Monday, August 31, 2015

Remembering Wes Craven

 Remembering Wes Craven.

This morning was not a good one.

I awoke to several texts from friends of mine asking me if I had heard. Within seconds I looked it up on my phone and my heart sank.

Director Wes Craven had passed away today at the age of 76. He had lost his battle with cancer.

Beyond bummer.

Without going too much into detail, I had a horrible morning following the news. I had somehow cracked three of my ribs and tore cartilage in my chest causing myself to have to run up to the emergency room for tests. I was more than a little nervous since at the time when I first went in I had zero idea what was wrong with me. I was in pain, and yep it's my fucking birthday. 


Anywho, I was able to leave the ER (mostly likely with a huge bill coming in the mail for me within a month.) but relieved I was dying. Still, I was very bummed out over the news that one of my all time favorite directors had died. I remember having a talk with a friend of mine earlier last year about how much it truly sucks to loose somebody that was a huge part of your childhood. Now I'm not talking somebody personally (we've all suffered from that and it royally sucks.) but we were talking about actors and directors that were a huge part of our life's growing up by watching their work over the years. In fact my exact words were that when Tom Atkins passes away…nobody better go near me for at least a week. 

It's so strange since as of lately I've been on a huge Wes Craven kick. Just recently I bought Scream Factory's killer release of The People Under The Stairs (a film I remember renting constantly as a child at my local video store.) I had also been re-watching the Elm Street movies, mostly the original over and over again. Back at school I saw My Soul To Take and probably laughed the hardest I ever did seeing a movie with friends. I also had my personal favorite Deadly Friend constantly on a loop. I feel this is one of Craven's more underrated films of all time. 

The Scream movies were not just a huge part of my childhood but a massive part of my childhood. I still remember my sister telling me about this new movie where a girl gets caught in a doggy door and lifted up when the garage goes up. In total awe by this idea I told my mother and she rented me the first Scream. I remember being obsessed with this movie. My sister and I would re-watch this tape we had of the first movie when it taped it off TV (How 90's is that?) I remember how excited we got when we saw the teaser trailer for Scream 2 and how both of us went as Ghostface for Halloween that year.  In fact if memory serves me correct I was the only third grader with a killer Scream 2 T-shirt. Back in 97 and 2000 my mother took both me and my sister to the movies to see both sequels. These movies were a huge part of my life since my mother adored them and loved watching them. Very few movies have a powerful opening as the original Scream did with Drew Barrymore. 

As for the Nightmare On Elm Street movies, the original film was the main reason why I became fascinated with horror. I remember being absolutely terrified of Freddy. So badly in fact whenever I saw him on TV or saw somebody dressed up as him I would lose my shit. We had family friends of ours who had children that were around my age and my sister's. Their daughter loved the Elm Street movies so much she even had a birthday party theme off the films with a claw coming out of the cake. Always trying to get me to watch the movie whenever I same out, I would run out of their den screaming. It got so bad that my mother and grandmother tried to make light of my fear. They said Freddy was just pretend and the actor was a nice man. My mother was even cool enough to buy me the Nightmare On Elm Street board game to show me it was all pretend. 

Finally at age 8 or 9 I had enough. I had always been fascinated by horror movies and Halloween but didn't understand why I couldn't make it through this movie. So the next time we visited I asked if I could finally once and for all see the original movie with their son. The way I looked at it was if i watched the movie, I would know what to expect and no longer be scared. I still remember watching Tina's death on the edge of my seat and shouting at the Rod character to turn on the light! That's when it hit me. Turn on the light? What was I thinking? I wanted to see this horrible death better? What was the matter with me? Once the movie was finished I was changed forever. I knew what to expect and actually enjoyed the movie. In the following years I became obsessed with this movie as well as the sequels. I even dressed up as Freddy for Halloween. In fact as much as I love the Friday the 13th series I down right adore the Nightmare On Elm Street movies. Nothing as ever been so visual, surreal, and beautiful. I mean honestly think of how many memorable scenes are just in the original Elm Street? Wes Craven was able to shape a brilliant slasher series and give birth to one of the most memorable villains of all time for our generation. I collect anything I can find Elm Street wise, have met several cast members, LOVED Never Sleep Again, hope to someday get a tattoo based off my love of this series, enjoy the TV series, and even as a kid made a mini movie of the original film that I wish I could find for a few good laughs now. Basically I love these movies and always watch them.

