Cult Classic Cuties are characters from some of our favorite cult classics and midnight movies who captured our hearts and/or actresses who got our attention, but sadly never returned to these type of flicks. They’re femme fatales and final girls whose sexy stars shined only briefly, not quite achieving scream queen status. And this installment’s cutie is…



Dedee Pfeiffer as Allison/Amaretto in Vamp!

This installment of Cult Classic Cuties focuses on an actress who starred in only two horror flicks, both in the 80s. Actress Dedee Pfeiffer may be Michelle’s sister, but she carved out her own niche in the minds and hearts of horror fans as Amaretto/Allison, the new waitress at the vampire infested strip club in Vamp! Allison may be oblivious to her bloodsucking coworkers, but when her childhood crush walks in and pisses them off, the adorable Allison finds herself on the run from these creatures of the night!

(You can read my full review for Vamp by clicking the highlighted titles or on the poster below)



New waitress Amaretto is a blast from the past to our hero Keith (Chris Makepeace).

Allison/Amaretto may be oblivious that she’s surrounded by vampires, but that’s part of her charm!

Allison finally realizes rekindling a grade school romance is dangerous when your paramour pisses off vampires!

A bazooka probably won’t stop a vampire, but can’t blame a girl for trying!

Vampire queen Katrina (Grace Jones) regretting hiring that new waitress maybe?


Dedee Pfeiffer made one more straight-up horror flick, The Horror Show with Lance Henriksen in 1989. Since then she’s enjoyed a busy career in movies and TV and even done a couple of direct to video thrillers and science fiction flicks in more recent years, though never returning to straight up horror. Wherever she takes her career, Dedee will always be remembered by horror fans for her role in Vamp and certainly qualifies as a Cult Classic Cutie!


Be sure to check out our Cult Classic Cuties (click right here for the link) section to see more crush worthy ladies from cult films and midnight movies!

-MonsterZero NJ




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Vamp (1986) (full review HERE) is an 80s vampire flick that was sadly overlooked when first released. A smaller budgeted movie than the other vampire flicks of that era, but one that finally is being discovered and given the credit it deserves. After all, it presented the story of a queen vampire and her nest of followers being located in a strip club, a full decade before Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn. In this 2016 special edition Blu-ray from Arrow Video, Vamp can now be watched in all it’s original gory glory.


As for the disc itself….

The high definition transfer of this 80s vampire flick looks really good considering it is over 30 years-old. The film is presented in the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and there is some grain in the picture, but the neon colors are bright and vibrant and the images are sharp. The sound is the original mono track and while that may disappoint home theater enthusiasts, it’s certainly sufficient and should please purists who want to hear it in it’s original presentation. Probably as good as it’s ever going to look.


Now on to the extras….

The extras included are better than one might expect for what was a bit of an under-the-radar release back in 1986 and should please fans of this film. It starts out with a new documentary made at the time of this disc’s release in 2016 called One of those Nights: The Making of Vamp. It features new interviews with director and co-writer Richard Wenk, stars Chris Makepeace, Dedee Pfeiffer, Robert Rusler, Gedde Watanabe, the late Billy Drago and cinematographer Elliot Davis. It’s fun and informative, from the universal praise for Deedee Pfeiffer from cast and crew, to Grace Jone’s being both very enthusiastic to work on the film, yet perpetually tardy getting to the set. A cool documentary. There is also rehearsal footage, Richard Wenk’s 1979 comedy/musical short Dracula Bites the Big Apple, a blooper reel, TV spots, trailers and a photo gallery. While there are oddly no audio commentary tracks, there is a nice info-filled souvenir booklet inside the case. A solid special edition from Arrow Video, who also did the really good BloodThirsty Trilogy Blu-Ray set.


Vamp was not a huge box office success when first released on July 18, 1986, but wasn’t a bomb either. It has developed a well deserved cult following since and is now recognized as a cult classic. It was kind of the overlooked 80s vampire flick, released between Fright Night and The Lost Boys, but now is finally getting the attention and treatment this underrated little flick deserves.

On a personal note, I actually saw in a theater back in 1986 and this special edition really brought back memories and was a great way to revisit it. Highly recommended if you are a fan.

Available on or from Amazon.

-MonsterZero NJ



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(Clicking the highlighted links brings you to corresponding reviews and articles here at The Movie Madhouse!)

The original The Hills Have Eyes (1977) is not among my favorite Wes Craven films, but it certainly is an enjoyable, and now a touch nostalgic, survivalist horror that pitted a vacationing family against a clan of mutant cannibals in the middle of the desert. This remake basically follows the same story, but with a larger budget and cranking the intensity and brutality up to 11 by handing the writing/directing reigns to Haute Tension writer/director Alexandre Aja.

The screenplay is credited to Aja and frequent collaborator Grégory Levasseur, but it follows Craven’s original film very closely except it focuses heavier on the vicious clan being the genetic mutation result of atomic testing decades earlier and obviously, cranks up the violence and intensity which is Aja’s style. The story still follows the family of ex-cop Bob Carter (Ted Levine) who is heading out to California with his wife Ethel (Kathleen Quinlan), daughters Lynn (Vinessa Shaw) and Brenda (Emilie de Ravin), son Bobby (Dan Byrd), Lynn’s meek husband Doug (Aaron Stanford) and their infant daughter (Maisie Camilleri Preziosi). They are led astray by a gas station attendant (Tom Bower) who, unbeknownst to them, is in league with a vicious clan of cannibalistic mutants led by patriarch Jupiter (Billy Drago). Soon they find themselves stranded and their car disabled and under attack by a hungry and brutal clan that wants them all for dinner. Will this family perish in the middle of nowhere, or will they find it within themselves to meet brutal violence with brutal violence?

