Well kids, it’s time for your old pal the Videostore guy tell you a magical tale of the past. Accepting the fact that with age comes the responsibility of telling the younger generation of a by gone era this year marks the 30th anniversary of 1990…obviously. Now, when it comes to cinema 1989 was a landmark year for sure and a brilliant way to end a decade that many in genre filmmaking would consider the greatest. But as fan of horror and thriller movies the year 1990 had some sweet gems of it’s own and I wanna go take a look back at a few of them.

Now before one jumps into rambling about that year in movies one must be prepared. For me it’s a my lucky writing socks and ofcourse a tasty beverage. With a few sips I’m taken back to a time when I was young, there was no internet, MC Hammer was on top of the world, and the Edmonton Oilers won their 5th Stanley Cup. Awww….good times, good times…

Now a lot of random stuff came out in the year 1990 but I’m gonna focus on the films that made 13/14 year old me continue to fall in love with horror movies as a new decade came crashing upon us. One way or another the films of that year worked their magic on me and perhaps for a younger generation you can go back and see if the magic was real or maybe I am just looking at these films through nostalgic glasses. Pass the whiskey and let’s get started.

Now a lot of random stuff came out in the year 1990 but I’m gonna focus on the films that made 13/14 year old me continue to fall in love with horror movies as a new decade came crashing upon us. One way or another the films of that year worked their magic on me and perhaps for a younger generation you can go back and see if the magic was real or maybe I am just looking at these films through nostalgic glasses. Pass the whiskey and let’s get started.

What makes this movie work is not just the monsters themselves which were bad ass and still being built with practical FX but the chemistry with the actors. Watching Bacon and Ward deal with the insane situation was almost similar to JAWS with a bit more humour. The thing both movies have in common is without characters you care about they would be forgettable regardless how many crazy gore gags and FX you throw at us. No, Tremors works because of Valentine and Earl trying to get out of their deadend jobs in their deadend town but now are stuck trying to save the entire population from these prehistoric beasts.

And if those two were not enough everyone in the audience fell in love with Burt and Heather Gummer. The gun totting power couple added another dimension of insane fun and showed young me the power of an “Elephant Gun”. Infact Michael Gross’ Burt Gummer character would carry on in the following 5 sequels. Sadly the biggest crime was the failed TV series reboot with Kevin Bacon starring in it that was canceled before the pilot even aired. To this day I’m stunned they simply never released the episode for us fans to see for ourselves. Oh well, the original will always be a fun ride in the town of Perfection to make us smile.

The Exorcist is a masterpiece that shocked the world when it came out. The Exorcist II shocked the world when it came out a few years later for a completely different reason. Let’s just say if there is one follow up to a movie that is better left forgotten and ignored it is that movie. So after many years a third movie was finally given to us and this one would be written and directed by the author of the original book WILLIAM PETER BLATTY. Based on his book LEGION Blatty wanted to go back to the world of Det. Kinderman and Father Dyer with a new unholy threat in the form of Brad Dourif’s Gemini Killer.

The movie was not received well at the box office or with the critics at the time of release but I remember renting it from my local videostore and zoned right into to the well thought out story. The acting by George C Scott and Dourif especially stood out. There is no secret that much turmoil was going on behind the scenes with friction between the studio and Blatty. In the book Legion and Blatty’s original cut (now available on Blu Ray) there is no exorcist climax but the studio simply could not promote it as Part 3 with having such a moment. It is rare but after seeing both films I prefer the theatrical cut over Blatty’s personally and that has more to do with letting Dourif’s Gemini Killer shine. He absolutely haunts us with his acting and even though much of the violence is left to imagination it works. There is enough good stuff going on in this film to make it a worthy follow up to the original film.

So even with a tacked on exorcist scene and at times over the top line delivering by Scott it does not take away from the impact of this film. And also for those that have seen this beauty the “scene” is still something to be remembered. The “Scene” is a reference to one shot with the camera not moving for minutes just staring down a hospital hallway. Effective as all hell! Amen…

And speaking of the Exocist 1990 also brought back the original film’s director to the Horror genre with THE GUARDIAN. Now, William Friedken has gone on record saying he was never happy with this film. Infact in most of his filmography books this film is amusingly skipped or left out all together. Now that’s a shame really. Look, I’m not gonna lie and tell you Friedkin made a masterpiece here or a misunderstood diamond in rough but is it fun? Hell yes it is!