I admit there are still some films of Craven's I still haven't watched but I love the original Last House On The Left (such a brutal movie.), Deadly Friend, Shocker, The People Under The Stairs, Wes Craven's New Nightmare, The Hills Have Eyes 2 (which I acutely enjoy), and of course the original Hills Have Eyes which is one of my all time favorites.

In fact I own a stunning mondo print of this film.

What is so strange is that this past Saturday I watched both The Hills Have Eyes and the original Nightmare On Elm Street. 

Am I bummed?


Wes seemed like such a fun and awesome guy with a brilliant mind that made so many amazing and brutal films. Shame I never had the pleasure to meet you but I'm sure you're in a better place and I certainly hope my mother is up in Heaven picking your brain and talking about movies with you.

RIP Wes. There will never be another one like you.

A successful Staystill Summer Sensation

 A successful Staystill Summer Sensation!

Today marks the last day of the epic 11 week event. Staystill Summer Sensation! Back in mid May I noticed I really noticed I had been falling behind with my blog. I started this blog way back in 2012 and  it personally is a complete riot to do. Some people blog for attention, others to become "internet famous". I on the other hand did this blog mostly for me. I post about movies and subjects I love, and like talking to other people who share the same passion and interest. For going on 4 years now I've had the pleasure of interviewing actors, writers, directors, and fellow fans. I've made up drinking games, lists, reviews, and even covered conventions. For this summer I wanted to pay tribute to this fun little blog of mine in trying to post nearly every day on movies that remind me or are set during the summer. And so Summer Sensation was born.

I am quite proud of how I kept up with this blog as busy as I've been this summer. I had tons of fun, and covered some truly awesome movies! So I want to give a massive thank you to everyone who has kept reading my posts, and followed this blog. I have big things planned for this fall so stay tuned!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Phantasm (1979)

 Phantasm (1979)

With Phantasm 5 hopefully on the verge of being released (someday!) I've been revising one of my all time favorite horror series. Phantasm is a strange, beautiful, surreal look of madness, death, and loss. I've written papers about these movies, met some of the cast, adore the films and soundtracks, and even got some killer sphere makeup done on me once! It's a goal of mine to someday get a killer sphere tattoo on me some day! Thanks to the wonderful company Mondo, some killer prints as well as the original soundtrack have been up for sale.

So next hot summer night when you don't have anything to do, start the epic Phantasm marathon, and later turn off the lights, get a little weird, and listen to what I believe is one of the most beautiful soundtracks of all time!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Unholy (1988)

 The Unholy (1988)

PLOT - A young priest is warned one night by a dying man that "she" is coming to kill him. Three years later while attempting to talk a sducidal man off a high rise hotel, he's thrown seventeen stories yet survives without so much as a broken bone. Being sent down to New Orleans to start a new parish, fixing up an old church were a priest was violently murdered years before, he begins receiving terrible visions that a demons may be coming for him. After meeting a young troubled girl, he learns that this demon visits priests and waits, temping them with sins of the flesh before killing them and stealing their souls.

Maximum Overdrive (1986)

 Maximum Overdrive (1986)

PLOT - A group of people are stranded at a 24 hour truck stop in Southern Florida when suddenly all vehicles, as well as electronic devices begin powering up on their own with one goal and one goal only. To destroy and kill as many people that get in the way.

