The 80s hits (and misses) just keep going Blu thanks to all the indie companies digging them out of the vaults, so it’s time to take on three I just added to my collection: a giallo, a giant snake film, and a zom-mom flick.
Lamberto Bava approaches horror in the same way his father and other Italian greats did in the 80s, so if you’re a fan of giallos and Euro horror of the era and haven’t seen this one yet, it will give you a little fix even if it isn’t a masterpiece.
A former model who owns a magazine is regularly spied on by her crazy, wheelchair-bound neighbor. She’s also in a bitch battle of Melrose Place proportions with a woman who wants to buy the magazine from her. And those are just two of the numerous possible killers in this whodunit.
It all revolves around the modeling world, for as female victims are killed in various ways (pitchfork, bee attack, etc.), the killer takes photos of the disfigured bodies in front of old modeling pics of the leading lady and sends them her way.
As a result, her magazine starts selling better!
There are plenty of neon-drenched 80s horror moments, chases, body reveals, T & A, and even a disembodied, childish voice terrorizing the leading lady, but the film is rather slow nonetheless. The very first kill has a completely inexplicable killer POV seeing the victim with the cyclops face on the cover art of the Blu-ray. I have no idea what it means, but it promises something bigger and freakier than what we get.
And in a really odd turn…
**SPOILER** the killer wears a wig at the very end when finally revealed, but swears he’s not a transvestite.
The director of Killer Party brings us a giant snake flick years before Anaconda spawned a franchise.
This silly movie features Oliver Reed as a hunter who was bitten by the giant snake in the jungle and is now telepathically connected to it. So he has it captured and brought to a college where Peter Fonda studies ESP.
Meanwhile, there’s a cult that wants possession of the snake to worship as their god, so they send their men to the lab to steal it.
Nothing too exciting happens for much of this film, and snake attacks are relegated to blue-tinted snake POV, then all of a sudden the snake escapes…and heads right to a sorority house to give us a good look at it….and a naked chick in the shower.
It’s as if the movie realized it’s the fricking 80s and shit needs to be fun, gory, and cheesy. Best sequence in the whole film, seconded only by a scene of a guy’s face mutating after he gets bit.
Ah, practical effects. Those were the days.
FLESH-EATING MOTHERS (1988)
This is my kind of 80s direct-to-video horror. It doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is—a low budget, campy flick about teens being terrified by their mothers, who have become raving mad cannibals. Mombies! EEK!
This is one of those productions that feels like it could have cast kids and parents you went to school with in the 1980s then filmed right in your town. No Hollywood “middle class” houses in this one. Just classic white trash suburbia.
The kids are fun enough, but the women playing the mad mothers absolutely steal the show. They totally go for it, and with the bonus of the psychotic looking makeup, they are as freaky as they are funny.
The music, both score and pop tunes, is totally 80s, the gore is great, the lighting is as 80s as it get, and the cheese factor is top-notch. Or should I say top-nacho?
As goofy as it all is, it actually takes on themes of sleazy husbands and the bond between children and their mothers. Just be warned, there’s an over-the-top scene of two moms having a cat fight. As in…they fight for a cat. It doesn’t turn out well for the cat.