Obscure films your video store may not have carried…but there are plenty of recognizable actors and veteran horror directors!
As the eighties ran out of ideas for horror films, Greydon Clark, who brought us Satan’s Cheerleaders in the 1970s, came up with a great one; radiation kitty on a mob yacht!
That pretty much describes Uninvited. Some 80s teens (not just teens, 80s teens—there’s a big difference) weasel their way onboard a mobster’s yacht, and things get nasty between his henchmen and the kids just before they discover a radiation kitty is on board! When this cat gets pissed, some sort of rat or mutant cat crawls out of its mouth (so sad that I can’t tell the difference between a normal rat and a mutant cat)! And it’s hungry for human flesh.
Clu Gulager continues his 80s horror streak that began with movies like The Initiation, Elm Street 2, and Return of the Living Dead, and a young Rob Estes makes his horror debut. Plus, there’s a dance party montage. Babes in bikinis. Cute young guys. Plenty of sex breaks. And finally, a lot of wrestling with a radiation kitty puppet being tossed at actors from off screen.
But I have two favorite moments in this piece of crap. First, when radiation kitty takes advantage of a kid who can’t feel his arm. Second is the best scene EVER—when the final guy and girl get away on a lifeboat and radiation kitty puppet leaps onboard…more than once. I was actually laughing out loud.
Wes Craven went from creating Freddy Krueger to directing the guy from Xanadu in a made-for-TV movie. Michael Beck plays a man whose frozen body is brought back to life. We also have Beatrice Straight of Poltergeist as his mother, Paul Sorvino as a reverend who thinks the whole thing is an abomination, and scream queen Jill Schoelen.
None of that helps Chiller. It’s a whole lot of blah blah blah, Michael Beck acting all sinister, and eventually, him having a battle with Paul Sorvino, who doesn’t stand a chance against Michael’s car. Soon after, Michael attacks Jill, Beatrice saves her, and then some shit happens involving Beatrice luring Michael into a walk-in freezer.
So let me rephrase my first sentence. Wes Craven went from creating Freddy Krueger to directing the guy from Xanadu as a frozen guy with demon eyes.
THE NEW KIDS (1985)
Sean S. Cunningham, the man who brought us Friday the 13th, gives us his take on Straw Dogs—with a bunch of 80s teens including Lori Loughlin, Eric Stoltz, and James Spader! Plus, horror icon Tom Atkins appears in the film for about two minutes.
Army brats Lori and her physically fit brother go to live with their aunt and uncle to help them run their gas station and set up their new amusement park. Soon, asshole James Spader (isn’t he always?) and his redneck buddies start harassing her for a date. They don’t like it when she turns them down—and so the torment of her family begins.
The over-the-top redneck acting of the gang is a little annoying, but The New Kids is definitely a fast-paced thriller, and Lori’s brother is no slouch; he fights back good and hard as the movie progresses. Speaking of good and hard, there are some “interesting” scenes, including the brother kidnapping and tying up James Spader while he’s in his undies.
James Spader in….Cruising?
Then there’s a scene in which the brother does a somersault on a mat so that his crotch and the impossible-to-ignore bulge in his short 80s shorts is right in the camera’s face! The 80s were so homoerotic.
Everybody cut Footloose….
The final confrontation, which stems from everyone ending up at the same cheesy 80s dance, gets pretty damn brutal for an 80s teen flick, with Lori and her brother playing a game of cat and mouse with the rednecks at the amusement park. Just be warned that a pit bull is portrayed with every possible negative stereotype (he’s the pet of the rednecks), plus there’s also some mean treatment of the dog! It’s the only downside to this awesomely 80s flick.