LOWDOWN - Years ago when I was in the 6th grade, we had an assignment to dress up as somebody famous. Anyone we wanted. I ended up choosing Stephen King (I pretty much wore my glasses, had a hat on (…) and held a bunch of books of his. I do remember we had a small audience of people from the school watching us perform talking about who we were, and with my sassy comic timing, I cracked a joke about how Maximum Overdrive was the first movie I ever directed. Unfortunately it bombed. I then joked that we all knew the real reason why it bombed…it's because it was starring Emilio Estevez. (Boom! Drops the mic) 

Maximum Overdrive was King's directorial debut. Sadly it wasn't exactly what fans expected. In the 1980's, King was truly the master of horror. It seemed as if each year he was cranking out book after book and Hollywood was scooping up every single chance at transforming them to the sinker screen. With such classics as Carrie, Salem's Lot, The Shinning, Christine, Cujo, and The Dead Zone. Even his short stories were getting the treatment. King chose the perfect short story to dabble in making into a feature length film. From Night Shift, he took the brilliant short story Trucks and gave us a trailer that horror and King fans from all over the world were beyond excited about. I mean honestly…what could do wrong?

Well…a lot. 

King even said that in 1985 when they were filming the movie he was pretty fucked up on coke. In fact, he said one of the main reasons he'll never direct again is Maximum Overdrive and what a complete mess it was. After learning how coked up King was, it's pretty amusing to rematch this movie since it seriously is beyond crazy and balls to the wall. King made some truly odd choices with this film. One of the main ones having rock band AC/DC perform the entire soundtrack. He took a pretty serious short story, and made it a slap stick black comedy with over the top gore scenes (who doesn't forget the kids getting run over in the baseball friend? Or the coach getting killed my flying Pepsi cans?) There's now all devices that are powered up attacking instead of cars and trucks. We even have 
an electric knife attacking a waitress, a lawn mower, even arcade games. There's Pat Hingle with a rocket launcher, one of the film's most ugliest leading ladies, Emilio Estevez as a short hand cook, and the very ANNOYING Yeardley Smith who seriously shouts the name "Curtis!" ten million times. If you were to make a drinking game off her saying that damn name every time, you would be completely wasted.

It's truly a shame since this was taken from such a great short story, that has some a great original idea. It's almost like Night Of The Living Dead, with these complete strangers stranded at the truck stop with the trucks circling around them. Instead we got a silly, mess of a movie with explosions, car wrecks, cringe worthily moments, and action scenes that make absolutely no sense whatsoever. Now don't get we wrong, I don't hate this movie. It's a guilty pleasure of mine, and I do watch it whenever it's on. In fact I've never seen the 1997 made for TV remake Trucks as of yet. But if there was a movie that really needed a remake, I feel this movie would be the one. Stick with the short story and a more serious tone and you got yourself a winner.

I loved Estevez as the lead (even tho I learned Zach Galligan did a script reading with King for the lead. Man oh man, that would have been awesome!) I loved the setting of the truck stop, and of course the green goblin truck. It seriously was beyond awesome since that's supposed to be our main villain. I also really liked the music cue whenever something attacks. Still this movie fell short with stupid characters and a very rushed ending. King, I love you to the moon and back but Overdrive just didn't do it for me.

1 1/2 stars!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nightmares (1983)

 Nightmares (1983)

PLOT - A horror anthology of four tales based off urban legends. A young woman goes out late one night for a pack of cigarettes after hearing a news report of an escaped mental patient on the loose in her neighborhood. A teenage video game wiz becomes obsessed with trying to beat "The Bishop Of Battle." a deadly game that could actually cost him his life. A priest in the middle of nowhere who has just recently lost his faith is haunted by a truck that could actually contain satan himself. And lastly a perfect little family is terrorized by giant rats.