Basically take the idea of another 90s movie The Hand The Rocks The Cradle but instead of the nanny just being an unhinged sociopath make her a magical nymph who just loves sacrificing young infants to a cursed and evil tree. Yup, you read that right, a tree. Look, if you wanna see something amusing and fun even if it surprisely shows no resemblance to the man who gave us The Exorcist previous work please give it a go. 30 years later and the film is starting to get some more talk as new movie lovers are discovering it.

A remake in today’s world is no big deal. It’s just business. Trying to capitalize on a known product. Even if you are remaking a classic we are becoming numb to every damn remake announcement by a studio that it’s not even worth getting angry about anymore. Now in 1990 when it was coming the idea of a remake of GEORGE A ROMERO’s masterpiece 1968 film Night Of The Living Dead had many people stunned and asking why? But truth be told this one kind of made sense and has it’s place in the catagory of “solid remakes”.

Here are 4 great things about this movie. First off it let Tom Savini cut his directing chops as he had previously helmed an episode of Tales From The Darkside. Originally Savini was gonna be involved in the ’68 film but a little thing called the Vietnam War happened so he was busy. I thought the Godfather of Splatter FX did a great job and it’s a shame more jobs directing did not come his way. Secondly because of a trademark issue Romero and company got royally screwed over moneywise with the original film as it accidently became public domain. No one really knows how much money it made but you can bet if the papers would have been properly done Uncle George would have made enough to open up a studio himself in Pittsburgh. It also gave us the first leading role of future “Candyman” Tony Todd. Todd had been in some great films before like Platoon but this his movie. Taking over the iconic role of “Ben” originally played by Duane Jones Tony Todd did a tremendous job as a man put in this insane situation. Trying to do his best in a Rick Grimes kind of way. And finally one of Romero’s biggest regrets with the black and white classic was the portrayal of “Barbara”. You see in his future installments he prided himself in making the female lead a strong minded character and not the usual “damsel in distress”. Well, in this remake Patricia Tallman’s take on the character could rival Sarah Connor or Ripley as she was the most level headed and take charge person in the film as comes to it’s conclusion.

In the end the movie did not exactly light up the box office and was heavily butchered by the real villains of cinema, the MPAA, but as time has gone on the creepy atmosphere and solid care that was taken into modernizing the classic has taken it’s place in the movie landscape of a damn solid edition to the “Good Remake Pile” which sadly is still light years behind the “Bad Remake Pile”

Under the defination of “MIsunderstood” or quite honestly “It’s A Damn Shame” comes Cliver Barker’s follow up to Hellraiser. The movie NIGHTBREED was a complete and utter flop when it hit theaters in 1990. Based on the book CABAL which I had read before the film because I reading strange shit when I was in junior high this movie was so badly mismanaged by the studio from brutal editing to the worst marketing campaign I can rememeber. Seriously, check out the original trailers for the release and you would be convinced it was a slasher movie with Cronenberg’s Decker character as the killer.

The reality is now 3 decades later, a new “cabal” cut, and soon to be even longer cut of the film it has not only been discovered by a new audience with appreciation for it but looked upon as a classic in the horror/ fantasy genre. I always like to describe this film as the “X-Men” for horror movie fans. Just like the mutants in that comic series the monsters of Midian are not the villains. No, the true evil will always lie in mankind itself and what better way to show the shittiness of man than having him portrayed as redneck western canadians. Ha! I will never forget seeing an Oilers and Flames hockey game on in the first few minutes and freaking out infront of my VCR. “Holy shit! Midian is in Alberta. I’m in Alberta! How can this be?!” With so much imagination and beautiful designs of the monsters and the mythos I fell in love with this world as an outsider to the norm. I truly think Nightbreed keeps finding new fans because of the simple yet iconic themes it lays out infront of us.

