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Posts Tagged ‘Kim Darby’

Better Off Dead

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

August 23, 1985

The success of movies like FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH and SIXTEEN CANDLES kicked off a wave of teen films in the ‘80s, but the ones that came out in the Summer of ’85 were not typical of the genre. Most of the season’s movies about high school kids involved some sort of fantastical element (BACK TO THE FUTURE, THE HEAVENLY KID, WEIRD SCIENCE, MY SCIENCE PROJECT – and I guess the younger GOONIES and EXPLORERS count too). The most straight ahead, down to earth teen movies were THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN and REAL GENIUS, neither of which were exactly standard issue.

And BETTER OFF DEAD is an even odder one. It has a pretty normal premise (high school kid gets depressed when his girlfriend dumps him for the captain of the ski team, thinks he can get her back by defeating said captain in a ski race), but it’s filtered through the distinct humor of first time writer/director Savage Steve Holland. Though I don’t personally hold it in nearly the same reverence, I think it has a little bit in common with PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE, in that it’s a comedy with its own distinct tone and deadpan presentation of absurdity brought to us by a rookie whose ignorance about how to make a normal movie works as a strength. On a more superficial level, it uses little bits of animation (including stop motion), and jokingly applies thriller film techniques to silly things (for example, using horror movie synths and atmosphere whenever the paperboy shows up looking for his $2). Burton and Holland are also the same age, both went to CalArts, and both worked as animators before becoming live action directors (in Holland’s case creating the famous “Whammy” animations for the game show Press Your Luck). (read the rest of this shit…)

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

tn_halloween6I’ve enjoyed rewatching this Jamie Lloyd trilogy of HALLOWEEN sequels. I never liked them, hadn’t watched them enough to remember them very well, but they look better on Blu-Ray and this is the most I’ve ever enjoyed parts RETURN and REVENGE.

CURSE, though, is a tough one. This is just not a good movie. But worth discussing anyway.

It starts unlike any HALLOWEEN movie. A young woman is about to give birth. There’s a medical staff pushing her on a bed down long hallways, beneath pipes, into some kind of boiler room type area, and eventually what doesn’t even look like a hospital. Now they’re in some place lit by candles and wall torches like the arena in BLOODSPORT, and she does not seem to be having her health care choices respected. This is actually supposed to be Michael’s niece Jamie Lloyd, but she’s now played by decent lookalike J.C. Brandy (WHAT LIES BENEATH). (read the rest of this shit…)