LOWDOWN - We all love a great horror anthology (Creepshow, Tales From The Crypt/Hood, Trick R Treat, ect.) In fact some of the best horror based TV shows are based off anthologies. Think if it wasn't for anthologies we wouldn't have such classics such as Tales from the dark side, and Tales from the crypt. One of the more underrated titles that sadly flew under the radar was in the form of Nightmares. Four stories long, it contains enough early 80's cheese to make it enjoyable, and can actually be pretty scary at times. Each four tales are completely different, but highly entraining. In fact I loved showing this movie to a roommate of mine back at college who informed me that one of the stars in the film from the first segment is the lead singer from the band Fear. In the Bishop Of Battle segment (starring a young Emilio Estevez) he actually listens on his walkman to the band Fear while he's playing the unbeatable video game.

The movie does suffer from some laughable moments, and dated effects but overall it's a great movie to watch with a large group after having a couple of beers. My favorite segment of course is Terror In Topanga. Great realistic story, with a pretty good jump scare at the end.

So go check out Nightmares and see which tale of terror is your favorite! 

3 stars!

Frogs (1972)

 Frogs (1972)

There are movies about killer bugs, worms, rats, cats, dogs, slugs, and yes…even Frogs. 

Frogs is a cheesy B horror movie that's actually pretty awesome. You can catch Frogs on Netflix for a good laugh as the perfect summer evening movie. Watch the trailer here!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

5 reasons why Hatchet III rocked.

 5 reasons why Hatchet III rocked.

What says the summer more than a trip down to Honey Island Swamp? I could honestly gush about how awesome all of the Hatchet movies are for hours. Instead I picked my personal favorite from the series, and a must to watch on a warm summer's night. Here we have the top five reasons why Hatchet III rocks!

1) The epic conclusion 
- There are tons of awesome third installments in a series (Dream Warriors, Friday the 13th part III, Season of the witch, Jaws 3…wait only me?) Anyways, it's a very rare thing when there's a trilogy and the third and final part is the best. With Hatchet III this is it. I'm sure Hatchet III won't be the last (all great slashers never honestly truly end when hey say they do) but for the time being in my eyes, this is the final act in what was a flawless and awesome gory slasher series. The third movie is basically the Aliens of the series. It's down right insane. More of an action movie than a horror movie, it really pulls out all the stops. You got explosions, gun fire, rocket launchers, and body parts flying everywhere. Adding more to the story of Victor, as well as his revenge bloodline Hatchet III honestly goes out with a bang.

2) The stars.
- This movie is jammed packed and I mean jammed pack full of horror actors such as Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Caroline Williams, Derek Mears, Sean Whalen, Sid Haig, and of course Zach Galligan.

3) Zach Galligan
- Speaking of Galligan, the main reason why my hype was huge on the making of this movie was the casting of Zach Galligan as the sheriff. In fact funny enough, the night before I saw this movie I won Zach's very own Waxwork II crew shirt at a silent auction held by Adam Green. At the bar Zach filled me in on his character (somehow I thought he was the villain.) and being able to see the movie just a few feet away from him made the biggest difference in the world. I'm a huge Galligan fan, and I found this to be a huge comeback for him. In fact I really hope he acts in more horror movies. His character at first seemed like the unlikeable asshole sheriff who doesn't believe Mary Beth. It isn't until you learn his backstory with his ex wife Amanda (a reporter) and hear him utter the heartbreaking line "That's my wife!" that you really really love him. Oh Galligan…

4) An awesome cameo
- Without spoiling too much, there's a cameo of a certain star from the original movie that got the biggest reaction ever when I first saw it when it premiered in Boston. It moments like this that truly make it full circle. In fact, being able to see this movie the way I did with two very good friends along side the cast and crew of the movie will forever and always be a favorite memory of mine.

5) The ending
- At 2013's Rock & Shock I told Adam Green that me and my two friends were the ones in the audience that went "Awwww!" when a certain character speaks. With a bone chilling ending, after dozens of likable characters are murdered, we finally see the ending we've all been waiting for. How exactly do you kill a repeating spirit? With the sound of a heartbeat slowing down, choppers, and our lead gasping for life the final shot has a lasting impression for sure.