Also it has to be said that David Cronenberg was absolutely haunting as the mad Dr. Decker obsessed with destroying the monsters. The fact that Cronenberg is naturally soft spoken worked so well for the characrter. A villain that screms and yells gets boring and old real quick. One that is calm, quiet, and delivering lines like ordering breakfast is quite unnerving. If you have not experienced the wonders and monsters of Midian please get on it.

Horror movies and sequels are like a coffee and cigarette.They go hand in hand. And like that combo most are not good for you. But every now and then a solid sequel can be produced that might not surprise us or please us like the original but serves very well as follow up. John Lafia directed the sequel to Tom Holland’s 1988 hit film Child’s Play and honestly did a damn good job.

A big plus to a sequel is bringing back characters from the original. It was too bad that both Chris Sarandon and Catherine Hicks did not return but bringing back Alex Vincent as “Andy” was key. Having Chucky return to torment a new kid would be too much or a repeat. No, this movie served both Chucky and Andy well. With updated FX the movement and look of Charles Lee Ray was perfected and gave Brad Dourif more facial movement to make Chucky even more menacing and wise cracking. This time Chucky is straight up pissed after the events of the original and will kill anyone in his way to get Andy’s soul even another good guy doll. Andy in the meantime has to pretend none of it really happened as he, in his new foster family home, would simply be looked upon as crazy.

Another great edition to the movie was the character of Kyle played by Christine Elise. A rebelious tenn who also lives in the same foster family home she would become instrumental in helping Andy fight off the vicious little bastard toy. Like any horror movie sequel the gore and bodycount was ramped up considerably. Chucky got very creative with the tools of destruction.

The climax of the film was a thing of beauty as far as the setting. The set of the Good Guys Toy Factory is still one of the most iconic sequences in any of the Child’s Play films and the production designers should be proud all these years later that it still holds up. Child’s Play 2 is probably the sequel from this franchise I have watched more than the others and for good reason. Moving on…

Prior to 1990 most of the Stephen King adaptions hitting the big screen in the late 80s were not exactly the best product fairing with so-so results. Hard to believe now in 2020 where everything King is doing is being made into TV or movie as quick as possible. But then along came MISERY. Directed by the unlikely Rob Reiner who previously had given the world When Harry Met Sally, Princess Bride, and Spinal Tap. This would also be Reiner’s second take on a King adaption with him doing Stand By Me in 1986. But could he pull off true tension, terror, and straight up horror? Well with the help of movie actor newcomer Kathy Bates he surpassed all expectations. Simply put MISERY to this day one of the best King book to film adaptions and has lost none of it’s power 30 years later.

The story of writer Paul Sheldon finishing his latest book and the getting into a winter car crash upon leaving his cabin getaway only to be “rescued” by his “number one fan” Annie Wilkes is a simple story that works on every level. The methodical pace of the film keeps the audience slowly seeing the unstable nature of Wilkes and Kathy Bates, who deservingly won the Oscar, is simply perfect. There are no other words can be used in her performance.

The chemistry between Caan and Bates is fabulous and watching this film on a cold winter night with a drink in your hand while a fireplace is going might be the best way. Infact it is a great double feature with another winter King film, The Shining. For all it’s greatness when the movie is talked about the crippling of Sheldon with sledgehammer is something that we never forget. In the book it was an axe used to perminantly stop Paul from leaving but the Sledgehammer was a brilliant choice of change and visually stands out as the pain is real.

Again, one of the few good things of being older I suppose is remembering seeing this film in the theater with my family at a young age and it left the exact impression it should. An impression that 30 years later I’m still writing and talking about it. Misery alone would have made 1990 a great year for horror but there were still more gems that came our way.

Speaking of Stephen King we also got the less appreciated film GRAVEYARD SHIFT. Now, this movie was not gonna win any awards but 13 year old me watching this did not care. A giant rat monster with wings terrorizing the workers of mill was all I needed to get a kick and thrill out of this trashy B-movie delight.

Based off of a short story by King it was widely buried and forgoten in the videostores for years. At the time it just was looked upon as a lazy effort in filmmaking bringing nothing new to the genre that was trying to swerve into a more mature and psycological direction. But looking back at it a lot of great stuff is happening in it to amuse us and it’s a great go to recommendation for fans of King and creature features.

