enzo G Castellari (Screenplay) Tito Carpi (Story)

Starring: Mark Gregory, Henry Silva, Valeria D’Obici, Giancarlo Prete, Paol Malco, Ennio Girolami, Antonio Sabato

 

Plot: A rag-tag group of people must fight extermination squads amid their ruined city.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bonkers, Over the Top Fun Fest

 

Story: Escape From the Bronx starts by showing us how derelict the Bronx is meant to have become compared to the vastly revamped other districts in New York. When the development team want to knock down and relocate everyone from the Bronx they start executing anyone they find there, this leads to Trash’s (Gregory) parents getting killed. Trash becomes the crusader to lead a resistance against the cooperation and their mercenaries led by Wrangler (Silva).

What follows is a the resistance kidnapping the President of the cooperation and Wrangler pulling all his men into a war on the streets of the Bronx as they fight for their homes and everything they have.

Escape From the Bronx does come off for what the film is trying to do, we have the prejudice against the people living in the Bronx. We see Trash’s story turn into a revenge like story as he transforms into a lone warrior before becoming the leader of the resistance. The battle between the so called low-lives and businessmen does come off rather clichéd but does help build up the body count in the film. The film never really takes itself too seriously, which is a big plus point because it helps you enjoy how over the top everything is. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Mark Gregory: Trash is the lone warrior fighting for his home, his people and his family’s honour after his parents are murdered. He comes off like a mix of Rambo and the Warriors characters which all works for his wild diving between shooting the seemingly endless amounts of villains. Mark makes this an entertaining performance for all the fans to enjoy. (7/10)

 

Henry Silva: Floyd Wrangler is the psychopath left in charge of cleaning out the Bronx and by doing so we learn that he will enter into genocidal tactics to rid the streets of the resistance and anybody who stands in the way. Henry does give us a good psychopath character that really makes you think twice about what he will do next. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Escape From the Bronx has a huge supporting cast that literally could have been killed at any point in the film, all very clichéd but all work for the story.

 

Director Review: Enzo G Castellari – Enzo makes a greatly entertaining film that really can be enjoyed even if it is so bad it is enjoyable. (6/10)

 

Action: Escape From the Bronx has a body count that is three figures which helps with all of the over the top gun battles and one hit explosions. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Escape From the Bronx does look at the idea that one part of the city can pull it back from a future we don’t get to see how much the rest of the city has changed for my liking. (4/10)

Settings: Escape From the Bronx creates a warzone on the streets of the Bronx and with the storyline gets to show us the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ idea clearly. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Escape From the Bronx uses nearly explosions in every scene which clearly causes more damage than they should have. (8/10)

Suggestion: Escape From the Bronx is one for the fans of drunk action films where you can laugh along enjoying the film unfold. (Watch Drunk)

 

Best Part: Final battle is mad.

Worst Part: Don’t expect anything serious.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final battle.

Funniest Scene: The kids with his homemade grenades.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: This is the middle part of a trilogy.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Tagline: The first to die were the lucky ones!

 

Overall: This is why alcohol gets served in cinemas so you can enjoy a film that is so bad it is actually very enjoyable.

Rating 70

The Deadly Spawn (1983)

logoDirector: Douglas McKeown

Writer: Douglas McKeown (Screenplay) Ted A Bohus, John Dods, Douglas McKeown (Story)

Starring: Charles George Hildebrandt, Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter, Jean Tafler, Karen Tighe, James L Brewster, Elissa Neil, Ethel Michelson

 

Plot: Two campers in the New Jersey woods have their outdoor fun interrupted by the arrival of a meteorite crashing nearby. They go to investigate the crater, but are suddenly attacked and devoured by alien parasites who have hitched a ride to Earth. After finishing off the campers, the hungry space monsters head for a nearby town, where they make their domain in the basement of an old house soon begin polishing off one hapless inhabitant after another. Four young teenagers, plus one pre-teen boy, try to find a way to stop the angry space monsters before they reproduce and literally eat humanity.

 

Verdict: Classic Low Budget Horror

 

Story: The overall story is very basic, an alien creature crash lands in small town and tries to eat everyone it comes in connect with. A group of teenagers try to survive while a pre-teen plans to save the day. It really is all it needs to be and it works well. You have to remember this is a low budget film and tries to use shock value in its gore and effects. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Charles George Hildebrandt: Charles a young horror fan who likes to go around scaring people, but when a real horror starts to happen he takes things into his own hands to help his family and friends survive the terror. Solid performance from the young actor, whose role opened the door for some of the best characters in that role. (7/10)

 

Tom DeFranco, Richard Lee Porter, Jean Tafler, Karen Tighe: Pete, Frankie, Ellen and Kathy. I have put the group into one as they were all too similar and all spend most of the film running and screaming while the kid saves the day. (4/10)

 

Director Review: Douglas McKeown – Solid low budget horror film here showing you can make a shock value gore film horror film. (6/10)

 

Horror: Fills all the horror tick boxes here, with an unknown threat that keeps coming and uses plenty of gore. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Joins the we don’t know what could come from space idea. (7/10)

Settings: With most of the film being set in the house we do get the isolation, trapped feeling throughout. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Good practical effects used to create the creature and the kills. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the horror fans to try, you will see some references that modern films have used. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: The shock gore.

Worst Part: Poor supporting characters

Kill Of The Film: Bedroom scene

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: Yes

Similar Too: Slither

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $25,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

Tagline: They came to Earth to feed on human flesh!

 

Overall: Cheap Horror

Rating 55