So what were you're favorite moments out of this installment? 

Summer of Fear (1978)

 Summer of Fear (1978)

PLOT - A young girl's life is turned upside town after her teenage cousin moves into her family's ranch after her aunt and uncle died in a mysterious car accident. It isn't long before everyone is instantly taken by this mysterious and beautiful cousin and strange accidents and deaths begin to happen. Beginning to suspect that her cousin is dealing with witchcraft, she comes faced with one terrible question. Who exactly moved into her house?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bag of Bones - Dream casting

 Bag of Bones - Dream casting

Bag of Bones is one of my all time favorite Stephen King novels. I first read this book back in 2009 and it was one of the few novels I honestly couldn't put down. Never before would I just have to read a chapter before I went to bed. This book was a haunting story of love, loss, and grief. When I heard rumors of a mini series happening a few years later, directed by Mick Garris (A Stephen King favorite who was behind such gems as the epic The Stand, Sleepwalkers, Quicksliver Highway, Riding The Bullet, and Desperation. It seemed at the time that this haunting story was honestly in good hands.

Eh, sadly I was wrong.

I really don't have a huge issue with Bag Of Bones. Miniseries and films are never as good as the actual book. I really can't explain it. The miniseries was filmed beautifully, but the casting I feel was a huge reason why it was completely off.

Bag Of Bones is a great movie to watch around the summer since the mini series and novel takes place over the summer following a middle aged author who returns to his lake house up in Maine to try and get over a horrible bout of writer's block after losing his wife a few years before hand. Burnt out and hurting, he returns this small town and begins receiving messages from the other side warning him that a young woman and her daughter are in danger. Is it the spirit of a young African American jazz singer who was brutally murdered years ago, a curse that surrounds the families of the lake, or maybe his deceased wife?

Here are some of my choices of who I believe should have been casted.

Mike Noonan
-Zach Galligan

Jo Noonan
- Sarah Wayne Callies 

Mattie Devore 
- Margot Robbie 

And for the love of everything, cast a fucking younger child for Kyra! I HATED the fact they had a seven almost eight year old playing her. 


My Nightbreed collection. May the tribes of the moon embrace this. Chronicles

 My Nightbreed collection. May the tribes of the moon embrace this.

There's really not a lot about Nightbreed that reminds one of summer. In fact I always play this movie over and over again on a loop around October. Yet, with the final line up for my summer line ip, I decided to choose one of my all time favorite movies? Why? Because it's a movie I found myself watching quite a few times this summer, and it reminds of of ordering the SE edition of the blu-ray last summer in a complete Nightbreed haze.

So tonight I'm briefly posting about some items in my very humble Nightbreed collection. There are a few movies I really love collecting for (John Stockwell movies, Christine, Waxwork, A Nightmare On Elm Street, and Amityville 1992.) Nightbreed is always a riot to collect for since a good chunk of the original items are rare, and always a thrill to find. 

Here is what I got…

1) All original Nightbreed comics as well as the newest series. (A friend of mine bought me the entire original set in one big batch last Christmas. I slowly collected the rest of the comics myself overtime. Gotta admit, super let down with the ending to the new series.)
2) Clive Barker's Nightbreed chronicles. (book)
3) The making of Clive Barker's Nightbreed (book)
4) Two Nightbreed stand ups of the original poster.
5) HorrorHound and Toxic magazine with both Decker and Peloquin on the covers.
6) Two original Nightbreed VHS tapes.
7) Scream Factory's SE poster.
8) Scream Factory's SE blu-ray set. Limited edition. 
9) Nightbreed DVD.
10) Two Nightbreed shirts as well as Fright Rags awesome hoodie.
11) Mini Fangoria Nightbreed cards.
12) Of course my killer Peloquin tattoo. (Tattooed on me by the amazing Shane Murphy)
13) And last but not least my amazing 8X10 photo of Peloquin autographed by Oliver Parker himself! (Friend of mine from England tracked Oliver down. One of my favorite pieces of my collection!)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Weekend at Bernie's drinking game

 Weekend at Bernie's drinking game!

