Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Graduation Day (1981)

 Graduation Day (1981)

PLOT - High-school track star Laura suffers a fatal heart attack one day competing in a 30-second timed race in front of the entire school after being pushed by her coach and fellow peers. Two months later, Laura's older sister is taking leave from the Navy to attend what would have been her sister's high school graduation. Here an unseen killer lurks and begins murdering all of the other members of the track team in bloody violent ways.

LOWDOWN - I remember first hearing about Graduation Day when I first viewed the ultimate slasher Going To Pieces - The rise and fall of slasher films. Several clips from this film were featured, as well as it being mentioned as being one of the MANY slashers that followed in Halloween's and Friday the 13th's fashion in having a whole pile of slashers made in the early 80's cashing in on the success of these movies and taking place on holidays. There was Happy Birthday To Me, Silent Night Deadly Night, My Bloody Valentine, ect. Some were good, others pretty bad. Still, Graduation Day was a perfect example of studios wanting to take a holiday or life event, have a bunch of teens, an unseen killer, and plenty of bloody gory deaths to follow. Made by Troma, this was actually a pretty decent movie. Sure it was low budget, and very cheesy, but much like the deeply disturbing Mother's day (made by Troma as well) it had a solid director, and a half-way decent script to actually be made into something pretty memorable. I remember seeing clips of this, and instantly becoming curious. I loved the idea of the killer using a stop-watch, and the fact they were killing off members of the same track team in basically all sports related ways. (The football with the spear, the pole-vault with the spikes, the fencing sword, ect) A few years later a local book-store chain that also sold CDs and movies had the ability to order in out of print DVDs. Here I discovered they were able to order Graduation Day for me, and so I got it one June and had the pleasure of watching with my late mother who was a massive slasher fan. I still remember watching this movie with her and cracking up  at the killer's reveal as well as something they had hidden in their bedroom. The movie is laughable, but actually a pretty decent slasher. It doesn't really drag anywhere, the kills are all memorable, and the killer's motive is really creepy. Plus the soundtrack is really catchy. The opening sets the tone, and leaves you feeling really uneasy after Laura collapses and her heartbroken boyfriend races to her side, holding her lifeless body as everyone watches.

I really dug the whole storyline of how the coach (played by the late Christopher George who also appeared in the super bloody slasher Pieces) and how his pride and joy are his athletes, but he's very hard on them, pushing them basically to the limit and then some. In fact you see a perfect example of this when the coach and a photographer watch one of the girls do her routine on the gym. It's beautifully shot as the girl does her gymnastics on the poles as peaceful music plays and the coach watches like a proud father. Still, as soon as she messes up he loses it, making even the photographer uncomfortable. Earlier when the kids get their team photographed for the yearbook, the coach doesn't care when one of the members is missing (This girl was killed jogging with her giant headphones on. The killer uses the stop-watch, timing it to 30 seconds, before slitting her throat. This kill is actually filmed really cool) But when she doesn't show up, he decides to have the photo taken anyways. Here one of the teens remark if any of them will last the season at the rate they are going with the coach pushing them. Clearly this strikes a nerve with the coach who tells him he's out of line. The character of the coach is actually really interesting. When he speaks to Laura's sister later, he seems angry remarking that he's been labeled as murder for what happened with pushing Laura the day of the race resulting in her heart attack. 

Laura's sister also plays not only a suspect in the murders, but a pretty interesting character since you see her backstory with her family goes a little deeper than your typical slasher film. Clearly she's a tough woman, from the military, and devastated over her younger sister's passing. She's staying with her mother and step-father for the graduation, and we see there's tension with her step-father who makes it very clear he doesn't like her, and loved Laura as if she was his own. We see the wife is timid, and scared of her husband, and the few brief moments we see her at home, it shows the aftermath of Laura's death affected so many people, having been a sweet, popular athlete, and star student. Another character left devastated is her boyfriend, who has to try and pick up the pieces after witnessing the love of his life die before his very own eyes. 

Not only is it a murder mystery with plenty of suspects, it's actually a pretty good horror movie with some truly scary moments. Without spoiling anything, the kills are actually pretty creative. I LOVED the pole vaulting death, and of course the school dance/roller-skating party featuring Linnea Quigley in a early role of hers that often gets forgotten. Of course she supplies plenty of nudity, but her death/chase scene intercut with the dance is really, really cool!

