Apparently in my world, the last decade or so has not occurred. 1986! Nineteen eighty effing six! It doesn't seem possible that it was 1986 25 years ago- especially since I am only 23 myself- but I assure you...I have consulted my science calculator and it is most certainly the case.
Then I got a bit whiny. 1986? No good movies came out in 1986. Nothing good whatsoever came out of 1986! The mid-eighties were a cultural wasteland! They were nothing but a big, dark pit filled with Glass Tiger cassettes, snap bracelets, and Z Cavaricci pants. Why, it's shudder-inducing, I tells ya!
This line of thinking was interrupted by yet another wallop from my brain- "1986 was actually a damn good year for horror, you dolt. Now where's that ice cream?" My brain is right about that, mostly. Take my hand, won't you, and let's travel back a whopping 25 years to 1986!
Okay, the sequels that hit in '86 were very comme ci, comme ça if you know what I mean. Some are classics of cinema- such as Aliens, in which one Ellen Ripley became a bona fide example of the elusive "strong female character" and my burning dislike of Paul Reiser was born.
Then other sequels...well, the Friday the 13th series pooped out its sixth entry, Jason Lives, a film that is more beloved than it deserves simply because it had the good sense to be released after the dreadful Part V: A New Beginning. I cannot speak knowledgeably on Lamberto Bava's Demons 2, but someday I hope to rectify that. That's right, someday! Someday I'll see it, I just know I will! Verily, I brought a big bag of hope to this blog post.
Poltergeist II is...well, it's there and it's worth a watch, not the least reason why is the tequila worm scene (if you haven't seen it, I'll leave that up to your imagination). 1986 also brought us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which is not like the first one, I'll give it that. Psycho 3 brought about a bit of WTF-ery with its "Oh, wait...is this a black comedy?" approach, and the less said about Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf, the better...but Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is another matter entirely. Friends, it's always Garbage Day in my heart.
While the films of Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers would be churned out for years to come, by 1986 the slasher film was in its death throes and original films within the genre were scarce. Mind you, if the so bad I forgot I even saw it 1986 flick Terror at Tenkiller is any indication, the demise of the slasher was probably a good thing. On the other hand, April Fools Day also hit in '86, and we all know how much I love that movie. I SAID WE ALL KNOW.
Ahem. Oh yeah, and remember that time I made a whole bunch of you watch Slaughter High for Film Club? That was fun. Shut up, Slaughter High is the best movie ever even though it stinks. I mean, "C'mon you guys, let's par-deeeeeeee!"...how can you not want to marry it?
I'm not sure why, but sci-fi/horror movies were big, big, big in 1986. I mentioned Aliens, but let's not forget David Cronenberg's The Fly, which holds up remarkably well despite the dueling fluff-mullets of Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis. In the words of Pauline Kael, "That shit be classic, yo." Besides, I'm pretty sure that disliking Geena Davis in any capacity will put you on Homeland Security's radar as probably a terrorist.
Stuart Gordon rode the freaky train to H.P. LovecraftTown (I don't know what that means) with From Beyond, which scarred my young brain in several capacities. Critters did their thing in Critters, Martian invaders invaded in Invaders from Mars (from Tobe Hooper!). There were wicked huge gorillas running amok in Link and King Kong Lives (which, the particularly astute among you may notice is also a sequel). And then there was Night of the Creeps. Thrill me, indeed.
More, more, more
Look, I have no idea if Wes Craven's Deadly Friend is good, bad, neither, or somewhere in between. I have not seen it since I saw it 50,000,000 times when it came out and all I really remember is this: Kristy Swanson getting pushed down the stairs by her father was some high fucking tragedy, and Anne Ramsey gets her head blowed up real good by a high-speed basketball. Other than that? I have no idea. Those memories themselves may be erroneous! I suppose I could watch it again to see, but I'd almost rather have it live in my memories, only brought to the fore about when someone says "Have you seen Deadly Friend?", to which I will emphatically reply "I LOVE THAT MOVIE!" even though that should probably be in the past tense. Loved. I loved that movie.
Man, The Hitcher, amiright? Good, good stuff. And that scene. You know the one. This one, which also qualified as high tragedy to my young mind:
I can't believe I never really thought about it much before my recent math...problem, but y'all, 1986! It gave us gold, it gave us crap. Witchboard, House, Gothic (I frickin' hate Gothic. I've tried and I've tried, and I just do not like it. Is it me? I feel like that movie is beloved, at least on a cult level, though the reasons for this obviously escape me), Maximum Overdrive (!!!), Trick or Treat, Troll...those really were the days and this journey down Memory Lane sure was fun. Next up, I'll celebrate the 5th anniversary of 1978!