If there are two things I take away from this movie they are as followed and both involve actors. Stephen Macht plays the main villain and all around shittiest boss ever as Warwick. He is simply amazing with his heavy Maine accent and pure evil and greedy ways. The biggest shock to me was years later realizing that he also played the super cool and caring cop dad in The Monster Squad?! I had no idea it was him. Just shows the range he had. And ofcourse 1990 looks like it was Brad Dourif’s busiest year as once again he shows up in another movie. This time as The Exterminator. A man hired by Warwick to get rid of the rat problem at the mill. His screen time is limited but he leaves one hell of an impression especially when giving his version of a “Quint” war story involving rats. Worth a watch just for him!

You are Adian Lyne. You are coming off making the critical and box office success of FATAL ATTRACTION. What do you make next? Naturally a movie so out there and dark and bizarre it will take people years to appreciate how ahead of it’s time your movie was. Ofcourse this was JACOB’S LADDER. A movie that influenced music videos and other horror films for decades to come.

Tim Robbins stars as Jacob, a man who suffered through some heavy stuff in Vietman and is trying to get back to a normal life with his lady Elizabeth Pena working as a mailman. But things are off for Jacob as he keeps seeing and hearing some bizarre and crazy things. The only person he can talk to about it is his chiroprator played by the great Danny Aiello. He tries to reconnect with his fellow war buddies and see if it’s just him because they were all exposed to some crazy chemicals in the jungle. He is not alone but they start disapppearing one at a time to. Part mystery, part horror, all nightmare. Jacob’s Ladder was a beautiful dark tale that should be watched with a solid sound system and no phones to distract you.

At times there is so much going on in this film that when it hits you in the senses it feels like oveload. From an ice bath to one twisted trip to the hospital poor Jacob might be stuck between worlds or simply going crazy. And speaking of crazy if you have seen the film we all remember Elizabeth Pena’s “dance” at the party with a certain demon through Jacob’s eyes. You are intrigued, intrigued, intrigued, and then….”oh shit!!!”. Yup, moments like this will always have this 1990 classic proudly on the display at the videostore with the 2019 remake already buried in dust somewhere. Yup, they remade it. I’m sure most of you were not aware.

From La Bamba to Young Guns Lou Diamond Phillips was at the peak of his career and killing it in Hollywood. So naturally he wanted to jump into the thriller/ horror genre and did just that with this, a times, forgotten about little gem. THE FIRST POWER. It’s the kind of movie you forgot about until it gets brought up in conversation and you are like “Oh fuck! I forgot all about that flick” and you get all excited to rewatch it years later.

Look, I’ll be honest. It’s not the most original plot. A detective is on the trail of a brutal serial killer but this one has powers. Powers of a demonic nature which allow the killer to be resurrected and possess others. Similiar in tone to something like “Shocker” and a few years later “Fallen” The First Power won’t blow you away but as far the cop vs. unstoppable killer genre goes it’s solid entertainment!

I have always liked Lou Diamond Phillips. He comes off like a solid actor and a guy you wanna cheer for especially when facing one of satan’s lapdogs from hell in the form of serial killer wearing a creepy ass mask. So what the story lacks in originality it makes for with Phillips and Jeff Kober playing the sadistic baddie know as Patrick Channing!

In today’s movie nerd world us horror movie fans are very familiar with the genre known as “french extreme horror” but back in 1990 not so much. So after being out of print for many years I was so happy to finally have Alain Robak’s very cool flick BABY BLOOD back in stock. I totally did not realize it had come out 30 years ago. Crazy! The plot is something special for genre fans.

We follow the story of Emmanuelle. This poor woman is in for a rough ride to say the least. Basically a creature ends up inside her body, her uterus, to be exact. And while dealing with odd new life form inside her body Emmanuelle suddenly is having new cravings in her daily routine. The kind that involve blood and killing.

Whether her morals tell her right or wrong it does not matter. In order for her to keep on living with this thing inside she must kill. And kill she does always on the hunt for more and more human blood with the encouragement of the creature inside. Yes, it talks to her. Good old pep talks from your body make killing easier. Needless to say I will not spoil then end but you can see where this is going and considering this came out in the class of ’90 is most impressive.