Laura figure I made a few years back. Ain't she pretty?

Graduation Day is filled with super funny moments. (The seedy music teacher), Vanna White in an early role of hers as a popular girl, the bickering principle with his assistant, and the teens all jamming out singing about the graduation day blues. This is a perfect early 80's slasher, with cool kills, a really great plot, and one HELL of a reveal at the end. Perfect to add to any collection, and a must to watch around this time of year!

3 1/2 stars!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Ultimate summer movie marathon!

 Ultimate summer movie marathon!

With our forth annual Sensational Summer coming up soon, I decided to whip up a list of movies to binge watch as the weather gets warmer, and vacation vibes are at an all time high! I give you, Staystillreviews' ultimate summer movie marathon!

Day 1
Secret Admirer
My Science Project 
Summer School
Pee Wee's Big Adventure 
Ghoulies II
The Funhouse 
House On Sorority Row
Graduation Day
The Sandlot
Blood Beach 

Day 2
Jaws 2
Jaws 3
Jaws The Revenge
Terror At Ten Killer
Slumber Party Massacre 
Slumber Party Massacre 2
Slumber Party Massacre 3
The Last Slumber Party

Day 3
Twisted Nightmare
Friday the 13th 
Friday the 13th part 2
Friday the 13th part 3
Friday the 13th part 4 The Final Chapter 
Friday the 13th part 5 A New Beginning 
Summer Camp Nightmare 
Return Of The Living Dead 
The Burning
Day Of The Dead

3 cheers to summer fun!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Burbs themed cocktails!!!

 The Burbs themed cocktails!!!

It's Memorial Day weekend which means one thing. 

Movie marathon over at Staystillreviews!!! Wanting the perfect "vacation" movie, I decided to pop in Joe Dante's 1989 Tom Hanks' cult classic The Burbs. In honor of viewing this gem, I'm grilling out some BBQ, and shaking up some special cocktails all based off this zany black comedy.

The Walter.
Simple syrup
Purple sugar or purple sprinkles
1 1/2 part vodka
1 part blue curaƧao 
1 part sweet and sour mix
1 part grenadine
1 part cranberry juice
1 cup of ice

Those Damn brownies.
1 part Bailey's. 
1 part creme de menthe
1 part creme de cacao 
1 part vodka
1/2 cup of milk. 
1 cup of ice
Mint and chocolate shavings for garnish. 

The Satan is good, Satan is our pal.
1 1/2 oz of gin
2 teaspoons of sweet vermouth
1 teaspoon of black sambuca 

The pizza dude!
 1 1/2 oz. Elit 
1 1/2 dry red wine
1/2 St. George spiced pear liqueur 
1/4 oz. maple syrup
1/2 lemon juice 
1 oz. seltzer
1 sliced apple thin. 


Friday, May 25, 2018

Sensational summer giveaway!!!

 Sensational summer giveaway!!!

Over here at Staytillreviews we're throwing a killer summer themed giveaway to kick off our forth annual Sensation Summer!!! Wanting to capture warm summer vibes, cool drinks, awesome movies, and killer tunes, we whipped up this giveaway on IG to get into the perfect summer state of mind! The rules are simple, all you gotta do is follow us on IG (username - Staystillreviews) and repost the image above. The winner will be drawn on the first!!!

The package includes...

Beach Bodies - DVD 6-pack which includes such summer themed films like...Private Resort, Hardbodies, Lovelines, Side Out, Spring Break, and Calendar Girl!

Summer School DVD.

An original R.L Stine Say Cheese And Die Goosebumps book.

Frightmare blu-ray

Jaws-esome anti-bactieria soap.

Killer sunglasses from Chip the movie loving kid!

And some killer awesome surprises!!! 

Stay tuned for more killer summer updates as well as the winner being announced!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Ultimate haunted house marathon!!!

 Ultimate haunted house marathon!!!

To celebrate the fact I'm booking my tickets this summer to visit the world famous Winchester Mystery House, I decided to have the "Ultimate haunted house marathon." over here at Staystillreviews. Let's kick things off and get spooky!

First up...

The Amityville Horror 79
- A family only lasts 28 days after moving into a massive house in Long Island. The year before the pervious owner went on a rampage murdering his entire family. Here, the new family experience terrifying unexplained occurrences that drive them to run.