We all know the answer to that question and Alexandre Aja has a gory, brutal blast not only putting this average American family through a vicious ringer, but administering payback with equally violent, blood-spattering efficiency. The film is far more intense than the moderately placed original and it’s larger budget enables it to really crank up the gruesome carnage which reaches a fever pitch in the blood soaked last act. The effects by K.N.B. Effects are very well executed and now the cannibalistic clan look far more like the mutant creatures they are than the original ‘dirty hobo’ look of the 1977 version. The Craven film had some violent moments, but Aja plays it very hard-core and his backwoods mutants are far more threatening and the carnage on both sides far more graphic and with more impact. This film is a really rough ride and has a far darker edge than the original, which was quite brutal in it’s own right back in it’s time, but also had some unsettling humorous moments as well. Aja’s visual eye combined with Maxime Alexandre cinematography give the film a gritty and grungy look that serves to make one uncomfortable even when nothing is going on and when you add in the pulse pounding score from Tomandandy and François-Eudes Chanfrault, you have one intense and brutal 106 minutes that expands and improves on an original that is, in itself, considered a cult classic.

The cast all do well and play their parts very effectively from Levine’s macho ex-cop to Stanford’s mild mannered yuppie phone salesman, who slowly transforms into a man who will do anything to protect his own. Ravin and Byrd also gives strong performances as the frightened teen siblings who find not only the will to survive, but the ability to kill to do so. Drago and company all give us some truly frightening and detestable villains though, none really stand out and make an impression like fan legend Michael Berryman did in the original film that made him a horror icon. Overall, a good cast with solid performances that help add to the film’s effectiveness.

I really like this movie, if ‘like’ is the proper word to use in reference to such a brutally intense blood-bath that Aja transforms Craven’s original film into. It’s got some nail-biting action, some really intense gore, and characters that we like enough to not want to see harmed…and some we want to see get it real good! It’s one of the few remakes that improves upon the original and stands on it’s own as a horror achievement. A really good and really brutally effective horror that honors the original film it’s based on, yet makes it’s own statement. A really good horror.

3 and 1/2 axes.

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VAMP (1986)

A full ten years before Robert Rodriguez took us to the Titty Twister, writer/director Richard Wenk took us to The After Dark Club, a vampire infested strip bar deep in the urban jungle of Los Angeles, in this 80s horror/comedy from post-Corman New World Pictures (Corman sold it in 1983). Keith (Chris Makepeace) and A.J. (Robert Rusler) want desperately to get into a fraternity and to do so, make the frat brothers a deal that, if they get them a stripper for one of their parties, they are in. The boys hitch a ride with nerdy but wealthy Duncan (Gedde Watanabe) into downtown L.A. and choose a place called The After Dark Club to find their stripper. Inside the sleazy club, the haunting and impressive Katrina (Grace Jones) is whom they choose. Unknown to them, though, Katrina is a centuries old vampire and so are most of the club employees, except for new girl and old friend of Keith’s, Amaretto (Dedee Pfeiffer…Michelle’s sister). Soon a quest to join a frat becomes a night of terror and survival for Keith and his friends, as they face an ancient and hungry evil that wants them all dead…or worse.

Low budget flick is no Lost Boys, but it is fun, though, not as fun as I remembered it when I saw it in 1986. Under Wenk’s direction the film has a slower pace than a flick like this should. He could have used some more intensity and energy in the action sequences, though budgetary restrictions probably were to blame here, too, as the action is pretty small scale and low key. His visual style gives it a sleazy neon-bathed look and that works in the film’s favor and Wenk is supported by some nice gore and make-up FX from master Greg Cannom. The script has some definite weak points, such as vampires keeping drums of flammable liquid in their lair. Then there’s an albino street gang that prowls the neighborhood, yet somehow has never come across their fanged neighbors, but the local coffee shop guy is well aware of them? Giving the film a boost over it’s flaws is that the flick is very 80s and the nostalgia helps one past some of it’s weaker spots.

Wenk also has a cast that gets the material and it’s tone. Makepeace is a suitable hero and it doesn’t hurt that he has a passing resemblance to Mel Gibson. Rusler performs well the part he usually played in the 80s flicks he was in, the cool player. Wantanabe is still milking Long Duk Dong, but with better English here and Pfeiffer gives us a crush-worthy, cute and ditzy heroine in her Allison/Amaretto. Grace Jones doesn’t have as much screen time as you might think as Katrina. She is formidable, though, and has presence, even if she has no dialog and spends a lot of time under Greg Cannom’s make-up artistry. The music by Jonathan Elias suits the mood fine and the cinematography by Elliot Davis and Douglas F. O’Neons captures the sleazy neon soaked atmosphere of the setting. To give the film credit, the comedy and horror elements do mix fairly well and that isn’t always easy.

Overall, Vamp is still fun, especially with the 80s nostalgia added, but not as good as I remembered it being. Grace Jones made an interesting stripper/vampire queen and with a little more energy and a perkier pace, this could have been a real treat. It’s still considered a cult classic by some and I agree it is a good example of 80s B-Movies, the type that soon went direct to DVD. It might be one of the last films of it’s kind to get a theatrical release before the home video era made it cheaper to go direct with flicks like this. It’s an amusing 80s horror/comedy and while there are certainly better examples of that genre mix, Vamp is still worth a look and a bit unique in it’s own way…and it did pre-date Lost Boys by a year and From Dusk Till Dawn by a decade. Also stars 80s B-Movie bad guy Billy Drago as albino street gang leader Snow.

Rated 3 (out of 4) fangs.