Ah, Labor Day Weekend is nearly upon us. It honestly feels just like yesterday summer had just begun. The best way to mourn the passing of the seasons is in the best way possible…

To drink!

Here are the rules to my Weekend at Bernie's drinking game!

Drink when…
Somebody says the name Bernie.
Somebody says Lomax
Anyone drinks
A gun is shown
Somebody says the word dead.
Somebody falls.

Take a shot when…
Bernie's body is moved.
Anyone says the word "weekend"
Somebody is killed.

Waterfall when…
Bernie goes water skiing!

First To Go (1998)

 First To Go (1998)

PLOT - A group of friends receive word that their friend Adam has finally taken the plunge and has gotten engaged. Believing he's making a horrible mistake, the team groups up to sabotage the weekend, and make Adam believe that his fiancé' isn't the perfect woman he thinks she is.

LOWDOWN - I decided as we slowly begin to unwind in the final week of my summer line up to choose a film that's a tad bit tamer than my usual picks. In honor of having seen Mr. Zach Galligan again this past weekend, I decided to go for a lighthearted choice with First To Go. A cute little romantic comedy that captures summer, vacations, warm weather, and of course Galligan sex in a hammock.

Sure this movie isn't for everyone, it's fluff but it's adorable fluff with a pretty impressive cast with actors such as Zach Galligan, Mark Hammon, and Corin Nemec.

I, for the weirdest unknown reason always double feature this movie with some truly strange movies. One night I think I did a double feature with this and Hellraiser. Go figure.

So if you need a cute adorable romance movie with Galligan, First To Go would be a great choice! In fact I plan on watching this movie with another awesome end of the summer island/vacation romance movie. To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday.

I'm going to save a review for this movie, but it is a total tear jerker, and makes a much better fit as a double feature with First To Go.

Not that there's anything wrong with Hellraiser.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child.

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child. 

In the summer of 1988, A Nightmare On Elm Street 4 The Dream Master was released world wide and became the most highly successful sequels of the series to date ruling the box office. With it's splashily colorful visual MTV outlook on the popular slasher series, there seemed as if Wes Craven's bastard son of 100 maniacs had massive staying power. With a TV series in the works, and massive amounts of merchandise it was only a matter of time before the next sequel was "given birth" to. 

A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 quickly went into production and right from the start the cast and crew knew something wasn't quite "right". When A Nightmare On Elm Street 5 The Dream Child was released it was met with disappointing box office results as well as poor reviews. The fun luster just didn't seem to be there for this latest entry and audiences as fans like all were on fence on if this was actually a good movie or not.

This was the last Elm Street movie made in the 1980's. I don't hate this movie, in fact a good number of my friends really like this sequel. The few deaths that are featured are beyond creative. In fact, Gretchen's death was one of the first Freddy kills I remember seeing as a child. It was awesome to see the characters of Alice and Dan return, and as always Robert stole the show as Freddy. I thought that director Stephen Hopkins did a great job capturing the gothic feel and history of Freddy and his mother Amanda. 

I'm not bashing this movie by any right. In fact I would do a whole post on what went wrong with Freddy's Dead The Final Nightmare. This movie really honestly could of been amazing. But sadly with brand new characters we barley got a chance to like before they were killed, poor cartoon like makeup on Freddy, and some serious subject matter about teen pregnancy I don't think anybody was ready to see, this movie came up short in almost every way. With the creative death scenes hacked to pieces, and a very shitty way to "kill" or stop Freddy, it's a hard act to follow after the amazing Dream Master which in my eyes features the best death of Freddy yet (thank you Steve Johnson.) 