Burnt Offerings 
- A couple, their young son, and elderly aunt decide to rent out a beautiful mansion for the summer for an unheard of deal. The only condition from the owners who will be away on holiday is that they look after their mother who never leaves her room on the third floor. The instructions are simple. Bring her a tray of food in her parlor three times a day, that's it. The wife begins to become nervous when she notices many of the meals go uneaten, as well as the house slowly repairing and fixing itself, making it as if it has a life of it's own.

Amityville II The Possession 
- The prequel of the original owners of the Amityville house a year before the first movie took place. Here we see the evil spirts take over the mind and body of the teenage son, driving him on a blood thirty  rampage where he murders his entire family one stormy night.

Legend Of Hell House 
- A group of psychics are brought into a haunted mansion where the spirits of a killer and his victims still exist. 

Amityville 3D
- The third entry in the Amityville series shows a writer moving into the famous house and how several weeks later his only daughter dies in a tragic accident on the property. Here his ex-wife refuses to believe their daughter is really gone. Bringing in a group of investigators, they try to figure out if this iconic house really is a gateway to Hell.

- A middle class family has their entire life turned upside down when suddenly their young five year old daughter Carol Ann vanishes, only to be discovered to be "trapped" in limbo in the afterlife between both worlds. With investigators, and psychics on their side, they do everything they can to bring Carol Ann back, as well as trying to figure out the hidden secret of why this is happening in the neighborhood?

Amityville 4 The Evil Escapes 
- A lamp taken from the famous haunted house is shipped across the country to an older woman, her recently widowed daughter, and children. Here the lamp begins to take over the mind of the youngest daughter, as well as proving the evil inside it can spread like a virus all over this new home.

Don't Go To Sleep
- A couple after recently losing their young daughter decide to start over and move into a beautiful new home. Here their surviving daughter begins to have nightmares and visions of her dead sister who claims that she wants her to do exactly as she says so they can be together forever.

Amityville The Curse
- A group of couples decide to team up and flip a house by fixing it up in Long Island. Little do they know the evil that surrounds the town of Amtiyville is much more powerful than they thought.

- A writer who's son vanished the year before, decides to try and start over by moving into his aunt's house who just recently killed herself. Wanting to get his life back together by starting a new novel based off his time at war. Here he begins to have vivid visions, nightmares, and unexplained creatures, demons, monsters stalking him. Is it in his mind? Or is this house the gateway to different worlds?

Amityville 1992 It's About Time
- A developer brings home a beautiful antique clock from Amityville, not knowing the evil it holds. Here the clock starts taking over the developer's mind, as well as his teenage daughter. Here it's up to his son, and ex-girlfriend to figure out the mystery behind this killer clock before it's too late. 

Rose Red 
- A group of psychics are brought in one Memorial Day Weekend to prove that one of the most famous haunted houses in America is actually haunted before it's torn down that summer. Here the group discover that their powers have awoken the spirits that have laid sleeping and ready for revenge. 

Amityville The New Generation
- A young artist is given a mirror from the famous Amityville house, not knowing his true connection of the original murders or the danger he's about to put his neighbors and friends into.

The Shinning 
- A recovering alcoholic writer, his wife, and son who has powerful psychic abilities move into a massive mountain side hotel for the winter to work as the caretakers. Here, the young son sees that this hotel has a dark history, and the spirits within are Hell bent on taking over his father, driving him to madness. 

House II
- A young man inherits a beautiful home which is soon discovered to be a gateway to different wonderful worlds. 

Amityville Dollhouse 
- A family that's just moved into a new home become terrorized when the young daughter receives a dollhouse based off the original Amityville house. Here the dollhouse proves to be yet another tool used in evil. 

The Horror Show 
- A crazed psychopath returns from the grave after being sent to the chair and sets his sights on the man who caught him as well as his innocent family.

House 4
- A direct sequel to the original film, shows the writer now re-married with a young daughter. When he dies in a tragic car accident, his family decides to take over his family's old home by fixing it up despite his seedy brother coming around wanting to buy the property from underneath them. Here the wife discovers all isn't what it seems, wondering if there are evil spirts after her, or her husband trying to warn her. 

- Based off actual events of the world famous Winchester Mystery House. In 1906 a doctor with a dark past is sent to the famous house to meet with it's owner Sarah Winchester to prove if she's of sound mind. Here he discovers that the house is in fact living up to it's nickname. "The house that spirits built." 