You just can not keep a good doctor down! More sequels! And this one was something special. With the cult following of 1985’s Re-Animator a sequel was demanded by fans for years and finally it happened. Sadly, Stuart Gordon was occupied with another job and the production could not wait as all the plans were laid so producer Brian Yuzna would take over the directing job for the now titled BRIDE OF REANIMATOR! Did I say all the plans were laid out? That was not completely true. One factor missing was kind of important…a script. But hey, they could wing it.

With no time to waste the production got under way with all the prime actors back. Jeffrey Combs as Herbert West. Bruce Abbott As Dan Cain. Even David Gale is back as the head of Carl Hill re-animated with bat wings attatched. The only missing member was Barbara Crampton who was offered a cameo but she passed on it sadly.

So with a story being made up as they went along and a deadline to hit while finding a way to please the fans the creators knew who’s job it was gonna be to entertain us. The wizards behind all the crazy FX. Yuzna had just come off of directing the body horror film SOCIETY and wanted to distract the audience from lack of structured plot with every crazy effect the guys could come up with. And for young me it totally worked and for older me it still does. Simply taking the classic storyline of Bride Of Frankenstein and putting it in Dr. West’s world was enough to entertain. To the point that when you began to question the actual plot…BAM!….look at that sick practical FX! All these years later and Bride is still one of the most creative and insane sequels I have seen. Basically it was a happy accident and who doesn’t love that.

Speaking of mad doctors our good friend Frank “Basketcase” Henenlotter gave us a special kind of film in 1990. One of the best selling films from the shop FRANKENHOOKER. If nothing else the VHS marketing campaign to get my attention that summer worked. Only a handful of VHS movies put that extra special effort in to make you wanna see it. With Frankenhooker it talked to us! You pushed the button on the case and you would here Elizabeth say “Wanna Date?” Well, I was sold!

The timeless plot of a medical student who is desperately wants to bring back his dead fiancee with body parts from street prostitues. And of course things go badly wrong.

The thing with Henelotter’s film you just dream of seeing this on 42nd street in New York teamed up with another film of the era. The B-Movie blend of hunour, no matter how low brow, and visual FX mixed with the classic tale of resurrection deliveres one entertaining romp that has been a fan favourite for many years. If you happen to see this movie kicking around and it asks if you wanna date say yes!

Ah Flatliners. A movie we forgot was remade a couple of years ago. Well that’s okay, so did the filmmakers. The original 1990 movie directed by Joel “Make it sexy!” Schumacher as he went back to a genre pic with this flick after making the classic LOST BOYS. Honestly looking at the cast it literally feels like the “Brat Pack” of late 80s cinema.

The plot involves these 80s stylistic medical students trying to gte as close as possible with death to see if the light on the other side is real. Now I say 80s because even though it came out in 1990 all the vibes scream 80s still.

With a cast involving Kevin Bacon, Keifer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, and Oliver Platt this film can work on solid actors alone. Hence why we forget about the remake all together. A stylish P-13 thriller dealing with death with sweet hairstyles is worth a watch!

Thank god Richard Stanley’s career is back on track with the success of COLOR OUT OF SPACE. It would a bummer to write about his debut film HARDWARE knowing that Hollywood crushed his soul years later with tragic production of Island Of Dr. Moreau.

The look and feel of HARDCORE is now known as classic Stanley. Colourful, odd, and simply badass! Dylan McDermott plays a scavengar who recovers the head of cyborg and brings it home to his girlfriend’s place. Well no sooner than you can say “cyborgs are evil” shit goes crazy real fast. Coming out in 1990 it reminded people part Terminator, part Mad Max.

Also the movie captures a cyberpunk feel to it and does have both Iggy Pop and Lemmy appear in the film. Serious bonus points. Also recommended Stanley viewing would be his follow up DUST DEVIL and the documentary that tells the tale of making MOREAU…Doomed: The Journey Of Dr. Moreau.

More sequels! And one that got no love from the MPAA and the fans when it was released. After the insane TCM 2 directed by Tobe Hooper New Line Cinema boiught the rights and wanted to take it back to a dark and serious place. Hiring Jeff Burr to make the thrid installment the productio was hell according to Burr. The studio simple did not back him up at all. The story goes he was not the first choice let alone the fifth choice to direct the movie. He had a fight on his hands to try and finish the movie and avoid the dreaded X rating cut from the film board.