(best death e-v-e-r)

I find myself watching The Dream Child a lot whenever I'm bored simply because it is a fun movie to watch. There are some great scenes, and truly awesome moments (Freddy on a skateboard anyone?) A fun movie to watch on a hot summer night, but still not not favorite sequel. I feel had the series stopped with part 4 and picked up with New Nightmare, these films would have rocked any other slasher series to date!

2 1/2 stars!

The New Kids (1985)

 The New Kids (1985)

PLOT - Two teenage siblings are orphaned when both of their parents die in a tragic car accident. Both decide to move down to Florida to go live with their uncle and help him with his road side amusement park. Trying to cope with their grief, as well as fitting in…it isn't long before they begin getting harassed by a violent gang of thugs from the area. One fateful night, both siblings are trapped inside the amusement park being stalked by the gang. With no choice, they have to team up together and learn how to survive the night and finally fight back once and for all.

LOWDOWN - I first heard about this movie a while back when I decided to see what other movies Sean Cunningham had directed. Cunningham is best known for directing the original Friday the 13th, which gave birth to a handful of popular sequels, and of course one of the most famous slasher killers of all time. In 1985 Sean decided to direct a different sort of horror. This one being a dark thriller featuring young and very talented actors such as James Spader, Lori Loughlin, Eric Stoltz, and Tom Atkins.

I first saw this movie was I had just graduated and moved back home. I remember I was staying at my sister's and I was down right floored over the idea of On Demand (what can I say, I'm very behind with the times) This was on the list of movies you could watch and instantly I knew I needed to see it since at the time the movie was currently out of print. The second the movie started and there was a zany montage of Tom Atkins and his two teenage children working out in slow motion I knew we had a winner.

The story really does get to you since you could totally see yourself in these poor teenager's shoes. Try to think, you had a happy well adjusted life and at such a young age (16/17) you loose both of you're parents, and are forced to move away from everything and everyone you ever knew. If those who have ever lost a parent or a close loved one at whatever age know even briefly what I'm talking about here. The beginning is a total downer, but sets the mood and pace for this film since both siblings know they can truly only count on each other. Besides distant family, there's nobody. Here they are with little to no money, forced to move away from their school and friends and go live legit in the middle of nowhere with their friendly but sorta weird uncle who does take advantage with making them live in a shack, take their money, and work them like dogs at his amusement park/gas station. Now I know some people would argue with me. The uncle wasn't meant to be a bad character. Just a fool with money with good intentions and bad plans. I on the other hand just didn't get that vibe from him. I looked at it as these poor siblings now orphaned, having been forced to move someplace new and try their hardest to earn their keep in helping fix up the run down amusement park. It really kills you seeing them like this, with really no place to turn.

What I love is the slow burn of this movie. How in the middle of Southern Florida there's a gang of thugs led by James Spader with bleach blond hair. I love me some Spader, and he was young as hell in this movie. He always plays the asshole best, and this is one of the many films from the 1980's where he goes it best. I always die whenever the lead goes into his bedroom and hog ties him when he's half naked. - No idea what I'm talking about…well go see this movie ASAP!

There's some truly uncomfortable moments in the movie as the gang keep harassing these two siblings at any cost. (Love the gas station scene between Lori and James) Finally the kids are pushed too far, and the final act takes completely in the amusement park. This was a great setting for the last park, and there's some scenes that are down right amazing (blood splashing on one of the thugs and the dog attacking.) With lots of action, this movie is a fun movie to watch with it's likable characters, touching story, and of course killer ending at the park. Sure the montages are a little cheesy, but this movie really and truly is a treat to watch. In fact I was lucky enough a few years back to pick this movie up on tape! (Also am I the only one that thinks the brother looks just like a cross between Damon Martin and John Stockwell?) Maybe it's just me.

Sure it's no Friday the 13th, but it makes you remember not all horror movies are about ghosts, zombies, or even killers. This horror takes place with regular people when they are pushed too far.

3 stars!

Ps. If anyone can spot John D LeMay as the "redneck" in the crowd scenes please show me. I can't spot him for the life of me!