So there we have! One HELL of a haunted house marthon! Might take a couple of days to watch all of these gems, but totally worth it! So crack open a few beers, pop some popcorn, and get ready to get spooky!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Day of the dead drinking game!

 Day of the dead drinking game!

Summer is coming up fast which means only one thing.

Watching Day Of The Dead on a constant loop.

Day Of The Dead has been a favorite of mine ever since I was a kid. I adore George A Romero's films, and as much as I adore Dawn, Day has always had my heart. In fact, I re-discovered my love for this film last summer and constantly watched it and wrote about it. This film in my eyes was the true final chapter in Romero's Dead films. It was a perfect way to close up the trilogy, and really featured the best music, characters, effects, and storyline. Despite the horrible remakes, Day will forever and always be at the top of it's game and after Romero's death last summer, will forever be a true example of George's passion in filmmaking. To honor the warmer weather or as John has quoted "Soaking up some sunshine!" Here is a killer drinking game you can play knocking back some beers, or sipping on a flask like McDermott!

Drink when...
A zombie is featured (get ready to get white girl wasted)
A gun is fired.
Someone swears.
A zombie is killed.
A human is killed. 
Someone screams.

Take a shot when...
The chopper flies.
Rhodes fires a gun.
Bub fires a gun.
Sarah has a dream.

Waterfall when...
Rhodes is torn apart.
The elevator lowers or lifts up.

Bottoms up!!!

5 Roles "Chip" could have ruled past and present!!! Part 2

5 Roles "Chip" could have ruled past and present!!! Part 2
This is the second half of a post I whipped up a month or so ago. Damon Martin aka Chip our very own mascot had a brief but truly awesome film career in the 80's and 90's. Besides television work, he appeared in such films as Pee Wee's Big Adventure (where he played Chip), Ghoulies II, Amityville 1992, Sky High, and just recently Pee Wee's Big Holiday. Here are several roles I truly believe Chip would have ruled at playing past and present!!!

5) Randy - Valley Girl
- I have nothing against legendary Nic Cage, but I always felt the casting was a little "off" with him as Randy, the punk rocker from the city in the cult classic Valley Girl. He just didn't pull off playing a teenager that well. Still, I always thought Damon would have played Randy perfectly in 1983/84. He would have looked the right age, and deck him out with the right wardrobe, spike up the hair and bang you got a pretty awesome character. Still, I always felt Damon could have pulled off the best friend Fred as well. I mean he was the same height!

4) Detective Kenny Solomon - The Bone Collector.
- Kenny is the one all the way in the back. I just re-visited the 1999 thriller The Bone Collector for the first time in years. I saw it's flaws, but saw it's strengths as well and actually want to check out the novel now. One minor supporting character I thought Damon could have played Detective Solomon very well. Damon had quit acting in the 90's after getting a record deal with his band Naked which had two songs that hit #1 on the billboards, as well as being featured on the television show Buffy. He then went on to starting a record company, as well as a producer. The awesome thing about Damon was he always looked much younger than he really was. He would have been the perfect age, and I think would have been awesome to see him come back to acting in this sleeper hit.

3) Quicksilver - X-Men films.
- I really dug the X-men prequels (well at least the first two) I found Evan Peters to do a pretty great job playing such an iconic character who was a complete riot. I do think that the third film it kinda lost it's luster, but last year I posted my dream cast had the X-men movies been made in the mid 80's. Damon as a teenager would have rocked playing Quicksilver. I mean Chip with silver hair! Amazing!!!

2) Billy - Candyman
- This was such a minor role, but as much as I love me some Ted Raimi, seeing Damon play this brief role would have been a nice little nod due to his past film credits in other iconic horror movies. I really think Damon could have been the king of 90's horror movies!

1) Jim - The Hitcher.
- The original Hitcher is one of my all time favorite movies. C. Thomas Howell was legendary in this role and in my eyes one of the last truly amazing films of his career as a young man.  Damon I think would of have been amazing playing Jim, the unlucky kid who pulls over and offers the wrong man a ride.

In the end of the day Damon still played some truly awesome roles in the 80's and 90's. Today he's a famous mural artist supporting animal rights and has work featured all over the world. He briefly came out of his acting retirement to do a cameo in Pee Wee's Big Holiday. He's also worked with PETA. 

AND... he's also our legendary mascot of Staystillreviews!!! 3 cheers to Chip!