I think time has been very kind to this fine son of bitch of film, especially when compared to utter trash like part 4 ( minus some great overacting by McConaughey) and the horrible Texas Chainsaw 3D. Ugh. In fairness the film plays very straight forward to the original. Some young people going on a across country trip, a gas station, a hitchhiker, and the getting to the family home with dinner scene involved. But it does have some great stuff as well.

One thing is having Dawn Of The Dead’s Ken Foree as our beloved hero in the movie. Playing Survialist Benny his character was such a fan favourite that test audiences were angry he was killed in the original cut so just like with movie magic he lives in the end. Very impressive considering we definately a chainsaw going through his head in a fight Leatherface in the swamp.

The other big plus was this version of the Sawyer Family had some interesting characters in it. The obvious being future King Of Men Viggo Mortenson as “Tex” but also Joe Unger as “Tinker” and Tom Everett as “Alfredo” who really felt like the wild card of the family the same way Chop-Top did in Part 2. Overall, not amazing, not bad, just a solid entry in the Chainsaw Universe. Also one of the best trailers made at the time by riffing on “Excalibur”.

Another big event in 1990 was the two night TV mini-series of Stephen King’s IT. Part One aired on a Sunday night and we were all glued to our tube televisions watching the creepy as hell Tim Curry torment a group of young kids with utter terror. Going to bed after that first half and talking about it with your friends at schcool the next day was a big deal. Unfortunately on the Monday night we had to sit through the second half with the adults. Sigh. Still that year seeing this big 3 plus hour long epic on cable TV was a huge deal and would set the tone for future King mini-series like The Stand, Langolairs, The TommyKnockers, etc.

This same year we were given the final chapter to the Norman Bates saga. Ofcourse no one ever asked for such a thing as the original Hitchcock film probably should have been left as one but to be honest the sequels were not that bad. Part 2 will always be my favourite of the follow ups but I have a soft spot for the Psycho IV. Basically it deals with young Norman Bates in flashbacks as told by the great Anthony Perkins who has called into a talk radio show basically saying how he will kill his wife the minute she gets home. You see, the theme of the radio show this night is boys who killed their mothers.

Directed by the man who has probably worked on more Stephen King adaptions then anyone else alive Mick Garris does a good job keeping this film on pace with good performances by Henry Thomas as young Norman and Olivia Hussey as Mrs. Bates. Add to that CCH Pounder as the radio host desperate to keep Norman talking and not kill his wife and you have a pretty decent film on your hands. I honestly recommend it for those that worship Hitch’s film and watched the first couple sequels after. Might as well see how it ends and also watch Anthony Perkins, for the last time, portray the character that for good or bad would define his career.

I always loved this final shot of the Bates House. Just had to be said.

TWO EVIL EYES. The teaming up of Romero and Argento. The first time the men have worked together since Dawn Of The Dead/ Zombi. Now they ended up each directing their own segment for the movie hence “Two” being in the title but you get the point. Having these two masters of horror take two tales from Edgar Allen Poe and adapting them with actors such as Harvey Keitel, Adrienne Barbeau, E.G. Marshall and Tom Atkins involved how could it get any better? Oh right, how about Tom Savini chipping in with some fine FX work.

UNDERRATED! The amount of hate Predator 2 got when it came out was unreal. Yes. I get it. WHERE IS ARNOLD?!?! Even I was pissed off at first. But seriously, having it take place in “the future of 1997 war torn LA” was fun. Okay, always a good laugh when watching movies made 30 years ago, taking place in the future, which was 23 years ago. But you know what is not funny. Drugs and drug gangs. The violence between the Jamacian and Columbian gangs is over the topin this flick. So throw in a hungry Predator looking for hunting sport and you have a fun movie on your hands. No, we don’t get Dillion, Dutch, Billy, or Blane in this film but Danny Glover who stood his own. And throw in a cocky as hell Bill Paxton, Rubin Blades, and always good for a crazy time Gary Busey fun times are at hand. Not enough, how about the skull of a fucking Alien at the end. No big deal now but in 1990 you bet your ass it was.

Speaking of movies that people just did not get or enjoy when it arrived. That’s right, Gremlins 2. Honestly Joe Dante pulled with this movie what Tobe Hooper pulled with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. He figured I can’t repeat the original so screw it, I’m throw every crazy idea I can in this bad boy! And Dante did with almost a sinister glee. Taking place in a futuristic high rise building poor Gizmo gets wet again and the shithead Mogwais are born again to soon become those devilish gremlins. But the varity of gremlins is what makes this movie something else.

We get it all. Spider Gremlin! Female Jessica Rabbit Gremlin! Smart Gremlin voiced by Tony Randell?! Electricity Gremlin. Gargoyle Gremlin! Strange Candy Covered Gremlin! And for good measure throw in legendary Christopher Lee! Bring back Dick Miller! And literally have the gremilns attack and kill film critic Leonard Maltin as he bitches about the original movie on the TV show? Sure why not? But sitting in the theater back in 1990 one moment made the crowd go nuts. At a certain point it looked like the film literally breaks down right in the middle of things. The audience was confused for a second when suddenly who shows up on the big screen?

The Hulkster! Undertsand that at the time of this movie’s release “Hulkamania” was still huge so to have Hulk Hogan himself stand up from watching the movie and yelling at the gremlins to get it back on was hilarious and right our of left field. But I guess that one moment kind of sums up the sequel. Ridiculous, unexpected and so much fun!

But on the extact opposite end of “fun time” I present to you Singapore Sling. It is challenging to watch now let alone when it shocked movie goers 30 years ago. From director Nikos Nikolaidis it’s one of those movies when people wanna rent or buy it from the shop I always have the need to make sure they have a rough idea what they are about to watch. I really don’t need people yelling at me upon returning it screaming “Why didn’t you warn us!?” The plot is pretty basic. Dude looking for his lost love. Dude gets kidnaped by a twisted mother-daughter team. The rest of the film they get him to commit all types of unpleasant sexual devious acts and it goes on and on in a very unconfortable yet well shot way. Ironically this film opened up just in time for the holidays that year. Merry Christmas you filthy animals!

I love nothing more than a good horror anthology. And when you put Stephen King and George Romero together in such a film the results are usually pretty damn good. I will never forget taking a bus all the way from the northside of the city to West Edmonton Mall to see this film and being excited for it. Being a huge Creepshow fan and to a lesser degree Creepshow 2 I just knew this was gonna feel like the 3rd installment. Yes, it’s Tales From The Darkside: The Movie but seriously you could have called it Creepshow 3 and I would have been fine with it.

Take three stories wrapped around a tale involving Debbie “Blondie” Harry and you might have something special. The first of the 3 is LOT 249 with a cast that simply a few years later the movie would not be able to afford I’m sure. Christian Slater, Steve Buscemi, and Julianne Moore stand out in this mummy tale. It was fun seeing Slater in this movie and I’m guessing he did it because one of his ealiest roles was actually on the televsion show which lasted for a few seasons in the 80s.

The next story gave us “CAT FROM HELL” which had David Johansen and William “Puppet Master” Hickey in it. A hitman asked to kill a cat that has one by one picked off this wealthy family who made their fortune on pharmacy drugs that were tested on thousands of cats sounds silly but is done quite well and the payoff at the end…all practical FX and it’s beautiful.

And lastly in the final segment we get “LOVER’S VOW”. This solid little entry gives us James “The Warriors” Remar and Rae Dawn Chong as two people that meet on a terrifying night involving one hungry Gargoyle. The basic moral of this tale is always keep a promise. You break it and it will break you.

And like any good story that finally ends my look at 1990. Looking back I would have to say that 1990 was a pretty solid year for genre fans. They were not all winners but there was enough to amuse us in the theaters and videostores year round. And many of these films mentioned to this very day are still popular sellers and renters at The Lobby DVD SHOP. But one final moumental genre came out on VHS in 1990 and to this day eludes my shop. I will leave you all with the image of the tape that one day my friends will grace the videostore shelves…

The holy grail of 1990 my friends…LINNEA QUIGLEY’S HORROR WORKOUT. As always be safe, stay positive and remember the videostore loves you. Time for a drink…again. Cheers!